Monday, October 17, 2016

Douglas Dam Headwaters - 2016

I think I've found my new favorite TN campground... :)   We went in mid October because we wanted to try some place we've never been to and it was an annual fall camp for the Volunteer Campers.  The campground has 3 bath houses spread out. They are nothing to write home about, just one shower for the men and one for the women in each, (the one closest to the lake is shared with the public, you have to bring your own soap and hand towel... fair warning)   The sites have plenty of room between them to spread out.  It used to be a self serve first come campground that has recently been turned over to a third party company to run which now takes reservations.  There is no store, but the camp hosts will sell you ice and firewood.  There is also "The Dam Store" if you need small stuff, its just up the road from the campground.

We went during the TVA's drawdown for Douglas Lake.   They lower the lake levels in the fall to prevent flooding risks in the winter and spring with the added bonus of generating electricity.   In the summer the flood risk is lower so they allow the lakes to fill to capacity.
                                                   Site # 34   .....  This is my "Happy Place"

 Saturday we took a trip into Knoxville and stopped at the flea market along the way.  My daughter is holding a "Sugar Glider"....  Cute little guy, even had a leash.   Though I can't imagine taking your sugar glider for a walk... LOL
 The kids never go anywhere without their music....

 My Son is standing in the bottom of the swimming area (below you can see they do have a beach)
 In the summer time the water levels are a lot higher as you can see.

 The campground is split into two sides with the boat ramp being in the middle...  (these two pictures are of the opposite side from where our site was.
 Above is a site I'd like to try next year.  #49

 Below is the side our site was in... it has one loop and one dead end row.  Lots of shade.  
 The Volunteer Campers had a pot luck meal.   We got to see some old friends and meet some new ones... Also celebrate 2 birthdays... we had a really nice time with some really nice folks...  

Over all we had a great weekend and the headwaters has a permanent place on our come back list....

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Natural Tunnel SP Labor Day 2016

This years Labor Day camping was at Natural Tunnel State Park.   We're starting to make a tradition out of camping here over Labor Day... LOL  :)

When we got there we were surprised to find that there were a lot of sites with placards on them but no campers there.   Evidently someone had checked in all their buddies, without their buddies being there and put their placards on all the close spots.   To me this is not a fair practice since you are not allowed to reserve specific spots and kind of goes back to the old days of showing up early and placing a folding chair or pup tent as a way of holding a spot for your friends.  Long story short, there were only 2 spots to choose from in a campground that was half empty.  We chose the best of the two which turned out to be site #10.

Things turned out after all because of all the spots, my wife liked this one the best because of its privacy  (like having your own backyard without any other campers in site) and that it is right next to the bath house.   As long as she's happy.... I'm happy :)

First night (Steak.... its whats for Dinner... )

Second day, my daughter rescued this moth (a.k.a.  Alfred)  who was hanging around the community sink and was about to get drowned by my wife's dish washing.

Alfred liked hanging out with my daughter so much that he refused to leave and hung out with us for the remainder of the day....  We went for a short hike up the road and back... Alfred clung to my daughters shirt the whole way there and back...

Mom and Dad came to visit and brought food....  

 Family Pic's.....

Don't ask me what she's talking about ????

 Hanging out....

Later that day we took a "Hay Ride"... only without the "Hay"  though the local area around the park.  They told stories about the man who built the original fort (Below)  and the "Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail"  how it was a toll road.  How not all Slaves back then were black, some were Irish. We learned about out the many sink holes around that area and how the Natural tunnel was formed.  The thing I remember most is about the story of   Chief Benge  who was a half indian who sold captured people as slaves up north.  "He was a pretty Evil Guy"

A safe bet to find where my kids hang out .... (anywhere they can get WIFI ).... ;P

My favorite time camping is when the kids read by the camp fire.  It just don't get any better... :)

That's All Folks....

Monday, July 18, 2016

Levi Jackson SP, KY 2016

Forth of July camping trip took us to Levi Jackson SP, KY.

I waited too long to make the reservations and didn't have but 2 sites to choose from, so I picked the best of the two..... (Big mistake...  Procrastinating when it comes to holiday trips)

Behold site G003, when we first pulled up to it... I'm like WOW, is that going to be big enough for our PUP ???  Reserve America said it was "52ft Back In",  Obviously they have never visited that spot... LOL  I'm guessing its more like 20 feet of paved surface from the road.  If we had backed in, we'd been opening our door into the neighboring site, not to mention there would have been no way to open an awning.  I had to pulll in and thank goodness there was enough room to get turned around.

Another thing about this site, it shares a electrical hook up with the neighboring site G001 (all the other sites in this small loop share hook ups as well)   Not a problem as long as the other guy is using a 50amp hookup and your using the 30.  Problem is if both of you are needing the same style hook-up... the guy who arrive last is out of luck... (but wait... conveniently the CG store sells pigtail adapters for $26... sounds like a money maker if you ask me)  It didn't happen to us, but our neighbor had to buy one.   I've since ordered one from Amazon at half that price to keep on hand.

The campground does have WIFI, but you have to pay for it.. I think 5 bucks a day.

A bonus that we hadn't expected was that they just opened a new tree top adventure park inside of Levi Jackson.   
 Getting ready to show off their skills.....

 They have a practice area that isn't as high up till you get the hang of it.
 They have 6 or 7 different courses at varying difficultly levels, so you can work your way up

 These pics were taken using a really good zoom lense... they are up higher than they look.... :P

The pool is open to the public, un-like VA state parks where the pool is free to campers, they charge. Fortunately since it was the holiday, after the pool closed for the day.. they opened it back up for a free.... "pool party" for the campers.
 Below is the bath house.... not far from our site.
 Inside was nice.... the only gripe my wife and kids had was the showers are push button timed, so you push the button and get 2 min or so of water.   It didn't bother me because I would just back into the button and bump it with my shoulder.  The showers were nice and hot .....
 The TT in the foreground won the best decorated campsite award.  I must say that they deserved it.  At night they had it all lit up with lasers and projectors... really neat.

If we ever go back again... the better sites are (more room and don't have to share electric... ) they are premium sites, so I believe they cost a little more, but not much.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Grayton Beach SP, Florida - 2016

This year we landed spot 039.    Three days to spend before leaving to Fort Pickens. 
Nice level spot... nice views, private for the most part, full hookup... "its nice not to have to deal with the gray water jug every so often. 

You can ride your bike to the beach, but if your bringing anything other than a towel and sun screen.. its best to just drive.  

Our site was in the newer loop, which gives your more space and there are full hookups, but there isn't much shade in this section.   That's where the older loop has the advantage, something to remember when picking your poison.

First night we rode our bikes to the beach.   This by the way is the public bath house.

We were greeted by a local resident who didn't seem to be very scared of outsiders.  

Photo Op for the Newspapers

Time to start getting down to the business of Crabbing

Dedication I tell you.... "Dedication"

Blue Crab.... Score!!!!!

Sand Crab..... 

Son, let me tell you about the mysteries of the Universe.....