November 4- November 17, 2023 Most Recent Posts:
On the Road and Finding Ruby’s Replacement and Fall in the Foothills
Fort Clinch State Park My Favorite Visitors
Fernandina Beach, Florida
I was supposed to leave Virginia on November 4 to arrive at Fort Clinch State Park in North Eastern Florida on November 6th and spend 14 days there. But I wasn’t able to get everything done until the 8th.
I spent two nights on the way down at Camp Walmarts in North and South Carolina They thankfully turned out to uneventful.
I am very grateful to Walmart for their generosity and always save some of my Winnona purchases for each of the two stores at which I stop on my way down and back from Florida.
David and I did the coastal route several times stopping in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia and taking several weeks slowly going south but that’s a harder route for me and this year especially I needed something familiar and easy.
I had a great deal of trouble last year making reservations for this winter and it isn’t what I wish it was. It’s Friday November 8th when I pull in to Fort Clinch State Park on the corner of St. Mary’s and Atlantic. The St Mary’s River and the Atlantic Ocean that is.
But, all is not well. When I unhitch the car, it won’t start. SIGH! Something in the brake controller set up possibly? I impose upon a sweet neighbor who brings his jump box, jumps the car and I pull it into the campsite and leave it running for a half an hour gritting my teeth as I do it. But now what? Will it start in the morning. Can’t believe I didn’t take his picture – thank you Jason!
Fort Clinch has two campgrounds, one within walking distance of the Ocean which I am in and one in the maritime forest and near the river. I was not happy to have to book Site 16 but it was all that would fit both Winnona and my time frame when I made the reservation. But time proved me wrong and this wide open site had no tree nuts or roof staining leaves falling on its roof. It was wide open and easy to access and the internet and phone worked well. The only problem was no shade ZERO NONE in the afternoon at the site BUT as you shall see, that was a minor problem. Notice dark clouds the afternoon I arrived.
I must do a short digression to highlight something that has made me VERY happy. You may (or may not) remember the problem I was having with the front window curtains. They had problems when David died but it got much worse. They were coming off their rod and looked terrible.
I had googled the problem to death when finally someone in either the Winnebago Brave group or another to which I belong told me they had found the “tape” that was sewn onto the curtains and had the clips that ran along the rod on it.
I got the tape and my friend Laurie found me a great dry cleaners in Charlottesville who cleaned the curtains, took off the old tape and put on the new.
VOILA!!! I am just thrilled.
Who knew getting this problem solved could make me so happy.
No gaps, no problems opening or closing.
The day after I arrive, I’m up for Sunrise over the Atlantic and a trip to the Fernandina Beach Farmer’s Market. But the car doesn’t start and I have to ask my neighbor Jason to jump it again. This time I taje it to Advance Auto expecting to have to replace the battery but they say it’s perfectly fine and sell me my own Lithium Ion battery starter instead of a new battery. SIGH.
After their test, it starts right up and I have no more trouble with it not even after I tow it again when I leave Fort Clinch. Of course that’s because I now have an expensive jump box.
It’s easy to be out at dawn now that they have turned the time back.
Others are out with me.
The first signs of sunlight are full of color behind the clouds at the horizon.
And a new day has begun. I could do this every morning but it’s not to be. This is the only sunrise I saw in all my the 10 days left of my reservation.
The Fernandina Beach Farmer’s market is small and sweet but it has all the essentials including
Wonderful baked goods of all kinds. I can’t believe I did not take pictures of the too many I bought including cinnamon swirl bread.
and the main attraction for me, fresh local vegetables.
But that’s it for good weather. Starting Sunday, the next days are cold and windy with rain every day. It’s cloudy so no sunrise visible. I drive to the grocery, make a pot of Bean Barley soup to warm up the rig and me. Highs in the low 60’s with 18 and 20 mph winds every day. I take care of what feels like mountains of business including booking a ticket from Tampa to Baltimore to visit Carrie for Christmas. Would I have gone through all the papers and done all the filing that had built up if the weather hadn’t been horrible? Probably not so I guess I’m grateful that I was forced to stay inside at least in that regard.
I read and read and did puzzles for 5 days of wind and rain. How I appreciate Winnona’s size. I was stir crazy enough. Can’t imagine being trapped inside a small RV for hours over several days.
I’m always so surprised to see cactus in Florida as I always think of it as a dry desert southwest plant but clearly it has a broad range.
Because the trails are sand, the water does not puddle.
The rains filled the wetlands.
These next two sightings made me laugh. What do they look like to you??
Walking through the Spanish Moss draped trees is a bit spooky even during the day..
One or two other days I was able to dash out to see the littered shore from rough overnight rains and wind.
No real walking along the shore even if the rain break was long enough.
Finally on Friday, two days before I have to leave, the rains let up in the afternoon late. I knew things were probably ok when I saw this gopher tortoise along the boardwalk to the beach. He too was looking for sunshine I imagine.
Last of the big surfs through the sea oats.
I love my puzzle board that closes up and can be stored away WITH the puzzle in progress.
I read 3 books and completed 2 puzzles. I will be glad to be able to go outside for most of the day tomorrow.
My last two days here were very full now that the sun had come out. The darling town of Fernandina Beach and a paddle on Eagan Creek are coming up next.