Sunrise Oasis Yurt -- A Step Above Camping
"Camp" a step above in Club Florida's unique yurt. Club Florida is the proud owner of a yurt, built by Patrick McKann in 2004. The yurt sits on the edge of a deep quarry, which fills and drains along with the Santa Fe River's level. The yurt is nestled in the midst of acres of Gilchrist's County's woodlands, rising 24 feet in the midst of swaying trees. Step up to view life among the trees, and step above primitive camping in this protected, screened woods-hut.
A yurt is an indigenous Mongolian dwelling, as seen in the film The Weeping Camel, comparable to an America's Indian teepee. Environmental Statistician, Biologist, and carpenter, Patrick built with the help of his brother, neighbors, and his mother our 20 sided, screened umbrella which opens as tree bows begin to taper in their last reach for the sky.
On the 16 x16 platform downstairs campers find a propane stove, fresh water, outhouse with compostng toilet, cooking gear, chairs and a table. Use dead wood on the ground for permitted campfire.
Climb the stairs to pop open the yurt door, rising to a leaf-green painted floor, easy to clean. Fourteen foot floor-to-ceiling screens and the umbrella top protect from insects and rain, while allowing you to meditate and sleep in cool ambient air. A translucent dome covering the circular rooftop emits moon and star light or the shadow of an owl or hawk who flies through the ever-turning night.
You can access the yurt by land, after a drive through rural Gilchrist County. Once your full payment is received, Virginia sends you directions to the yurt and to the hidden key. Or, You may peddle up the Santa Fe River on Club Florida's hydrobikes. The yurt is a 25 minute paddle/peddle upriver from the Ichetucknee confluence. We have marked trails through the Suwannee River Management Lands, if you prefer to hike from Club Florida's Historic Cabin to the yurt. On these lands you are guaranteed to scare up the resident turkey flock, who fly like W.W.II bombers back and forth across the river to feed in the woods and nest in the trees. You are welcome to enjoy the Santa Fe River on hydrobikes or bring your own canoe or kayak to the yurt. Take our cleared path through our expanse of untouched acres to our river lot to enter the river for swimming or boating. A community boat ramp is close by.
Hiking trails, Hydro Bikes, canoe, and bicycles available.
Watch deer dash through the quarry while owls alternate their mating calls through the silence of pristine lands. The Yurt lies a short distance from four miles of Ft. White Tortoise Mitigation Lands, where gopher tortoises dig their retreats and other wildlife take refuge. These seldom used public lands provide paths along the Santa Fe River above Ira Bea's private community, and we can guide you to interesting features such as the Sunshine Spring or the Black Pool.
Club Florida offers you a unique experience a step above. Indigenous Indians may not have camped as luxuriously as you will in our elevated, cushioned treehouse. Find here a complete diversion from life in the urban communities of the 21st century.
What we have at the Yurt:
- 16x16 lower deck
- plexiglass dining table, small wicker table
- 2 burner Coleman propane stove
- coffee pot, pots, pans
- bowls, plates, cups, flatware
- dishwashing tub, drainer
- 50 gallon rain barrel with water for dishwashing
- 5 gallon unlocked cooler to ice your drinks
- 16 x 16 elevated 11 feet in trees, screened, sleeping yurt
- Queen futon matress
- 4 2" foam sleeping mats
- wash stand
- composting toilet
- sun shower
- fire ring
- burn only dead limbs found on the ground
- do not burn mossy, aesthetic logs
- anti-raccoon cage to protect your cooler and food
Boats on our private river lot
- complimentary use of 2 hydrobikes
- Ft. White Mitigation Lands Boat Ramp to launch canoes, kayaks (1 mile)
- Ira-Bea’s Boat Ramp (.4 mile)
- complimentary use of 2 wide tire bicycles.
You should bring:
- Bug spray
- Light: Flashlights, lanterns, matches, candles
- Propane for Coleman stove
- Sleeping bags or sheets
- All groceries (nearest convenience store is 15 miles; nearest grocery, 20 miles)
Phone me at 352 275 3833352 275 3833 or click "contact me" on the website to check availability by email for your dates. I prefer not to use a website calendar.
Providing more than one date offers a better chance of being booked.
The ladder to the upper deck holds only 250 pounds. Only one person on the ladder @ a time is safe.
Supervise children on ladder.
For your comfort and safety, the maximum weight upstairs is not more than six 180 pound people.
A better number for sleeping is four adults.
Single mats may be pushed together for a double bed. Please replace them as you find them.
A family of two adults and up to four small children could be accommodated.
Others may pitch a tent beside the yurt or elsewhere on the 4 acres, but each individual pays the fee.
Never allow children upstairs alone. Always supervise children.
No wrestling, jumping, or playing upstairs.
$100 minimum: Single night stays, due to preparation and clean up, plus manager's transport to treehouse, no more than 2 campers. We reserve the right to exclude single night stays on popular and holiday weekends.
$35 per adult per night: you bring water, sheets or sleeping bags
$25 per child under 12 per night.
Deposit and Reservations
Once we have agreed on a date for your stay, send three items to:
131 NW 116 Way, Gainesville, FL 32607.
One check made out to Virginia Seacrist for the total fee for accommodations plus deposit.
Add in refundable $50 deposit; check list for deposit return at top of loft stairs.
Download and print the disclaimer.
Send the signed disclaimer with your check; include email address, dates reserved, phone number
Conditions for Refundable Deposit Return:
After you have a pleasant stay at the yurt, I want to return your deposit. However, I live in Gainesville and have to travel 80 miles round trip to make sure the yurt is fine for each stay. I want each guest to find the yurt in the same clean, neat condition as the previous guest. You can help by doing the following things. Otherwise, I must charge for my cleaning services, for bringing water you did not order, for using my blankets and bedding, and for dumping your body waste into the 50 gallon barrel.
Your deposit will be kept if I have to clean after you.
To receive the complete deposit back, please take photos as instructed on the attachement sent when you receive directions.
Carry away all trash: do not leave recyclables or trash; take away your water bottles
Empty your body waste into black barrel behind outhouse. Swish waste water collected in bucket from sink, replace two scoops of saw dust in fresh bucket, place it under toilet.
Paper: You may leave paper in the first bin, so others can start fires.
Sweep: upstairs, downstairs, the outhouse
Photo that NO candle wax is dripped on rug.
Replace cookware and plates in bins AND replace BINS in proper order.
Wipe: clean the "kitchen counters" on the deck.
Lock: bikes, hydrobikes, and trap door
Return: key to hidden spot where you found it. Photo that key is HIDDEN.
Replace my propane you use, but take away your bottle if you brought your own.
Do not disturb fire circle. Make sure your fire is out.
Lean the chairs around the table to keep the seats clean.
When you do these things, you are leaving the yurt the way you find it. Thank you so very much for your cooperation.
We love your comments in the red book upstairs. Please do write about your stay at the yurt, but please address complaints directly on email or phone.
For you benefit, print the conditions for deposit return, take them with you.
The yurt is in high demand. Your dates are confirmed only after full payment of fee plus deposit. Because of high volume of requests, if you have paid in full but you cancel, I must charge you $25 booking fee. Refunds will be given if cancellation is no less than three weeks in advance of your reserved date.
IMPORTANT FOR HOLIDAY WEEKENDS: If you reserve a holiday weekend or day and you have RECEIVED directions from me, NO REFUND IS GIVEN FOR CANCELLATION, REGARDLESS OF TIME BEFORE SET DATE. Once I reserve a holiday for you, others will be turned away. You are obligated to pay for the reservation if you cannot attend. Make sure of your plans before you reserve.
In certain cases, at slack times, I am willing to move your date to another vacant time.
Our elevated, screened yurt is unique; you will find none like it anywhere. Please be considerate of others who would like the yurt experience when booking dates.
If you are fortunate to secure a reservation several days in advance, you may pay by Paypal. A 3% fee is subtracted from your deposit for use of Paypal. No credit cards are accepted. No-shows will not be refunded.
Refunds are given if a hurricane, tornado, flood, or extreme long-term freeze occurs unexpectedly on your dates.
No refunds are given for rainy, hot, or cold weather.
No refunds are given when you see mosquitoes, roaches, spiders, chirping insects, wildlife or if the woods experience is not what you envisioned. If you leave before your paid time expires, we are sorry we cannot refund your money. Others are waiting to enjoy the treehouse experience.
Check in at least 2 hours before sunset; check out 12 noon; check in is 2 PM, unless by special arrangement.
Click here for Instructions for Self Sign InClick here to read the DisclaimerFor a more pampered stay, see our original Santa Fe River cabins.For accommodations in Gainesville, check out Grace's Place