Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Gamble Rogers on the Ocean Front

Thursday December 11 – Saturday December 13, 2014
Gamble Rogers State Park
Flagler Beach, Florida

 

Those of you who stuck with me through the multiple Disney World posts will be happy to see me do multiple days in one post rather than multiple posts for one day.

We’ve been at Gamble Rogers for 3 days now resting up and kicking back after Disney.  The major thing happening here of course is the two medical infusions which took place Thursday and Friday at Florida Cancer Specialists in Palm Coast.  Those take David about 4 hours so I’m forced to have to spend my time here.  Poor me right?   Other than the infusions, we seriously haven’t done much but enjoy our magnificent view, walk the beach for sunrises, walk over to the boat dock on the inland waterway for sunsets, wrap holiday packages and David has taken on a couple of fix it projects that have been waiting in the wings for a block of time.  

Oh and both of us came down with colds thanks to all our friends at Disney World.  David’s immune system was strong enough to handle it which is a great thing.  But then he gave it to me.   Isn’t that generous??

 

Here’s our site at Gamble Rogers named after a beloved Florida folk singer who lost his life trying to rescue a tourist in the ocean. The park is located between the ocean and the intracoastal waterway on both sides of  Highway A1A.    The original campground that we are in has 35 sites on both sides of a single non paved road.  The odd numbered sites have an ocean view if you pull in.  The even numbered sites are right behind them.  There are 3 sites that will handle rigs over 40’ and one that says 47’ but I don’t see how.  8 sites are sized only for tents/trailers 25’ or less.  Each site has water and 50 amp electric.  There is a dump station.  There is currently a construction project going on to put another 35 sites over by the intracoastal waterway.

 

 

And this is the view out our front window.   If you know of another state park when you can have a view this close to the ocean, please let me know.   We are right next to one of the two boardwalks down to the water but that’s OK with me.  I get a wider unobstructed view and it’s quick and easy to get down to the beach.  Plus I get to watch everyone else go by.  :-)  The park is currently so small there aren’t such things as crowds even when it’s full but doubling the size may change that.

 

 

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I love love love my view!!
Of course in full disclosure, the wonderful palmetto and other native plants that surround the coach and create privacy for us except on the walkway side, also block the ocean view if we are sitting down on the patio.  But we can sure hear it and from the living room it is a glorious sight.

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At the end of the boardwalk is the half mile beach of brown coquina sand.   The beach continues both north and south of the park is just as lovely there.   The high rise condos don’t start until you are south of the water tower on your way to Daytona Beach.  Flagler Beach is a really lovely little traditional beach town.

 

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The campground road from our site

looking south

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Looking North

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Another thing I love about Gamble Rogers State Park is that the Sunrise is just outside my window and the sunset is about 1000 steps away along the intracoastal waterway.

 

Here’s Friday morning’s barely dawn color from just down on the beach from Winnona.

 

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Amazingly I was the first footprints on the sand this morning.

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By the time the sun rose there were a few more people, but not many.  This is amazing to me because the sun comes up just after 7:00 and it is over 40 degrees here when that happens.   What are people doing rather than coming out to greet the day??

 

 

 

 

We think the toilet saga is finally over.  David installed a new dometic toilet back in Colorado in July.  We were surprised to find after we had driven away from the Camping World where we bought it of course, that it did not come with a spray hose.  I’ve told this story before and was even more surprised to find that some folks in RVs don’t have spray hoses.  If they can do it, we can do it we thought.   But we didn’t like it.  So David reinstalled our old one.  Well that didn’t work, too much pressure on the hose and it leaked.  The hose has to be attached to the foot pedal.  So last week we ordered the spray hose kit that goes with this toilet – still amazes me that it doesn’t come with it – learn from our oversight if you ever replace your toilet.   Today was the installation day.   It’s hard to take a picture of David working in such a small space so this one I took when he stepped out to get something will suffice to record that he again saved us some bucks by doing it himself.   Wish I could have talked him in to just buying the kit originally rather than trying his various other ideas which were more frustrating for him than they were worth.  But it’s all fixed now.  Hoo Ray!

 

 

Here’s a sunset from the boat dock at the park.   I love it!  Sunrise AND sunset at the same park and I didn’t even have to struggle to get a reservation in the Keys.  That does not mean that reservations here are easy to get.  BUT I was able to do it.

 

 

On Saturday after getting 7500 steps on the beach at sunrise, we hop on our bikes and peddle the 3.2 miles up to the Flagler Beach Farmer’s Market held every Friday and Saturday from 8am to 1:00 or whenever the customers thin out.

Here’s dawn

 

I look back at the park from the beach.  This is not Winnona but it gives an idea of how close we are to the beach.  These folks have a great view but less privacy between sites.

 

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Some of the brightest color is between dawn and sunrise.

 

When the sun actually peeks above the horizon, my pictures all become progressively darker because of the sun’s light as I shoot into the horizon.

 

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This is the view from the platform just outside the coach.   Makes me smile every single time morning is broken.

 

 

To get to the market, we ride on the sidewalk down A1A.  There is a narrow bike lane and little traffic today so we could have ridden in the street but there are no pedestrians out either so we opt for the sidewalk.

 

 

We have a view of the water most of the way.

 

 

All the homes are across the highway from the water so everyone has an ocean front view but no one owns the beach.  Seems like a very good plan to me.   We pass some interesting houses.  I take these shots while peddling along.  I hope you can see the New Orleans style wrought iron on both balconies on the first house.

The second one must belong to pirate lovers.

 

 

The Farmer’s market on Saturday is a shadow of its Friday self but there is still a good number of vendors.  You can use your credit card to buy tokens for use if you don’t have cash.  We’ve brought cash.  It is easier for the vendors.

 

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One of the many reasons we love spending the winter in Florida is because of the citrus in season and the Plant City Strawberries.   These are some early ones.   The festival isn’t until late February/Early March.

 

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They have any vegetable you could want as well as herbs and fruits although not much citrus yet.   We try to limit ourselves to what will fit in the refrigerator.

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This is the booth of a wonderful jewelry maker, she and her sister call their business Twisted Sisters.  They make lovely jewelry much of it inspired by the sea and nature.   I don’t wear jewelry much anymore or I could have spent some serious money here.

 

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Here is the perfect outdoor shower and it can be yours for only $100.  I just love it but there’s no way it will fit in one of our bins.  Clever idea though don’t you think?  Wonder if he could still use it for surfing with that hole in the top?

 

 

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It’s back on the bikes for the trip home.  David straps a sack of gold potatoes to his carrier.  I take the bulk of it in my collapsible side baskets bought for just this purpose.

 

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We bike back down the street one block back parallel to A1A and I love the colors of the houses here.  I can’t even imagine what the neighbors would say in Charlottesville if you painted your house pink or teal blue.  But here it looks great.   This one can be had for $375,000 one block back from the beach.  The pink in the pictures is a bit faded from the bright color I saw.  Mid day sun I guess.   Notice the darker pink almost fuchsia trim around the windows.

 

 

Street signs.  The only other places you might want to go I guess.

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Now here is a great idea and as soon as water becomes the commodity we are all fighting over rather than oil, as it surely will, this sort of landscaping may become the law.   You can only grow what is native to your place.  I think it’s a great idea and applaud these folks for being ahead of the curve.  No grass in their yard.

 

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I remember these flat topped Florida houses from my visits to the state as a young girl.   It’s one of the things I love about Flagler Beach.  There are still many old beach town homes still in use.  Everything isn’t a gigantic mcmansion.

 

 

These shutters remind me of old Key West.

 

 

I was pretty surprised to see this house tucked in among the others.

 

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We noodle around the rest of the day.  By now David is feeling somewhat better although he’s still sneezing and can’t go anywhere without a handkerchief.  He came down with the cold our last day at Disney.  Today my throat is starting to get sore.  A sure sign I’m getting a cold.  But I still walk over to catch the sunset.  How can you resist when it looks like this?

 

 

43 comments:

  1. What a view you have! We've never stayed at that state park but it looks so peaceful there, especially after the lights and crowds of Disney.

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    1. You hit it on the nose. It's just what we needed. Good planning if I do say so myself. LOL

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  2. How do you even get a reservation this time of year...bike access, a view and a market, dreamy!! Hope the sniffles pass quickly!

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    1. To be in Florida over the winter at nearly any state park you have to book 11 months in advance. I'm booking now for next year. LOL

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  3. Yep, we have to stay there one of these days!!! We saw the same pirate house, but missed the Farmer's Market. That is one of my favorite things in Florida...Farmer's Markets in the WINTER!!! Glad the toilet has been brought back to its orginal glory;o)) Sunrise/Sunset doesn't get much better:o))

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    1. We need to plan a meeting here. Have Bill's people check with David's. LOL!!

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    2. I shudder to think where we (Bill and I) would be were it not for our fabulous travel planners! Thank you wonderful women!!

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  4. Ah peace at last...... and beautiful sunrises and sunsets to boot. I do believe you have arrived in heaven.

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    1. I'd be very happy if heaven was just like this Karen!

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  5. Best spot ever for Winnona. Loving the pastel houses and that wonderful farmer's market...don't know how you limited your choices there! Enjoyed all the Disney entries too.... it worked... made me want to go back. I love Florida for many reasons... Disney certainly among them... beaches.... and sunshine! Trusting you both knock those colds out.... you don't have time for colds.... too much fun and beachtime to enjoy. Carol Boyd

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    1. Hi Carol. Glad you enjoyed the Disney entries. And glad that your comment didn't go to spam where the anonymous things often do. My blog must recognize you. :-) You can use Name/URL instead of anonymous, if you like and just put in your name and leave out the URL. Then it will publish as Carol Boyd. Safe travels to Texas.

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  6. What a spot, for sure! You always seem to find the best Farmers Markets! I like your collapsible bike rack. I need one of those.

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    1. Thanks Debbie. Any bike shop can fix you up with double collapsible baskets.

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  7. Would this be the favorite place you've stayed with that gorgeous view?

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    1. Boy that's hard to say Judy. We've stayed in so many places we love but this view may be the best ocean view we've had. Assateague is a rival so is Hunting Island if you can get an ocean front site.

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  8. Now this looks like a park we could enjoy. Are dogs allowed on the beach, by any chance?
    Nina

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    1. Nina, Dogs aren't allowed on the state park beach but it's only 1/2 mile long and they are allowed on either end. It's an easy walk to get to a dog beach. There are a couple of sites that are big enough for the beast especially the biggest one. But the sites are close together. Not boondocking by any means.

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  9. What a lovely view for you onto the beach where I know you Love to be. Nice to be within biking distance of town especially with a Farmers Market.

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    1. It's definitely a sweet little place Gaelyn.

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  10. You always find the gems of great places to stay. How can you not fall in love with such a wonderful place?

    I sure know what you mean about shopping for what will fit in the fridge. We have to be very careful when we shop, something we never anticipated before going FT. Of course you had to also consider what you could carry on your bikes, so that must have helped you not to buy too much at one time. ;c)

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    1. Thanks Paul. That's one thing about this live style that I really like, discovering the places that are perfect for me.

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  11. I love farmer's markets and the produce in the photos looks so good. What I don't like is when they have booths selling stuff other that what a farmer grows. I just don't think it belongs, but I guess folks drawn in to the jewelry or other stands might buy fruits & veggies while they are there. We have year around markets here also, and I can still buy strawberries!

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    1. I don't mind if the things are hand made or hand grown by the seller.

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  12. Beautiful location. Nice that you get both sunrise and sunset over water:)

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    1. One of the things we love most about it.

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  13. what a wonderful place. . .you did good!

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    1. Thanks Janice, good to hear from you.

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  14. Nice site you have.

    Kathy has been feeding me yummy yellow squash, fresh green beans and zucchini since we got down here. Those Plant City strawberrys are hard to beat for great taste.

    Hope you get to stay there a while since the weather got warm again.

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  15. Flagler Beach is my second home - I've spent many a January in a beach house on A1A north of town, but had to give it up last year while Bill was sick. We'll likely not ever get it back because there was a long waiting list for January. Sigh!! You have never mentioned the Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve and if you haven't visited there and walked the boardwalk, I don't think you'll be disappointed. The entrance is off 7th St from the same parking lot as the Flagler Beach Library. I've spent hours on that boardwalk and on the trails!

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  16. I love the sunrises and sunsets at Gamble Rogers. Such a lovely spot and you got a primo location for Winnona. I like that pink house - there is a purple one here in Laurel that we turn in front of to get to the grocery store - I like that house because no other is like it. Dad looks like he's dressed for winter at the Farmer's Market - ha! If it's only 40 degrees at 7 am, people in Florida may think that's just too cold to be walking oceanfront. Cold wind is not for the faint of heart! ;) Strawberries and citrus - sounds superb! Fantastic pictures of day breaks and day ends.

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  17. Lovely sunset and sunrise pictures. I think I've said I'm not much of a early morning person, but give me a glorious sunset :)

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  18. Hey, if you each had a back pack you could even bring more food home from the market. I have a three tier basket set that hangs from our mirror outside, freeing up more room in the fridge. Beautiful spot you have to park. Hope one day you get to explore the Oregon Coast Line.

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  19. Beautiful pictures. Reminds me of our time in Gainesville - how much we liked Crescent Beach which is just North of where you are staying. Unfortunately, Crescent Beach has become very built up since we were there - it used to look much like Flagler. We would drive over from Gainesville and drive out and park on the beach and spend the day. You are really tempting me to get a camper with all these pictures! Merry Christmas!

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  20. Between your sunrise/sets, deep blue sea, tranquil beach, palms, temps, fresh produce…I'm questioning coming home for the holidays. Enjoy your sweet views and the sand between your toes.

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  21. The views of the ocean are spectacular!

    The bike actually looks like it's floating in that first of the bicycle shots.

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  22. Seeing the sunrise over the ocean is big on Bill's list - it's just such a foreign idea for us! Your photos make it even more appealing to see it from Florida. Bummer about the sniffles - but after days spent with all those carrier monkeys one can't be too surprised :-) Those strawberries better be really good at that price - I'm probably spoiled with produce prices in CA. Your spot is beautiful, I'm so glad you landed back at the beach following your grand adventure at the mouse house!

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  23. That's a lovely park and I love the sunrise view you have. I'd be out welcoming it myself. We have never stayed at Gamble Rogers, but drove through one time. It seems like they may have upgraded the sites because I don't remember quite so much room between rows. It looks very nice now.

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  24. Wow- Sunrise views, Sunset views, biking distance to the market and fresh plant city strawberries- doesn't get better than that!

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  25. That is a state [ark we have not been too, will have to correct that:)

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  26. Gamble Rogers looks like just our kind of campground -- on the water, long beach walks out the front door, a bike path to a cute town and farmers market -- perfect! Your dawn photos on the beach and sunset photos are just gorgeous. For a moment, you transported me to Florida. :-)

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  27. For those who never/rarely see a sunrise, you have about a week to see an easy one. These are the shortest days with the latest sunrise and earliest sunset all year. So, if you can drag yourself out of bed by 7 AM, you too could actually see a day break. No guarantee it will be stunning, but you won't know if you don't go. I don't make it out often, but I do like to take the easy ones while they last. Love the optical illusion of my bike floating above the sidewalk - thanks William for pointing that out!

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  28. Looks like a great place to decompress after WDW, at least the colds came on at the end of your visit there. Love the campsite you have there, nothing like being right on the water.

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