Sunday, November 27, 2016
My bestest buddy Gary had a GREAT time at the Daytona Turkey Rod Run Car Show this year. In addition to spending two full days shopping for car parts and other junk, he also hung out with some old friends, looked at THOUSANDS of cool cars, and got to meet the ULTIMATE car chick, Courtney Hansen. We know Courtney primarily from her days of co-hosting the car rebuild show "Overhaulin'", but she has an extensive resume. Check out Wikipedia for more info than I can possibly include here. Courtney was signing autographs at the show, and Gary snapped a few pics of her while he was waiting in line to get an autograph for himself. He had mentioned to me that he was planning to meet her, but what I didn't expect was that he got ME an autograph also. AWESOMENESS!!! Yep, that's Courtney holding my business card, alongside her best friend Cameron. I've never had a genuine celebrity say that I'm cute before, but Courtney did. She's a car chick, but if I had a chance to spend some time with her, I am sure I could turn her into a vintage travel trailer fan as well. Gary said she was REALLY nice, and very accommodating. I wish I could have been there myself, but getting Courtney's autograph and knowing that she has my card is much more than I expected. Gary TOTALLY hooked me up. If you're reading this, Courtney, call me sometime. Like Mister Ed only talking to Wilber, I usually only talk to Gary. But for you, my dear, I will GLADLY make an exception. Thank you for the autograph. You're a BABE!!!
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Hi folks, and Happy Thanksgiving weekend from Gamble Rogers State Park in Flagler Beach Florida. This is our usual place to camp around turkey time each year, due to it's relatively close proximity to Daytona International Speedway. My buddy Gary spends most of his time while we are here at the speedway for the annual Turkey Rod Run Car Show & Swap Meet. We used to camp at Tomoka State Park around this time, but the roads in that park got so horrendous, that we changed our reservations to here. Gamble Rogers is a little more expensive, but it's well worth it. There are two loops here, one on the beach side of highway A1A, and one between the highway and the Intercoastal Waterway. We are in campsite #63 in the Riverside Camping Loop, and that is on the Intercoastal Waterway side of the park. The roadway in this loop is paved, and the campsites are either gravel or concrete. On the beach side, the roadway and the campsites are hard packed sand. There's more separation between the campsites in the Riverside loop than the beach side, but privacy is still minimal. It appears that we are in the most wooded campsite in this loop, with at least a little buffer between us and the campers next to us on my left side. All of the other sites here are out in the open. We do miss the wooded campsites at Tomoka, but without trees, we have TV reception. There is absolutely none at Tomoka, and you KNOW how much I love to watch TV. We are in a 90 foot long campsite, which is definitely overkill for a 15 foot trailer like myself. I look a bit lost in here, especially when Dodge isn't here to help fill the void between me and the roadway. This loop is only a couple of years old, so everything is nice and fresh. Gary is enjoying the spacious shower facilities in the ultra-modern bathroom. There is a 20,30, and 50 amp power supply here in our campsite, and dual water hose connections. Oh, and there's a light in the top of the power supply pole that emanates a green colored light at night. That's pretty cool. A few of the other campsites also have sewer hookups. There's a little clearing in the shrubbery behind me, and a short path that leads down to a view of the Intercoastal Waterway. A better view can be seen from the picnic area and boat ramp area that us campers pass by on our trek from the park office to the campground. The beach, of course, is the more picturesque side, but the salt spray over there is bad. We stayed in that loop for one night a few years ago, and that wasn't very pleasant. There are three walkways down to the beach on that side of the park, but two of the three were damaged by Hurricane Matthew and are currently inaccessible. The only access is the walkway next to campsite 11. At least the beach overlooks are still intact. Speaking of hurricane damage, we weren't sure if we could get here easily from the north, but it was no problem. Parts of A1A and the ground below it had been totally washed away, but it has been fixed to perfection. That's the roadway you see in the first picture I posted. Gary has had a blast at the car show, and I've enjoyed my TV time and listening to the distant sounds of the ocean waves rolling in. Sad that we'll be leaving soon, but I'm always sad when we're not off camping somewhere. At least it won't be long before we head off for our next adventure. Well, I'd better be going. Gary will be back from the car show any time now, and I want to be able to tell him that I did some work while he was gone. Have a GREAT day!
Monday, November 21, 2016
We left Reed Bingham State Park this morning (Monday), and headed south on I-75 into Florida. There was no hurry to get anywhere, because we had no definite place to be for tonight. Our camping reservation at Gamble Rogers State Park in Flagler Beach was made for Tuesday through Saturday, with Monday being designated as a travel day. Gary's plan was to spend the night wherever we felt like, in a rest stop or a Wal-Mart parking lot somewhere along the way. Not that there's anything wrong with staying at either of those possibilities in a pinch, but I was hoping to get a really good night's sleep. In order to do that, we would need a quieter place than either a rest stop or a Wal-Mart parking lot could provide. I started thinking of parks along our route, and Paynes Prairie popped into my head. It's only a mile or so off I-75 at exit 374 in the town of Micanopy. That would be PERFECT! I mentioned it to Gary, and he thought that was a GREAT idea. He called ahead, thinking that getting a campsite on a Monday would be no problem at all. What he didn't think about was the influx of the snowbirds into Florida this time of year. The camping snowbirds generally take up ALL of the campsites at every park in the state. However, we lucked out, and there was just one available campsite at Paynes Prairie, campsite #11. We have stayed in various campsites here over the years, and we have our favorites. We have never stayed in this campsite before, and never really considered it, but it's actually pretty good. It's the only campsite on a cut-through road in the middle of the camping loop. There's a trailer pretty close to us on my left side, but there's nobody within sight of us on my door side. It's pretty secluded, and best of all, it's SUPER quiet. This sure beats roughing it with no power or water in a noisy place. Gary enjoyed his hot shower on this 40 degree night, and I got to watch TV. It was well worth the $18 price tag. We're off to Gamble Rogers in the morning, but not before we enjoy this fabulous night in our favorite Florida State Park. Goodnight, everybody!
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Before we say goodbye to Reed Bingham State Park for this visit, I thought I'd post a bunch of pics of this pretty little park. Gary (my photographer) had a little spare time today, so I asked him to go out and snap some pictures for me. He happily obliged. There's a good sized lake here, and since Gary is always attracted to water, that is where he began his photography. Like everywhere else we have been in Georgia this year, the drought has created a low condition in the lake. It doesn't seem to be as severe here as other places, but it's still lower than our first visit. At that time, water was flowing over the dam. This time, the dam and beyond is dry. There's also a burning ban going on, so no campfires are allowed. This park is actually located in two adjoining counties, and until the mid-70's, you had to go out to the main highway to get from one side of the park to the other. With former governor (and later President) Jimmy Carter's help, a bridge was created inside the park to tie the two halves of the park together, making it more user friendly for everyone who visits. Thanks, Jimmy! All together, the park is over 1600 acres. There's a boat ramp, picnic pavilions, and group shelters on each side of the park. The man-made beach, the largest of the picnic pavilions, and the kayak rentals are on the west side. The campground, park office, mini-golf, and all of the trails are on the east side. Gary walked a couple of the trails today, but ran out of time to walk all of them. The Little River Trail has a LONG boardwalk that branches off to a couple of different areas that provide views of a swampy area. Not the prettiest area of the park for sure, but Gary was impressed with that boardwalk. That's a LOT of lumber! There's also a Nature Center in the same area as the trails, but it was closed when Gary visited. The only wildlife seen was a few squirrels and an armadillo. Here in the campground, there are two loops. Loop #1 is the older of the two, and has a rather ancient restroom. That is where we are. Loop #2 is fairly new, and most of the campsites there have full hookups for more modern and larger RV's than myself. Gary calls the restroom in Loop #2 "The Palace". It is the nicest restroom of any park we have been to. Gary doesn't mind taking the walk over to "The Palace" for his showers, but uses the ancient bathroom in our loop for all the other stuff you humans use bathrooms for. He's hoping that they will eventually build a "Palace" in Loop #1. As always, we have enjoyed our stay here. Gary got to spend a couple of days at the nearby Moultrie Swap Meet and Car Show, as I relaxed and watched a LOT of cable TV. We already have our camping reservations made for here in 2017. There are car shows in February and November, and we'll be back for both. This is the end of our camping in Georgia for 2016. All of our remaining stops this year will be in Florida, and we head that way in the morning. I'll post from there. Have a great week, my friends.