Thursday, November 27, 2014

Turkey Time At Tomoka

It's Thanksgiving night 2014, and we are once again camping at Tomoka State Park in Ormond Beach, FL. We have come here every year since Gary has owned me. The main reason we camp here is so Gary can go to the Turkey Rod Run car show at Daytona International Speedway. The four day event is held there on Thanksgiving weekend every year, and Gary hasn't missed it in MANY years. If I'm doing my math correctly, I was just a teenager when he started going to the show. That was a LONG time ago! We are in our usual campsite (#10). It had rained heavily for more than 24 hours before we arrived, and was still drizzling when we pulled into the park. Although the campsites are quite nice here, the road from the ranger's station to the campground leaves a lot to be desired. It's got enormously big craters in it that fill up with water every time it rains. Some of them are a foot deep or more. There's no avoiding them, since many of them are almost the full width of the road. When we've been here and it hasn't rained, the road is REALLY dusty. I'm not a fan of getting dirty, and rain or shine, the road to the campground here most definitely puts a frown on my face. It's a nice park other than that. The rain stopped not long after we arrived yesterday, and the weather is supposed to be perfect for our entire stay. It was definitely picture perfect today. 65 degrees and sunny, just the way I like it. Today was the first day of the car show, and Gary was at the gate of the speedway when it opened. He walked through the whole automotive flea market area today, and came back to the campground with some cool stuff. I did my usual thing today, which consists of relaxing, watching for squirrels, listening to music, and taking a nap. It's a good thing that I don't eat. If I did, being as lazy as I am, I would weigh as much as a large motorhome! Speaking of eating, Gary sure did pig out tonight. I'm surprised he still fit through the door when it came time to go take a shower. I guess he was just trying to keep up the tradition of overeating on holidays. I don't know if I've ever seen him eat so much. I'll do my "thing" again tomorrow, and Gary is planning on going antique shopping. On Saturday, he is planning to return to the speedway. And on Sunday, we will be moving on from here to a place we have never been to before. I'll tell you all about it when I find out for myself. Well, Gary wants to watch a movie, so I guess I will join him. Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another Visit To General Coffee State Park

We have camped at General Coffee several times. It's our favorite park in Georgia. It's not the fanciest or the most scenic, but it just feels really comfortable being there. Gary and I love it like we love Paynes Prairie in Florida. Both parks give us that warm and fuzzy feeling like nowhere else does. I've posted pictures from around the park before, so I won't get into a lot of that this time. I'll just show you our campsite, one picture of Poncho and Jenny, the donkeys that live in the park, and a picture of the one and only time that it rained so intensely in the nearly three weeks that we were on the road. Our campsite (# 41) was one that we haven't stayed in before. Our two favorites, #32 and #47 were taken. Number 41 was equally good, so no complaints. When we arrived, we were surprised to see so many campers there, especially for a Sunday. The campground wasn't full by any means, but it was busier than it usually is. At least half of the campers left in the pouring rain that we encountered on Monday morning. We had been blessed by really great weather almost the entire trip, so a big downpour like we had was overdue. The rain didn't last very long, and within a couple of hours, everything dried up. A cold front came in after the rain, and we had our coldest morning of the trip on Wednesday, the day we packed up to head home. Gary fed the donkeys each day we were there as he always does. Poncho and Jenny are full-sized donkeys, unlike Jack and Diane, the miniature donkeys at Pat & Dan's farm (see my earlier post for pictures). They are always happy to see "Uncle Gary", because he always has snacks for them. Gary also spent a whole day away from the park in search of antiques. He found some things he just had to have, and that always makes him happy. As for me, I just hung out and listened to the iPod, watched people come and go, and enjoyed the squirrels that stopped by to visit. It was a fun visit as it always is. We are due to stop at General Coffee again in January, and I am already looking forward to it. Gary is preparing me and Dodge for our next camping adventure, and it's only a couple of days before we hit the road once again. I'll post when I can.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Born In A Sausage Store

When we left Pat and Dan's farm in Woodbury, I thought we were heading straight to General Coffee State Park. After all, General Coffee was the next scheduled stop on our camping journey. But, Gary surprised me, and we stopped to check out Carroll's Sausage And Country Store in Ashburn Georgia. Why there, you ask? Well, the Carroll's store was originally the Serro Scotty trailer factory, and that was where I was born at back in 1972. What a thrill it was to actually be right there on the grounds of a such a historic place. It may not be anything but a building to most people, but to me and all of my brothers and sisters who were born there, it is basically the Holy Land. Carroll's bought the property about three years ago, and transformed the decaying building into something that resembles a Cracker Barrel. It had been a pool manufacturing company previously. Gary intended to go inside and look around, but the store is closed on Sundays. Being closed actually worked out well for taking pictures. If it had been open, we probably couldn't have gotten up as close to the building as we did. There is an adjoining RV park on the store grounds. It doesn't look too impressive at this point, but it will hopefully get better in the future. We didn't see any restroom or shower facilities. Gary is going to check online to see if there are any, or if you have to have a fully self-contained camper or motorhome to stay there. I would LOVE to camp there sometime if they have the facilities that Gary requires. Just to stay at the very place I was born at would be REALLY fun. Carroll's is located at exit 82 on the west side of I-75. The building actually faces the interstate, and is accessed from a road behind it. On the south end of the campground, you'll see the giant Georgia peanut monument that has been there for many years, and that is clearly visible from I-75. I'm sure we'll be going back sometime when the store is open. Besides the country store , there is a newly opened antique shop in the south end of the building called Pickin' Peanuts. You KNOW how much Gary loves antique shopping, so if for no other reason, we'll be going back to check that out. It sure was great to stop by and see the place, and I want to thank my buddy Gary for the special treat. What a great place to take a break between stops. As you can see by the Ashburn Welcome Sign, they have an annual fire ant festival. Who in the world would want to celebrate fire ants? That's a little weird if you ask me. Personally, I think they should have an annual toaster festival. After all, the most famous Toaster in the world was born there. Now THAT I could get into!

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Little Ditty, About Jack And Diane

Of all the animals at Pat and Dan's farm, our favorites are the two donkeys, Jack and Diane. Gary and I just LOVE them! I had no idea before I met them how sweet they could be. Awesome doesn't even begin to describe them. They are miniature donkeys, and as you can see, Jack is considerably smaller than Diane. They obviously love each other, and are always together. Gary always brings them carrots when we visit. They are CRAZY about carrots! Diane is more aggressive when it comes to food and snacks, and she often pushes Jack out of the way to get what she wants. Gary always makes sure that Jack gets his share though. They are such mellow animals, and curious too. They will follow you around if you are in the pasture with them, and they like to be petted. Check out their sweet little faces in the pictures I've posted, and you'll see exactly what I mean. They are just TOO cute!

Relaxing At The Farm

While Pat and Dan and Gary were away from the farm exploring nearby towns, I got to hang out and watch all the animals. There was never a dull moment. They constantly kept me entertained to the point that I got a little behind posting on my blog, but that's okay. It isn't often that I get to hang out with real live animals (other than Gary, ha-ha), so I greatly enjoyed the opportunity. They have a dozen goats, many of which are currently pregnant. Mac, the white goat with the big horns is the father of a lot of the others. He is the son of Nanny, the gray goat, and was the first goat born on the farm since Pat and Dan have owned it. He is the only male goat, so he has a LOT of "fun" with all those girls. There are a bunch of chickens too, some that were just recently born. Then there are the constantly squawking guineas, the gray birds that are right behind me in the first picture. They kind of look like buzzards. They peck on my hubcaps and are pretty annoying, but they're funny to watch. There are two cats on the farm too, Samuel (not pictured), and Stinky, the little black and white kitten. Samuel is older and isn't quite as active as Stinky. Everything is a toy to Stinky, from a blowing leaf to Gary's "climbing post" legs. By the way, Stinky actually doesn't have a name yet, but that's what Gary insists on calling him. It just seems to fit his mischievous personality. My favorite animals on the farm are the two donkeys, and I'm going to devote my next post just to them. They are TOO cool. Pat and Dan have a nice house, a cute little cabin, and a barn on their 18 acres. I get my power from the pump house that my "campsite" is next to. It is a GREAT place to hang out. Gary and I always look forward to our visits. There you have it, a little look around the farm and the critters that call it their home. Coming up next....a little ditty about Jack and Diane. Don't turn that dial!