Stay N Go RV Park – Florida Caverns – Marianna, FL – February 14 -21, 2024

We had planned on leaving Torreya State Park at 1 pm on Wednesday, February 14th to drive to Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna, Florida for a 7-night stay. We had been planning this stop for several months. Amber needed to drive up from Orlando on the upcoming Presidents Day 3-day weekend to take care of some things at her late father’s house in the panhandle. It was only about an hour south of where we would be staying. So, we came up with a plan where she would drop Abby off with us for two nights and then all four of us would tour the Florida Caverns on Sunday morning. It was going to be a chance for one last visit with them before we left Florida for the next 10 months.

At 11:15 am on Wednesday, while we were in the process of closing things up at Torreya, we received a call from the Florida Caverns State Park cancelling our stay due to flooding concerns. The caverns would most likely still be open as they are at a higher level, but the campground was being closed. This was a result of the massive storm system that had moved through the area earlier in the week. Local river levels were high and expected to crest by the weekend. My background in emergency management made me thankful they were being proactive and putting campers’ safety at the forefront. But it sure played havoc with our immediate needs…a safe place to stay in the same general area.

Cindy is amazing! She pulls out her apps she uses for finding spots for us to stay and I pull out our map of Florida and we start scrambling to find a place. In about 15 minutes we find a private RV park in Marianna that is about 8 miles from the State Park. In 20 minutes we have a reservation for the same 7 nights that were cancelled at Florida Caverns State Park. It cost us about twice what our State Park stay cost us and if you’re a regular reader you know it’s not at a type of place we like to stay. But what are ya gonna do, right?

Stay N Go RV Park

So we finished packing up and left Torreya at 1 pm, as planned. We stopped for lunch and groceries before heading to our home for the next week – the Stay N Go RV Park.

Stay N Go RV Park is basically a flat, open area with paved pull-through sites in the middle two roads and grassy back-in sites on the outer north/south edges. All the sites are full hook up, which was a plus as we needed to flush and clean the black tank. This way we could do it at the site at our convenience and take our time, rather than possibly being rushed at the State Park dump station because other RV campers needed to use it. Sadly, there were virtually no trees and not a trail to hike within 8 miles.

Marianna does not offer much in the way of restaurants. Stay N Go RV Park is right behind a Sonny’s BBQ and across the street is a Beef O’Brady’s. I tried to take Cindy to both of those for a Valentine’s Day dinner Wednesday night, but they were packed with lines out the door and 45 minute wait times. I guess everyone in a 20 mile radius had the same idea. For our third try we drove about a half mile and found a nice little Mexican restaurant that, while as packed and busy as the first two, only had a 10 minute wait when we arrived and actually seated us in about 5 minutes. As professional wrestler Tito Santana used to say, “Arriba!”

With no nearby trails we simply walked Bella around the RV park and over to a vacant field next to the RV park on Thursday and for the rest of our stay. It wasn’t much but at least it gave our girl a little time outside exploring.

Cleaning The Black Tank

I also spent about two hours flushing and cleaning our black tank. Back when we first started RVing we had brought a wand that had a revolving head which would shoot out water in a circle when you attached it to a hose with water running. It was supposed to be good for cleaning the area between the toilet and the black tank, but it didn’t seem to work all that well the first time I used it. As a result it had just been sitting in the storage bay for the past two years. But I decided to get it out and try using it again. So glad I did. It did a really good job of eliminating any build up and by the time I was done the rinse water was running pretty clear. Not clear enough to drink, mind you, but pretty clear.

Another plus for the RV Park was that they had a very nice laundry room – in comparison to the usual state parks or COE’s we like to stay in. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was like a doctor’s waiting room. Polished wood flooring, light, bright paint on the walls, cute decorations, upholstered chairs, TV and Wi-fi. While I did the laundry Cindy cleaned the trailer and did some trip planning.

When we stripped the covers off our dinette bench seats to wash them, we discovered that Cindy’s side of the bench (which is more or less freestanding) had experienced some separation of the framing. Not surprising since, to keep these things light, they only use staples to hold some of the interior framing together.

So Friday I went to the nearby Lowe’s and got some “L” braces and wood screws to install as reinforcement and hopefully keep that from happening again.

Amber and Abby arrived late Saturday morning after a 6-hour drive from Central Florida. Abby stayed with us while her mom drove an hour away to her late dad’s house. We played several hands of Abby’s favorite card game, Gin Rummy, and watched the “Ms. Marvel” series on Disney+ so Abby (and grandma) would have some background before we watched “The Marvels” movie for their first time. Abby was feeling a little “punk” but we thought she just might be tired from the drive.

Florida Caverns Tour

Sunday Amber came back and we all went to take the Florida Caverns tour. There was some question as to whether the caverns would be open at all due to the flooding. As it turned out, they had 6 of the 10 “rooms” open so they sold discounted tickets for the shorter tour. Cindy and I were here 2 years ago, so this was our second time on the tour. But it was a first for Amber and Abby. Our tour guide last time was an older man…this time it was a 16 year old kid. Must be something in the water. Anyway, we all had a good time and learned some stuff (thanks kid) on the tour then grabbed a quick lunch at Zaxby’s before Amber left to go back to her dad’s house. Abby had a headache most of the day and a little cough, but we still played some card games, took Bella for a walk and watched some TV before Abby decided on an early bedtime.

Monday morning Amber drove in to Marianna and we met at Waffle House for a late breakfast and reluctantly returned our granddaughter back to her mom so they could drive back to Orlando. Nomad was a lot quieter when Cindy and I returned, and I don’t say that as if it’s a good thing.

Abby seemed to be feeling even worse during breakfast and by the time she and her mom arrived safely back in Orlando, she was very sick. It seemed to be a respiratory problem and kept her out of school for 2 days. Thankfully she was fine after that.

So, Stay N Go RV Park would have definitely not been our first choice but it was better than possibly being flooded out of our spot at Florida Caverns State Park. And there were a couple of plusses that worked out in our favor. Just not something we want to make a habit out of in the future.

Next stop we’re back in a State Park, this time in Alabama. We hope you’ll join us next time and thanks for following The Wandering Wetheringtons.

1 thought on “Stay N Go RV Park – Florida Caverns – Marianna, FL – February 14 -21, 2024”

  1. Pingback: Apalachee Campground inHistoric Blakeley State Park

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *