Norris Dam SP, Norris, TN

Norris SP, TN 05-1-1

The highlight of the trip today was going through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Established by congress in the 1930’s as part of Roosevelt’s job creation program, the park is a true gem.  The border between Tennessee and North Carolina, and the Appalachian Trail run through the center of the 820 square mile Park.  If you get an opportunity to check out this beauty grab it!Norris SP, TN 03

Norris SP, TN 01

‘Blue Ridge Mountains’

Norris SP, TN 04

typical park scenery

Norris SP, TN 05-1

Norris Dam next to our campsite

After coming out on the West end of the park at Pigeon Forge, a busy tourist town best to avoid, we continued heading Northwest and ended up in Norris State Park next to the Norris Dam.  The dam is part of the Tennessee Valley Authority, again another successful part of Roosevelt’s job creation program during the 1930’s.

The plan is to make it to our last stop in Kentucky tomorrow, before heading home on Tuesday.

Advertisements

Twin Lakes Campground, Pendleton, SC

Twin Lakes Campground, Pendleton, SC 005

Water’s edge at the park

Twin Lakes Campground, SCAfter a six hour drive along the back roads of Georgia & South Carolina, we ended up in another nice Army Corps of Eng. campground.  We have stayed at 3 or 4 Corps Campgrounds and have always found them to be clean, roomy, and a great deal.

Tomorrow’s plan are to head for Norris Dam State Park in Tennessee.  To get there we’ll be taking the back roads again, through the mountains.  So tomorrow’s drive should be interesting.

Twin Lakes Campground, Pendleton, SC 011

Savannah, GA

Savannah GA 01

This morning Nancy & I set out to check out the city of Savannah, GA, which was one of the main objectives of our trip.  We were not disappointed.  Since the weather was not the best for a casual stroll (rain showers) we took one of the many tour busses through the historic part of town.

Savannah, GA 007
one of the many historic buildings
Savannah GA 020

Forsythe Gardens

Savannah GA 010

one of the city squares

The historic part of the city is a ‘planned’ city with at least 20 cool city squares throughout the district.  Many of the buildings were over 200 years old.

Savannah was certainly worth a visit!

Tomorrow we’ll again move on and plan on heading into South Carolina on our slow trip home and spent at least 1 day in one of the state parks there.

Faver-Dykes SP, St. Augastine, FL

Nancy in sun_edited-1Yesterday we made it to our last planned stop in the Sunshine State, a small, quiet campground 20 miles South of St. Augustine, FL.  All 20 sites are filled, but very private – just the way we like it.  Nancy is in hog-heaven laying out in the sun a lot.  I prefer the shade, but am loving the temps.

This morning we took a ride to St. Augustine, the oldest city in the US and check it out.  Pretty cool stuff with the main attraction the old Spanish Fort.

  Faver-Dykes SP, St-2   Faver-Dykes SP, St-3

Faver-Dykes SP, St-4

The plans are to leave here in the morning and head for Savannah, GA, where, depending on the weather, we plan to spend a few days before starting our way home.

Highland Hammock SP, Sebring, FL

There has been times I’ve been quick to judge, and yesterday after entering this park was one of those times.  The circus atmosphere of the large campground quickly turned me off, and if it wasn’t for the weather we probably would have moved on today.  Today, however we had a chance to discover the miles of biking and hiking trails, taking us through some breathtaking Florida landscapes.

Highlands Hammock SP, Sebring, FL 010

checking out one of the many hiking trails

Highlands Hammock SP, Sebring, FL 016

boardwalk taking us thru the wetlands

The hiking and biking we did today were certainly worth the stop.  In the morning we’ll be leaving the park behind and head for another State Park near St. Augustine.  Highlands Hammock SP, Sebring, FL 017

Highlands Hammock State Park, Sebring, Fl

Florida, the sunshine state sure lives up to its name.  The weather is hard to beat.  It does attract a multitude of people, the farther South, the busier it is.  The price you pay for nice weather in the winter.

image

The state park has all of its 130 sites filled.  This is as far South as we plan to go, and after two days here we’ll start heading North, hoping for quieter areas.  We may have to compromise on the weather a little.

Fore Lake Campmpground, Ocala Nat. Forest, FL

Fore Lake Camp, Ocala Nat

our spot for the next couple of days

After 4 hours riding through some boring panhandle landscape we ended up going thru the town of Ocala on our way to the campground.  Ocala is a busy town well divided between the haves and the have nots with some very large RV resorts.  With over 1200 horse farms, Ocala is also known as the horse capital of the world.

The weather was cooler with rain in the afternoon.  Not having to shovel it we didn’t mind.  Most state campgrounds we checked were fully booked.  I was getting worried we’d end up spending the night in a Walmart parking lot (they are free and quite popular here!). In the end this worked out great.

Fore Lake Camp, Ocala 1

campground scenery

We found a sweet spot in the Ocala Nat. Forest next to a nice fishing lake. No electric or water hook-up, but that does keep the big boys out.  At $6.-/night it’s hard to beat.

We also decided to get our Florida fishing licenses and try our luck.  All our planned stops the next week are on or near water, so we’re sure to load up on fish.