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

Henry David Thoreau

Riverside at Gamble Rogers

Tuesday October 27 and Wednesday October 28, 2015                    Most Recent Post:
Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area                              On the Road to Warmer Climes
Flagler Beach, Florida




Looking at my pictures as I prepare to write this post I realize that I had forgotten to mention that we have noticed a real improvement in the ride of the coach with our new shocks and stabilizer.  No more dolphining and much less need to hold the wheel with a grip when the semis whiz by.  


I also forgot to show, for those who like food, our appetizer and dinner from Monday.  So here they are.  It was a potato day.

Home made potato chips as appetizer both before they are cooked and after.   Dinner was baked potatoes with various toppings to taste.  Broccoli went with these but it was in a serving dish to the left in the picture and I took the picture before either of us served ourselves.  David has a baked sweet potato with chili and I have mashed yukon golds with sauerkraut.  Yes I do love sauerkraut and the only way I could buy it was in a pretty big jar.





Back to this post.  Back in Georgia this morning, Walkabout is located just off of Exit 7 on I 95 in southern Georgia.  We stop at the Pilot at exit 1 and fill up with gas again since I can see from my Gas Buddy app that it will be more expensive in Florida.  $1.999 here.  On down I-95 we go along with a lot of other folks.  The RVs with toads are everywhere.  The Sunshine State welcomes us with rain.




We turn off on FL 100 and soon are coming down the hill to Flagler Beach.  It’s all pretty gray because of the rain when we get there but still my first sight of the ocean in over 6 months brings a huge smile to my face.





We pull into the ranger station to find that all the sites in the Riverside Campground but ours are vacant.  It’s only noon and check out is at 1:00.  It’s stopped raining so I’m really hoping it won’t start up again before we get set up.  Sure enough the folks in our site #67 wait until the very last moment to leave.  We hustle our set up and just make the bare minimum of water, electric and leveling when the rain starts again.


Time for lunch.  I promised I would show another picture of the sauerkraut and kale sandwiches when we had them again and that would be today.  So here they are. 






It rains for most of the rest of the evening so we just enjoyed the sound of it on the roof and watch a National Geographic Special on Galapagos (thanks Roger), a place Winnona cannot go.




Yesterday was the Super Full Moon but with the rain there was nothing to see.  This morning it isn’t raining when I wake up so I go out to see and sure enough, there it is.   It’s shining so brightly it looks like moonbeams across its face.



I zoom in and catch a colored aura around it.


As the sky lightens, the moons bright white dims enough to be able to see the shading on its face.  I spend from dawn to sunrise taking far too many pictures and just enjoying how magnificent it is.


Eventually those pesky rain clouds move in and begin to cover it.  What a wonderful thing to experience first thing in the morning.



I turn around to return to Winnona and see the sun coloring the sky behind me.  A double blessing this fine morning.


The colors gather in toward the sun and although I cannot see it rise above the horizon, I can see the blaze of orange through the trees beyond Winnona.




David has an appointment at a Florida Cancer Specialists clinic in Palm Coast this morning so he is getting ready to leave.



I see him off and then think I’ll take a walk around this new campground while the skies are not dripping.  More rain is predicted off and on all day.

All of our previous visits here have been to the 34 site campground on the oceanside but this year they have opened this new riverside with another 34 sites.  To get a site in a Florida state park, particularly ones on or near the ocean or gulf, it is necessary to make your reservations 11 months in advance.  This is a real problem for us given the varying state of David’s health and treatment.  We have no clue what his treatment may be next month let alone almost a year from now.

When I made reservations 11 months ago to go to the Keys, he was on an oral treatment that left us free to do anything we wished.  Our plans were to go to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland for the summer, drop by Charlottesville for a couple of weeks in the fall and head on to the Keys for November and December. 

I therefore booked all my Florida reservations with no thought at all to having to be near a cancer center other than once a month, certainly not every Wednesday.  But things changed and when they did I tried to add two more days to the front of our Gamble Rogers ocean side reservation so we would be in Virginia one Wednesday and in Florida the next.  But of course I could not. 

Luckily however, they had just put the new campground on line not long before and I was able to get 2 nights here.  We’ll be here for Tuesday and Wednesday and then move over to the Oceanside for Thursday and Friday and then head on down the highway south.


The new campground looks very new and bare but it is well set up and all the utilities are in neat white posts, the bathrooms are as good as they get.  I learn from a kiosk that this area hasn’t had anything growing on it for over 100 years because it was where they dumped all the fill from building the Florida Intracoastal Waterway starting in 1881.  Interesting pictures of before and now show little difference to anything except poor Smith Creek which lost its right to flow in beautiful curves through the wetlands. We sure do have a thing about building with straight lines.  Not a natural thing about that.  Actually I’m not sure why this is the riverside campground since the river really isn’t here any more as far as I can see.  It is really canal and waterway side.

Sorry for the pictures which are pictures of pictures behind glass.  But they show the story.  The orange arrow is this campground site.  The dates are out in the ocean.




These are shots of the same spot in the years before the campground and now.  Not much change other than the addition of some cedars and palms which everyone is hoping there are enough nutrients in the soil for.



And now for what it looks like today.  The campground is arranged in a circle with the one bathroom in the middle. The bathroom has nice showers and there are two washers and two dryers.  There is one pull through site at the very end of the loop just beyond us.  The other sites are all back ins.










I come back and get my current book to spend some time just reading.  But too much is happening in front of me to get much read.  I don’t get many pictures because the little birds flitting about the trees around the site are too fast as are the butterflies but while I’m trying, a great egret flies right into the tree beyond the patio.  The inland waterway is just beyond the greenery at the back of the patio and if I stand on the steps, I can see it barely. 




But the tree in front of me is on the waterway and makes a great perch for the egret.  Can you see him there in the top?


However, it’s so windy that he has quite a time getting situated in what looks to me like limbs much too small for him.



He gives up on the very top and settles for something sturdier.




I spend quite a bit of time watching him until he flies off for a better spot.  I decide then that I’ll take my bike and ride on around to the canal which is at the end of the entrance road to the campground.  Maybe he’s over there now.







Well he’s not but what I think is a female Cormorant on duty. However it doesn’t look like the speed limit applies just now.




The boats going down the Intracoastal waterway just beyond the canal are big and fast.



While his people watch the boat, this handsome fellow watches me.



From there I bike over to the ocean side.



Beautiful deserted beach.  Still windy.  Lots of waves.




The red flag says High Surf, Strong Current.  The Blue says Dangerous Marine Life whatever that might be.  No swimming would be easier to say it seems to me.


A very favorite sight of mine.






On the horizon I see a fishing boat.


And swooping along the waves are the winged fishermen.  There is so little color anywhere that the pictures look almost black and white.












Back on shore sanderlings and sandpipers are hurrying around through the waves.












The skies are getting darker and I know I’d best get back on my bike and head for home.




And just in time too.  I get in under the awning and it breaks loose.  Buckets of water pour down from the sky.  Boy did I make it in the nick of time.  After it’s all over we have waterfront property.




Luckily the designers planned for this.  Earlier, we noticed a stake on a tree at the edge of the patio which says “elevation 5.75”  We assume feet above sea level.  There are several low containment ponds throughout the campground and ours  works perfectly.  No water pools on our patio.  And that was some kind of rain.




Don’t know if the rains bring them out or if I just didn’t notice these little guys earlier today.  Now they are in the stones of the patio and on the stakes of the little cedar near the new lake.



Too cute.





I watch him for a long time as he just looks around. 



Then he starts doing push ups.



And then……….wow, look at that.  I think he is an anole and that is his dewlap.  Not sure if he’s advertising to the ladies or just declaring his territory but he looks pretty amazing.





I also finally manage to get a picture of one of the lovely Florida White butterflies that has been floating in and out and around whenever the rain isn’t.




And then for about the 5th time today, the rains come down.  They are supposed to clear out tonight for at least the next two days.   They make nice water drop circles in our new pond.   Wonder if we’ll have frogs tomorrow?




  1. Florida seems a world away from the Shenandoah. Glad you like both. The birds are so interesting, but with my declining sight I can't tell for myself what kind each of them is.

  2. Welcome back to the beach, even in the rain. And so different from your summer abode.

  3. The ocean is a wonderful thing, is it not?! I know I'll enjoy being back in San Diego and near the ocean again in a few weeks. Love the lizard with his neat display!

  4. You are correct...your sandwich does look a lot better than the web photo you used the other day. :)

  5. The picture of all of the RVs heading south was hilarious

  6. Thanks for the wildlife inventory. We will be there in less than 3 weeks.

  7. Great tips on healthier eating and I do so appreciate what you share. Hubby and I are trying to adjust to even more healthy than we were before. He is pretty picky and yet he professes to "like everything!" NOT! :) Thanks for all your tips. We are paying attention!

  8. You are not far from me if you continue on 95 or us1... you will pass right by me very close.... there's a Walmart off 95 here at Melbourne about 2 miles that always has cheap gas I think its a 1. 99 right now.... I too enjoy all your healthy eating food tips... safe travels

  9. I always enjoy seeing the squadron of pelicans go flying by. . .

  10. That lizard's definitely visually eye catching. I expect the rain does send them up out of hiding.

  11. Glad you made it safely back to Florida:) Looks like a great site in the new campground section. Perfect find for your change of plans. I'm not sure if you follow Watson Wandering, but Tim created a website that will help you find cancellations at any state park that uses Reserve America. I am including the website and their post that explains. But they snagged primo spots in various areas in Florida.


    I thought this might be helpful with David's appointments if you need to move or want a better site or park.

    Hopefully you will get some sun real soon:) Had to laugh at your elevation sign. Remember...we are watching you from way above:)

    1. We used this all the time since they first did it. What a great thing. But for many months now it has been shut down. They put up a notice that Reserve America had blocked their program and they were working on a way around it but so far, the first link you listed just has the sad message. Glad you liked the elevation sign. I liked your comment. Thanks.

  12. Chili on a sweet potato. I can't decide if that sounds good or not. :) I need to come up with something different for sandwiches. I may have to give yours a try.

    Glad to see you back at the beach. The pictures of the surf on the reddish color sand look so pretty. I have a few similar pictures. I'm happy to see they added a new campground there. That's such a nice area.

    Enjoy your time in the Keys. I guess I'll be watching from Tampa. :(

  13. Baked potato with sauerkraut? Oh my...

    1. Traditional fare among the Ohio Germans I grew up with. I love it. Actually I misspoke slightly. They were mashed potatoes with sauerkraut. If you like kraut, give it a try.

  14. Looks like a great state park. We seem not to be able to plan 11 months ahead, so rarely get to stay in FL waterfront state parks, especially in the winter.

  15. Love kraut and love potatoes - definitely have to give them together! Looks like a smart spot to put a campground if the area hasn't been reclaimed by vegetation - and well designed to control the rains :-) Love all the birds - the egret is fabulous. Still, the lizard wins for me, they're just so cute :-))))

  16. So nice to see you enjoying your ocean fix. Once again, your pictures are fantastic. I think I hear Nat Geo calling for your services... ;c)

  17. Rain or shine, a beach makes for at least one Happy Camper I know ...

  18. You sound happy to be back in Florida for the winter. I'm hoping that there will be many sunny beach days in your future. And in ours!!! I'm wondering if you still have your reservations for Curry Hammock the first two weeks of December? :-)

  19. For a real treat, add a dollop of applesauce to the top of the sauerkraut and mashed potato mountain. It is like the whipped cream on the sundae...one of my absolute favorite combinations:o)) It's a (you know) thing!! Also looks like you made the chips with Yukon Gold...need to give that a try.

    Thanks for the review of Riverside and glad you get to spend some time near your favorite the oceanside!! Wait til you get down here and get some photos of Dewlap on these Iguanas...AMAZING!!

    BTW, I have cleared up the weather forecast for you;o)) Safe travels and see you soon.......

  20. We actually had baked potato with chili on it last night, yum! Unfortunately, the chili I was going to make in the crockpot didn't happen as we had overtime day yesterday. We settled for canned chili instead, but it was delicious!
    Sure miss seeing an ocean (any ocean!).

  21. Even with the cloudy skies and gray I can smell that Florida velvet air. Love the egret, and so glad you are getting where you need to be.

  22. Nice to see the ocean again!! Definitely a world away from Shenandoah...beautiful birds and neat lizards. I'd say that was a good rainy day :) So many RVs having the same idea. Who can blame them? It's quite the life :) I pick chili over sauerkraut.

  23. You make a rainy day interesting, Sherry. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Oh Florida! It sure glad to see ocean and shore birds again! Seeing the Egret just perked me up.


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