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REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. This is a paid event with payment managed through the AOC. Please read the event description carefully for details; you will be given payment instructions after you sign up. Late payments are NOT accepted for this event, in any circumstance.

Third Annual Festive Firefly Float & Camp

The Basics:
Event Type:Multi-Sport
Event Location: Blue Springs Campground
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Jul 1 2011  10:00 am >> Mon, Jul 4 2011 7:59 pm  (Carpool Departure: 10:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Mon, May 2 2011 9:30 pm
Registration Cut Off: Wed, Jun 15 2011 9:00 pm
Event Duration:3 Days 9 Hours 59 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D2: Easy to Moderate
Trip Leader(s):
Nancy L
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:$86.25/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:16
Minimum Group Size:8
Number Registered So Far: 16 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Let's go back to Blue Springs!  As some of you know, this is one of my favorite places to visit and camp.  We happened upon Blue Springs on our first Festive Fourth of July Firefly Float purely by chance and I think we all promptly fell in love with it.

Blue Springs is a beautiful, well-maintained campground off the Santa Fe River.  They have a few crystal clear springs of their own on the property, and last year we had a blast jumping off the tall platform into the cool waters below!  The campground also offers full service comfort station (hot showers, sinks, flush toilets), snack bar, hiking trails, and a fun and friendly staff! Alcohol is permitted, but bad behavior is not. This is a family campground, so plan to act accordingly. We hope to arrive early enough to snag the big group sites so that way we can create our own little AOC village. :)

So, join me for this long weekend adventure!  We'll leave Atlanta around ten a.m. on Friday (long drive) so that we can set up camp while it's still light out.  Afterwards, we'll hang out for a bit, maybe go for a swim, and have dinner. There are lots of (surprisingly) good dining options in the tiny nearby town, or you may wish to make your own campfire meal.

Saturday morning, we'll amble over to the outfitter to pick up our boats.  Due to overwhelming demand we are getting single kayaks.  This is a VERY easy river, but you will need to be able to swim and feel confident paddling yourself. Some kayaks will be sit on top, some will be sit in. The outfitter will provide paddles and vests, but you are welcome to bring your own. The Santa Fe is a very slow moving river and helmets are not necessary.

The outfitter will put us in a few miles above our campground, and then we'll take our time to paddle down the river, take pictures and goof off in the water. We'll be sure to stop by emerald Poe Springs. Poe is a private park, so plan on either staying in the water at there or bringing a few bucks to pay their entrance fee. Since Poe is a really nice lunch spot, I'd recommend you bring a few bucks so we can enjoy the dock and pavillion for a leisurely lunch.

After Poe, we'll amble down the river some more. We can stop by Blue Springs (if needed) to refresh snacks and beverages, and then get back in the boats and head down the river to visit Ginny Springs. You'll want to be sure to bring your cameras to capture some of the unique Ginny Springs "wild life." Finally, we'll head down the river and the outfitter will pick us up then drop us off at camp.

We'll figure out dinner when we're back at camp--we may want hot showers and chill time by the fire, or we may want to go into town for dinner.

On Sunday, we'll get up EARLY (I promise it will be worth it). Eat a quick breakfast, then head off to pick up inner tubes and hit the Itchetucknee for a fantastic float down a crystal clear (and highly protected) river not too far from camp. You may bring cameras, a hat, sunglasses, but not much else. This is NOT included in the trip cost, so bring extra cash for the inner tube and park entrance fee.

We'll head back to camp after that, and everyone can spend the rest of the day doing whatever. Some of you might want to hike around the beautiful Blue Springs campground, maybe fish off their long boardwalk, revisit the outfitter for a sunset paddle, or go into town to wander around. I'd recommend just hanging around the campground; this place draws some of the friendliest and most luxuriously-equipped campers I've ever met. And the first year we were there, our fellow campers prooved to us that they know how to celebrate the 4th in style!

The Fourth of July falls on a MONDAY this year (how lame), so that's the day we'll head home. We'll need to head out by lunch time.

Probably on your own!  Although, depending signs up, we may end up with someone who enjoys organizing and preparing group meals. If this is the case, I'll send out an email a few weeks prior to the trip to give you the option to participate.

Also, ice will be available at the campsite.  Please try to buddy up with a partner on a big cooler to save space in the carpool.

Required Items to Bring:

Think Long Distance Car Camping... feel free to bring some luxuries but remember that we've got a long way to go and the fewer cars we take the better.

*High SPF, waterproof sunscreen
*Sunglasses plus crocky so you don't lose them in the river
*Cash for firewood and ice (can be purchased at the campground)
*Cash for tube rental and Itchetucknee park fee
*Bottled water/electrolyte replacement for river trip and a way to secure it in your boat (carabiner, bottle leash, whatever)
*Fast drying cloths/bathing suits that you can get in the water with at any time.  We will be in the water many times during the day
*Cooler or tote for your food.  Please try to pair up with someone to save carpool space
*Bungee cord to secure your food from theiving woodland creatures
*Flashlight and/or headlamp
*Enough food for yourself for the duration of the trip, plus washable plate, cup & utensils
*Biodegradable camp soap for dish washing
*One snack to share with the group
*River shoes - e.g., Keens, Tevas
*Sleeping bag/pad/sheets
*Wash cloth and towels
*A positive and friendly attitude! (i.e., NO BITCHIN'!)

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

*Bug spray
*Small dry bag
*2-4 2-liter drink bottles filled 80% full with water and frozen.  They will keep the cooler cold and you can drink the ice water as it melts. 
*Snorkeling gear
*Small raft
*Water wings
*Float stuff
*Small day cooler

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Will be handed out at the carpool or emailed prior to departure.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):650Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 10:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $260.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

If you've never been camping, you're in for a real treat!  Please don't hesitate to ask your trip leaders any questions you might have... no such thing as a stupid question, except the ones you have but don't ask.  :)  Email preferred.

Important information for paid events in which payment is managed through the AOC:

     - Payment must be received by the payment due date and prior to participation in the event.

     - Some paid events require a minimum number of registered participants. If that number is not met, the event will be canceled and refunds will be issued to those who have already paid.

     - Third-party vendors often require damage deposits. Each registrant agrees to be liable for and required to reimburse the Atlanta Outdoor Club for any withheld deposits due to the actions of or damages caused by that registrant.

     - No partial payments. All registrants must pay the posted Member Cost regardless of any agreement you may have with any party involved in the event.

     - Read the event description carefully for additional information, and contact the trip leader(s) with any questions.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost & Payment:
Member Cost:$86.25/Person
Cost Includes:3 nights of pioneer camping in style!
1 day of kayak rental
Payment Cut Off:Payment must be received by the AOC on Wed, Jun 15 2011.
Make a Payment:Click here for the details. PLEASE PAY AFTER YOU HAVE SIGNED UP BELOW.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

The standard AOC cancellation policy will apply.

*Note: Cancel on or before June 15, receive a full refund less $5 administrative fee. Cancel after June 15, no refund unless someone from the waitlist replaces you, pays in full and then you will receive a refund less $5 administrative fee.