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

Henry David Thoreau

Finally in Florida But Oops

Sunday November 16-Wednesday November 19, 2014
Fort Clinch State Park
Fernandina Florida



After  a series of medical appointments at the last minute over our final week in Charlottesville, we finally managed to pull out and head on down the interstates.  It was 25 degrees here last night so we are late this year heading south.  Who would have thought it would be this cold in Mid November?

We hop on I 64 here and then pick up I 95 in Richmond.  After 156 miles and just over the North Carolina Line we stop in Roanoke Rapids at the RV Resort at Carolina Crossroads for an over night in one of their Good Sam spots.  Nothing fancy, just gravel, water, electric, a balmy 34 degrees over night and no picture.  In my opinion it is a serious stretch to call this an RV Resort although they do have a section of rigs in a row with two avenues paved and cement pads.  There’s a pool too but not at these temps.





We are up and  on the road just before sunrise this morning which is not very early actually given that sunrise is at 6:52 am.  We want to get started.  It’s a long 300 mile day’s drive for us. 

Along the way it begins to rain and there are tornado watches from a huge storm running right up I-95 about 30 miles on either side of the highway.  I watch the radar on my phone.  This is not good for my stress level.  When we are almost to St. George, the skies clear up, and the rain stops.  


We pull in to Jolly Acres Camp and Storage, get set up and have time to go out for a walk in the woods to relax before dinner.  The duckies enjoy their great view of the neighboring cows. 







After dinner it’s a little reading and off to bed.  Sure does get dark early and feel like it must be 10:00 when it’s only 7:00.

When it’s actually 10:00 we turn out the lights.  Unfortunately our neighbor decides to drive in at midnight and let his truck run for a while before turning it off.   I feel like I’ve just gotten back to sleep when a kennel of dogs, pretty high pitched yippers goes at it full force about just after 2am startling me awake.  Has that ever happened to you?  How long did it take to get back to sleep??  

On the bright side, it’s a balmy 41 degrees overnight.  Boy this is more like it.  BUT the deep freeze is really heading south tomorrow night.  They are predicting 24 degrees in South Georgia for us tomorrow night.  Now that’s amazing.  Poor palm trees.   But we’re feeling pretty glad we are heading in this direction when we see that they are predicting 14 for Charlottesville which will no doubt be an all time low for this date in the fall.  It’s over a month until winter is officially here.  I know they are at least glad not to have the snow blanketing other parts of the country.   Strange stuff this weather.  It’s hard for me to understand the folks who deny this Climate Chaos, especially our politicians.  






With the balmy overnight, interrupted sleep and “Only” 188 miles to go today, we don’t leave until about 10am.  

We stop at the Savannah Camping World which they are wisely moving down the road a couple of exits to a bigger store.  This one is tiny so we felt pretty lucky that they had the bin door latch that broke this morning.  David did an amazing job of getting us turned around through their tiny parking lot on the dead end street.

We arrive at our favorite stop on the trip down 95, Walkabout Camp and RV Park, to find that the owners, Troy and Suz, whom we look forward to seeing, are not here tonight.  Hate to miss them but this year we’ll only be here one night.  Last year we spent nearly a week here enjoying Thanksgiving with them and visiting Cumberland Island.

Lucky we got here when we did since there were only 2 of the 40 spaces left.   This is as full as I’ve  seen it in the past 5 years.  Glad to see business is so good for them but I sure won’t “assume” next time even on a Tuesday night.






24 degrees last night made for a leisurely start to the morning.  A bit too leisurely since we were paying no attention to the time when Suz had to come over and ask us when we were leaving as check out time was 10 minutes ago and the person who had our site for tonight was here.   Talk about hustle.  We were out of the site in 15 minutes.  Going to have to update our memories of Walkabout to its current popular status.



So we did get to see Suz though not Troy and we were surprised by blog reader Dee who said she recognized Winnona coming in. What a compliment. We didn’t get to chat with her and Michael long since we got in rather late and had to hurry off once it got warm.  But I did get this picture of the two of them and cute Timmy.  They’ll be staying at Walkabout while they explore the area.  I hope they’ll be able to go over to Cumberland Island.  Also hope we’ll see them down the road.  Keep in touch Dee and thank you so much for the compliments on my blog.  It’s my readers who keep me doing it.  Well that and my poor memory.




We have been to quite a few of the Florida State Parks but never to Fort Clinch on Amelia Island so we’re very excited since it is on the Atlantic.  Hope it warms up enough to enjoy the water at some point during our two weeks. Another big reason for excitement is that our friends Bill and Nancy Mills are here and we’ll get to spend some days with them.  That’s always fun.

The drive into the park toward the campground is just beautiful.  So Florida.  I can feel myself relax.   There are two campgrounds, one on the Atlantic and one on the Amelia River.   The Atlantic Beach campground is a circle with 21 sites and the bathhouse in the middle. 

We drop off the dolly in the overflow parking and David backs Winnona into our site. 



And then comes the opps.  Those who are regular followers know that Winnona just got out of the body shop for a bang incurred when someone ran into her in a traffic circle in Colorado.   Well David backed into the very nice site and was going to get out and see if he agreed with me that this was the right spot and not necessary to move over closer to the utilities.  He put the rig in park and stood up but apparently not all the way in park and Winnona backed up into the wooden post at the back of the site.  


Big SIGH…………….this is much more damage than the one the insurance company just paid to fix and we just paid a $250 deductible for. I see rising insurance rates in our future. Poor Winnona! The life of a full timer definitely has its ups and downs.

We check all the lights and they still work so we don’t have to drop everything to take care of this immediately thankfully.  




We leave Winnona where she is and get set up.  We’ll think about all this later and try not to let it ruin this day.  The duckies don’t quite have an ocean view.  We’d have to be on the other side of the circle for that.  But they are looking in the right direction.





Time for a bite of lunch and a walk on the beach.  We pass our neighbors who are bundled up for a brisk day reading at the beach.





And here we are back at the Ocean.  Hoo Ray!  Complete with my favorites, sea oats.





It’s too cold in the upper 40’s for me to sit in my chair and read but bundled up, I can take a beach walk.  You can see from the shadows that it is later in the afternoon.  Wish I really were that tall and slim.





David only walks a little way and has to take his shoe off.  Seems he has a sand bur in his sock.  OUCH!  Guess we’ll stay off the grass and on the sand.





We come across some sort of jelly fish.  We see a lot of them beached as we walk along.  Pretty cold water for them I’d think.  I find them very pretty on the sand.  Not so much in the water.





The park is located with the Atlantic Ocean on the east side where we are, the Cumberland Sound to the north where the Fort is and the Amelia River on the west where the 40 site River campground is.  Water water everywhere! 

We can see Cumberland Island National Seashore from the beach.   I wonder if folks with sea kayaks just paddle on over there in the summer.  

The state park is also located directly between the St. Mary’s Naval Station just north in Georgia and Mayport  Naval Station just south along the coast.  As we walk we see numerous helicopters flying back and forth.  They drown out the sounds of the waves.  Not sure what they are doing.  They just seem to be flying around, back and forth, relatively low to the ground.   I wonder if they do night maneuvers.

We also see this beauty of a fishing boat coming out.  Seems strange so late in the afternoon.  Night fishing??






The sand patterns the water has made on the beach here are works of art.  When we first come out they are completely dry, the details are marvelous.  As we walk, the tide comes in and begins filling them in and sculpting them all over again.  It will be interesting to check them out tomorrow and see how they have changed.   There is always something fascinating along the shore.








We are walking west right into the sun sinking low in the western sky.   The harshness ruins our vision. It’s hard to see anything at this point.   Time to turn around.  Nancy has invited us over for some of her rightfully famous vegan potato soup.  It will be a great way to warm up after our chilly walk along the water.  An evening with Bill and Nancy is always a wonderful time. 


  1. Probably an idea to increase your deductible to $1,000. That should decrease your premium a fair bit. You're not going to claim any one incident that's under that amount anyhow because it wouldn't be worth it on your claims history.


  2. Say hello to the ocean for me!!! Ah sand and sea oats! Have a good time and RELAX, I say, RELAX!

  3. I agree with Kevin. Save insurance for when you really need it. Glad to see you made it to Florida safely. Seeing the moss on the trees brings back memories. I lived in Winter Haven many years ago and still miss it.

  4. Hmm that's a bummer :( the joy of living on the road.
    I missed Florida already and looking forward to your adventures there this winter.

  5. Welcome to our little corner of Florida.....sorry for the cold reception...we'll try to warm t up for you today.Ft Clinch is one of our favorite parks,be sure to tour the fort and downtown Fernadina.

  6. I'm so sorry to see the owie on your rig. I hope the walk on that beautiful beach took some of the sting out of the owie.

  7. I'm happy you were able to head south. I got the chills just reading about those temperatures.

  8. Loved the pictures of the sand ridges. Sorry Winona had a run in. At least it didn't happen on a new rig like some folks manage to do!

  9. looks like we picked a good time to be out west, will likely head back east next year.. that jelly is commonly called a cabbage head or cannonball jellyfish, enjoy the coast

  10. Poor Winnona, so sad about the oops. But that's just another challenge for a full timer. Hope you find a good shop for a cheap and easy fix.

    Those commercial fishing boats, when they go out, they fish around the clock until they get a full hold. I inspected many a fishing boat at sea in the middle of the night. It's a hard life for those guys.

    Give our regards to Bill and Nancy. Hope you're ready for a night of fun and laughter... :c)

  11. I'm so glad that you're still not in Charlotte. poor Winona I'm sure she will feel better later. I love your sand art photographs.

  12. The last time I camped, the back up camera had broken. I backed out of my site (just with the truck) after looking around and I missed a short pole that was sticking up out of the ground. Bang. I hit it right where the electric brakes and light hook up is. $1000. later...

    Glad it's not something that keeps you from driving Winona.

  13. Wahoo!!! You made it to FL!! Sure hope it warms up soon so you can read on the beach:) I love that first sighting of the ocean after a long time away:) Gorgeous photos of the sand sculpture! Looking forward to lots of ocean shots:)

    So sorry to see Winnona's injury.

    Enjoy relaxing to the sounds of the ocean...so calming:)

  14. Oh yay, you're back in Florida! It looks like home to me. :-) We've never been to Fort Clinch but it looks beautiful. Wish we were there to walk the beaches with you. Next year!

  15. I'm really looking forward to some beach time with sun and warm temperatures. Shouldn't be long now. Great to be back in Florida & especially to be welcomed so warmly by Bill & Nancy!

  16. Glad to see you got out of Charlottesville before the cold set in, too bad about Winnona's oops. Nice to have friends to do stuff with, we're enjoying that here in TX.

  17. I do like those patterns on the beach sand.

    Yes, you're lucky you're not in Buffalo right now.

  18. Enjoy your adventures with Bill and Nancy and say hello for us. Its way too cold for me in Kentucky this year :-(.

  19. Sorry about the bumpy welcome;o(( Well, at least things can only get better. Really was good to see you both!! Hoping the weather warms and we can have a few days to make new memories!!

  20. Keep those lovely beach scenes rolling in. So tired of this cold in KY. 5 more weeks and we're heading west! So sorry about the oops on Winnona. Glad it is still drivable in the meantime.

  21. Looks like a fun trip south! Sorry about the oops, but glad you can move on and deal with it when you choose. Enjoy Fort Clinch. We love that area!

  22. I, like many others, are glad we're all safely back in FL to enjoy some more of your adventures. Not the backing into something one. How nice to fall asleep to the ocean sound than a noisy neighbor's dogs. Time to relax and enjoy.

  23. Ouch, sorry to hear about the oops on your coach. I hope the weather warms up so you can enjoy some beach time.

  24. Oh, no. What a thing to have happen after you just repaired Winona. I hope your temperatures warm up and don't drop.

    Have fun at the beach.

  25. Chilly at the beach, but...your in Florida!!! Yay! That's great you'll get to see Nancy and Bill :) I can imagine your frustruation about Winonna. Grrr. The fact that a blog reader recognized you -how great!! We love your blog!

  26. Sorry about the boo-boo. Nice to see you back at the beach.

  27. Perhaps Winona just likes the road-veteran look. After all, David did put her in Park :-) One thing about the time-delay in the previous postings is that for us you've only been off the road for a couple weeks - still, it feels so great to be back out there with you two. And at the beach!! Love the pic of the bundled neighbors "basking" in the sun! My mother used to tell me stories of the ocean writing messages in the sand at high tide, encouraging me to "interpret" them as we walked along - you really captured a wonderful variety of them. You're in Florida, our escrow is moving along, all is right with the universe :-)

  28. It was lovely to meet you here at Walkabout. Yes, I too, wish we had more time to chat, but there is always another time. We are off to Cumberland Island today. My computer is still broken, so no photos for a while. Safe travelling. Dee and Mike (GoneRVing.blogspot.com)

  29. Glad to see you're back at the beach and in Florida. I think the duckies are probably close enough to the water given the cool temps and strong winds. Those Atlantic winds can be pretty cold.

    So sorry about the damage. I think you're right about the rate increases, but it will only be three years and it probably won't be as much as you expect. Getting it fixed while still living in it might be a hassle though.

  30. Class A motorhomes do not have a parking prawl in the transmission that locks the driveline like cars have. This means that you must always remember to push the yellow park brake button on the dash. Basically the transmission is in neutral and the motorhome cam roll is on any slope. The park brake locks the driveline so that the rear wheels will not turn. This also means that you should never raise the rear wheels off the ground. Sorry about the damage.

    1. Hey Doug, thanks for the comment and helpful advise. We definitely do not have a yellow or any other color park brake button on our dash or anywhere else. What manufacturer do you have that has this? Perhaps it's only on diesels? Hope it helps other readers.

  31. Darn booboo...stinks. Glad you hit the beach, despite the cold it gives me such a happy face landing by some sea on some sand!! As for soup...just threw stuff in. Spicey Italian turkey sausage, chopped onion, carrots and garlic browned. Add can tomatoes, rinsed white beans, chic broth, and your fav pasta. Oh and chopped fresh kale. Learned a trick, keeping bags of spinach and kale in freezer for soup and smoothies. Hope sun and warmth your way today!

  32. Funny you said that about your memory. I've always suffered from a poor memory for the things I'd actually love to remember but have an endless ability to remember things I wish I wouldn't like traumas and every song I ever heard. What a waste of valuable brain cells, right? I too started blogging as a way of "scrapbooking" our adventures so I don't forget all the great things we see and do. If no one read it I'd still do it anyway, but having followers is fun too. Glad you guys made it to the beach, I know you like it there!


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