Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bathing Beauties

Dodge and I got REALLY dirty at Tomoka State Park. Poor Dodge got the worst of it. He and Gary were in and out of the park a few times, and there was no escaping those muddy campground roads. I thought I had it made for awhile, and then some birds started using my roof for target practice. It was pretty gross. We were definitely a sad looking pair. I couldn't wait to have a bath. I know that Dodge felt the same way. Gary began with me. I got a good soaking with the hose first, and then got scrubbed with a brush and a nice soft washing mitt. It was hot here today, and the cold water felt great on my skin. In no time, Gary had me looking and feeling better. Then it was Dodge's turn. From all the mud that Gary washed out from under him, it seemed like we brought a good portion of Tomoka's terrible roads home with us. Dodge was more of a challenge to clean than me, but Gary eventually had him looking like his old self. We dried quickly in the warm sun, and then we came back into the garage to cool off. All was well....well almost. Gary spotted a screw in Dodge's right rear tire. That's never a good thing to see. He was bummed out that Dodge's relatively new tires (purchased last August) already had a puncture. The screw was removed, but no air escaped. The screw was easily long enough to cause a leak, but it appeared that it went into the thick tread at an angle, and wasn't a problem after all. All of the other tires on Dodge and myself were inspected to see if there were any other screws present, but everything looks good. We're all relieved. So that's the latest news from the Green Acres Garage. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that this is my 400th blog post. Can you believe it? Thank you all for your support. As long as you continue to be interested in the ramblings of this little "talking" trailer, then I'll continue to attempt to entertain you. Have a good one!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Our Final Stay At Tomoka State Park

Hello from wet and muddy Tomoka State Park in Ormond Beach, FL. We have camped here for years, but this will be our final visit until they pave the roads through the park, and we seriously doubt that that will ever happen. Enough is enough. If it hasn't rained here, the roads are very dusty and full of potholes and large craters. When it rains, all those potholes and craters fill with muddy water. Except for the roads, this is a decent little park. Our main reason for camping here is the relatively close proximity to Daytona International Speedway. Gary attends car shows there in March and November. This is the closest state park to the speedway. Gamble Rogers State Park is just a bit further away. It's a tiny park with cramped campsites on the beach side of Highway A1A. It is constantly booked. Gary read recently on the state parks website that they are expanding the park on the inland side of A1A. That expansion includes a brand new camping loop. As soon as reservations can be made, we will be booking a campsite there for the November car show. We're not sure if the road through the campground will be paved, but it can't possibly be as bad as the roads are here at Tomoka. Enough about that. Let me tell you about getting here yesterday, and what's happened since. We left Wekiwa Springs State Park at 11AM on the nose. It was a 61 mile trip from our Wekiwa campsite to our Tomoka campsite. Even with a couple of detours due to road construction, we arrived here at 12:45PM. It was overcast the entire way, and it began to sprinkle not long after we arrived. The sprinkles quickly became a downpour, and Gary got soaked trying to get me set up. Once he got done, he wrung out his wet clothes in the sink, and hung them up to dry on my indoor clothesline. That has been one of the handiest things that Gary has installed in me. He uses it every day for towels and washcloths after he showers. It was good that he brought the air conditioner on this trip. Besides making me nice and cool inside on these unusually hot days, it also helps to dry whatever is hanging on my clothesline. We like our campsite here. It's kind of secluded, and only a few steps away from the restroom. We just can't stand the horrible roads, and that will keep us away from here from now on. If by chance we can't get a campsite over at Gamble Rogers for Thanksgiving, Gary says he will travel to the car show from home. I would be disappointed to have to stay at home by myself, but we'll just have to see how it all works out. Believe me, I'll be reminding Gary on a constant basis to see if reservations can be made yet. This is the second of our four night stay here. The rain is supposedly finished, and a sunny weekend with cooler temperatures is predicted. Gary will be going to the car show tomorrow, and I'll be hanging out here listening to the iPod and catching some Z's. If anything interesting happens, I'll check back in before we go home on Monday. Have a FANTASTIC weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spring At Wekiwa Springs

Once again, we are spending the early days of spring at Wekiwa Springs State Park in Apopka, FL. We liked this campsite last year, so we are back to enjoy it for a few more days. We had one little problem here last year that I will never forget. As you may recall, the overly aggressive squirrels here broke into me through a screen in an open window. They partied down with a fresh loaf of bread while Gary was out antique shopping. I LOVE squirrels, but actually having them running around inside of me was more than I bargained for. There's no chance of that happening on this trip. The weather has been unusually warm for this time of year, and Gary brought along the air conditioner. That means that the windows are staying closed. Unless the squirrels can break through the glass, they are NOT getting in. As I write this, we are in the midst of our third night (of four) that we will be spending here. It rained most of the first night and the following day. It's been kind of muggy since, but the air conditioner has made it most enjoyable for Gary. If he's happy, I'm happy. This park has been explored during our previous visits, so Gary has concentrated on antique shopping all over the Orlando area. He's been to a lot of places, but oddly, he hasn't bought very much. He's planning to venture a little further away tomorrow. TV reception is excellent here, so I've been watching my favorite shows while Gary is away. There hasn't been a dull moment. The park is pretty full this time. That's what happens when spring break and our camping schedule coincide. There was some very unusual excitement just moments after we arrived. From what Gary was told, a guy on a motorcycle snuck in here to camp without paying. He was rather obnoxious to the people that had reserved the campsite he was in, and in turn, to the camp hosts and a park ranger. The police arrived and put him in handcuffs, took him to jail, and had his motorcycle towed away. In all the places we have camped, we have never had anything like that happen before. That was pretty wild. Our friends Tina and Joe from Ohio were in this very campsite a couple of weeks ago, and they left a little surprise in the woods behind the campsite for Gary to find. Tina gave some great clues as to where the item was, but Gary still couldn't find the mystery item. With more clues from Tina, Gary finally found the empty wine bottle wrapped in a plastic bag and buried by the base of a tree with a "U" carved into it. Gary has watched every season of "Survivor", so I'm surprised he wasn't able to find the bottle with Tina's clues. I guess he wouldn't do too well as a "Survivor" contestant. I, for one, would have to vote him off the island. He seems to be MUCH better at hunting and finding antiques. Oh well. One more day here at Wekiwa, then we move on to our next stop. I'll catch you later!

Friday, March 20, 2015

No Time For Slackin', Just Workin' And Packin'

We've been home from our last round of camping for nine days, and there has been LOTS of activity here at the Green Acres Garage. Gary's been running around trying to get as much done as he possibly can before we take off on another trip. Although I basically do nothing, I get REALLY tired just watching him. He still moves pretty fast for an old guy. Besides picking up all the yard debris that had fallen from the trees that are on or surrounding our property, Gary mowed and weedeated the entire place, and trimmed a few of the shrubs. That took roughly a day and a half. He washed Helen the Husqvarna after she helped him mow the yard. He also washed the dirt and mildew off the non-running conversion van on the driveway, washed clothes and linens on a couple of occasions, caught up on bills and mail, shopped, unloaded "Dodge" from our last trip, and repacked for our next trip. There were other things too, but you get the idea. He's been a BUSY guy. I was hoping for a bath, but that hasn't happened. It's supposed to rain the day we are planning to head out, so I guess that washing me wouldn't make much difference since I'm going to be getting dirty as soon as we leave. At least I'm clean inside. I had a problem with my tile backsplash on the way back from Georgia. The glue didn't hold very well, and it separated from the wall. On further inspection, Gary discovered that the glue didn't bond in the middle of the backsplash at all. After removing all of the old glue residue from the wall and the panel that the tiles are attached to, Gary used a whole tube of Liquid Nails to reattach the panel. He cut 1x3's to wedge between the backsplash and my bunk beds. That will hold the panel tightly in place until the glue dries. He didn't do that the first time he attached the panel, and now he's having to re-do it. Lesson learned. The 1x3's are still in place, but Gary will remove them before we leave. He also has to reattach my under-cabinet light and my paper towel holder. They had to be taken down to remove and replace the backsplash panel. That's all that's happened with me since my last posting. Heck, I never even got un-hitched from "Dodge" after we got home. The two of us have just been sitting around, watching Gary wear himself out. We'll be hitting the road soon, and I will write from Wekiwa Springs when we get there. Have a GREAT day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Crooked River State Park

The last stop on our current round of camping is at Crooked River State Park in St. Mary's, GA. Although it has it's pretty areas, the campground here is NOT on our list of favorites. There are two loops, one that has individual campsites like almost every other park in the world, and one that's basically a pine tree filled field where it's hard to tell where one campsite ends and the other begins. We are in one of the individual campsites, #51 to be exact. Gary tells me the restrooms are old and outdated, but the plumbing works well and that they're kept clean by the camp hosts. Something that we have never seen is that controlled burning has been done recently BETWEEN the campsites. There's a burned smell in the air, and instead of nice greenery, there's charred remains of the vegetation. Like most coastal or riverfront parks, there's a boat ramp, a pier, and this one even has a bait and tackle shop. They have five very nice looking cabins with scenic but distant views of the surrounding water. I was excited to see that there are cable TV hookups here, but unfortunately, they don't work. We have limited channels with our onboard antenna, and that's been sufficient for me to see at least a few of my favorite shows. I don't know one flower from another, but those nice purple flowers can be seen all over the park. That adds a bit of color to the place. The park office and gift shop is a good one, and the park personnel have been friendly and helpful. Of the three parks we have been to on this round of camping, this is our least favorite. Overall, it's a decent park outside of the campground, but since we're here to camp, it doesn't thrill us. We would stay here again in a pinch, but we're not likely to return if there are other options. Gary found a couple of interesting things at one of the antique stores in town, but the other stores were not interesting to him at all. This is our final day here. We head for home tomorrow, will be there for a week, and then we head to central Florida for ten days of camping at three different parks. We'll be taking the air conditioner along, as it's starting to get toasty during the daytime hours. I'll write from home if anything exciting happens. From Crooked River State Park, this is Toaster. Over and OUT!!!

Little Ocmulgee State Park

Little Ocmulgee State Park near McRae, Georgia was the second stop of our eighth round of our current camping season. It was a beautiful day as we traveled west from Ft. McAllister to Little Ocmulgee, but it rained as soon as we arrived. Gary got wet setting me up, but he didn't complain. It had been a fairly warm day, and the rain actually felt pretty good to both of us. We drove through the two camping loops twice, and picked out campsite #54 for our three night stay. I was surprised to see a cable TV hookup inside the electrical box, and I knew that as Gary was out antique shopping as he always does, that I would have plenty to watch on TV. Besides that, there were squirrels running around all over the place, so there would be no lack of entertainment. I'm easily amused. The good part about the rain was that a cold front was right behind it. In addition to the drizzle, it got down to 34 degrees on our first night. Since Gary and I like cold weather, that was PERFECT sleeping weather for us. The high temperature for the following day was only 48. It was just like HEAVEN!!! As predicted, Gary spent much of his time antique shopping in towns within a moderate radius of the park. He was happy with his finds. He loves seeing new places, even if he isn't antiquing. On our final day, after returning from shopping, Gary explored the park. One of the main attractions at Little Ocmulgee is the golf course. There's also a lodge and a conference center, a pool, tennis and volleyball courts, and something called "The Splash Pad" which is apparently a little water park for the kids. The cabins are small, but cute. They overlook the Little Ocmulgee River. There's a boat ramp and a white sand, man made beach. A pier stretches out into the river, and serves as a great place to fish or to catch a sunset. The visitors center and a couple of the old 1930's Civilian Conservation Corps restrooms are still standing and being used today. Those guys did GREAT work. The CCC also built the dam that adjoins the beach area. Little Ocmulgee is a VERY pretty park. I had no complaints at all, but Gary had one. He found it odd that even though there were an abundance of camp hosts riding around in their golf carts, the restrooms were never cleaned during our visit. For him, that was the only disappointing thing about the otherwise beautiful park. Check out the pictures and I think you'll agree, Little Ocmulgee is a GREAT place to visit.