Camping Again!

Sheba, a sweet, happy camper

Sheba, a sweet, happy camper

Another cold front!  Actually, it’s low 80’s with a great breeze, but that is cool for our area.  So we headed to nearby McKinney Campground on Lake Allatoona.

Our site over the lake

Our site over the lake

We’ve camped at this campground before, but not at this end.  When we were here before, a maintenance man told us that in summer it’s a lot cooler on “the point” due to the breezes.  He was right.  It’s lovely here!

We heard on the news that someone drowned here last weekend.  We didn’t hear whether it was an adult or child.

On our picture-taking walk this afternoon, we did not find a single flower.  Everything is varying shades of green.  But as always, I’m hoping to find mushrooms.  We’ll see!

Ron with Sheba rolling in the grass by one of the little swimming beaches.

Ron with Sheba rolling in the grass by one of the little swimming beaches.

Little Sunny had to stay in the trailer while we walked.  He simply can’t make it that far anymore.

I’m adding a flower picture that I posted in my last entry from Coleman Lake.  It is a little flower that got lost on the page.  So I removed the surrounding vegetation and am posting it full size so you can see the glory of it.  What a beautiful creation!

Exquisite!

Exquisite!

 

 

Watson’s Mill Covered Bridge

Watson's Mill Bridge

Watson’s Mill Bridge

The bridge is still used by vehicular traffic.  The vertical clearance is 9'.

The bridge is still used by vehicular traffic. The vertical clearance is 9′.

Today Peggy and I took the trail from the campground to the covered bridge.  Although they have 7 miles of trails, it was only 3/4 to the bridge.  But it was narrow, steep and rugged in places.

I was delighted to realize I could do it without getting winded.  My recovery after quitting smoking last September is phenomenal! We did cheat and take the road walk back to the campground to avoid tripping on roots, though.

Bridge interior

Bridge interior

We could not have ordered more beautiful weather.  Warm, sunny, gorgeous, with a gentle, refreshing breeze and low humidity!  Spring at its very best.

I took tons of pictures of Peggy’s cute little 17′ Apex trailer.  She has done a beautiful job personalizing and decorating it.

I’ll post those pictures tomorrow.

closeup of joining pegs

Closeup of wooden joining pins

 

Peggy on trail bridge

Peggy on trail bridge

rugged narrow trail

Along the trail

 

Smooth, scenic trail near the old gristmill site

Smooth, scenic trail near the old gristmill site

Watson’s Mill Bridge State Park

 

Watson's Mill Bridge

Watson’s Mill Bridge

We’re at Watson’s Mill Bridge State Park in Comer, GA this evening.  It’s out in the middle of nowhere — far from a town of any size, in beautiful, green, rolling hill country.  It’s a small, very pretty park with one loop of huge camp sites, most of which are pull thrus for smaller rigs.

Here’s a little about the bridge from the campground’s website:

Watson Mill Bridge contains the longest covered bridge in the state, spanning 229 feet across the South Fork River. Built in 1885 by Washington (W.W.) King, son of freed slave and famous covered-bridge builder Horace King, the bridge is supported by a town lattice truss system held firmly together with wooden pins.  At one time, Georgia had more than 200 covered bridges; today, less than 20 remain.

I took the bridge photo in a light rain.  Hopefully tomorrow will be better picture taking weather.

We missed our turn twice on the way here, which added an hour and a whole lot of stress to the trip.  Peggy showed up shortly after we arrived.  She also had missed a turn that added an hour to her trip — and she was stressed out, too.

Our campsites

Our campsites

But once we got set up and had time to get together and talk, the pain of getting here was forgotten.  We had a wonderful time visiting.

After dinner, Ron and I planned to walk the dogs along one of the trails.  But the signs did not say how long the trails were or whether they were loops or not, and I was afraid of being caught out in the woods after dark.  So we’ll explore them tomorrow.

There are no photos of Peggy and myself because we looked too rain frazzled.  But the rain cleared up late today and the sun came out.  The next two days are supposed to be sunshiny and beautiful.

 

 

 

 

Whitetail Ridge

My favorite little camping buddy.  Sunny coming out of his sweater.

My favorite little camping buddy. Sunny coming out of his sweater.

Carla and Jerry stopped by this morning to say goodbye on their way into Montgomery to see some of the historical sites.

Our site at Whitetail Ridge

Our site at Whitetail Ridge

I had fallen asleep last night and slept like a rock –until around 12:00 a.m.  Then I couldn’t get back to sleep until around 5:30 this morning.  So I had a bit of trouble getting up and moving this morning.  When they stopped by to say goodbye, I stumbled outside looking pretty disheveled.

Waterfront access behind our site

Waterfront access behind our site

I sure hope they don’t remember me that way!

We were planning to go to one of the COE campgrounds farther south, but ended up deciding on Whitetail Ridge on West Point Lake.  I’m glad we did.  This place is gorgeous!!!

We are surrounded on three sides by water, so get to see the sun set over the lake, and also enjoy the afterglow reflected off the clouds and water behind our trailer.

Looking down the road from our site

Looking down the road from our site

It’s a little cool for camping.  I think we might head into town tomorrow and see if we can find an inexpensive screen room with a wind break so we can enjoy sitting outside while we are here.

Fiery sunset across the loop

Fiery sunset across the loop

The sunset reflected in the clouds and on the water behind our trailer.

The sunset reflected in the clouds and on the water behind our trailer.

Pre-Trip Excitement

Everything is packed in the Casita except the refrigerator foods, and they are next.  Dogs are bathed. Menus planned.  Crosswords squirreled away behind the cushions.  Long johns, long sleeved shirts, jeans, shorts and short sleeved shirts are packed.   This is the South, after all.

Ron is washing the trailer again.  He washed it yesterday, scrubbing embedded mildew off the roof using baking soda.  But baking soda streaks ran down the trailer and dried, so he’s washing that off right now.

I’ll freshen up the water system in a few minutes.

The anticipation and excitement of an upcoming trip finally struck me.  And I am loving it!

Cozygirl sent me a picture of the view from her campsite.  It’s beautiful!  And we’ll be right next door. You can see a sneak preview here.

We plan to head out tomorrow, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!  😀

It’s Gorgeous Here!

What a blessing to have such a beautiful, private spot!

What a blessing to have such a beautiful, private spot!

The campground is filled to capacity tonight, but we hardly know we have neighbors.  The way the sites are terraced in our loop, we really don’t even see the people on either side unless we make an effort to look.

The water down from our campsite.

The water down from our campsite.

I very gingerly ventured down to the water behind our campsite today.  It took some careful planning to keep from losing my balance and skidding downhill on my rear end.  Climbing back, I would aim for a tree and rest against it for a few minutes, then lunge uphill to another.  I managed to zig-zag my way back up to the campsite that way.

While I was down there I saw a nice fish that I could almost see “Tinycamper’s frying plan” written on.  But he swam away before I could get my camera out.  And no way am I climbing back down there to try to catch him!

Another view from the water below our site.

Another view from the water below our site.

I am zonked today!  I didn’t realize how badly all the pre-camping scrubbing, building, and preparing had worn me out.  But today I took a glorious, long nap with the windows open and the fan humming me to sleep.  And I’ll probably be in bed by 10:00 tonight.  Such sweet sleep!

There are only two places in the campground where it’s not too steep to fish from the bank, so we’ll check them out tomorrow.

Our site looking up from the water

Our site looking up from the water

Sheba the camp dog

Sheba the camp dog

Sunny after a walk

Sunny after a walk

Fern on sun dappled hill

Fern on sun dappled hill

Another tent site

Another tent site

Moss and lichen

Moss and lichen

Closeup of lichen

Closeup of lichen

Some critter had egg for dinner.  I don't know what kind of egg it is.  The shell looks too thick for a bird egg.

Some critter had egg for dinner. I don’t know what kind of egg it is. The shell looks too thick for a bird egg.

Evidence of root-grubbing critter

Evidence of root-grubbing critter

Odd juxtaposition -- dead stump and plastic bullets in the primitive camping area.

Odd juxtaposition — dead stump and plastic bullets in the primitive camping area.

I found lots of mushrooms today, but thought that ganoderma (Reishi) would probably be the only one of general interest.

I found lots of mushrooms today, but thought that ganoderma (Reishi) would probably be the only one of general interest.

West Point Lake

Our campsite on a narrow section of  West Point Lake

Our campsite on a narrow section of West Point Lake

We started meandering toward home today.  We weren’t sure how far we would feel like driving, so left our destination open.

Doggie room with a view

Doggie room with a view

After a while we decided we were feeling pretty good, so we decided to shoot for West Point Lake on the Alabama/Georgia border. We’ve camped here before and like it.  Our only concern was whether or not they would have any walk-in sites available late on a Friday afternoon.

I sent up a quick prayer that everything would work out for us–and it did!

There were only 3 or 4 sites left.  I told the gate attendants that we’d like something really easy to get into, as I was too tired to fight with a difficult back-in situation (some of the sites here are nerve wracking to get into), and something that would be nice for two dogs.

Army Corps of Engineers doggie pen :)

Army Corps of Engineers doggie pen 🙂

They suggested we would probably like site 91.  It’s a pull-thru, but it’s on a  narrow part of the lake so didn’t offer an expansive lake view.  That sounded fine with us.

When we got to the site, we really liked it.  It’s a small site, but has a nice deck on 3 sides with benches for our stove and grill.  The picnic table area projects farther out than the rest of the deck.  Since we didn’t need to use the picnic table, we decided that it was a perfect place to fence in to corral the dogs.

One particular little dog would much prefer to be leashed than caged.

One particular little dog would much prefer to be leashed than caged.

We’re pooped tonight.  So this will be a short post just to let you know we arrived safely.  We plan to leave here the 30th, as I need to be home by the 1st.

I apologize for all the dog chatter, but we were too tired to do any interesting camping-type things this evening — other than grill ribs.  🙂

Beach Rats & Mourning Doves

Beach rat

Beach rat

I spent most of the morning under the awning or inside surfing and cleaning the trailer trying to  hide from the sun.  I didn’t want my bad sunburn to get any worse.

Another view of the beach rat

Another view of the beach rat

By afternoon I couldn’t stand the inactivity any longer, so took off on the trail toward the Fort.  That part of the island is a lot prettier than the nature walk area, I think.  Also, I didn’t want to leave without seeing the beach on the Bay side.

I was underwhelmed with the Bay after seeing the spectacular turquoise Gulf.  There was a big oil slick (at least I think that’s what it was) that made the water look dirty.  So I didn’t stay there long.

Pensacola Bay from the picnic area

Pensacola Bay from the picnic area

On the trail I met a guy who was just finishing up a hike of the entire Florida Trail.  I was thrilled at his accomplishment, but I can’t say I didn’t feel a twinge of envy.  🙂

When I got back from my walk, I settled down in the shade and started working a crossword.  I looked up and saw two mourning doves strolling through our campsite.  After I had gotten several photos, I glimpsed something dark out of the corner of my eye.   When I turned to look,  I saw FOUR rat-like creatures just a few feet behind my chair.  I was too curious to be afraid.

Mourning dove

Mourning dove

Three of the rats disappeared into the underbrush, but one busied himself eating leaves a few feet from my chair.  Then the doves ambled over toward the same area.   They got within two or three feet of the rat, totally ignoring him… and the rat ignored them right back.

I wasn’t sure if they were really rats or not, so I showed a couple walking past our site the header photo and asked them if they knew what it was.  The guy said, “I think it’s a rat.”  Other campers had told us that since the rain the other day the rats had come out in force.  So Ron walked over to the camp host’s site and asked him what they were.

Another dove photo

Another dove photo

He said, “They’re beach rats.  They won’t bother you if you don’t bother them.  But if you mess with them, they will bite.”

The armadillos are so brave, they will venture within a few feet of Sheba, and only run away when she starts barking at them.  None of the animals here show any fear at all.

I ended up cooking chicken tenders this evening.  Sorry, Wayne… we’ll have to catch Jo Patties next time!

Pair of doves

Pair of doves

We leave tomorrow for parts unknown.  Friday is a bad time to leave without reservations, but we’re not sure how far we’ll feel like going, so we’ll find someplace to stay.  If all else fails, there is always Walmart.  🙂

Rat and doves together

Rat and doves together

One of the ever-present armadillos rooting for food

One of the ever-present armadillos rooting for food

Feels Like Home

Palmettos and ferns

Palmettos and ferns

Primitive tent site

Primitive tent site

Cypress swamp

Cypress swamp

One of the water-only sites

One of the water-only sites

WordPress is redoing the way they handle photos so I have no control over the placement tonight.  Sorry.

Rarely do I feel like I am back “home” when I come to Florida.  But being out in rural north Florida with the palmettos, ferns, Spanish moss… and the old-Florida peace and quiet… stirred long-dormant memories today, and I finally experienced a strong sense of being home again.

Playground and swimming beach

Playground and swimming beach

This campground is just beautiful.  This morning a few of the rigs on the lakeside moved out and we could have grabbed one of them.  But I just love the way our site is situated, so was very content to stay here.

Ron drove to Live Oak to pick up our mail from Mom’s today and then he did some shopping.  So I got to pretend I was solo camping for a few hours!  What a lovely, peaceful interlude it was!

Since Gail converted her cargo van to a camper van, I have been fascinated by van dwellers.  We have one in the water only section of the campground.  I would love to strike up a conversation with him or her. 
I took a photo of his or her rig, but won’t post it since I didn’t get permission.
This evening I heard a loud rustling in the brush out in front of our site.  I got a flashlight, then spotted the small possum who was making all the fuss.  He took off before I could grab my camera!

Site on the Water & Wild Muscadines

Our new campsite

Yesterday we extended our stay until Sunday.  Since our site was reserved by someone else for the weekend, we had to move.  It really worked out well for us, because one waterfront site happened to be available and we got it!

Storm moving in

The weather yesterday ran the gamut from drizzly in the morning, bright sunshine early in the afternoon, then a ferocious, short lived storm late in the afternoon.

I was out walking the dogs while Ron did laundry when the sky darkened and a very frightening wind started tearing through the campground.  I was so afraid that our awning would be destroyed.  I raced back to the campsite on foot, and Ron left the laundromat when he saw the wind.  We got to the trailer about the same time.  By then the worst of the wind was past, and the deluge hit.

Fortunately the awning wasn’t damaged and we were able to get it in without incident.

Sunny and Sheba

Today is the most beautiful day you could ask for.  Balmy, sunshiny, a delicious breeze, and all the joys of camping on the water.  I have loved watching the boats, jet skis, and even a giant houseboat go by.

Mostly, I’ve just basked in the peace of the panorama of blue skies and blue water while I worked on a cross stitch project for the trailer.   It’s a bicycle in grass with its basket brimming with flowers.  The caption reads, “It’s all about the JOURNEY.”  Isn’t that perfect for a Casita?  I plan to put it on the divider wall.

Wild muscadine grapes

On one of our walks today we found wild muscadine grapes!  A few were ripe enough to pick and eat.  What a fun surprise.

Ripe wild muscadines

 

 

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