The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

Cruising Along the Forgotten Coast

It was a cloudy day but we traveled along the Forgotten Coast of Florida anyway. There is so much to see. We saw occasional evidence of hurricane damage but it is still a very beautiful area.

Love driving right along the coast.

I think this was taken in Eastpoint.

I told Carolyn about the World's Smallest Police Station in Carrabelle but you really have to see it to believe it.

There is a really nice area where you can pull off the road to enjoy the beach. They even have several spots marked for RVs.

The beaches really are white sand.

We even got a couple of lighthouse stops in along our way.

It is not what most people picture when they think of lighthouses but it works.

We saw lots of beautiful beach homes along the way.

Our next stop was St. George Island. It is a little strange going across the bridge to the Island as there was fog. I think these are all beach rentals. Lots and lots of stairs to climb....way too many for me.

This kids playground  had a sign with a poem about "The Swing" by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The Visitor's Center for the St George Island Lighthouse was closed but we visited the Island Visitor's Center right next store and got lots of helpful information about the Island.

Our next stop was the St George Island State Park.

The Island is far busier in the summer than the winter but they do get their share of Snowbirds who come back year after year and volunteer for numerous different organizations to become part of the community.

Even white sand beaches look even better  when the sun is shining.

Our next stop was Apalachicola. We found a place to park the big truck and wandered around the town.

We decided to have lunch at the Seafood Grill. I opted for the Fish Sandwich.....they are famous for it. I was taking a chance because that is not something I would normally order but it was delicious and huge. Carolyn wanted oysters.....she was a little disappointed in the quantity but they were good. We also stopped in at the Apalachicola Chocolate & Coffee Company for some gelato which was great.

There is lots to see and do in Apalachicola and our short time there really didn't do it justice but it gave us a good taste and the desire to come back. If you are traveling through with an RV, you should be able to find parking outside the main downtown area....just a short walk away.

This is an interesting outside shop filled with plants and patio or yard decorations.

I thought this was a pretty unique way of displaying airplants. They looked like octopus.

As I said, this whole area deserves much more time for a visit than we had but you will want to come back again. We headed back to the RVs and Harley. We thought the trip back would be a lot faster but this is what we ran driving through cotton.
Once you have visited, you won't forget the Forgotten Coast.....a lovely part of Florida that isn't overridden with tourists.

Visit to Ochlockenee State Park

Wednesday afternoon, we also took a short drive over to Ochlockenee State Park. I stayed here with my son and daughter-in-law and grandkids quite a few years ago and I wanted to show Carolyn. It is a very woodsy area.

It is actually a pretty large state park but the camping area is pretty small and unique. We drove through it and Carolyn was shocked that we got my 31 foot 5th wheel in and out of there. Many of the sites would only work for small campers and some you had to back up a single drive which split into three separate camping spots.....not for the faint of heart. A big class A came through the check in right before us and by the time we checked in and drove to the camping area, they were unhooked from the toad and backing into their site. Fortunately their site was near the entrance and on a curve so they could make the turn and back straight in. When we stayed here, we had to drive through the whole camping area to a site near the exit which was larger than most so, with Steve's help, I had gotten backed in okay. Seeing the camping area again, I was impressed that I got in to the spot because I wouldn't have been able to get into about 2/3 of the other spots.

The park was gearing up for some sort of special event the following week. We saw these tents set up and heard a radio but didn't see anyone around.

This is the swimming dock. My kids and grandkids swam here and had a ball years ago but Grandma had eyes peeled for alligators the whole time even thought it was marked for swimming.

Yeh, right past the swimming area.

This is one of the squirrels we saw. We were hoping to see the white squirrels. The last time I was here, we were sitting at a picnic table and all of a sudden, there were white squirrels all around. We were so surprised because we didn't know about them. No white squirrels on this trip although they were advertised in the brochure we got.

So, Carolyn, this is for you. These are pictures I took of the white squirrels the last time I was here.

We took a ride around the back part of the park to see if we could find one of the white deer. We came across the same couple that had the big Class A that came in right before us. They saw one of the deer and managed to get a rather blurred picture of it which they were happy to show us.

We didn't seem them the last time I was here either but I did manage to find a couple of pictures people who did see them took. So, now you know what to look for when you come here.

The last time I was here my granddaughter Morgan was about three. She learned how to say Ochlockenee and Apalachicola and managed to work them into a conversation every time she talked to someone. I told Carolyn that I might need to have Morgan give her a call and some coaching as these two names don't flow any easier off a Cajun tongue than Cajun places roll off my tongue. They all bring good memories.

Another Great Find....Sopchoppy City Park

Wednesday morning we headed south on back country roads to our next destination. We were on our way to the Myron B. Hodge City Park in Sopchoppy. You cannot make reservations but a call gave us a comfortable feeling that we would find spots for our RVs. It is not a well known spot but I found it through blog comments and Internet research. I have to throw out some credit here. My friend Liz Crussell Reynolds was a full timer for a number of years before she found the place she wanted to retire. She is an expert at finding great places to stay during her, county, state forest, national forest, etc., parks were all on her radar. She also has a unique talent for finding something interesting about every single place she visits. Carolyn and I are trying to develop the same instincts and ability.

It always amazes me that as you travel the backroads of Florida, at least the northern part, you feel like you could be in Michigan or Minnesota except for the temperatures. It was a cloudy day but a nice drive of a little over an hour.

We found the city park which was located on the river. There was a row of sites near the water with water and electric. There were other sites nearer the road with water, electric, and even sewer all for only $20/night. These spots would also have been fine as there was little to no traffic on the road and they were probably a little further apart.We moved into sites right next to each other. Carolyn had a covered table next to her. I was between her and a small roadtrek. (I took this picture later when my initial spot was taken by another small Roadtrek.)

Right after I got backed in, the couple on the other side of Carolyn left so I decided to pull into that spot facing the river with the nice table between us. The power hookups were a little tricky especially when you use an EMS but neither of us was willing to hookup without the EMS as the power was not especially strong. We discovered that there were actually two spots with hookups on one post. I parked as far over to the right as I could so as to not take up two slots like the previous occupant had done. In fairness, they probably didn't realize it was a shared post because only the number 3 was visible with the 4 kind of hidden under wiring. The problem was that there was a swing between the post and the area closer to the table. I sure wasn't going to take a chance on someone swinging into my rig. After we got all settled in, the park manager came by and we paid him for two or check. 

We decided to take a look around Sopchoppy which is located in the heart of the Apalachicola State Forest. It is very small and a short distance from the coast itself.

There was a deli/grocery store, very small,

We pulled in take a photo when we saw this set-up honoring all military veterans. Each figure represents a branch of service.

Another city park.

The Historic Sopchoppy Gymnasium.

The Georgia, Florida, and Alabama Depot

Meanwhile, back at the park, there is a really nice playground.

Carolyn's truck is parked between us. We had two big 5th wheels pull in after we got back. The space on the other side of me was pretty tight. The man and woman with it were very nice, It was their first time with a 5th wheel as they had a class A prior. The man with the other 5th wheel was a real bully. He was directing the first guy at backing in. The first wife said she always directed in the Class A but their "friend" took over on this trip. I was watching to make sure that they didn't hit my slideout and that they could still open theirs. Then the bully descended on me saying I should turn around.....I was in my space and my 30 amp cord just fit. If I turned around, I would have needed an extension cord because my RV plug in would have been further from the post. He couldn't seem to grasp this. Also, using an extension when the power was just barely adequate would have been a real mistake. He also couldn't grasp that simple idea. Just when I thought everything was okay, the bully had the first guy pull ahead and back in again. You guessed it, he was in a better spot the first time. Our slides cleared by about two feet so I just kept my shade down on that side. Otherwise, the first couple was nice and were embarrassed by their "friends" behavior. The bully made it quite clear that we women didn't know what we were I have quite a few more years of experience than he does and so does Carolyn, lol.  The guy from the first Roadtrek was watching all this and came over to comment about what an idiot the bully was being.

The large pavilion housed some bathrooms but I can't tell you what they were like as I use my own.

This is the Curtis Mills school.

Not sure about this little log cabin.

This is the boat landing.

View from my door.

We met a nice couple from Quebec City in Canada. They pulled in after dinner and wanted to know where they could pay and about the bathrooms. I told them that the park guy would come around eventually or they could go up to his house at the edge of the park to get a key to the bathrooms if they needed them. They got a nice spot by the boat landing as someone had pulled out in the afternoon. If things work out well for them, they are taking the backroads towards California. Most RVers are really nice but occasionally you find an exception to the rule.