We left our home in central Florida at 8:00 am Thursday morning. Just over five hours later we were checking in at Falling Water State Park, just a few miles south of I-10 in the Florida Panhandle.
Visiting OLGA’s Birthplace
We have always wanted to visit where OLGA was born (I mean, built). And since we weren’t particularly happy with some of the work performed under warranty last fall by a local dealer, we called Dave at Renegade RV last fall.
As we discussed before, everyone should have a Dave. He agreed that Renegade would address our issues whenever we got the motorhome back to their factory, and thus we made plans to travel north in July 2017.
As it happens, Renegade (a small company of 175 employees) was purchased by the Rev Group in December 2016. Rev Group, with 6000 employees, builds ambulances, fire trucks, shuttle buses, transit buses, yard trucks, street sweepers, and luxury motorhomes (including American Coach, Fleetwood RV, Monaco, and Holiday Rambler). However, we stayed in touch with Dave and made plans with Joe (the service manager) to bring OLGA for a list of little annoying things that fortunately don’t impact our ability to use her. [As it turns out Dave is no longer at Renegade, having accepted a position with another firm and Joe is quickly becoming our new best friend!)
Planning our Trip
As we planned our trip we recalled meeting a couple at Florida Caverns State Park last year who had previously stayed at Falling Water State Park just 26 miles further west. Using the Good Sam Trip Planning tool we charted a four-day course stopping at Falling Water, Huntsville AL, Columbus IN and then finally Elkhart. Though the third day, we break our 330 rule … a family commitment (and Hamilton tickets) requires we make it there in four days.
Falling Water State Park
Just a few miles south of I-10 in Chipley Florida, you find this small, well-maintained state park. A circle of 22 campsites (all with electric and water) surrounds very clean and well-maintained bath houses. Just a short walk from the campsite you will find a lake with sand beach and picnic area. I was confused when I saw a sign for alligators posted near the lake, but the dozen or so children enjoying a respite from the blazing July heat didn’t seem to notice.
The park’s namesake is a 344-foot waterfall…the highest in Florida. Frankly, the waterfall would not be nearly this high if it weren’t for the 100-foot sink hole that it cascades into. It seems sink holes (or sinks as they are appropriately called) are also a major attraction of the park. But as someone who has lived in Florida for 17 years, and seen the impact sink holes can have on a neighborhood, I fail to appreciate their charm.
Though it was a very warm, and humid day, we enjoyed our hike … much of which was on a boardwalk. Near another picnic area, we happened upon a butterfly garden. In addition to butterflies, we are told this area is a birder’s dream.
All in all, Falling Water State Park is an inexpensive one night stop if you are traveling on i-10 across the Florida panhandle.