Welcome to our Travel Blog!

Hi, and welcome to our RV Travel Blog! We hope you enjoy our writings. If you are a camper, I hope you find them helpful. The posts are list in order from recent back to earliest.... so if you want to read in order that they were written, scroll down or click the "Previous Posts" on the right. Also look at the "Archive" links on the right. Our trip and family photos are in the Dotphoto.com site in the links section on the left.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hunting Island SC

This past weekend, we took advantage of the long Veterans Day holiday and visited Hunting Island State Park on the southern South Carolina Coast. Hunting Island is near Beaufort SC, and is not far across the river from Hilton Head SC. However unless you have a boat, you will need to drive about 70 miles to get to Hilton Head. It is also just south of Edisto Island. You can easily see Edisto from the the beach at Hunting Island, but again, it is about a 60 mile drive to get there.

The light house at Hunting Island (HI) can be climbed for a small fee of $2.00 per person. We arrived too late on Saturday to make the trek to the top, as it closes to climbers at 3:45.

Beaufort SC (pronounced Bew-fert) is a beautiful coastal town. It reminds one of Charleston only on a much smaller scale. There are many old historic homes to see. Guided or self-guided tours are available, as are carriage tours.

We left Friday morning and drove to HI, arriving at about 1:30 PM. Our checkin to the campground was a breeze, being greeted by two very personable camp host volunteers. HI State Park is one of the most popular state parks in South Carolina, and most of the sites are reserved well in advance, as was ours. The greeters met us at the park entrance, verified our name, provided us with a park map, and sent us to site #22. We didn't even need to get out of the RV.

This picture is not of our site, but of the campground road that runs right along the beach to the left. There are some smaller sites on the left of the beach road that accomodate tents only. The RV sites of varying sizes are on the right in this picture.

This next picture is of the campground from the beach. This is a rather old campground that was not designed specifically to accomodate today's RVs. The sites vary greatly in size, some are very large while only some of the smaller RVs or tent-trailers will fit on others.

But as you can see the beach is the attraction here and the beach is what keeps the campground reserved months in advance at a very high rate of occupancy.

This trip to the beach was very relaxing and enjoyable. After unhooking the Tracker and backing into our site, it was apparent that there would be no TV watching this weekend. There is very heavy tree cover across the entire campground. Imagine my surprise when, just to see what would happen, I received a strong satellite signal on the dish. Apparently I had stopped exactly where there was a small hole in the tree canopy and was aligned exactly with the DirecTV satellite. In spite of that, we still didn't watch any TV. This is just too beautiful a place, and the weather was too nice.

Here is a brief slide show with the highlights of the weekend. Some of the things you will see in the slide show include
  • Campground scenes
  • Trip to Fripp Island where the deer are perfectly comfortable walking around the homes and businesses
  • A drive into Beaufort with the beautiful old homes and harbour
  • Dinner at Dockside Restaurant in Port Royal just south of Beaufort where we watched the sunset.

Please enjoy the pictures and if you would like more information or just want to comment, please feel free to do so.

Chuck & Pam

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

DelMarVa and Colonial Williamsburg

There are not many things worse than a stale blog, so my sincerest apologies for not having updated this blog more often than I do. Apologies out of the way, we had a wonderful time last week in Colonial Williamsburg. And a few days before that we were in the DelMarVa Peninsula. I promise to write about it in a little more detail but I do want to get the basic journal down before we forget where we went and - more importantly - where we camped and ate!

For now, here is the general path we followed:

Thursday, September 20, 6:30 PM - Left after work headed as far north as we could get before tiring out too much. Drove to Raleigh up Hwy 49 in the RAIN! It hasn't rained at home in months, and here it is raining on us in Denton NC. But it has still not rained at home. We made it all the way to Roanoke Rapids NC on I-95 and pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot with a few other RVs about 11:00 PM.

Friday, September 21, 8:00 AM - Left Roanoke Rapids and stayed off of I-95 choosing to follow NC-158 over to Murphfreesboro then up toward Suffolk VA, across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, and all the way to our campground in Sanford VA. Not on the map, but as far north on the Chesapeake Bay as you can get and still be in Virginia.

Saturday, September 22. Left the Tall Pines Harbor CG in the toad and drove over to Chincoteague Island to cruise around, look at the ponies, and have lunch at a nice little outdoor place that served up GREAT sandwiches. We shared a hugh shrimp salad sandwich at the Sea Star Carryout. While there we also checked out Toms Cove CG - looks like a pretty good place to stay, and the Inlet View CG - A DUMP to be avoided at all costs!
Later we drove on up to Ocean City MD, drove up the beach to Bethany Beach DE and wet out toes in the water there... an new state for both of us.
Back across the peninsula we go to Crisfield MD for a very good meal at the Captains Galley while we watch the sun go down over the Bay.

Sunday, Sept 23. Lazy morning at the campground, and then a short drive down US-13 to Kiptopeke State Park near Cape Charles just north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. This state park has full hookup campsites. It is on the site of the old ferry terminal. No longer used for that purpose, it has a nice sandy beach just a short walk through the woods from the campground. A large fishing pier, and boat ramp are where the ferrys once docked. This would be a nice place to spend a few days... IF you are there when those darn black flys don't bite you.

Monday, Sept 24. Back across the CBBT and up to Williamsburg VA. We arrived at the American Heritage RV park about 2:30 in the afternoon in time to settle in before meeting our dear friends from Austin TX. Dinner that night was at the Kings Arms Tavern in the historic district. This is one of the taverns that served the likes of Thomas Jefferson and his contemporaries in the 18th century. Our dinner consisted of Smoked Salmon for Pam and baked Tilapia stuffed with shrimp and oyster stuffing. Very good...but these old eyes have a hard time reading the menu and the check with only candlelight.

Tuesday, Sept 25. All day walking around Colonial Williamsburg... and it was a hot day too with temperatures in the upper 80's. We started at the visitors center, rode the shuttle bus to the Governors Palace to start our tour of the area. Lunch was at Chownings Tavern on Duke of Glouchester Street (sandwiches and cold water in the outdoor eating area under an arbor.) In the afternoon we walked to the Colonial Capital Building where we heard Thomas Jefferson speak. The interpreter/actor did a fine job of representing Mr. Jefferson and playing a little to "Pop" history. I don't think Mr. Jefferson would have been at all comfortable speaking to a group like this and answering questions from the audience...but it sells in Williamsburg, and it was fun.

The evening found us at "The Whaling Company" a local seafood eatery outside the historic district, but not far from town. Great fresh seafood again. I think we would never tire of fresh seafood.

Wednesday, Sept 26. Again the day spent walking around Colonial Williamsburg. Touring the Capital Building, several houses, shops where artisians practice crafts as they would have done them in the 17th and 18th century. For example a saddle maker, cobbler, silversmith, foundry, gunsmith, and watchmaker. Lunch was outside the historic district in an area of modern shops and restaurants called Merchants Square near the College of William and Mary. We went to a place called The Cheese Shop, that was a fantastic Deli, and very crowded at lunch time. Tuna Salad sandwich for me and Crab Salad for Pam.
More walking in the afternoon and a quick trip back to the RV to freshen up before dinner. It was over 90 degrees today! Dinner was at Christiana Campbells Tavern. This is another restaurant in the historic district that maintains the historic atmosphere.

Thursday September 27. Time for a change in scenery and temperature. Today we drove to Charlottsville to visit Montecello, Thomas Jefferson's mountain. About a 2 hour drive from Williamsburg brought us to Michies Tavern at noon. This place has been serving travelers great meals since the early 1700's, and was no dissapointment to us either. The lunch buffet was probably one of the best I ever sampled, with home cooked vegtables and peach cobbler with home made ice cream.
On to Montecello, we toured the mansion and spent another hour or so just walking around the grounds, gardens, and viewed Thomas Jefferson and his family burial grounds. What a genuis this man obviously was.. whether or not you arreed with his politics and style, he was an extraordinary person.

All Jefferson all the time??? That evening dinner was The Jefferson restaurant back in Williamsburg.

By the way, while we were on the mountain, we heard a couple of the security guards talking about a celebrity being there too. It turns out tha Bob Dylan who was doing a show at UVA that night, rode his motorcycle up to see Mr. Jefferson's house too. We didn't actually get to see him, he was taking the house tour while we were in the garden areas.

Friday September 28. Boys and Girls split up today. The ladys went shopping at the outlet stores while us guys went to do more history. Jamestown and Yorktown. Then back to the RV for a rest in the shade, then (what else) out to dinner on the waterfront in Yorktown. Nicks Waterfront Restaurant was very good. Again, great seafood and a beautiful view of the York River. There was a concert on the green in the waterfront park in Yorktown while we walked off our meal on the new Riverwalk Park area. Then time to say goodbye. Flights back to Austin Saturday morning dictate a farewell this evening. What a great vacation this has been.

Saturday September 29. Very cool and breezy this morning. Get the RV packed up and ready to go about 10:30 for the trip home. Taking our time, we cruise up Hwy 5 along the James River past many plantations, and back over to I-85 headed south. This gets us home about 6:00 PM.

Wow.. what a nice trip, and after the planning and the anticipation it's already over.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Blue Ridge Weekend.

This weekend, we were able to leave late Friday afternoon and go to Marion NC and the Buck Creek Campground. This was a nice little campground with sites right along Buck Creek, just off of Hwy 80 North of Marion NC on the way up to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Buck Creek is not an RV "resort" but a true campground type of place. Very well kept, the owner lives on the property, and it provided a very nice getaway to the mountains without having to really climb the mountains.

Highway 80 is a scenic and very curvy and steep drive up to the parkway. From it's intersection with the Parkway, it is about 16 miles south to Mt. Mitchell State Park.

We were a little dissappointed in that after getting to Mount Mitchell on one of the only times I have ever been there with the sun shining and the weather nice, we found that the observation tower on the summit was closed for rebuilding. The project will take all summer and the tower is scheduled to reopen in September of 2007.

From there we went south to Asheville and had dinner at the Jack-o-the-Woods pub. Always good pub food and burgers, we enjoyed Fish and Chips and a burger before heading back to the campground and a late afternoon swim in one of the swimming holes on beautiful Buck Creek at the campground.

Check out some of our pictures including a few of the campground on our Dotphoto.Com site.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Southernmost! and back.

Well, after all of the planning and waiting and anticipation, we have been to the southernmost point in the continential US and back...Key West Florida. What a wonderful place to visit. It is such a nice combination of so many things and places. The "Conch Republic" is a very unique place with so many flavors thrown in to spice things up.

I don't have time right now to write all I want to about this place, but will get to it eventually, bur for now, just look at these pictures by clicking the link: Key West Photo Show. I put together a set of our favorite pictures, or you can see the album by clicking on the "DOTPHOTO.COM" link on the left of this page.

Just so you'll know, we left Monroe Thursday night and drove to Brunswick GA where we pulled into a Wal-Mart parking lot about 10:00 PM. We shared the outer part of the parking lot with 3 other RVs that night, and were on the road by 7:00 the next morning.

All day driving got us through central Florida to Homestead/Florida City that night, where we found an RV park. We took our time getting there so we could detour around Lake Okeechobee, which we had never seen before.

By 9:30 we were on the Old Dixie Highway (US-1) headed on the only road south toward Key West. We took our time - what else is there to do? - and arrived at Bluewater Key RV Resort
about 1:00 PM. WOW! What a place. We have NEVER stayed at an RV park that was much more resort than RV park. Here is a picture of our parking site for the next 5 days.
We spent the next 5 days exploring in and around Key West, the Lower Keys from Little Torch Key to Key West, and just hanging around our waterfront site enjoying the beauty of this place.

I think I'll just keep paddling!!!

On Friday morning, we left and drove to Flagler Beach between Daytona and St. Augustine FL. That was a 400+ mile drive that put us in our beachside campsite at the Gamble Rogers Memorial Recreation Area about 5:00 PM that evening. We stayed there Saturday enjoying the beach before heading home Sunday.

Please look at the pictures and leave comments and questions. If you are a camper and want info on the places we stayed, let me know and I will write more details or send you info in an email.

I do plan on writing more about what we did and where we stayed as time permits.

Again, all your questions and comments are welcome.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Edisto Beach SC

This is what you call a campground on the beach. I know we have been here before, but this time we were camped right behind the dunes. I don't have much time to write, but did want to share some of the pictures:

Visit our Dotphoto.com site to see all of our pictures for this and other trips. (See Link in Menu on Left side of this page)

Next: Key West for our anniversery/birthday trip. We will be going to Key West and staying at Blue Water Key RV Resort for 4 days, then moving to the Curry Hammock State Park after that for a couple of days. Then on the way back home, we plan on a 2 night stop over at Gamble Rogers State Park on the Atlantic coast between Daytona and St. Augustine. Can't wait!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Spring Trips to Edisto and Key West in the Planning Stage.

Here it is, the dead of Winter. In fact it going down to 18 degrees here tonight according to the "Storm Tracker Team". I feel kind of bad whining about that when I see that the high tomorrow in Chicago is going to be only 1 degree above 0. But it helps to think about the next RV trips we will take. Our plans are for a late March weekend trip to Edisto Island State Park, and an early May week to the Florida Keys

Our spring birthday weekend trip in March is to Edisto Beach State Park. Here is a picture we took on an earlier trip to Edisto. At Edisto there is a large loop at the end of the campground IMG_1528that is right on the beach... as in right ON the beach. This picture was made from the beach looking back to that loop. The site we have reserved for our March weekend trip is about where you see the RV right in the middle of this picture. These sites are very hard to reserve due to their popularity. Right after Christmas, I was checking out the reservation system and saw that site available for a Friday and Saturday that happen to be Pam's birthday weekend. I went ahead and reserved the two days.

We will probably take off work Friday, and hopefully leave home after work Thursday, driving as far as we want to Thursday evening and finding an overnight parking place somewhere down the road. That will put us into Edisto early Friday so we will have almost another whole day there. I was thinking, that since this is to be such a short trip, we should leave the Tracker home. But Pam reminded me what a shame it would be not to have another dinner at the "Old Post Office" restaurant in Edisto...so I guess we'll take the Tracker.

We are also planning our big Spring Break Trip to the Florida Keys. We will take a full week for that trip and plan to stay 4 nights at the Bluewater Key RV resort. It is one of the nicest places we have ever considered staying and it is only 12 miles from downtown Key West. After that, we will move to the Curry Hammock State Park near Marathon, then stop over for two nights on the way home at Rogers Gamble State Park between Daytona and St. Augustine. All of these campgrounds are right on the water.