Black Creek Ravines- St. Johns WMD

First trip with the van! And first trip with my sister.

Daisy seemed to enjoy the bed.

This trip was not exactly like starting over but definitely learned some things.

The campsite was for group camping and could reportedly accommodate up to 24 people and 3 vehicles. It seemed a bit small for that. It did have a nice big table and a fire ring with a working grill ( many don’t) and 2 built in benches by the ring.


We attempted to locate the creek the first day but the trail markings (or the map readers) were lacking. So, we headed back and built a fire as the temperature dropped and prepped for dinner.

Hotdogs over the fire (with palmetto sticks), beans and carrots.

We spent some of the evening outfitting the van since this was the first trip. We cut screen for the back hatch and secured it with magnets (my new favorite things). We needed to ensure that the screen could accommodate latch when the hatch was closed.

The moonroof also needed screen so we cut and secured that as well.

My son donated and cut a piece of PVC to use as a curtain rod too so, we took some fabric I brought and made temporary curtains with safety pins.

I used small “s” hooks (another favorite thing) to hang it from.

The large “S” hook in the middle I think I bought at Publix. It is intended to hang over a closet rod.

We were told to bring firewood so we also gather wood at my sons.

We had a little help from super cute granddaughter.

The night was cool but I left the hatch open anyway as I had ample warm coverings. The bed which is currently makeshift consists of two free end tables and a plank of wood (not so free) that measures 24″x72″. My mattress is 27″x75″ but the setup does the job. The tables are a bit too tall though as I cannot comfortably sit on the bed without hitting my head on the ceiling.

ZRB fits just fine on the bed.

After a hardy breakfast we set out to find the creek again. After a “scenic route” we finally made our way to the primitive campsite by the creek.

Evidence of previous campers is seen in this photo below and we picked it up carried back to dispose of properly.

Some flora along the way.

Pitcher plants

Parts of the trail (marked and unmarked) run along some very large power lines. We could hear them they were so loud.


You can hear the power!

Back at camp it was time for a well deserved rest…and maybe a little research.

On the return trip we stopped at Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park to meet LM who stayed there the weekend.

We compared notes and gadgets and took a short hike into the ravine and maybe the creek.

Nice clear water spring.

Daisy liked the creek.

And she was able to visit her friend Milo.

Lessons learned and to do list ( it’s a doozy!)

  • Bed is fairly large but necessary and needs a little more cushion
  • Bed needs to be lower about 12″ from floor.
  • Still too much stuff
  • Screens for back, side sliders and moonroof worked well.
  • Sew magnets into screens
  • Install wind deflectors
  • Install Reflectix
  • Install floor-paint OSB
  • Cover floor (probably carpet)
  • Make back window inserts for rear windows
  • Make curtain for back hatch
  • Install solar panel (paint first)
  • Buy battery
  • Buy 12 v cooler (pricey!)
  • Sew and hem front curtains
  • Paint PVC curtain rod
  • Pay off Van

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