41 Miles from, St. Johns RV Park in St Augustine, FL to Thunder Gulch Campground in Bunnell, FL. Cost: $15.14 per night with weekly rate and Passport America.
1/6/15 – 1/13/2015 Days 21-28
Sometimes there places you visit that are beyond their prime. But you can still see what the “vision” was, even if it never came to fruition. I would have to call the “vision” here kinda “quirky”. Nothing wrong the quirky. Without quirky life would be boring.
As you pull in there is a shack named “Checkpoint Charley” and the check-in shack is next to it. To the left is a restaurant/bar called the Black Cloud. Further left is a (now closed) “General Store”. The Black Cloud is pretty heavily motorcycle centric.
Mia does a good job of detailing the “feel” of the park. I think she is little heavy handed in some of her criticism (although I wasn’t the one that stepped into the “lake”). But the rain was torrential. You will read in the next post how how it affected the next park we stayed at. So it wasn’t just Thunder Gulch. The voltage did drop to 103 several times which tripped our power protector. But once again, under unusual weather conditions.
I wouldn’t want to spend the winter here. But it really wasn’t all THAT bad. If you want to feel the quirkiness, here is their web site:
Check out “About Us” then the “Our History”
Final note. It was here that I noticed that there was still water leaking from the Hot Water compartment. Not as much. But leaking still. I took a good look at the tank and decided it must be replaced. A mobile RV guy quoted us $800. When I regained consciousness, I ordered the tank from Adventurerv.net for $292.62 shipping included. We had to hang around the campground waiting for FedEx to deliver it on our last day.
Mia’s thoughts on Thunder Gulch
We pulled in here on Tues, Jan. 6th – both of us sick with the flu and just glad to find a place to stay. Thunder Gulch is a strange name for an RV park until you understand the entire concept. Actually, even after you do get the concept – it’s a little strange.. It has it’s own restaurant, called “Black Cloud” and it’s own 3 track motorcycle race course. The tracks are divided by skill levels, kids, intermediate adults and professional adults.
There’s a lot of “Thunder” here on good days (sunny, not wet days). The majority of people seem to be long term residents, and consist mainly of Vets from “Nam, and Gulf wars. Most are ex-military. You feel as tho you’ve been dropped into a small community of ex-pats. This seems to be a refuge. If they weren’t here, you get the impression that a lot of the residents would be hanging about in the woods and mountains of Oregon / Washington state.
The first day was semi-sunny. We were able to sit out in the sun for a bit and it was not too bad. Since then (Wed, Thurs. Fri.) it has been cold, grey and wet. Although this was set up in 2001, the electric supply is not capable of meeting demands on days when there are extra transients and/ or when cool temps require extra heating. Our power goes down a lot here in the early morning hours as more heaters are turned on. Doesn’t stabilize until after 9:00 or so.
WiFi is very much the same – slow, depending on band width usage, can be completely down if too many try to use it at once.
On the plus side, it is a very clean park – no junk, or litter. Laundry room is very clean and has 4 washers & 4 dryers. all matching and working very well. There is a large park like area where you can walk your dog or your self. The soil is the same black loam / sand mix that is everywhere here. There is more open space between lots and although they are not paved or gravel, they are fairly level.
Rained here on Jan 10 overnight to Jan.11. Took Snoop out this morning and stepped into water over my ankles/ The entire area in front of our front steps is a lake. What a mess. No words to explain the disgusting waste land this site turned into.