Posted by: sunnyharvy | April 21, 2017

This Journey Concludes

After exiting Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park we headed to nearby Hume, Virginia where Harvest Host Desert Rose Ranch and Winery provided our picturesque overnight accommodation. The wine was good too!

Historic Mount Bleak House at Sky Meadows State Park in Paris, VA.

Absolutely love Dogwood blossoms!

Often towards the end of our journeys there comes a point when I am ready to be done with it. I have no interest in seeking out interesting new destinations or diversions, I just want to get home. This time that occurred right after we visited Al’s niece Jodi, her husband Rick, and daughter Miranda in Mt. Airy, MD.

We began our drive through Pennsylvania on scenic back roads as usual, but after a few hours we both decided it was time to make tracks on Interstate highways through the rest of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Lunch break next to this bridge over the Susquehanna River in Columbia, Pennsylvania.

Home Sweet Home somewhere on a Pennsylvania back road.

 And so ends my narrative of an enjoyable six month exploration of the Southeastern United States.

Posted by: sunnyharvy | April 21, 2017

Seeking Spring in Shenandoah

A few years ago we missed traveling through Shenandoah National Park due to the government shutdown. Since we did not want to drive up the eastern seaboard again, we headed across the State of Virginia to enter the park at Swift Run Gap. Our visit was during the busy Easter weekend so we made sure to arrive fairly early in the morning to snag a site at the Lewis Mountain Campground.

Lewis Mountain is the smallest campground in the park with just 31 sites. It was mostly populated by tent campers during our visit, so the atmosphere was quite laid back. A group of camping musicians provided a delightful impromptu concert before a wild thunderstorm struck the area.

We learned that this area was originally established “for colored visitors.”If you want to know more about segregation in the park click here.

Skyline Drive runs the entire 105-mile length of the park.

The vast Shenandoah Valley with a bit of rain falling in the distance.

Click on the panoramic photos to see larger images.

You can see that we were not there at the most picturesque time of year, but there were some refreshing hints of Spring present. I especially enjoyed the brilliant Eastern Redbud trees.

Other evidence of Spring required closer observation.

One of our hikes took us to Dark Hallow Falls. Not terribly exciting, but it felt good to get on a trail again.

Lunch on our convertible table with a spectacular view.

Not much clearance above haRVy’s 12-foot height on this tunnel!

But we made it through without a problem.

Onward!

 

Posted by: sunnyharvy | April 19, 2017

Final Days in North Carolina

Seems like it has taken a long time to get through North Carolina, but we have enjoyed the journey. We followed designed scenic byways when possible stopping to investigate whatever happened to draw our attention.

More roadside attractions.

A big storm must have pushed this boat was way upriver.

First time I’ve ever seen a “No Wake” sign for road vehicles.

Apparently feeding an alligator unintentionally is OK.

Mattamuskeet Wildlife Refuge

Lake Phelps in Pettigrew State Park

Somerset Place, which operated as a plantation from 1785 until 1865, is located within the State Park.

Cumulatively, Somerset Place was home to more than 800 enslaved men, women, and children of African descent.

The boat canal through the Great Dismal Swamp is closed until further notice due to damage from the flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew.

One of North America’s great wetland forests, the Great Dismal Swamp offered a refuge to runaway slaves, some of whom lived in maroon colonies deep within the swamp.

Our last stop in North Carolina in Moyock at the home of Boondockers Welcome hosts Leigh and John. They travel in a small Class B campervan as well so we had many stories to share. We enjoyed meeting this couple and look forward to hosting them this summer.

Posted by: sunnyharvy | April 14, 2017

Northeastern Carolina Backroads

Allow me to take you on a photograph ride along the back roads of Tyrrell County, North Carolina. I am not captioning the photos, but welcome your comments. Many of these structures are currently occupied.

Care to make an offer on this income property?

 

Posted by: sunnyharvy | April 13, 2017

The Long Way Home

Not being in too much of a hurry to get home to Rhode Island, we are taking our time and sometimes circuitous routes as we head in a generally northward direction.

Our first stop after leaving Florida in our wake was historic St. Marys, Georgia where we toured the submarine museum and camped at the Kings Bay Navy Base where they refit Trident submarines. Al worked on electronics for these giant subs.

Al dreaming about work again.

St. Simons lighthouse in Brunswick, GA.

One of our most interesting Harvest Host campsites was at Keller’s Flea Market in Savannah.

You could buy anything at this massive marketplace. From “fine” jewelry…

…to the latest men’s footwear

and the widest assortment of stove burner covers anywhere!

A few vendors had some nice antiques.

Al found the placement of tires next to fresh produce a bit strange.

This great old school bus was outback with lots of other rusty relics.

Spent a day and night at Myrtle Beach State Park in South Carolina.

Nice beach there, but a bit cool during our visit.

We were in fine company aboard the ferry to Pleasure Island, North Carolina.

Camped among some other interesting vehicles at Fort Fisher.

Pier at Kure Beach.

Too windy to enjoy the beach.

I wanted to see Surf City, but it was a bit of a letdown.

Nice view of the Intracoastal Waterway from our Boondockers Welcome host Cory’s home in Sneads Ferry, North Carolina.

Cory took this great shot of us with haRVy at his house.

We had another nice three-day visit with Nancy and Dexter in Oriental, NC.

Another short ferry ride and a bit of a drive brought us to the town landing in Belhaven, NC where we successfully and stealthily boondocked overnight.

We arrived just in time to enjoy the weekly music jam.

Some of the old-timers couldn’t move real swiftly but they could still play and sing some good tunes.

This couple sailed in on their 17-foot catboat.

These purple martins greeted us with song the next morning.

Not sure if this used to be the jail or not, but I love the textures.

River Forest Manor – many years ago we had an amazing buffet dinner in this historic building during our sail up the Intracoastal Waterway in our sailboat Isosceles. The primary reason we wanted to visit the town again.

Posted by: sunnyharvy | March 30, 2017

Farewell Florida

We have enjoyed our four months in Florida much more than anticipated, but the temperature is rising (86 degrees forecast for tomorrow), so we are heading further north.

Since my last post we have been slowly making our way up the Atlantic coast. Thanks to fellow Westy owner Dave in Cocoa Beach for letting us camp out at his beachfront motel again for a few days. This post tells of our visit last December with more photos.

I was surprised to see this pair fishing together again four months after coming across them here before.

Boondocking next to the pond at RV Golf Club host The Preserves at Turnbull Creek in New Smyrna Beach.

Guess the owner of this truck never paid his repair bill.

Camped alongside the St. Johns River in East Palatka, thanks to Peggy, my former roommate’s mother.

The next day the three of us drove Peggy’s car down to tiny Georgetown where Kim and Rod picked us up on their pontoon boat. Here we are on our way to their cottage on rustic Drayton Island.

Peggy and daughter Kim walking to the cottage.

The charming 600 square foot cottage Rod and Kim had built and are now living in full time.

Peggy with Kim’s babies. Hope I look (and think) as good as Peggy when I’m 95 years old. You go girl!

Kim takes us on an island tour in the mule. No paved roads here!

Time to leave.

Goodbye Peggy and Kim – thank you for lots of fun!

Out of commission boat house on Lake George.

We spent the next afternoon in beautiful St. Augustine, the oldest colony in America and a nearly perfect tourist destination. With beautifully restored historic architecture, unique shops, wide-ranging restaurant offerings, a harbor, a fort and much more, all within walking distance, who could ask for more? We were lucky to visit on a not too busy weekday.

Classic car in front of the majestic Spanish style Casa Monica, which was built in 1888 and restored in 1999.

The former Ponce de Leon Hotel is now part of the Flagler College campus.

Rotunda dome in the old hotel lobby.

Tiffany glass windows in stairwell to student residences.

Dining in what was once the sunken swimming pool in the former Alcazar Hotel. At the time it was built, the bathing pool was the largest indoor pool in the world. Click on link above to see old photo of it.

Entrance to Castillo de San Marcos, now part of the National Parks system.

Our last stop in Florida was the same as our first back in November – charming Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, just south of the Georgia state border. We featured this location on this post from our previous visit.

We thank our Boondockers Welcome host Mike for welcoming us back for a longer stay. With three nights and two full days to explore we got to know this unique town a little better.

We toured the historical museum in the old jail.

Interesting comparison to Newport, Rhode Island where we will be returning to soon.

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