New Island Plants & Tiny Campers

Fresh water marsh

Fresh water marsh

I would not have expected to find a fresh water marsh on a skinny strip of land between two bodies of salt water.

The Scamp 5th wheel we toured today

The Scamp 5th wheel we toured today

We took the nature walk trail today.  For something so mundane, it turned into an adventure (of sorts) for us.  Somehow, between my concentrating on learning new plants and Ron trying to keep Sheba from chasing irresistible scents off the side of the trail, we missed the signs — and went around the loop twice.  Then we got turned around on the way back and ended up in Loop A instead of our loop.

Homemade truck camper

Homemade truck camper

It worked out for us, though.  We stopped at the camp host’s site in Loop A and had a delightful conversation with them.  They breed Shih Tzus and had two of them with them.  They have 6 at home, with a new litter due soon.  At one time they traveled with 10 dogs!  They were some of the warmest, most hospitable people I’ve met in a while.

We must have looked pretty bedraggled because they offered to make us a pot of coffee or get us something to drink… and

Margie and her husband in front of their homemade camper.  I didn't catch her husband's name.

Margie and her husband in front of their homemade camper. I didn’t catch her husband’s name.

insisted we sit in their comfortable chairs instead of at the picnic table.  We declined and just enjoyed their company while we caught a second wind.

I got pretty badly sunburned.  I had applied sunscreen to my face and arms and was wearing a ball cap.  But apparently I didn’t apply the sunscreen thickly enough.  And I forgot the back of my neck.  It really burned, and I imagine it will be peeling soon.  In any case, I

The interior of the homemade camper.  In addition to the space over the cabover, the big board at top folds down to make a big bed.

The interior of the homemade camper. In addition to the space over the cabover, the big board at top folds down to make a big bed.

learned why some guys wear their baseball caps backwards!

We got our first tour of a Scamp 5th wheel today.  That was what we thought we wanted when we started looking for a molded fiberglass trailer because we thought it would give us a lot more room.  I was surprised when I got inside.  It felt smaller and more cramped than our Casita.  I think it’s because of the small windows mostly.  And I thought I would love the counters on both sides, but the aisle between them was much narrower than I expected.  The bathroom is so tiny you would have to sit on the toilet to shower.

Conradina -- a new plant to me.

Conradina — a new plant to me. The flowers look like little lavender owls to me!

I do think I would like the way a 5th wheel would tow.  But I left with a new appreciation for the huge windows and the open feeling of our Casita.

The 5th wheel was their third Scamp.  They started with a 13′, then went to a deluxe model without a bathroom.  But the wood interior of the deluxe model made it heavier to tow,  and they decided they wanted a bathroom, so they bought a new standard 5th wheel.  But now it is starting to feel too small for them, so they are looking at moving up to a Class B+ with a slideout.

I'm not sure what this is.  It might be yaupon holly.

I’m not sure what this is. It might be yaupon holly.

We met another couple who built their own homemade truck camper.  It’s tiny, but there is a bed in the cabover, plus another large fold-down section that makes a wide, comfortable bed.  They use the bottom area beneath the folded out bed mainly for storage.  They have a large screen room that they do their actual camping in.  They’ve been to Colorado in it and plan to take it to California soon.

A huge thistle flower

A huge thistle flower

Later this afternoon, the Scamp owners came down for a tour of our Casita.  They were very surprised at how open it looks and feels with our twin bed arrangement. They remarked it looked larger than their 5th wheel.

We gave one more tour while they were here, so at one point we had 5 people inside our Casita.

Sunny got a bath in our shower this evening.  We are taking Sheba into town tomorrow to get her bathed.  That will serve two purposes… a nice clean doggie in our camper — and a few hours of FREEDOM!  We can leave Sunny in the Casita and then we’ll be able to tour the Fort.

Ron and Sheba

Ron and Sheba

Vet bills and getting Sheba bathed have wiped out any hope of dinner out this trip, but that’s just the way it goes when you are on a budget.  In a more private campground, we’d probably risk bathing Sheba ourselves outside.  But here it’s not possible.

Sunny’s meds are working a doggie miracle.  He is feeling great.  I would never have taken him walking with us

I'm guessing this is some kind of sedum

I’m guessing this is some kind of sedum

today if we had known how long we would end up going.  But he did great.

Both dogs are really zonked tonight.  Ron took Sheba for a couple of other fairly long walks today, so she was ready to collapse this evening.

Even the blackberries struggle in this hostile environment.  The leaves and berries are tiny.

Even the blackberries struggle in this hostile environment. The leaves and berries are tiny.

Cute little bird hopping around our fire pit.

Cute little bird hopping around our fire pit.

Dead live oak.  (That's fun to say!)  :)

Dead live oak. (That’s fun to say!) 🙂

Fetterbush -- another new plant for me!

Fetterbush — another new plant for me!

Florida rosemary.  I had never seen this plant before, either.

Florida rosemary. I had never seen this plant before, either.


  1. Oh Sharon! I had a thought that I should warn you about how easy it is to get turned around on the nature trail! But forgot when I decided to go hiking early yesterday!

    I did something similar when I was there in December. Went around the loop and then explored part of the Florida trail… thought I was going west because I could hear the surf to the left… went quite a ways and came out on the bay! The wind on the bay was making the surf noise. Turned around, could not find the Loop A trail and wound up going back through B/C….which was a long way!

    I imagine that it will take a while to recover from such a trek! But didn’t you just love the nature trail!


    • Lynne, I am so relieved to hear that someone else got disoriented on that trail. It makes me feel like I am not a world class dummy after all! I could hear the surf, too, and was tempted to head toward it. Glad I didn’t now!

      I was amazed at how well I handled the trail. This morning we toured Ft. Pickens and I had NO difficulty climbing the steps. The new COPD meds are wonderful, and a couple of good night’s sleep with aspirin on a comfortable bed took care of the hip and back problems caused by riding in the truck!

      I actually felt really good after the walk after I rested for a while. Of course, the sunburn hurts like heck, but that was due to my own carelessness!!!


      • Glad to hear that you are OK!
        It was not just you and me that had difficulties…..I ran into several people who got turned around and confused.


  2. What fun folks to run into…and so welcoming!!! Sounds like you were playing ring around the rosie :O) Knowing you have the sunburn remedy….vinegar always my best friend as fair as I am! Enjoy your “date day” you two all alone! Hope Sheba enjoys her spa day and Sunny gets a nice long nap…glad he’s back to himself.


    • I had forgotten about vinegar! I have Caladryl Clear slathered all over me and have vowed to stay in deep shade the rest of the day!

      The date didn’t last long. We dropped Sheba off, then went to tour the fort. While we were at the fort, we got a call that Sheba was ready to pick up. But at least we DID get to see the fort.

      Sunny is feeling so well, he is driving me crazy today. So that’s good news — I guess!!!


  3. Hey Tiny, sounds like a great hike. Sorry to hear about the sun burn, bummer. Those Casitas are really cool, I see them with the eye of a boater and am very impressed with everything about the way they are so well done in everyway. Bummer on the budget busting surprise expenses but consider some Royal Reds from Jo Patties (no seafood sauce, just lemon butter), some steamed asparagus and a baked potato – that will be the equivalent of a $100.oo plate if you were in a restaurant – all for about $15.oo. Mmmmmm my mouth is watering as I think about it. Ft. Pickens Rocks.


    • Thanks so much for the comments on the Casita. Coming from a boat person, that is high praise. I always wondered why nautical builds were such high quality, and most RV’s are built so shoddily. I’m sure it’s to keep prices affordable, but still, most manufacturers could do a lot better!

      I’ll see if I can talk Ron into Jo Patties tomorrow since it will be our last night here. 🙂


  4. My freinds had the 5th wheel scamp. They had it for awhile, but never felt very comfortable in it. The small windows and cramped bathroom that turned into storage. And nowhere to sit and read.
    The home made camper is cool but that would be just a little to rustic for me. But what ever works for folks is great.


    • I run into that in the Casita and in other small trailers, too — nowhere to comfortably sit, lounge and read. It seems the manufacturers are more interested in building trailers to sleep as many as possible instead of providing a comfortable place to sit. That’s mainly why we spend so much time outside, even when the weather makes it uncomfortable.

      The fun thing about homemade campers is seeing how imaginative and creative people can be when they build their campers to suit their budgets and their needs. It’s a fun project to build, and an inexpensive way to get on the road.


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