It seemed like everyone in the nation – and much of the rest of the world, apparently – was eagerly anticipating the Great Eclipse of 2017. I was among them. And I was fortunate that my granddaughter asked me to take her somewhere in the mountains where she could view it.
Location / Name: Grayson Highlands State Park Hickory Ridge Campground, Mouth of Wilson, VA (Near Mt. Rogers)
Date: 08/01//2016 thru 08/05 (4 nights)
Grayson Highlands State Park came to my attention when I started rock climbing. I had heard it mentioned quite favorably several times in conversations in relation to bouldering, one form of rock climbing. On a trip to visit relatives in Roanoke, Virginia last year with my wife I wanted to swing by the state park to look it over, and we loved the ride up The Crooked Road and the wonderful views from within the park, so I knew then that at some point I wanted to spend a few days there in the campground. Things finally lined up and I was able to spend four nights there starting Aug 1, 2016. NOTE: Grayson Highlands State Park also has a horse campground that is not reviewed here.
Some dear friends of my wife and I invited us to join them in early February at Vogel State Park near Blairsville, Georgia, where they had a cabin rented on February 6 and 7. We love that area, and I wanted another excuse to get out in our new T@b camper trailer, so we headed up there and stayed in the campground Thursday through Sunday nights, Feb 5 thru Feb 8. This allowed us plenty of time to visit the area and well as visit with our friends. Read on for my report on the Vogel State Park campground experience.
My wife and I spent January 20-21, 2015, camping at Oscar Scherer State Park in Nokomis, Florida. We had hoped to stay for 4 or 5 days, but I was making the reservations only 2 or 3 weeks in advance, and I was only able to get 2 days at this very popular Florida State Park. Fortunately we were there for a visit with my wife’s brother and his family, and he and his wife kindly offered us their hospitality, so we availed ourselves of their generosity for a few days. That allowed us to not only enjoy their company, but also to visit some of the areas highlights such as the Venice Rookery and Caspersen Beach. More will be (or has been) posted on those, but this report is about camping at Oscar Scherer State Park…
My wife and I stayed for two nights at Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park near Keystone Heights, Florida on Thursday, 1/15/2015, and Friday, 1/16/2015 so we could visit my aunt. This state park is kinda in the middle of nowhere in Florida, so I wouldn’t have picked it except for the proximity to Penney Farms, where my aunt lives. However, it’s within an hour of St. Augustine, has a beautiful picnic grounds and several small, picturesque lakes, and seems to have a nice bird population. The relatively remote location means no city lights tainting the night skies, so star-gazing was great there. While I might try Anastasia State Park if I wanted to visit St. Augustine, Gold Head Branch State Park is an attractive alternative.
My wife and I stayed at High Falls State Park on January 14, 2015, as an overnighter on our way to Florida. The park is close enough to I-75 to make it worthy as an alternative to a more expensive hotel or motel, and I had hoped to have time to walk the trail along the river. We took more time en route than I had planned, however, so no time for the hike, but the park was nice, and I’ll probably make it there another time with a couple of spare hours to explore the park more.
On Tuesday night, Nov 11, Cindy and I stayed at Old Stone Fort State Park campground in our T@b travel trailer. We’d had the T@b for a few weeks, and for various reasons had not yet used it for overnight camping (although we did use it as a “respite” while we worked a consignment sale event for about a week.) I was anxious to try it out on a short trip so we could start tuning our procedures and expectations for some longer trip. We needed to make a run over west of Nashville to drop off a few items for my sister, and Old Stone Fort State Park is right along the path, so this fit the bill nicely, and allowed us to show off our new trailer to Sis.
What’s a T@b, you say? Well, first let me apologize to those of you that are expecting wildflowers in an article posted on USWildflowers.com. Gotta admit, this isn’t about wildflowers, although I hope that now that we have a T@b, we’ll be able to get further afield in photographing and identifying wildflowers. You see, a “T@b” is a small travel trailer.
My wife and I were trying to get back home on Friday, 10/5, for a grandson’s final football game of the season (6th grade), but we managed to carve out a few hours for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway between Roanoke and Hillsville in Virginia. We were glad we did. The weather was wonderful, and the colors, while not yet to peak, were quite wonderful.
My wife and I were going over to Waynesville, NC on Thursday to pick up a granddaughter who had been spending a few days with her best friend from Papua New Guinea. Being the fall color season, we wanted to take some time for some photographs in the mountains, so we left early, before 7 AM. It turned out that sunrise was just as we were getting to Lake Ocoee (also known as Parksville Lake), and the cool morning brought fog and mist with it. We also had time to take brief drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the daytrip to Waynesville.