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

Henry David Thoreau

My Week Alone

November 15-22, 2017                                                           Most Recent Posts:
Gamble Rogers Memorial Recreation Area                             St. Augustine Lighthouse
Flagler Beach, Florida                                                            To the Point


Today is a hustling day.   Thank goodness our move is only 34 miles south down the coast.  When we arrive at noon we are too early and can’t check in yet.  We have our fingers crossed that the people in our site won’t wait until the very last minute, 1:00, to leave.  We need to be on the road by 2:00 so I can drive David the 100 mile trip to the Orlando Airport.  He’s decided at the last minute to go spend Thanksgiving week with his brother Roger and his famly in Texas.  I’ll hold down the fort since state parks don’t approve of being a storage lot for unused RVs.

After moving in the morning and drive 4 hours to and from the airport on Friday I’m exhausted  and all I want to do is enjoy th eview right out my front windows.  Then early to bed.


The next morning I’m up for sunrise.  How can you not be when it’s right out your front door.


  I have a whole week to do anything I want, to go to bed at whatever time I want – in my case EARLY – to get up at whatever time I want – ditto EARLY – eat whatever I want, whenever I want . . . . . well you get the picture.  

I’m a lazy bum at the beach just sitting around or walking near the waves.   I do some yoga, I think about taking the kayak out,  I think about driving to Brewsters.  I think about a lot of things but I do pretty much nothing.   Oh. yes,  I read in my chair and watch the waves which are fantastic.  I also walk over to the Matanzas Bay for sunset.   It’s a tough week.

I have a lot of company.


He’s the royal tern but I just call him Groucho.


Somebody’s found a breakfast treat.


Winnona keeps her eye on me from behind the dune.


Sunday morning at dawn I see this shrimp boat on the horizon.


The sun rises up into the clouds and sends its rays down


I take a walk down the beach just after sunrise and think this will probably be my plan for all the days we are here.  It’s beautiful out, there’s almost no one else and I see such interesting things.

Like this little crab who had washed up somehow and was really far away from the outgoing tide.


I pick him up, get as close to the water as I can and heave him out with my totally inefficient girlie throw. 


Not very far down the beach I see one of his fellows who was not so lucky.   I assume this Ruddy Turnstone found this grab on the beach.  He’s in the processes of trying to flip it over so he can get to the meat on the softer side..


It’s eat and be eaten for most of  Earth’s creatures..


The waves are great today.


On my way back for breakfast I see Winnona looking out and realize again how little dune is left in the campground.  I hold my breath every time there is a hurricane or major storm predicted for Flagler Beach.


I end my day the same way it began, watching the sun.  From the ocean side campsites, I walk across A!A to the other side of the park where there is a basin with a boat launch from which I can see the sun set.  The basin connects to the Matanzas Bay.  A thick cover of clouds squeezes the sun to the horizon.


I’m not the only one who enjoys Monday’s sunrise.  Our crew has a front row view.



Inside or out, the view is just amazing.  I am constantly smiling as I look out nearly every window and see the surf.   No wonder these sites are so difficult to reserve.  I consider myself to have won the lottery when I get one.  The waves today give a good idea of how windy it is.


Since Ruby stayed here with me, I could go anywhere I want to hike but I only use the car for grocery runs and instead just walk over to the other side of the park and walk the nature trail which is a loop going from the picnic area (sunset spot) to the River Campground and back.  You can pick it up either place so I start at the picnic area.


Boy am I surprised to see this palm tree.  I ask at the Ranger Station on my way home and they tellme it was the parting gift of a Ranger/woodcarver when he retired.  The detail is fantastic. 


I come to a fork in the trail and it’s clear that the loop goes to the left but there is not sign and of course I want to see what’s to the right.   I find the River Campground is there.



IMG_6459From here I follow the loop back to my starting point and return to Winnona.  On my way I pass by the greatest inconvenience to beeing here.   It seems someone drove their rig into the automatic gate device and broke it.  So now everyone has to get out and go up to the gate and turn tumblers to the combination, open the gate, go back to their vehicle, drive it through the gate, stop again, get out and close the gate and relock it and get back in their cars.  Why do they
have to keep it locked during the day you might ask?  Well this is a very small campground that there would likely be a lot of “drive throughs” if it were possible.

You can see the high key pad for what was an automatic gate there on the left, the lower one for cars and trucks is what was broken.

The broken arm and the new inconvenient solution.  They say it will be fixed in January.  Too late for us.


On Tuesday, I take my morning walk north up the beach. 


Along the way I found several nice sized pieces of coquina that had apparently come in on the tide.  They look very different from each other.  I find this stone so interesting and beautiful. 


When I see this one legged stand, I try it.  I can’t do it for as long as he can.


I couldn’t overhear the conversation. Probably just gossip among feathered friends.


From the campground north to the pier in central Flagler Beach, there are no buildings on the water side of A1A other than this tiny complex of two apartments and one restaurant, the famous High Tides at Snack Jack.

I pass them all on my beach walk since they are just outside the park boundary.


All the roof tops you can see in this picture are on the other side of A1A.


Many of them have access stairs to the beach and some are PRIVATE!   Hurricane Matthew in 2016 destroyed many of these along with a big piece of Highway A1A. 

At this point I’ve gone 2 miles so I turn around and head back.



And when I do, I see the clous are gathering overhead and things are darkening.  Uh oh.


Waves are picking up speed.  I use the steps on one of the sets up steps to perch my camera stop for a record of the waves behind me but am quickly on my way.  


The egret doesn’t seem to be concerned about the size of the wave coming toward him.

Pretty sure it is a red flag day but this wet suited surfer is out anyway.  I stopped to try to get a picture of him on his board but this was all I could get.


Good thing my intuition told me it was time to turn around.   I seriously had just closed the door behind me when the rains started coming down.


Wednesday morning’s sunrise is lovely.  This is taken with part of my new neighbors tent set up on the far left.  They must have come in during the rain since it was raining into dark last night.


But it’s a beautiful day so I’m sure all of their things dried out especially with all the wind.  Look at those blue skies!



I decide to walk back up the beach this time to the pirate house and when I do, I stop by this cute little place that I mentioned before to see what it’s like.   I meet the owner and she tells me $200 a night for ocean front apartments.   I think that would be SO much fun for Carrie and Matthew and Celia to do as a Christmas holiday one year if we all could get reservations at the same time in December.   If a hurricane ever damages these buildings, the owners will not be permitted to rebuild.  Flagler Beach no longer allows buildings on the water front.  Existing buildings are grandfathered in until they are damaged.  With the hurricane seasons being so strong these last two years, I think we’d better plan quickly.


There seems to be a gathering of sunbathers relaxing on the beach.


And none of them seems to care how close the waves come.   They never move.


I didn’t check the tide chart before setting out and it’s pretty clear by the time I get to the area that now has a heavy rock retaining wall after the road was washed out here in 2016, that the tide is coming in.


Hmmm, do I have to turn around again before I run out of beach to wak on?


Well I can always climb up on the rocks and wait it out.   So far I’ll only get my feet wet and the water is fine so I carry on.


The pirate house is in the center of the most heavily damaged area and I was glad to see last year that it was not damaged.   Don’t know who lives there but it’s just such a landmark now.  Notice the size of the rocks they put in to buffet the road.


I can only get a picture of the top deck pirates.  There are some hanging off the chimney further down on the left side and some in front of the house on the ground level as well.  I love it.


I’ve made my goal and over 3 miles so I head back home.   Later that night the rains start again.  And it rains and rains and pours and thunders and the winds are so strong and the rig is shaking so I get up around midnight and bring in the slides.  This is a heavy thunderstorm with lightening and the whole nine yards.

When I look out on Thanksgiving morning I see my neighbors have not given up the ship.  It’s still pouring down rain.   But I’ve got no where to go, no rerservations, a great Thanksgiving dinner planned and the rain sounds great on the roof even the sheets of it coming against the windows.  Boy I feel sorry for them.   What are they thinking?

I get busy making breakfast and planning my holiday dinner and the next time I look out about an hour later, this is the sight at their campsite.   I guess enough is enough after that major thunderstorm.   So much for Thanksgiving at the beach.


But I’m a happy camper, safe and dry thanks to Winnona.  Cheers to you’all and Happy Belated Thanksgiving.

Since I can have anything I want today, holiday dontcha know,  I have salmon smothered in onion and garlic, oyster dressing, candied sweet potatoes, green beans with almonds and cranberry sauce.  I have no pie baker here at present so there is no dessert but the cranberry is sweet enough to count.   It’s all delish if I do say so myself.


Friday is the end of  David’s vacation.  He’s flying home this morning which means I have a 2 hour trip to make to Tampa before his 9:30am and I’m just crossing my fingers I don’t have to do it in the rain.

Even though the entire campground is sand and generally you can’t tell it’s rained about an hour after it quits, last night’s rain has left a lot of puddles as the ground couldn’t absorb the water fast enough.

The first picture is one taken earlier in the week of the road into the campground.  The second is one I took as I left trying to beat the rain which was coming back momentarily.  May not look like much by Houston standards but for a 100% sand campground it’s pretty amazing.


I did have to drive most of the first hour in the rain but then it stopped.  David brough the sunshine from Texas back with him and we had no more rain.

I’ll be posting next about our second week at Gamble Rogers.  Hopefully when he recovers from his “vacation” David will write a post about his trip to San Marcos, Terlingua and Big Bend National park.


  1. How nice to have an entire week to yourself! I would have done exactly what you did, except for making such an elaborate dinner. Sounds like David had a good week, too.

  2. Loved your week so much. . .surprised you guys are able to leave your awning out and not get wind damage. Do you have it tied down?


    1. SherryDecember 3, 2017 at 10:57 AM
      Thanks for your comment Janice. Those pictures were taken the the first couple of days I was there. I did take the awning down. We do have tie downs and anti flap guards but it was just too much wind for me to be comfortable. Sorry I didn't mention it.

  3. What a nice spot. Jettypark is next to a motel. Check that out. We are there the month of Jan.

  4. Sometimes, solitude is good to refresh the soul. So too does a big cone full of JMC... :cD

  5. Such a beautiful beach, I always enjoy your time here :-) Although we can pretty much do anything we want when our partners are home, there's just something different about being alone for several days that feels so freeing. Always glad when they get home though :-) Those little rental apartments on the beach must feel like Mother Nature is trying to do away with them the last few years. I can here them yelling "Bring it on!" as the high surf pounds them! I always feel bad when we have tent neighbors in wind and wet - and always grateful that we're dry and cozy inside our home. Looking forward to seeing what David got up to!!

  6. That is the perfect site for a beach lover!!! You did what you love to do with YOUR week;o)) Everybody should get one week that is THEIR week!!!

  7. What a great place to relax! Color me jealous:)

  8. Being alone is absolutely wonderful when you know it isn't forever. Just a sweet treat, like your great TG dinner. Such gorgeous beach photos, once again.

  9. Looks like your alone time passed quickly with the beautiful beach to keep you busy. It seems so strange to see all the rain. We were just talking about the last time we saw any heavy rain. We decided it was last January when we were in Gulf Shores. I can't remember the last time we saw rain period. We don't even think about rain when making plans. It's nice that David was able to go visit his brother. Sounds like he should have lots to share with us.

  10. I'm not a beach person, but those skies are just gorgeous.

  11. The beach is an amazing sight in many conditions!

  12. Love the beach (and miss it)! Pictures of the waves, sunrise, sunsets and beach wildlife are very enjoyable - thanks for sharing. Also, thanks for making it possible for David to come visit for a week. We were thinking of you on Thanksgiving - I think we missed out by not having David bake us one of his sumptuous blueberry pies. Looks like you had a quiet but enjoyable feast.

  13. What a pleasure to get a little "me" time on the beach.

  14. What a lovely, restorative week you had! The sand on that beach looks like gold. Love all of the photos of your feathered friends that kept you company while David was away. And that palm tree totem is very cool! David, I hope you write about your adventures in Big Bend NP -- we'll be there the week of Christmas through New Year's.

  15. Looks like a wonderfully relaxing week and a scrumptious thanksgiving dinner. Can't beat oceanfront!! Hopefully, we can get down there to a spot nearby before a hurricane washes them away!! So kind of you to drive Dad so far!

  16. Looks like a great, peaceful week for you - glad you had such a perfect place to be if not the best weather. Better get busy on that blog of my trip. ;)

  17. I would not mind being left alone when my views and company (the birds and ocean waves) are awesome! We are opposite, its alwasy me who leaves Steve behind.


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