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

Henry David Thoreau

Change of Plans

Tuesday April 15, 2014
Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park
White Springs, Florida




We got the brake lights fixed but then Mother Nature throws us another curve.

We had planned to pull out of our site today and move on to Walkabout in Georgia for a few days to try again for a visit to Cumberland Island National Seashore.   But the rains start coming down seriously at about 6am and the weather forecast changes to Thunderstorms and 25-30mph winds all day long.   Not my idea of traveling weather so since we don’t have any deadline to be anywhere we just stay put and work on the accounts, the blog, reading and napping.  

I also spend time getting a map together of the jello version of our summer travels from now until early November.   If there is anything we must absolutely not miss on this very tentative route, let me know.   If you are going to be anywhere near us, give a shout.   We’re pretty much moving from National Park to National Park or Monument or Seashore or Lakeshore.  Smile Through the Great Lakes,  over to Colorado, to Utah and then back.   Whether we actually get that far will depend on how much fun we are having at each stop along the way although we do have to show up in Denver for a major doctor’s appointment for David and to see my father.

These are not the only stops we are making along this route but I couldn’t get google maps to do any more than A-P for me so in the case of Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Arches, there is only one point.  Black Canyon of the Gunnison got left out but Great Sand Dunes got put in.  All the stops through the middle of Kansas and Mammoth Cave in Kentucky aren’t on the map.  But these are the routes and you get the idea.  Right??   I’d appreciate any advice on how to keep google maps from getting hung on one point or another if you ask for as many points as A-Q.



2014 summer travel mapA


After that, we do venture out once later in the afternoon and actually drive the car over to the museum to see Wes Stiles’ ‘Waters Journey’ PBS video and over to the gift shop.  The Stiles video is wonderful.  An amazing look underground at the Florida Aquifer as two divers swim through it.  Incredible!

Staying one more day did cost us since we bought a CD of Foster’s music and the Song Book.  The two things I miss most that I could not bring with me are my garden and my piano.  Love Foster’s music and this CD produced by Joe Weed is excellent though some of the folks play a bit loose with the notes I discover as I use the songbook to follow the music.  A few of the words have been changed in Foster’s “Ethiopian” songs to be more politically correct 160 years later.   But all in all, if I can’t take the bell serenades along as we travel, this is a good substitute.




I wonder all day how the poor Suwannee is doing with yet MORE rain.   We check the level at this website , mysuawanneeriver.com,  and find that the river has risen over a foot today.  It’s over 71 feet now. 


But at least we weren’t doing our taxes at the last minute.  Every year I wonder why in the world this country doesn’t go to a flat 10% tax, everybody pays it, no deductions at all, even those human corporations pay it, no advertising or 3 cocktail business lunch deductions.  The only folks who have to fill out a tax forms are the self employed and all they have to do is send the check for the money that isn’t deducted automatically.  Simple and more tax revenue.   But I guess since it would cut the IRS staff by about 1/2 and put tax lawyers out of business that’s pretty much my answer for why we don’t do something so sane and beneficial nearly all around.






YES we have FINALLY LEFT Florida.

Today dawns dry and clear. Well it isn’t exactly “dry” but it isn’t raining.   We are up and out and on the road for our 108 mile journey to Walkabout Family Campground in Woodbine, Georgia.  It is one of the very best Passport America parks I’ve been to.   We have to stop for gas along the way but it is an easy interstate drive along I-10 and then around Jacksonville to I-95.   No troubles at all mate!



Troy greets us with his usual smiling face when we arrive.  It’s always a pleasure to return here.  We move easily into our pull through FHU site with 30 amps for $15, PPA.  We’ll be here for 4 days and Troy and Suze have none of those silly Sunday through Thursday rules.  Great place, great price.

The relatively short trip leaves time for me to hopefully accomplish a goal I’ve been working on without success.

I’ve been trying for days to get through to the reservation line at Cumberland Island National Park to make a reservation for their Lands and Legacy tour for tomorrow.  No success.  The last time I called they said the wait would be 95 minutes.  WHAT??    The times before that, the phone just rang and rang and rang.

So we hook up the electric and water and then jump in the car to drive down to St. Mary’s to find out what in the world is going on.  

It turns out that this is THE popular season for that tour since winter is FINALLY over and the summer heat hasn’t begun.  They are totally booked for tomorrow BUT we can come down at 8am and put our names on the standby list in case someone cancels.   We are warned we probably better be first in line for this to work in our favor as only 20 people are on the tour.

It appears tomorrow is our only possibility since more rain is AGAIN predicted for the week-end.  100% chance of “Heavy Rain” according to weather.com for Friday.  When will this ever end??  I just checked and the Suwannee is already within less than 6 feet of flood stage (54 feet) at Suwannee River State Park at 48.24 feet and within 4.5 feet of flood (77 feet) at SFFCC at 72.49 feet.   Will they both go over flood stage by Saturday morning?   Will we find a lake outside our rig here in Georgia?   Stay tuned.

On the way back from the National Park VC, we stop at Publix, the best grocery in these parts, to fill in some holes in our pantry.  Wish we could find a nice produce stand or a farmer’s market on Saturday.   I’ll have to look around. 

After we get back and groceries put away, we level up the coach, put out the slides and relax for the evening.   After dinner we have to get things organized to spend all day from about 7:15am to 5:45 pm driving, boating and touring, IF we can get a spot.  Cross your fingers; I’ll let you know tomorrow.


Last but not least, even though we have finally determined that it is warm enough to leave Florida, where we’ve been since December, and are now in Georgia,  I’m putting a picture of my fun to get stamped Florida Passport book here just for you Judy and any others who have missed the fun I have getting all my state parks stamped.  Florida has taken a page from the National Parks Pass and in my opinion has actually improved on it.  I have both and love them both.  It’s fun to collect the stamps.  Come on down and get one!







  1. We'll be at Jekyll from April 21-28th, so close! We've got the Federal passport, but never got the Florida one. Nice that there are spots to make notes.. cool!

  2. That looks like a wonderful drive you have planned.

  3. I think everyone is water logged! When going thru PA...the turnpike between Breezewood and Pittsburgh
    is bad...I wont even drive my class C on it...so be carful...where do you get the Florida St. Park Pass port book? Have a wonderful trip...I will ride along with you!

  4. Safe travels...maybe we'll see you in Michigan!

  5. Like the looks of your summer/fall travels. Although you won't make Yosemite this year you have lots of other great places along your route. Will be anxious to see what you think about the UP of Michigan, a place we would like to visit one day.

  6. Well, it looks like you have a plan. Let's see....let's call it the Tour de ? .... can't decide on a name. Bummer. It looks like we will be spending our summer in the mountains of AZ, NM and CO....then back to Indy for John's doctor appointments in late September....

  7. Great plan even though you're missing us by "this" much! We expect to be in CO for a few days late Sept./early Oct, and back in KY mid-Oct. I'll keep an eye on your whereabouts "just in case" we get close :-).

  8. Sounds like a terrific trip. We will be wistful as you make your way west.

  9. Goodness, Sherry! Your plans for your upcoming travels look like you are going to hit the PDD Gold Level! :cO

    Give David a pat on the back from me for the good job on the brake lights. Yesterday's picture of Winnona's dashboard flipped up made me miss my Adventurer, it had it too and was so easy to work on. Sadly, my Journey doesn't have the same thing. It has a zillion screws to take out, and I've had to do it a couple of times to defeat Murphy.

    We have to meet up somewhere along the road, you can try Marti's piano that we carry in the Journey. It's an 88 key Yamaha portable electric piano. You can get your music fix serenading us with Steven Foster's greatest music. :c)

  10. I sure wish we could connect with you this summer/fall -- but we'll be in the San Juan Islands and then taking the southerly route back to Florida, as you know. Guess we'll have to wait until next winter to see you. (Bummer!) And…I didn't know that you play piano! I would love to hear you play.

  11. Isn't it great that we are able to make a plan, but if things change or bad weather comes, we can just make a new plan!!! That looks like a nice plan for your summer/fall. It looks like you are crossing PA south of the Amish Country. If you get a chance, head through the Amish Country and be sure to stop at Shady Maples Grocery Store....unbelieveable fresh produce and other wonderful Amish delights:o)) One of my all time favorite areas to visit!! We could see Cumberland Island from Fort Clinch...hope that has all worked out!!!

  12. What an excellent and fun sounding plan!! I need tp figure out if it is in any way possible for me to join for any - I hope so! Out of Florida! Hope you get on that list and that it stops raining!

  13. That's quite the jello plan you have in place. We'll be along for the ride.

  14. I was sure hoping your journey north would bring you up I-75 instead of I-95, but I LOVE your "plan" and can't wait to travel along with you. And no fair leaving us hanging as to whether or not you got to go to Cumberland Island.

  15. Looks like a great tour, while in Moab Valley of the Gods is a great drive, Natural Bridges National Monument and Dead Horse Point SP are worth a trip if you have the time. My brother has done lots of photography in that part of UT, his photos were an inspiration early on when we decided to travel and then go fulltime, here's a link to his UT gallery: http://www.rockymtnrefl.com/UtahPictures.html Have to see if our paths will cross when we leave VT heading west.

  16. Your itinerary looks like fun! Google maps is so convenient for planning! Hope you get in this morning!

  17. Considering the way you thoroughly investigate your visits, I'd say that is a very ambitious itinerary! I hope that dip down into Minnesota includes a visit to Tamarac NWR???

    I think maybe MN has a state park passport also. I know you'd enjoy it's first state park, Itasca, at the headwaters of the Mississippi.

    1. It is an ambitious itinerary and the far reaches may have to get scrapped for another year. But you have to dream big right? We definitely have Itasca on our route. We were there when Carrie was a teenager and loved it. I just looked up Tamarac and looks like it is close. If so, then we'll be over to see you. Whoopie!! Can you keep the bugs under control while we're there?? :-)

  18. I LOVE your itinerary map, and think I will post the same on my blog, as I consider the blog to be our Travel Journal. . .what a great idea!

  19. Now I would LOVE a book like that, it gives me purpose to go into those places, as if not seeing them was enough.. I HOPE you go on the Picture Rock boat tour in the UP!! What a great trip that was.. all day thing tho, seemed to take forever, but wonderful way to see all the beautiful rocks!!! Lighthouses that look like schoolhouses.... AND Arches in Utah was SO beautiful!!! Black Canyon of the Gunnison was great to see, but not much there really, sort of in and out and that Monarch Pass at 14,000 feet was something to go over and experience, but think it would be tough on Winona :).. so envy all the wonderful places you will go this summer, what great fun can't wait for all the blog pictures and narrative!!!

  20. Great planning!! I love your map, that just looks like it will be so much fun. It has been many years since we went through the Great Lakes region and we loved it then so that will be fun to see some of those places again along with so many new ones.

  21. Looks like you have a good plan. We plan to do part of that route in June.

  22. Hey, I don't see Grand Canyon North Rim on that map.

    National Park campgrounds tend to be reservation but in the west you can often boondock in the surrounding National Forest or BLM. You probably already know that. ;)

  23. Looks like you two will pass close to us....outside Toledo, ohio....stay at maumee bay state park on lake erie, maybe we can hook up for a visit?? My phone number is on the card (harpercreek). enjoy your journey, we are MH shopping now, Dan is doing really well after his open heart surgery. Kris


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