Road Trip #13 – Florida to Virginia & Back, Stop 1

We decided to do this road trip a little different from what we’ve done in the past.  Instead of moving every day or two, we are targeting a base location and staying there for a week or more and then moving on for 1 or 2 days and stopping at a different location for another week or more.  This method is a lot more restful as we can tour one day and loaf around the campsite the next.

Stop 1 – Eagle Hammock RV Park located on the Navy Submarine Base/Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic at Kings Bay, GA.  Having been stationed at Naval Station, Mayport in 1978 – 1981 we wanted to see how the NE Florida area had changed and to visit some places we never went to when we lived here.  So lookout, as we come “booming” in.

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Here we are entering our gated community for the next two weeks.

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  The road to Eagle Hammock took us past this display of power.

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The Navy sure knows how to build RV Parks.  Each site has full hook-ups including cable.  We were in the lakefront area and due to a previous lightning strike, instead of cable, we had dish!

Barb has wanted to go to Jekyll Island and St Simon’s Island for the longest time so they were the first places we visited.  Both islands are laid back, relaxing, resort islands.  First we drove around Jekyll Island and that was easy to do as the island is rather small.  The first area we went to was the Jekyll Island Club Resort.  How would you like to spend a week there?

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Having thoroughly driven around and toured Jekyll Island, we moved on to St Simon’s Island for another mobile tour.  My breathing issues and Barb’s knee limit the amount of walking we can do, so a lot of pictures are taken out the car windows.

When we got there we went in search of the St Simon’s Island Lighthouse.  We probably would have been able to find it quicker if it was nighttime, but we succeeded in finding it without any help from its light.

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The next site on St Simon’s is Christ Episcopal Church.  It was established there in 1738 as a mission of the Church of England.  I couldn’t remember all the history presented on the Georgia highway sign so I took a picture of it.  Read the history if you wish and then move on to the picture of the church.

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Leaving St Simon’s we drove through Brunswick and stopped in the port area for these images.  As the highway sign says, Brunswick was a strong supporter in the ship building industry during WWII.

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Also nearby, a three-masted sailing ship, the “PEACEMAKER”, was moored.

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Not wanting to bore everyone with my chatter, I’ve decided to split Stop 1 into two posts, so stay tuned for more when I can put it all together.

Road Trip #9, Part 6 – Leaving Pennsylvania Behind

We had spent about two weeks in Lancaster before continuing our trip.  During this leg mechanical issues developed in the truck:  the alternator/voltage regulator stopped working properly and the headlight switch also started to fail.  All of this developed on our way to the Fredericksburg, VA KOA.  The next day these issues continued on our way to Virginia Beach and at the junction of I-95 and I-295, north of Richmond, VA, the truck “died” on the left shoulder of the Interstate.  I placed a call to AAA.  Thank heavens we carry AAA RV Plus.  A wrecker was dispatched and when it arrived, he ran a test with his voltage meter and everything indicated normal, so we opted to continue our trip east.  We managed to go about 30 miles before we broke down again.  I called AAA again, and this time we dropped the trailer, got the truck up on the rollback, hooked up to the trailer and continued the 80 miles to Virginia Beach.

What a way to arrive at the campground (dedicated campers.)

We had planned a week with Bob and Donna, (Barb’s brother), so we had plenty of time to get the truck repaired and have a super family visit that residential geography and employment restrictions had prevented in past years.

Our next leg took us to Mount Pleasant/Charleston, SC via the KOAs at Rocky Mount/Enfield, NC and Lumberton, NC.  During this trip I noticed that the trailer seemed to be riding a little bit lower than it should have and upon arrival at Mt. Pleasant, SC I had it checked out at Palmetto RV Sales and Service.  Inspection revealed that the right rear shock absorber had failed and we had the shock replaced at a local Firestone repair shop.  We stayed a couple of days longer to sightsee the area.  We had also acquired some hitch damage to the trailer during the tow to Virginia Beach, so we bought the replacement parts at Corbin’s Hitch Shop and I made the repairs at the CG.  During a shopping visit at the local Camping World, Barb wandered around the RV showroom and “checked out” some Class C motorhomes.  She had never been in one before and seemed impressed with her window shopping.

Our original 45 day trip has now reached 54 days and we still have about 10 days left.  Whew.  Both of us are getting a little tired, and set-up and tear-down has become a physical chore that neither of us relish.  Next trip will be shorrrrr-ter.

Anyway, the next stop was Palm Coast, FL to spend a couple of days with our youngest nephew and his family.  We had a fantastic visit which included a ride in his Grady White fishing boat out to the Intracoastal Waterway and lunch at “Captain’s BBQ”.

We finally started our last leg, the one day trip home, on November 2.  We weren’t 10 miles up the road from Flagler Beach, where our campground was located, when Barb said “Do you hear that?”  I said “what?”  She said “Don’t you hear that?”  I said “Hear what?”

 

Road Trip #9, Part 5 – Headin’ Back South

Following an enjoyable 6 days in Rhode Island we decided that it was time to head back south, so on September 30 we packed up and headed out across Connecticut for the Hudson River.  Our destination campground was the NYC North KOA in Plattekill, NY, just north of Newburgh.  An intended stop while here was the US Military Academy at West Point, but with the rainy weather and “Post 9/11” visitor and tour restrictions we were physically unable to take a tour.  When we hooked up our electric in the campground, we apparently didn’t securely plug our 30 amp power cord into the receptacle and we blew a circuit breaker and suffered an electric failure.  The KOA folks were very helpful and we finally resolved the issue.  We were going to stay for two nights, but a continued rainy weather forecast and my breathing issues were slowing us down so we decided to forfeit one night’s camping fees and we moved on the next day.  Our next destination was the Allentown KOA in New Tripoli, PA.  This was another nice KOA.  We spent a night here and then on October 2, we moved to the Lancaster, PA area and the Country Acres Campground in Gordonville, PA.  After setting up we enjoyed a free supper at the US-30 Diner.  Evidently a former sailor spotted my Retired Navy hat and bought our supper.  Thank You Shipmate!!

As we were working our way south, Hurricane Matthew was working his way north up the east coast and we recognized that we would have to make some adjustments in our planned route.  The first thing we did was scratch Annapolis, Washington, DC and the Viet-Nam Memorial from our itinerary and sit out the storm in the Lancaster area.  Also, my portable oxygen concentrator had become almost a constant companion and my breathing issues made our setup and teardown more difficult.  Barb was having to do more and more of the heavy work as I was getting winded so quickly.

On October 3rd we celebrated Barb’s Big Seven-oh with breakfast at Dienner’s Country Restaurant in Ronks, driving around the area and sightseeing and then dinner that night at Miller’s.  The food in the Lancaster area is out of this world and I’m sure we put on a couple of pounds.

The Amish farms are immaculate when it comes to cleanliness and being well maintained.  It’s hard to believe that these folks live without the convenience of electricity and modern machinery.  Notice in one picture the scooters on a bicycle frame.

For Barb’s friends at the MCSO, how’s this for a jail?

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My breathing issues progressively worsened and on a 6th of October emergency room visit for my severe shortness of breath, I was admitted to Lancaster General Hospital for four days.  I was released on the 10th and we hung around the area four more days while I regained my strength and on the

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14th as we sang “On the Road Again” and headed for Spotsylvania, VA and the Fredericksburg KOA.we were “eyeballed” by a youngster in the buggy in front of us.

Road Trip #9, Part 4 – Rhode Island

Having left Copake on September 24 it only took a day to drive to North Scituate, RI for a six night stay at Holiday Acres Camp Resort.  We spent our first day touring Newport including the harbor area and the town with its sailboats and mansions from Bellevue Street to Ocean Drive. What a beautiful sailing city.  We also took a drive to Narragansett to see the Point Judith Lighthouse.  Barb was reading a book centered around this area and the visit added credibility to her story.  Dinner was at Aunt Carries where Barb had fried clam strips and I had delicious fried bay scallops.

While we were camped in “Little Rhody”, we had lunch in Sturbridge with my cousin Janet, whom I haven’t seen since the 1950’s and her daughter Lisa.  What a great reunion we had.  We also had lunch at the Red Wing Diner in Walpole with Ken & Carol’s oldest son, Ken.  Our route took us past Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, home of the Patriots.

A day trip to Cape Cod was also on our agenda during the week.  We were both a little disappointed in Cape Cod as there weren’t the large seaside mansions that we had expected, but, we didn’t have the time to tour the entire cape either..

Road Trip #9, Part 3 – Fall Colors? What Fall Colors?

After leaving the Skyline Drive and the mountains of Virginia we took a route leading us to Cooperstown, NY, and the Baseball Hall of Fame.  I had been there years ago and Barb had never been, so our visit to the Hall of Fame was awesome.  Of course we saw the plaques of all of our favorite Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, notwithstanding those of our other favorite players from over the years.  Here are a couple of memories.

After two days in Cooperstown, we moved on to Copake, NY and a one week visit with our longtime friends, Ken and Carol.  We stayed at the KOA in Copake where the theme for the weekend was The Wizard of Oz topped off with a Saturday morning Hot Air Balloon fest.  The owner of the CG gave us a premier campsite right across the street from the balloon launch zone when she found out I was a photographer.

While in Copake we took a day’s ride to Poughkeepsie, NY.  I have a Revolutionary War ancestor, Casper Casparus Westervelt, who served as a private in the NY Militia in the 1700’s and is buried there.  We spent the day in the Dutchess county courthouses in Poughkeepsie unsuccessfully trying to locate the grave yard and came away with a copy of his will and the deed to his property.

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Upstate New York has such picturesque farms.

We had a fantastic visit with Ken and Carol but we were about a month too early for the change in colors in Copake.  Maybe we shoulda gone to Maine.  We heard that their trees had color.  Anyway it was time to move on to the next leg of our journey, so on September 24th we headed for Rhode Island, a small state in which we had previously spent a small amount of time.

Week 30, Theme 38 – Powerful

These three Union Pacific diesel-electric locomotives were captured in intermodal service in the Mojave Desert of California.  Each locomotive weighs 426,000 pounds and carries 5000 gallons of diesel fuel.  The electric generator is powered by a 16 cylinder diesel engine.  Each of the 6 axles is driven by individual traction motors creating a total of 4400 horsepower.  These three locomotives “lashed” together generate 13,200 horsepower.  Now that’s “Powerful”!

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Week 29, Theme 12 – Diamonds

Although “Diamonds” are a girls’ best friend, I’m not going to talk about that kind of diamond today.  Instead I’m putting on my railfan hat and will talk briefly on railroad “Diamonds”.  These diamonds are properly known as crossings, where one track crosses another at the same grade.  Crossings are generally 90o but can be constructed at varying safe angles to accomplish the needed result.  It gets its nickname from the shape of the space in the center of the crossing.

One of these crossings can be found in Plant City.  The Union Station Depot was built in 1908-1909 by both the Atlantic Coast Line (east-west line) and the Seaboard Airline Railroads (north-south line).1  Across from the Robert W Willaford Railroad Museum at the old Plant City Union Station Depot is a train watching platform and tower built in 2013.  The tower is a super vantage point to watch railroad activity with rail traffic northbound toward Wildwood, Jacksonville and Atlanta; westbound to Tampa and Bradenton; and eastbound to Lakeland, Miami and Orlando.GC2_0003 edit 1Some information was obtained from the Plant City Government website.