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

Henry David Thoreau

The Beach at Fort Clinch

October 28-November 2, 2017                                                         Most Recent Posts:
Fort Clinch State Park                                                                      Last Days with Our Girls
Fernandina Beach Florida                                                                  October in Virginia

When we return to Virginia in the fall, we try to make it in October so we can see the beautiful colors on the Blue Ridge.  But this year was a very late fall and by the end of October the color had barely started.   This is really all the color we saw and that was on I 64 on our way south.  We couldn’t stay until the color decided to reach its peak since if you want to be in Florida in the winter you have to have the dreaded reservations.  We are on a schedule.


We did what is now customary for us when we are driving straight from one point to another.  Rather than just wandering around, stopping here and there, which is my preference,  we stop at Walmart in North Carolina and Walmart in  South Carolina on our way to Florida. for the winter.   At both stops I was amazed at the number of RVs.  I wonder how long Walmart will be willing to continue to have a large section of their parking lot taken over by RVs from 5pm to 7am.


Driving through Georgia we decided to give Blue Beacon Truck Wash in Brunswick Georgia a try after a recommendation for the company from Paul Dahl of R Sanity RV Adventures.  Here’s what washing a rig looks like if you aren’t doing it.


Winnona looks shiny clean although I was sorry to hear that this location didn’t do under carriage as I really wanted whatever salt was there to be rinsed off.


Fort Clinch map
We pull into Fort Clinch State Park on October 31st.  The campground nearest the water is called Atlantic Campground though it isn’t really on the Atlantic, but it is on the water. As the map shows, the campground faces the mouth of the St. Mary’s River which is the dividing line between Florida and Georgia.  We’re just over the  line and opposite Cumberland Island , There is a second campground further west nearer to the actual fort.  It is more wooded and called the River Campground.

The Atlantic campground is a wonderfully small loop of 21 sites located equally close to the center bath house and behind the dunes.  At one end of the oval loop is a wooden walkway out to the beach.   Our site has lovely sand dune view.   We pulled in to have the dune out our front window rather than the bathhouse in the center of the loop.   We really appreciate that the park is flexible about which way you pull in.  You do have to have extra hose and electrical extension cords to do this.


Some singers were in the bushes and greeted us with song.



First thing of course is to check out the beach.


Sunshine sparkeling on the water always makes me smile.


This may be the biggest ghost crab I’ve ever seen.  He just stopped and sat.


Being so near the water makes it easier for me to catch the sunrise.   I’m usually up at dawn when the color just begins.




We spent 8 nights here and mostly just chilled by the water.  Having been here before, we’ve toured the fort and nearby Fernandina Beach.  We kept thinking we’d do both again but somehow we just never got around to it.

We did get around to lots of walks on the beach though.


I thought this coquina stone that had washed up looked really beautiful as the waves washed over it.  Coquina is limestone formed almost entirely of fossil debris and most commonly of coarse shells and shell fragments.   It’s fairly common on the east coast of Florida and was used often as a building material in previous centuries.  I find it very beautiful.


I collect shell pictures, rather than the shells themselves.  The color of this knobbed whelk caught my eye against the sand.

One day I decided to walk as far north on the beach as I could.  The beach here is so broad and at least at this time of year there are very few people on it.  You can just see the edge of Cumberland Island National Seashore on the horizon on the right.  


Fort Clinch is right on the water.


Canons trained on the beach.


And all along the exterior walls are these keyhole type windows for soldiers with guns to defend the fort.

Had there been an entrance to the fort from the water side, I probably would have gone in but of course there is not.  The only entrance is from the land side and it isn’t easily accessible from the beach as you would expect when designing a fort.  So I walk on by.  At this point there are several fishermen with poles and nets.   And even more when I come on around to the day use area with close parking.    I keep walking but when I round the point and am now facing the Amelia River, I see I’ve gone far enough. The view is not so lovely any more so I turn around and go back.



The fort of course looks somewhat different on the way back.  The  light is much better. 



I didn’t arrnage this, I just saw it on my way back from the fort and thought, how beautiful.
The largest shell in the middle is called a kitten’s paw.

All sunrises are different but they are all beautiful and I saw one every single day.  This one with its heavy cloud ceiling was quite subdued until the sun actually broke from the horizon.



An early glow on these early birds.

Walking the other way down the beach to the south and away from the fort we come to where the pier used to be before the hurricane destroyed it.  Now there is a stone breakwater that marks the mouth of the St Mary’s River as it flows into the Atlantic.   This is the beginning of the breakwater just after sunrise.


Walking along I find two different whelks each along on the shore with the breakwater in the background.




I hope no one will remove this beauty but allow others to enjoy it as I have.


Walking back to the campground for breakfast  I admire the beautiful curve of the shore line.  This early morning is such a lovely time of day.


Our first few days here were full of sunrises, beach walks and afternoons just relaxing by the shore.

On this day, we had two different ideas about how to spend the time.  I wanted to be up close to the water and read.  David wanted to sit in the pile of small shells that was some what back from the shore.   So that’s what we did.


While I read he looked to see how many different kinds of shells he could find.  I think he was a bit disappointed that at least here he mostly found scallop shells.


Fort Clinch has a beautiful expansive beach no matter which direction you are walking.





I could stay here for a long long time if they’d let me.  But this year I could only get 8 ngihts.


We do actually go beyond the campground once we’ve recuperated from our hectic month in Virginia.   That’s coming up next.

Last Days with Our Girls

Saturday October 14 – Tuesday October 17, 2017                      Most Recent Posts:
Greenfield Mountain Farm                                                           October in Virginia
Afton Virginia                                                                              Back in Virginia – A Carrie and Celia Meet Up

The most fun of all our time in Virginia were the days that Carrie and Celia came to visit us.  Beware, this is a “Gramma Blog”.

They arrived Saturday morning and we all went over to Carrie’s high school friend Allegra’s niece Arya’s birthday party. Did you get that?

Arya was turning 4.  The evite said it was a “Spooky Soiree” and everybody was encouraged to wear costumes.  After all Halloween is only 2 weeks away.

Carrie and I wore our renaissance costumes.  Celia came as a pumpkin.

She’s a punkin’ all right.

Carrie’s friend Allegra, her mother, my friend, Lynne and Carrie.  Too bad Lynne wasn’t with us in Lubec, she’s definitely dressed for it.


Nana and Celia reading in their jammies. These pictures follow in no particular order and are just a montage of our days together.  Emphasis on you know who.

Celia visits Winnona. 

She gives the tow bar a few pats.


She’s heard that Grandpa had a problem with towing when he left Maine.  Maybe she can help.


Someone chalked a beautiful rainbow on Winnona’s street.


Horsing around for the camera.  Look at all those teeth!


One afternoon someone is caught in the act of pilfering raw pie dough to eat.  A LONG standing habit.


Celia is introduced to Amanda her Mama’s childhood baby doll and other childhood toys of her mama’s.  Grandpa kept them all.


Carrie’s high chair is totally cool in that it folds down into a little desk and chair sort of thing.
Grandpa knows what Celia likes, sweet raisins.


Is that an objection I see?

Celia decides she likes her mama’s rocking chair and takes it home with her when she leaves.  Nana wove the cane back and seat for it and many other chairs at the farm.


Carrie’s friend from the 2nd grade on was Kate VanDerbeek who comes to the farm for a visit and has Celia’s rapt attention.


They play inside and outside.  


Grandpa gives her a turn around the yard in the Flexible Flyer which was among the toys he pulled out and cleaned up for Celia’s visit.  Notice the farm bell on the pole.  I rang that to call whoever was eating in for dinner or lunch.  It can be heard all around the farm hollow (really known as a haller, y’all).



On another day, Celia is looking very serious about getting the rest of that delicious breakfast on the spoon.


She succeeds despite the fact that her usual little spoons had disappeared and she had to use a regular spoon.  But then food in the mouth is a favorite thing for her and she does seem to prefer the spoon to just shoveling it with her fingers.


Time to take Amanda for a stroll around the farmhouse kitchen in the strawberry shortcake stroller.


She’s a bit young for piano lessons I would think.

Caught her in the “stink eye” again.

Maybe someone had told her not to do this.

Off at a run across the yard and through the leaves.

We’re on the merry go round at the park.  Everyone is sitting.  I’m working it with my feet at a nice slow pace. 


Looks like she’s giving “kitty” a good talking to.


I think “OH” is her favorite word.   Said with many different inflections as in “oh dear” and “oh boy” and “Oh no” and “Oh my”. 


The last day Carrie and Celia were here we went over to see her cousin Justin, his wife Carmen and their 4 children in Charlottesville.   Only Issac was still long enough for a picture.  The other three were a blur on their bikes and scooters up and down the street.


We take care of a lot of “business” when we are in Virginia but it’s really all about seeing these two.   It’s goodbye for now.  Sure wish they could come with us.  What fun we’d have!