Heading Home Tomorrow

1923 Ford owned by one of the campers here

Our lovely vacation is drawing to a close.  Tonight’s our last night camping here at Indian Springs State Park.  We left winter weather behind and enjoyed seeing spring arrive during our month-long escape.

We feel as though the camp host, Dick, has become a dear friend.  And we met some wonderful campers.  Kathryn and Albert helped me search for a lost wallet —

Rear view of the 1923 Ford

which Ron later found in my jacket pocket after I had called the bank and canceled my debit cards and was on hold to cancel my credit cards.  So glad I had a long wait on hold.  🙂

And we really enjoyed meeting Virginia and Danny who were on their first outing in their new-to-them Shadow Cruiser.  They weren’t aware of the America the Beautiful Senior Pass that gives a 50% discount on camping fees at federal campgrounds, so it was our joy to share that

Beautiful proof that spring has really arrived!

information with them.

So now we will head home.  I’ll do some maintenance on the Aliner and probably put in my square foot vegetable garden and some flowers, and settle back into everyday home life.

But we will still plan on getting out for a week long camping trip each month.  Maybe we can make it to the Blue Ridge Mountains to cool off  in July or August when the weather is  really hot this year.

Sparkly rocks found down by the lake.

Hopefully I’ll get the Aliner paid off in July and start saving for a nice down payment on a Scamp 5th wheel, which is the larger camper Ron and I have decided would work best for us and our 6 cylinder truck.

We did go fishing this afternoon.  We didn’t even get a bite, but did enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery from the fishing dock.

And tonight there is a bright moon and beautiful stars in a clear sky.  So it’s the perfect ending to a very good trip.

Redbud trees are bursting into bloom all through the woods.

Last Day at Indian Springs

View of the Aliner from the next campground

Today was another beautiful day.  Tomorrow we head home.  Tomorrow’s weather forecast predicts 100% thunderstorms.  If it’s too bad in the morning to travel, we might stay here one more day.  But Ron is antsy to get home as he needs to get a prescription filled.

I, on the other hand, would be happy to never go home!  🙂

This stump holds water and reminded me of a doggie bowl for wildlife.

The oldest camper (see yesterday’s post) is back from visiting her friend, so tonight is actually her first overnight camping trip.

On our walk today, I gave up trying to get nice landscapes until things green up a bit.  Instead I concentrated on trying to find interesting details to photograph.

Fishing pier at Campground #1

Fishing pier at Campground #1

Part of what makes staying here so wonderful is the camp host, Dick.  He is the friendliest camp host I have ever met and goes out of his way to make everyone feel welcome and comfortable.

He has been here for two years and is fulltiming (with his dog Willie) in a tiny Tab.  But he did say that he wants to get something a little bigger–maybe in the 22 foot range.

We built a cheery camp fire this evening that made sitting outside in the chilly evening a memorable way to end our vacation.

Above ground tree roots

Campground #1 is closed until the crowds pick up a bit. I liked it even better than our Campground #2.

Field garlic along the roadside

Attractive site in Campground #2

Terraced campsites in Campground #1

Dick, the world's friendliest camp host with Willie

Ron and the camp fire

Heading Home

Sunny wasn't feeling well the past few days. Here he is snuggled up in his jacket on Ron's pillow.

We left Indian Springs State Park as late as we could today.  Checkout time is 1:00, and we pulled out around 12:30.

We stopped and chatted with Dick, the camp host on our way out.  He has been there 2-1/2 years and the park has asked him to stay another 6 months.  He is fulltiming in a tiny T@b!

On the way out, I got a photo of the swimming beach from the road.  Another thing to check out on a future warm-weather visit.

The trip home was uneventful, except for Ron’s burrito supreme oozing out onto the truck seat. 🙂

I have discovered something about myself.  When we travel on interstates or on roads I am familiar with, traveling is pretty boring.  But as soon as we get off onto a state or country road that I have not been on before, I am so excited I can hardly stand it to see what’s around the next curve.  It’s a childlike joy of discovery.

I AM easily entertained!  😀

A view of the swimming beach from the road

Our favorite town that we pass through on our trips to Florida is Noonan, Georgia.  It prides itself on having a beautifully restored historic district.  It reminds me of the Gone with the Wind era.

When we were almost home, we stopped by the post office right before they closed.  It was jam packed, and I was very uneasy waiting in the truck, taking up too much space with the trailer, while Ron went in to pick up our mail.

We are finally home and it feels good to have room to spread out and unwind.

Here are some photos of the old houses in Noonan.  They were taken from a moving vehicle, so aren’t the greatest.  But the old houses are so lovely.

Indian Springs State Park, GA

Our site at Indian Springs State Park

Our site at Indian Springs State Park

Our little Aliner is parked at Indian Springs State Park in Middle Georgia tonight.  It’s a gorgeous place.  There are very few campers here, so it is peaceful and very private.

Turning off I-75 onto Highway 42 felt like entering another world.   It’s a curving, two lane, very rural road still sporting autumn colored scenery, with several cattle operations along the way.

behind our site

Our back yard

We built a camp fire, and Ron grilled burgers.  As we were sitting around the fire after dark, Ron remarked, “This is real camping!”  It couldn’t have been a more relaxed and satisfying camping experience.

There is so much here to explore, but unfortunately we don’t have time to check out the Creek Indian museum, the springs, or any of the other beautiful sights.  We definitely plan on coming back when we can spend more time.

view from our deck

View from our deck

at the park entrance

At the park entrance

Ron gathering kindling

Ron gathering kindling with Sunny supervising

Ron preparing kindling

Ron preparing the kindling

me starting the fire

Me starting the fire. I was prepared with LOTS of paper towels!

got the fire going

I got the fire going!

Ron grilling burgers

Ron grilling burgers

We did discover that this is the oldest state park in the country.  Amazing that it is still so unspoiled.

Oh… I did want to mention the camp host.  He is probably the friendliest and most helpful camp host I’ve ever run into.  His name is Dick.  I’m curious to find out if he is here year round or not.  He seemed genuinely disappointed to hear that we were only staying one night.

 

Talladega National Forest

our Aliner campsite

Our campsite

We just got back from a week at Coleman Lake Campground in the Talladega National Forest in the Alabama hills.

The sites are spaced pretty far apart in a heavily wooded setting, so we felt like we had our own little hideaway in the woods.  A short trail led to the lake’s fishing, swimming, and trail areas.

The plant diversity is astounding.  I took

primeval looking forest

Primeval looking forest carpeted with bracken fern

hundreds of photos of plants suited to many different environments… from low,  almost primeval looking fern swamps to steep, hilly hardwood and pine forests.

A small swimming beach was usually host to children and young people early in the day.  Later, when the people left, Canada geese brought their families out for leisurely paddling around the lake.

A few people rowed out on the lake to fish while we were there.   And one couple went

hilly trail

Trail through the hills

frog gigging and came back with seventeen bullfrogs.  Ron chatted with them as they were skinning and cleaning the frog legs.

Can’t say that’s my cup of tea, but it is nice that there is an area where those who enjoy such things can pursue their interests.

Past the swimming beach on the lakeside trail, we took a side trail and stumbled upon a beautiful little hidden grotto complete with small waterfall.  Screened by rock walls and a profusion of tall flowering shrubs and trees, we felt as though we had stumbled upon a secret hideaway.

hidden grotto with small waterfall

Hidden grotto with small waterfall

Coleman Lake swimming beach

Coleman Lake swimming beach

For the first time ever, we had camping equipment stolen this trip.  Saturday night (with the campground full of weekend campers) our Weber Baby Q gas grill disappeared.  We went into town Sunday to replace it, but couldn’t afford another Baby Q, and I didn’t like the cheap, flimsy model that Walmart had available.  So we returned to the campground without one.

Then Sunday evening the camp host stopped by our site carrying our grill!

“Bet you’re glad to see this!” they announced.

They had found it abandoned against a tree in the overflow parking area.  Another camper told them ours had been stolen, so they knew who it belonged to.

I had been pretty sick the first few days we were out, and the frequent rain was starting to wear on my nerves.  But I bounced back and felt a lot better so I could enjoy hiking.

And…. we found a huge amount of chanterelles!  And they wouldn’t have sprouted without all that rain.

I’ll save the chanterelle pictures for the next post.

pipsissewa

Sweet little pipsissewa (medicinal) was blooming all over the forest.

tiny islands

Little micro islands are forming on a submerged log in the lake

unknown showy white flowers

These strikingly beautiful shrubs with large, showy flowerheads were all over in the lower areas. I later identified them as Alabama's state wildflower, the oak leaf hydrangea. They are gorgeous!

common milkweed

Common milkweed were in full bloom. We only found one unopened flowerhead with the mild, broccoli flavored buds.

water arum

Water arum - wild calla

white bell flowers

Another small tree that I was not familiar with. The flowers are like small white bells. I later identified it as a sourwood tree.

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