Thursday, February 27, 2014

Albany, GA

All good roadtrips must come to an end.  And so I took my last beach walk this morning before leaving Amelia Island.

I found the best beach access yet - a short boardwalk away from the parking space above.

This county-owned lot also allows overnight parking.  I've filed it under 'next time'.

And you know I wasn't leaving without packing the fridge with shrimp bisque for lunch.

Drove about 4 hours to Albany.  The weather was good for driving and it was four-lane US highways through rural towns all the way.  Just like I like it!

After getting to Albany, I was a little stiff and wishing there was somewhere nice nearby to walk the kinks out.

I look up and experience a little road magic.  A golf course!  Right behind Wal-Mart!


Back home tomorrow in time for lunch.  And now that I've left the coast, I'm ready to get there!

Thanks everyone for coming along on another successful roadtrip.  I've got another short journey planned for March.  More about that later as I work out the details.  

See you soon!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fernandina Beach, FL

Well, the forecast was for 100% chance of rain today, so no big surprise to awake to the distinctive pitter-pat on the van roof.  Maybe the Universe knows I had some course work to catch up on? 

Not much to blog about due to the rain.  I’m writing this from Peter’s Point Beach where the GDB is the only vehicle.  Quite a change from yesterday.  

I’m parked in an elevated spot overlooking the dunes and watching the waves in the rain.  I just love having my little house with me wherever I go!  

After work this AM, I headed to this nearby restaurant for you-know-what. 



This is how they shuck ‘em.  That metal rod is forced down and breaks the shells open.  Probably a bit safer than the knife method.

Then it was on to the lovely town of Fernandina Beach.

I strolled about, ducking in and out of shops and staying mostly dry.

The town grew up around this port.

Later I drove to the beach and attempted a walk, but only lasted about 10 minutes.  It’s much more pleasant from inside the GDB.   

I’ll start heading home tomorrow.  After lunch, of course!  That gives me one last shot at some more seafood.  Hmmm …. I’m thinking bisque. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

More Amelia Island

To be entirely at leisure for one day is to be immortal                                                                           Chinese Proverb

Today was one of those days.  The weather could not have been better.  And my gratitude for living like this could not be deeper.

I spent the day strolling, peering at shells, working a crossword, and watching the always-entertaining canine parade at Peter's Point Beach.

Doris would love this!

By lunchtime, I was ravenous and drove the few short miles to Fernandina Beach.  I spied this burger joint that I remembered from its rave reviews on Trip Advisor.  I think the GDB brakes might have squealed.

The specialty?  Charbroiled burgers.  OK .... where's the entrance and where does the line start?

Al fresco dining on burger and fries for $6.  I'm happy.  

After lunch, I strolled about town and ducked into a few antique shops.

It was fun to browse but ...  with this weather, I was eager to return to the beach.

I stayed until the sun got low and the tide high, soaking up every moment of my immortal day.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Day at the Beach(es)

The forecast for another day of rain did not come to pass.  I’ve been told that this group of islands has its own weather system and the 24-hour forecast means nothing.  So …. yay!!!  In fact, the sun came out in late morning and temps reached the low 70s. 

Before the fun started, I had a few household chores to accomplish at my Little Talbot Island State Park site.

What you would expect after 7 days on the road – filling the water tanks (more on that later), dumping the waste tanks, and even an interior cleaning.  The GDB is sand-free.  At least for a short while. 

To-do list accomplished, I drove the 5 miles to Big Talbot Island on the advice of 2 state park rangers.  This beach has unique features.

I don’t know why erosion deposits this endless tangle of petrified wood here, and not on other beaches.  It’s a singular place.  You hike ½ miles through this dense forest to get to the shore. 

Then it was on to Amelia Island State Park which consists of a narrow strand of beach; today it was staked-out by surf fishermen.  Sorry, no photos of the beach.  But here's one of me and the GDB!

Feeling the urge to find the perfect beach for the perfect afternoon, I moved on to Peter’s Point Beach, located just off Amelia Island Parkway.  This is a county-owned park recommended by a county employee that I met yesterday.  I was thinking this morning how I wish I had pumped him for some local info when he drove right up to me on the beach in his ATV!  Wish I'd had the camera handy.

Had some lunch and got some grading done.  Then it was time for some beachcombing.  

The ranger who checked me in yesterday gave me a shell guide to the islands.  I had fun trying to identify specimens.  

A lady stopped and asked me what I was looking for.  I replied 'my left contact'.  She looked horrified until I told her I was kidding.   

A glorious afternoon!  

Gull's day out

As darkness approached, I headed to a Fernandina Beach Wal-Mart.  It is a quiet location listed in the overnight parking database.  Then it was Skype with John & Doris and now it’s almost time for dinner.

RV Stuff

Read further only if you are interested in my latest RV gadget.  One that will make taking on water so very much easier.

Traveling solo with tiny water tanks can be a challenge when it’s time to refill.  Especially in a Roadtrek.  The RT has a 2-tank (interior and exterior) system.   The fill-ups take place here next to the driver’s seat and in the cargo area where you see the orange plugs.

You only know when the tanks are full from the backflow.  This backflow of water always becomes a fountain and inevitably everything nearby gets wet.  Including you.  Without a partner at the water source to start or stop the flow, you run from water source to input and back again.  Not very efficient.  

Notice in the above photo that one of my home-stereo speakers is in a vulnerable position.  The speaker gets wet along with everything else.  I’m constantly wiping everything down with a towel that I keep just for that purpose.    

One of the contributors to a Roadtrek forum – Robert – blogged about a solution that is both effective and inexpensive.  Voila!

Thanks to the stop-cock, I can turn the water on and off without running a mad dash and getting a bath in the process.

Note: this isn’t the first time Robert has come to the rescue and made my life infinitely easier. Robert, if you are reading this – THANKS AGAIN!!! 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Little Talbot Island State Park, FL

Bummer.  I don't mind the rain so much but can't it happen on Mondays when I have grading to do?

Uh-oh, I think I'm going to get my wish.  Possibly more of the same tomorrow.

Still - a rainy day at the beach is better than no day at the beach.  And I got caught up on some reading.

Speaking of which, I want to mention this book my friend Janice gave me.

It's a practical research-based guide for healthy living.  The author explores the best ways to conduct the three fundamental activities in the title.  The subtitle says it all: how small choices lead to big changes. I've learned a lot and Rath's writing style is motivating.  Thanks Janice!

This morning, I stopped for coffee on Amelia Island at the American Beach Park, hoping for a long walk but the rain was coming down pretty hard.  The parking lot was listed in my overnight parking database.  I was a bit skeptical - it's rare that county governments allow camping in their parking lots - but apparently they do here!

I may return in the next few days.  It's only steps away from the beach.

Sigh!  You can see the sand dunes through the rain.

Next I made the trek to Little Talbot State Park - my home for the night.  The roads through the campground are overhung with massive low limbs.  I can't see any of the big rigs making it in without incident.  I believe that the RV length maximum is 30 feet.  But still ...

I drove to the beach, parked, and made lunch.  The drizzle stopped as I was finishing up my sandwich.  So I threw my raincoat on, grabbed the camera, and ran down to the beach, still chewing.  The respite only lasted for about 25 minutes but I got some walking in.

These surfers weren't having much luck either.  It was just them and me and a few shorebirds.

I returned to the campground and attempted to plug in.  I was puzzled because the electric pedestal is set up for 20 amps only.  My electrical cord is 30 amps.  I have a 15 amp adapter but it didn't seem to fit.  I struggled with it for a while and, of course, it's raining pretty hard.  No luck.  I resigned myself to no electricity .  I use so little power, my battery has always been adequate but, well ... when you pay for power, you want power.

My newly-arrived next-door-neighbor to the rescue!  He just shoved the adapter in the socket.  It's at a weird sideways angle and wouldn't hold the added weight of the heavy surge-guard, but a well-placed bungee took care of that.

He was so gracious to help me in the downpour.  He even checked the polarity for me!  That's one thing I love about campgrounds - there's always some gallant gentleman to lend a hand.

P.S. The shower was awesome!!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Jekyll Island, GA

I had such fun today on beautiful Jekyll Island.  

The skies were clear with temps in the 60s.  Ideal!

The island is about 10 miles from Brunswick via this causeway bridge.

Jekyll is a barrier island with undeveloped beaches.  The island is filled with massive oaks and impressive architecture.  

And there is much to do here.

After a long walk on the beach, I headed to The Rah Bar for lunch, relying upon the positive reviews from Trip Advisor.  

The reviews were accurate.  I had the crab bisque (natch) and a dozen raw oysters (double-natch). 

As there was no seating for a solo diner, these really nice folks allowed me to share a table with them.  

They are members (and parents) of a Tallahassee soccer team visiting the island for a weekend tournament.  They won this morning and needed to refuel for their afternoon match.  

I'm ignoring the team in the background in favor of my dozen raw.

I had fun visiting with them.  A reminder, once again, that you meet the nicest people on the road!

After lunch, I rented a bike and rode for a while along the many bike paths that weave throughout the island.  It was just such a nice day to be out!  Afterwards, I took my chair to the beach, worked on a crossword, and watched the birds and the surf. 

As darkness approached, I made my way back to Brunswick for a Wal-Mart overnighter, alongside several other rigs.  I'll have to commit to a genuine campground-stay soon as I’m beginning to feel the need for a very long, very hot shower.  I’ll head down the coast tomorrow in search of such. 

seriously great day!