Thursday, May 28, 2020

Tossed Out of Kathryn Abbey Hanna

Written:  May 28, 2020                                                             Recent Posts:
About: March 2020                                     March 2020:  Anastasia and Its Market
Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park      Late February 2020: My Last Kayaking Adventures
Jacksonville Florida and North

IMG_20200310_161826416_HDROn Tuesday, the drive from St. Augustine to Jacksonville Beach is an easy one and I find the park with no trouble.  It appears to be in a maritime forest beside the beach.  I wish I had taken some pictures of the park’s entrance and the road leading to the campground but my mind is too occupied.

I’m a bit apprehensive about Kathryn Abbey Hanna as I’ve done some research and found many comments about how tight the sites are and narrow the roads.

The carefully taken picture above of my site makes it look spacious but the ones below show the true situation.

There are a lot of sites here and the colors tell you the size of rigs they will accept.  Rose is up to 35’ and yellow is up to 40’.  Winnona is 35 feet so I tried to book  yellow to give me wiggle room but I didn’t book in time and had to take site 121 which was purple.  If you look closely you can see it 5 sites down in row 6 from the left relatively near the lake.  


Here’s the view looking toward the lake.


And here’s looking the other direction down toward the rest of the campground.


The view out  my front window is at least not another campsite straight on though it doesn’t match up to Gamble’s front window view.

From March 10 (1)

Out my side window is my nearest neighbor.

From March 10 (2)

I spent most of my first day getting to Kathryn Abbey Hanna and setting up in the campsite.  On Wednesday, Day 2 of my stay, I walked all around checking out the trails, the lake for kayaking, the Atlantic Shore.

I determined I’d have to get out my kayak cart to get the kayak up to the lake but it wasn’t too far from my site so that shouldn’t be hard.  With two weeks here, I’ll lock it up like this canoe so I can come and go especially in the early morning.


I walked up and down all the campground roads checking out where the closest bathroom was, the campground host and the size and set up of other sites.


Leaving the campground I find swamps, streams, and boardwalks on the way to the beach.



Like  Anastasia, KAH has a long boardwalk to the beach.


It’s a really nice wide and long beach with no commercial interruptions.  It’s so interesting to look at the different kinds of sand on the beaches along the Florida East Coast.  This is much heavier sand than at Anastasia.



IMG_3435On Wednesday, day 3, the detailers came and went.  They were supposed to be here at 8:30 and didn’t come until 10:30 which should have let me know what I was in for.  They said they could do nothing about the gray spots and charged me $150 to wash the entire rig but only wax the painted parts which is about 1/3 or less of the rig.  I was pretty irritated and felt quite taken advantage of.

NOW WHAT??  IMG_20200309_131927826It was the gray spots I wanted them to take care of.  I had sent them pictures of the problem.  The same problems pictured in my last post.   I’m at a loss to know what to do now.  I’ve sure been taken for a ride on this.

To relax, I spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach.

It wasn’t quite warm enough for me to want to be in the water but some people seemed to like it fine.


IMG_3439 (2)

I guess the proof that I’m getting old is that I’m embarrassed for this woman.   She did make me laugh though and after the beginning of my day I was very thankful for that.


On day 4, Thursday, I went out for breakfast which was to prove to be the last restaurant meal I have eaten in 2020.  But it was delicious.  Had I known it was to be my last meal out I would have enjoyed it even more.


When I arrived back at the campground mid morning, there was a note on my door saying the campground would be closed as of 5:0o today.

OH RIGHT!  And where am I supposed to go? Finding a campground in Florida in March, Spring Break month, is nearly impossible even 11 months in advance let alone a day in advance and on a Friday.  They must be kidding.

IMG_20200320_092322836I had made other reservations after these two weeks for  my trip north to Virginia.   On the way to Virginia my reservations would allow me to go to some of David’s favorite places to scatter his ashes; to Cumberland Island in Georgia and Congaree National Park in South Carolina.   But now I have a 10 day hole before those reservations and no way to fill it.  

I’d planned to be in Virginia for 6 weeks in late April and May then make my way north to the Finger Lakes and then Maine for the summer.

I get a reprieve from leaving for today, Friday, and leave on Saturday March 14, 10 days early. They say I’ll get a complete refund.  I am out of the campground by 2 pm pretty much one of the very last people in this large campground to go.  I stop at Walmart in St. Mary’s Georgia where I  try to change my upcoming reservations to fill in this 10 day gap but have absolutely no luck.  I can’t get prequels at either place I’m booked into already. 

IMG_20200320_093652286_HDRThe next day I try to find other places to fill in these ten days but that proves impossible too so I finally give up and cancel everything and Walmart it back three days to Virginia where it is 33 degrees at night and I feel like I’ve done time travel back to winter.  What a mess this whole pandemic is making out of my and everyone’s life.

Back in Charlottesville the quarantine is in full swing.  I can’t go anywhere or see anyone.  I feel like I’m in an alternate universe.  I’m still making reservations for next winter while I’ve just cancelled all my remaining March and April reservations.

Four days after arriving back and on the Spring Equinox I take a hike at the Ivy Creek Nature Center to mark this special day.  The two pictures above are from that hike.   The trees are bare.  That makes it possible for me to take a picture of the creek from above but it’s been 10 years since I’ve done these hikes when the woods hasn’t been full of green.

This sure doesn’t look anything like spring.


But still it’s wonderful to be out in nature walking on a board walk  through a seasonal wetland even if it’s pretty dried up just now.  There is still the creek and river.


One thing I love about full time RVing is being out in nature every day.  3 nights in a Walmart parking lot and several days trying to get things organized here have put me in a blue mood.

These waters and the lack of greenery are so different from where I was just a week ago.  I never make such a mad dash north in the spring knowing what I’ll find in Virginia.


Still just being back out in the natural world improves my spirits.



The rhododendron is green but no blooms for a while yet.  Normally I’m not back here until mid to late April.




I’ve come out relatively early in the morning and see almost no one on the trails but when I get back to the parking lot around 11, it is totally full and on a week day.  I’m shocked!  But I’ve forgotten that no one is working any more and the lock down is relatively new.

They’ve cancelled my normal March fun activity, the ACC Basketball Tournament and NCAA Championships so the rest of the month finds me getting groceries and trying to figure out how to adjust to this new normal.  I don’t take any more pictures other than this one in the grocery store parking lot.

I wonder if they just got this plate or if they had a premonition.

Wed - Seen in Kroger Parking lot

So much for March 2020.  I have fewer pictures and even less to say about April.  But that’s coming up next.


  1. So many of the old parks weren't built for the large units we travel in today, especially with slideouts. And that does look a little tight but nice options for walking. Coral Pink Sand dunes near Kanab Utah has an amazing display of sand from around the world in their visitor center. So many colors, textures, and grain sizes. Kicking people out of campgrounds with so little notice is ridiculous. RVers know how to distance if given the space to do so. Yet you were lucky to HAVE a place to go to, many do not. Waiting for the rest of the story.

  2. Gaelyn, you are the first commenter. Thanks! Many of the folks I have known who were full timers are no longer but those who are seem to have managed and I think I would have too had I not had a place to go. Sure hope I can get back on the road soon. I really miss it.

  3. What a shame they didn't give you much notice. I don't get why campgrounds need to be closed anyway. Most (most!) adults are responsible enough to socially distance themselves. California or our part of CA is slowly reopening. I'll be happy to get a haircut!

  4. Yes me too. I really need a haircut as you'll see in my next post. I don't get the campground closures either. How much more socially distant can you get than a campsite? Maybe it's the bathrooms they don't want to open and without those it excludes tenters.

  5. The excuse I heard here in Texas is the State and Federal campgrounds were not allowed to keep enough folks working to keep the maintenance up for the campers ie restrooms and trash pickup. That was too big a lump for me to swallow.

    1. Hey Barney oh, don't think I've seen you here before. So glad to hear from you. I suppose lack of staff could be a reason but it does sound a bit suspicious. if the government's going to pay them unemployment they might as well pay them to work. Or perhaps most of their workers are volunteers who don't want to come back to the park just yet.

  6. 3 nights in a Walmart would make me blue also...

    1. It's certainly nothing like where you've been spending your time.

  7. I've been staying in since the 1st of March, and have been shocked at how freely you move around, through campgrounds, visitor centers, etc. (Maybe this was before the extent of this virus was known.) I disagree with the commenter that said "most adults are socially responsible enough to distance themselves". Many are, but many aren't!

    1. Yes, I seem to always be behind in posting. The header information on each post, at the top left, shows the time period of the post itself. This one was in March. I didn't post for a very long time after David died until I started this new blog. At this point I'm still catching up but it won't take me much longer since I haven't done much at all during this quarantine. Sorry if it is confusing.

  8. I have seen plenty of full timers having it hard to find places to go. A few have bought lots so they can park for until this virus opens things up again. They realized it might be a good idea to now have a home base. So at least you have that covered with the farm. I just don't get private campgrounds having to close and putting people on the road with nowhere to go that seems a little crazy to me.

    1. Hi Jo. Thanks for your comment. Having been on the road now for nearly 10 years a lot of the full-timers I knew have gone to part timing or off the road completely at this point. For us, when we started out back in 2010 we had no idea if we would like it since we've never done anything but tent camping, so we didn't sell and then Within the first year we learned that we loved it and we're having so much fun we didn't want to go back and take the time to have everything packed up and sold. That impatience turned out to be a serious blessing after David was diagnosed with the terminal illness. At that point we never knew how much longer we would be able to stay on the road and still get treatment for him. As it turns out he got just what he wanted, he died on the road. And now I'm not sure how much longer I will full time so I have no intention of selling the farm. This last 15 months or so has been a real nightmare with his death and now this virus.

  9. Really sorry about the speedy need to exit...not much fun;-((

    We talked to our former maintenance boss at Huntington Beach. When they closed the South Carolina SP, all employees except the Park Manager and 3 full-time rangers had been laid off. When the campgrounds are closed, the money flow becomes negative. They have to refund all those cancelled reservations. So, employees are laid off and there just aren't enough people to maintain the facilities:-((

    You were very fortunate to have kept the farm and have a safe place to go!! Really hate that we can't go to Maine... so many blueberries... so little time;-)))

  10. Hi Nancy! Since it's up to the state whether the park closes, the park doesn't have much choice. The mayor of Jacksonville was the one who closed Hanna. The folks working there weren't pleased. But this was before most things including Florida parks were closing. Yes, as I told Jo, it turns out that our procrastination about the farm was a good thing. It's hard to maintain a home you don't live in but his illness and our love for the place kept us coming back once a year to take care of it. I am completely bummed about Maine. The campground is still open but not everything in the park is. You are so right about so little time - I am really feeling that.

  11. We found it difficult with our 40' rig in some of the FL state parks, but we managed and ended up in some great places. We've been fortunate during these crazy times, between our place in TX and being able to come into IL before they've opened we've had great places to stay. We should be opening soon, fingers crossed it all goes well.

    1. Glad to hear you've been fortunate Faye. Hope it isn't as hot in Illinois as it is here in Virginia already.

  12. To me it makes no sense to close campgrounds. People can just as easily stay inside an RV as a house. Some of these restrictions caused by the virus are too much of knee jerk reaction rather than a well thought out plan. Sorry that your winter travels were so disrupted, but you got through it all with no blood or bruises. Just careful day by day planing got you home to the farm where you could recharge your batteries with some good hikes with Mother Nature.

    I hope when we get through this pandemic you'll be able to pick up your travels and get back to great adventures.

  13. Couldn't agree more about campgrounds and some of them are opening up but then you never know when the 2nd wave may hit and they'll shut down again. I was pretty shocked at having 10 days of my reservation just cancelled with pretty much no notice. Wonder how long it will be before we are through with this pandemic? Can't wait to get back on the road. Time's a wastin'

  14. Yes, this pandemic has certainly put a dent in everybody's plans. This and the current politics are so depressing. I guess we'll get through it.

  15. Boy are you right about the politics. Every day seems to stoop to a new low. I wonder if every period in history has felt this way or if we are just particularly lucky?

  16. Great Licence plate on that pretty car.

    1. I thought so I wonder if they had a premonition?

  17. It is a crazy time:( We came back from an RV rally on 15 March and have been out of the house as needed and to see the grankids. It is getting old, but at the moment still have no plans to hit the road. Take care!

    1. Thanks for the comment. It really is a crazy time. No way to make any plans at all.

  18. You were one of the last RVers who I follow still 'on the road'. I kept wondering when you would get locked out. Certainly not planned, but now how wise it was to have not sold the farm. Please do yourself a favor, unplug the TV, and take another walk in the woods.

  19. For sure Barbara I'm much more of a hiker than a TV watcher. The farm at this point doesn't get a TV signal and barely gets internet. Thank you for your comment. I'm honored that I'm one of the ones you still follow.

  20. That was so crazy and stressful that you were kicked out of the park in Jacksonville with virtually no notice. And then like dominoes, all of your other plans folded. :-(( That's what happened for us, too, but at least we were already at my folks' house...even though we were just on the verge of leaving. I'm so glad you have the farm as a safe haven. But like you, we are really missing our lives on the road, and wondering when we'll be able to resume our travels. Big hugs to you from both of us.

    1. Thanks Laurel. You obviously understand perfectly. I hate to say misery loves company but it's nice to know that I'm not alone in the this.

  21. That is definitely a snug state park although there seemed to be many options for getting away from your site. Too bad you didn't get the chance to enjoy them. It seems ridiculous to me that people were given zero notice to vacate! I can see not allowing new people to enter, but those of you already there could have been given days to find other accommodations. We would have been in a real pickle without a home base within a few days. It's strange to look back at just a couple months ago how very different our lives were. We're both lucky to have natural beauty to enjoy where we're hunkered down. I can't imagine being in a NYC apartment through all this!


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