High Falls State Park

The Casita at High Falls State Park in the Lake Campground

The Casita at High Falls State Park in the Lake Campground

Wednesday, December 19

We are at another of our very favorite stopping over points between Florida and home tonight.  We booked two nights to postpone going home as long as possible!

Ditch by entrance to campsite

Ditch by entrance to campsite

High Falls has two campgrounds — the larger, more modern River Campground, and the smaller, older Lake Campground.  The Lake Campground can only accommodate small rigs.  But it is so much more beautiful!

Backing into a site here is a real challenge.  The sites are laid out perpendicular to the road, so you have to back in at a 45 degree angle.  And there are DEEP ditches on each side of the driveway — AND also across the street where the truck has to swing off the road to navigate the trailer’s sharp turn.  I must have gotten out of the truck a dozen times to make sure I didn’t plunge into the abyss!

Ditch across street in our truck's turning radius

Ditch across street in our truck’s turning radius

Later Ron drove the truck to the store and he had a hard time just getting the truck backed in.  So I felt quite a sense of accomplishment at getting in here with the trailer.

We are alone in the campground except for the camp hosts who are out of sight behind a hill.  We have a view of the lake through the trees and are surrounded by woods.  This is the first time we’ve felt like we were really camping since we left home a month ago.

The sunset tonight

The sunset tonight

We got here too late to visit the falls this afternoon.  By the time we got set up, Ron went to the store and I fixed dinner, it was dark.

The night is cool, but not cold, and it’s lit by a very bright half moon.  It’s special here!

We are finally at peace with the decision to find a new home for Sheba.  Ron is taking pain meds for his sore shoulder.  And today Sheba scared me by barreling up a hill with me hanging onto the leash for dear life.  And this evening she whimpered so pathetically at being tied up — yet again.  Our little girl deserves better.

Sunset reflecting off Casita

Sunset reflecting off Casita

The world is changing.  Since we are camped at a semi remote site, I’m a little concerned about telling the world, “We’re old and we are camped all alone RIGHT HERE.”  So I’m doing this post tonight, but will save it as a draft and publish it after we leave.

Sheba -- tied up again :(

Sheba — tied up again 😦

Thursday, December 20

This WordPress template won’t let me put today’s entry beneath yesterday’s photos, so that’s why it’s here.

Today was rainy.  We only went outside to walk the dogs and take the trash to the dumpster, except for driving the truck closer to the falls so I could get a photo for the blog.  It was raining too hard to walk that far.

The water is unbelievably low now.  The first time we came, there was rushing water and white water rapids beneath the falls and way downstream.

Then, the last few times we were here, the water was very low, but nothing like it is now.

High Falls on a dreary, rainy day.  Only in Georgia would these be called high!

High Falls on a dreary, rainy day. Only in Georgia would these be called high!

Now all you see is black rock with a few little streams of water in the crevices between the rocks.  The scarcity of water combined with the wet, gray day made the falls a dreary sight.

Amazingly, due to the way I have the Casita arranged with separate twin bed areas, Ron and I and the dogs were all inside all day and didn’t feel cramped.   We read and surfed, and the dogs were content to just lie around on the floor.

The only thing bad about not being able to get outside was that I felt antsy at not being able to move around more.

Black rock at the base of the falls

Black rock at the base of the falls

Finally, right at sunset, the sky started clearing.  But then the wind and colder weather started moving in.  At least I was able to cook dinner outside.

We’ll head for home tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to a hot bubble bath!  🙂

It’s an Adventure :)

My little camping buddy

When we arrived at High Falls River Campground last night, I noticed that the battery was reading 9.23 amps.  Yikes!  There was no way we could have run it low!  So we plugged into the power pole and I checked it a little later.  It read 12.70.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  Then later I glanced at it and it was reading 17.95!  I immediately had Ron unplug from the power pole before the batteries exploded.

Shortly thereafter the battery charge had fallen to 10.20.  Ron checked the battery box, and the sealed batteries had leaked and corroded the tops.  It was obvious that they were toast.  The temperature in the refrigerator was 60 degrees.  So we operated by

Our camper at High Falls River Campground

flashlight last night and didn’t dare run anything so we could save any available battery power for the refrigerator controls.  Then this morning I checked the temperature in the refrigerator, and it read 65 degrees.

We asked the camp host where we could get someone to check out our electrical problems.  He told us there was a Camping World a little south of us in Byron.  So we stopped

The river at High Falls State Park in the River Campground

there, but they were backlogged with service work and didn’t have anyone available to work on our camper.  So the girl at Camping World called Mid-State RV across the interstate for us and told them we were losing the food in our refrigerator and asked if they could possibly squeeze us in over there.  They were backlogged, too, but told us to come on down there and they would try to work us in.

It turned out that the guy who I usually have do the work on our camper had hooked up the 3 stage smart charger, but had not fixed it so the old

Rocks across the river

converter would not charge the battery, too.  Apparently both of them were charging the battery.  Anyway, the old converter was fried, as were my expensive AGM batteries.   Mid-State RV was able to use my old converter as a breaker and fuse box, with the 3 stage charger charging the battery.  So the only thing I had to buy was a new battery. Instead of two 6 volt batteries, which is overkill for this tiny camper, I had them put in one Group 27 battery.  We can really tell the difference with the heavy load off the front of the trailer.

The campground is beautifully wooded

I was so happy they were able to get us fixed and on the road again!  But the temperature in the refrigerator is only down to 55 tonight.  Tomorrow morning I will throw out all the food in there, and we will restock it when we get to Mom’s… if the refrigerator gets down to temperature.  I hope it didn’t get damaged, too.

Tonight we are at Veterans Memorial State Park.  Almost all the sites are filled.  Glad we were able to get space without a reservation.

We went into town for dinner this evening and enjoyed a really good Chinese buffet.

A 13 year cicada on our picnic bench

I forgot to mention the cicadas.  When we were at High Falls, we kept hearing some kind of weird, non-stop equipment noise.  We listened and tried to figure out what it was.  Ron said, “I can’t tell which direction it’s coming from.  It sounds like it’s coming from everywhere.”

A little later I saw the cicada in the photo on our picnic bench and realized that’s what the noise was.  The 13 year cicadas are out in force.

Back to High Falls

The Aliner at High Falls

The Aliner tucked into a private site of the Lake Campground at High Falls.

We stopped by Mom’s for a couple of days after we left Salt Springs, then headed north toward home.

Our stopover point was High Falls State Park.  We loved the Lake Campground when we were here earlier and wanted time to explore the river trails.

The River Campground is huge and accommodates large and small rigs.  The Lake Campground only accommodates rigs up to 25 feet, so you mostly get the campers instead of the

window view

View out of our (very dirty) front window. The peace was pervasive here.

RVers here.  And the campers are our kind of people.

We were shocked when we saw the Falls.   They were a raging torrent when we were here before.  But the weather had been very dry and now they were a fraction of what they had been.  Where there had been white water rapids before, now there was a lot of bare rock exposed.

We took the River Trail to see if there were more interesting sights downstream.  Hiking in temperatures in the 90’s was

Two weeks difference in view of the Falls

The Falls during our visit two weeks ago and this visit.

not a lot of fun, but the scenery made it worthwhile.   Even though a lot of the rock riverbed was exposed, there were still a series of smaller, scenic waterfalls to enjoy.

One nice surprise on our walk was seeing a mother waterbird (heron?) and her two little brown babies.

Lower falls

Lower falls downstream

We also met a very friendly couple, Barbara and Butch, who had bought an ’84 34′ motor home in great condition.  They preferred the Lake Campground to the River Campground, and the office told them if they could get the motorhome into a site, they could stay there.  By backing onto their picnic table/fire ring pad, they made it!  Grandkids joined them for an overnight visit.

There was something so special about our time here.  A timeless sense of peace and well-being enveloped us.  We never wanted to leave.

Heron and babies

Heron (?) and her two little brown babies

But budgets are budgets, and after three nights, we had to pack up and head home.

And now, we are anticipating our October trip to North Carolina.

Downstream

Downstream

river rocks

River rocks

End of our walk

This is where we ended our walk and turned around.

river trail

A view from the trail

Ron and Sunny

Ron and Sunny on the River Trail

Stormy Trip to Florida

storm clouds

Stormy weather

We left High Falls State Park on Saturday and headed south to Florida.  The sky became progressively more threatening.  We couldn’t remember seeing such ominous clouds on any of our previous trips.  At one point, we thought it looked like a large funnel cloud was beginning to form, but thankfully, it never did.

We went through three different downpours where visibility was reduced to almost nothing, and the storms followed us all the way to Florida.

Ominous black clouds

Ominous black clouds

More storm clouds

More storm clouds

Turbulent skies

Turbulent skies

Funnel cloud forming?

This is the one we thought looked like it might be a funnel cloud beginning to form.

Near zero visibility

Near zero visibility

It seemed somehow fitting, since we were going home for Joanie’s memorial service.

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