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

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Leaving Florida Headed North

Friday April 9 to Tuesday April 14, 2015
Florida Caverns State Park, Marianna Florida to Charlottesville, Virginia


FRIDAY April 9

Today is our last day at Florida Caverns. We spend it relaxing around the rig and swimming in the spring.  Later in the day we start the take down.  We clean off the mats, fold them up and put them in the bin. Put away the chairs, the table cloth and bench cushions, put up the awning, put the bikes on the car, cover them and check all the vehicles fluids just to name a few chores completed before heading out for the long drive north.





We hustle to get a fairly early start this morning on our uncustomarily long 265 mile drive into Eastern Georgia.  We’re pretty far west in Florida so we have to take I 10 all the way over to Jacksonville to pick up I-95 heading north.  We also lose an hour here by coming back into the Eastern Time zone from Central.  I will never understand why we keep springing forward and falling back or why in the world some states are split by time zones. 

Being in a hurry is never a good thing for me and today is no exception.  We are on the road about an hour when I get a phone call from the park saying I’ve left all my coach keys along with the dolly lock on the picnic table.  SIGH………..   they say they will send them to me.  How very nice of Florida State Parks to absorb the mailing cost for my carelessness.  And thank goodness, there are about 8 keys on there to the bike locks, the dolly lock, the bins, the coach and I don’t even remember what else.

We arrive late afternoon to the totally full Walkabout RV Park in Woodbine Georgia.  When I found this park our first year on the road, there were maybe 10 rigs here.  We always just stopped here coming and going from Florida.  Drive in and park.  No more.  Thank goodness we have a reservation.  The number of people using his park and RVing in general has skyrocketed in five years at least in the east.  It takes some of the fun out of it for me to have to keep to a specific schedule.





SUNDAY April 11

Nothing to report here but long days of driving.  After 188 miles on Sunday we are in South Carolina where again we luckily have a reservation as the sign on the door says “full” when I walk into the office. This too was a place we never made reservations before.

The highlight of this stay is these darling electric cars.  The yellow one is used to lead you to your campsite here at Jolly Acres RV Park.




This second one is for sale and can be your toad for $10,500.  It’s even shaped sort of like a toad I think although the yellow one would be better.  Actually a green one would be best.  What a hoot!!






MONDAY April 12

Monday night we are not so lucky.  We usually stay at Carolina Crossroads in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina and have never found it to be more than half full including this fall.  If you make a reservation you can’t use any of their discounts like Passport America or Good Sam. So I never have made one.  But when we pull in here in the late afternoon after a long day, they are totally full.  I have never seen this park like this.   After a PDD day for us of 300 miles, we are tired and in no mood for this.  So we park ourselves in a large parking lot nearby and hope for the best.  Free boondocking right off of I-95.  Now that’s amazing if it works.



TUESDAY April 13

Well nobody knocked on our door in the middle of the night. but it becomes pretty clear that fate isn’t any more interested in our returning to Virginia than I am.  We are up and out of the giant parking lot at 7am.  This is way early for us but we have nothing to do but bring up the jacks and bring in the slides. We stop at the Virginia Welcome Center for their restrooms and to have some breakfast. Finally the long time Virginia slogan “Virginia is for Lovers” is actually true for all lovers as Virginia’s marriage restrictions were struck down by the Supreme court in October of 2014.

Things seem to be going along fine on this last leg of our trip.  However, boondocking the final night before returning to Charlottesville is a problem since we were not able to empty our tanks and now have to find somewhere to do that.

I check on line about finding a dump site.  RV Dumpstations has mostly campgrounds that will allow you to pay.  That’s fine, but nothing near us.  My droid Pilot App says that there is an RV Dumpstation at a Pilot 11 miles ahead of us.  Perfect!  We can get gas and dump.  

Well sort of.  We get there and there is no gas, only diesel.  The entire area looks like a road construction zone with all the pot holes.  SERIOUS potholes that a child could fall in and never be seen again.  We find the dump station in all the mess and it is on a side ways slope.  WHAT?   Are they nuts? 

OK so we weave around in and out of the 18 wheelers parked everywhere and manage to get back to the dump station tilting in the right direction.  That accomplished, we drive 7 miles back to get gas at the Flying J we passed earlier in favor of trying to accomplish two things at the same time.  I’ve investigated our gasoline fill up possibilities and there is nothing easy once we get near Richmond and on to Charlottesville.  So back we go.   Two steps forward, one step back.


Despite our early departure it is 9:30 when we are finally on the road north and we’ve gone less than 15 miles.  

To add to the fun, it rains most of the way.  We take I-95 to I-288 around the west side of Richmond and then are on our last leg, I-64 to Charlottesville. 

It’s still raining when we arrive.  We unload overnight gear and save whatever else we may need for a hopefully dry tomorrow.   In Ruby, we drive out to the farm to check out the road.  The rains here have been so terrible that the farm road, particularly the beginning and a low spot just beyond the woods, is the worst I’ve ever seen it.  Another problem to deal with. 

But for now, Winnona is parked in Charlottesville on a nice paved street until we can come up with a better answer.   She’s in a pretty scenic spot with the gorgeous pink dogwood.


  1. You touched on one of the reasons why I will never again have an RV - dumping the tanks. It might not be as bad if there are 2 people traveling together because the jobs are split up, but I hated having to do all of it. I'm amazed the RV parks are all filled up in April. It's still cold to me here in NY.

    When I was a kid there were big parts of KY and IN that had DST, but they were farming communities and I can see the benefits of taking advantage of sunny hours. But to change the entire country back and forth is ridiculous. Time zones are another matter though, as it has been light here in NY several hours but still dark in most of the west.

  2. Sounds like your trip north clearly reflected your feelings about having to make it. And while frustrating, I'm glad it was safe. Very nice of the park to ship your keys home for you - even better that they found them! Love the little cars, they look like those little square pieces of gum we used to chew. The trees are so beautiful, hope the blooming continues for next month's wedding. Looking forward to pics of the farm and surrounding area.

  3. I've noticed the parks here in the West being more full than a couple of years ago. RVing is making a comeback since the recession!

  4. I'm surprised those parks were full even on weeknights. I'm afraid all of us bloggers are just making even more people want to go RVing, or like Lisa said this is just a comeback after the economic crisis. Either way it sure makes it hard for those of us who don't like to make reservations.

  5. The electric cars are cute and practical but I wouldn't feel very safe in one on the highways. Guess I'm spoiled by driving a truck all these years. Glad they found your keys and are mailing them to you. Welcome Home!

  6. I hope all goes well with you while you are back, and of course Carrie will have a wonderful wedding for you to celebrate. I don't care for the long, back-to-back driving days, it takes a toll on me physically as well as mentally. I'm very indecisive about this whole reservation thing; I do like planning, and I like being able to have a site waiting for me in a convenient location, like right here on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. But that also puts a little stress on getting there by that time, and passing other areas on the road that I was like"oh that would be neat to stop and see if we didn't have such a long day ahead of us". And of course, we can't do a darn thing about the weather :-)!

  7. The whole issue of finding a place to stop can sap the fun out of a day.....Lord help me I hate making reservations. The only good thing is since we are tiny we fit in tiny spots most others don't. Glad your keys are one the way. On to wedding planning!

  8. Good that you are lucky to have a place to park while your road dries out.

  9. I look at those electric cars and ask myself how on earth I could ever fit in one of those.

  10. Well, we are glad you arrive back safely and hope the keys were waiting for you when you arrived. Sure is difficult to do so many travel days in a row, but sometimes you just gotta do what ya gotta do;-(((

    I am with Karen... hate to have to plan so much, but enjoy knowing that I have a spot where I want to be. Someday, we are just going to go and see what happens:o)) We use to do that with The Van, but not quite so comfortable doing that with Baby!!

  11. A little bit of a tough trip but welcome home again!

  12. What a trip. I bet you are tired but happy to be back home with some long list of tasks ahead of you. I can imagine how you felt when you got that phone call. Multitasking was probably the culprit.

  13. Welcome home! It looks like Spring is in full bloom in Charlottesville :)
    I think this month is especially hard reservation-wise with the great migration north. We are sitting this month visiting grandkids and this park is full, with new arrivals, every night.
    Hope your keys were waiting for you :)

  14. Glad you made it home safely with very few hitches:) I thought you had a farm so I was puzzled with the neighborhood photo. Thanks for explaining. I love pink dogwood...beautiful:) I hope you are able to get Winnona home:)

  15. Your trip sounds very challenging on many levels. I'm surprised that the campgrounds are all full, especially since school isn't even out yet! I really don't like the idea of having to make reservations -- once in awhile is fine, but not for every place! Your experience is making me question the wisdom of our plan to travel up the East coast next spring. Maybe we should just stay out west where there's plenty of room to roam. Glad you're home safely -- and I'm glad your trip ended with you parked beneath a beautiful pink dogwood.

  16. A frustrating trip. At least I am not the only one to forget stuff:)

  17. Cute cars! So glad the park was willing to mail what you forgot - I am totally like you...I forget things when rushing. The long drive doesn't sound too fun. Sounds like times must be getting better since RV-ing is becoming a much more popular pass time these days. Beautiful, beautiful dogwood!!!

  18. We're finding the campgrounds in Florida are staying more full, even in the summers. There are a lot of people choosing to live in Rv parks to save money. You'd be shocked how full Quail Run is during the summer now.

    It sounds like some terrible travel days, but at least you arrived safe and sound and had such a beautiful flowering tree to welcome Winona.

    I'm surprised Walkabout wasn't a muddy mess.

    I have thought about you lately and figured you were at least enjoying your beloved library! I also have found some "secret" swimming holes here that I'm going to share with you when you come down next winter!

    Enjoy the wedding and be sure to share some pictures!

  19. Sorry for al the problems along the way ... when it rains, it pours. Just as I was starting to think about not making reservations for the overnight stays up to Colorado Springs, I start hearing about full campgrounds ... sigh! I guess I'd better carve out some time to take a closer look at our route and make some rezzies.

  20. We stopped at Jolly Acres the other day and thought of you. We're now at Carolina Crossroads to visit family. Boy this park is full!! Much noisier than Cedar Key. Guess I better make my reservations for our Fall visit before we leave.


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