Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day at Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground & RV Park
Memorial Day at Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground & RV Park

Good friends getting together to share good food and memories on Memorial Day Weekend at Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground & RV Park in Schroon Lake, New York

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Day 21 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada & Trip Summary

Day 21 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada & Trip Summary
Oneonta, NY to Schroon Lake, NY 167 miles
5/21 Wednesday

We have reached our final destination, Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground & RV Park Resort in Schroon Lake, New York on the Eastern edge of the Adirondack Mountains.

Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground & RV Park Resort in Schroon Lake, NY
Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground & RV Park Resort in Schroon Lake, NY

Medcalf is a perfect stopover to explore the Eastern Adirondacks and the Lake George/Lake Champlain Region. Easy day trips to Vermont, Lake Placid, The Adirondack Museum, Fort Ticonderoga and numerous ponds and hiking trails. The campground offers guided hikes of area mountain trails on weekends.

It’s also our Summer destination where we will be “Workamping” through September. We will be blogging about the Workamping experience on and off all Summer. If you would like to know more about it just click the “follow” button (if you haven’t already) and we’ll be posting info and photos of what the work entails as well as some of the many day trips you can
make in this beautiful area.

More about:
*Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground & RV Park Resort
231 River Rd, Schroon Lake, NY 12870
(518) 461-1730
30Amp, FHU, Free WiFi, Free Cable, PT, Back-ins, with some sites on the River. Weekend activities all Season long.

Medcalf Acres website:
http://medcalfacres.com/content.php

Passport America information:
https://www.passportamerica.com/campgrounds/ny/medcalfacresriverfrontcampgroundandrvparkresort2966

From Medcalf Acres Campground:
87 miles to Canada
263 miles to Boston
321 miles to Niagara Falls

Have a great Summer and we thank you for riding along with us on our latest Snowbird RV Trail North.

Summary of the trip:
Tampa Bay to the Adirondack Mountains
21 days May 1 – May 21, 2014
Miles Towing – 1,684
Miles Sightseeing – 714
Total Miles: 2,399
Ten campgrounds:
9/Passport America & 1/SC State Campground

Total Costs:
Campgrounds- $529.01 (Avg $21.45/Night)
Restaurants- $637.83
Gasoline- $832.48

Highlights:
Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center
Suwannee River
Jekyll Island
Santee State Park
Blue Ridge Parkway
Shenandoah National Forest
Mayberry (Mt Airy)
Five New Campgrounds Visited

Route Mileages:
Tampa,FL to Lake City, FL – 179
Lake City, FL to Brunswick, GA – 119
Brunswick, GA to St. George, SC -165
St. George, SC to Murrells Inlet, SC – 111
Murrells Inlet, SC to Asheboro, NC – 193
Asheboro, NC to Mount Airy, NC – 93
Mount Airy, NC to Mount Jackson, VA – 231
Mount Jackson, VA to Dover, PA – 161
Dover, PA to Oneonta, NY – 265
Oneonta, NY to Schroon Lake, NY – 166.5

To follow this trip from the beginning:
https://snowbirdrvtrails.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/day-1-and-2-snowbird-rv-trip-florida-to-canada/

 

 

Day 20 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada
Dover, PA to Oneonta, NY 264 miles
5/20 Tuesday

Today marked the longest leg of our trip North at 264 miles from Dover, PA. We followed I-81 into Binghamton, NY where we switched to I-88 which runs NE from Binghamton.

I-88 may well be one of the roughest Interstates (along with I-81 through Pennsylvania) we have traveled, covered with patches and bone jarring bumps. We were totally worn out from scanning the highway ahead of us to avoid the potholes that they haven’t had time to fill and turn into bumps. They were many and deep!

Susquehanna Trail Campground - Oneonta, NY
Susquehanna Trail Campground – Oneonta, NY

Our stop for tonight is in Oneonta at Susquehanna Trail Campground. It is a Passport America campground and we have stayed here several times. The owners, Joanne and Dean Tribe, are very personable and both are hard workers and have done much to refurbish this campground, including hosting musical events during the Summer. Joanne gave us the bad news at check-in that she had lost Dean while they were on vacation in Florida this past January. They were building their dream together and now she intimated that she would be selling the campground. It’s just too much work for one person. We wish her the best in whatever direction she takes. Good people.

We are staying only one night in Oneonta and will then be heading for our Summer Workamping destination in the Lake George, NY Region.

More info about:
Susquehanna Trail Campground
4292 Hwy 7, Oneonta , New York – 13820
(607) 432-1122
45 total RV sites (40 back-ins and 5 pull thrus). Can accommodate RVs up to 50′, 30-amp, Dump station, restrooms, showers, picnic area, fire rings, store, clubhouse, basketball, fishing. In-ground swimming pool and playground.

Susquehanna Trail Campground website:
http://www.susquehannatrailcampground.com/

Passport America info:
http://www.susquehannatrailcampground.com/

Day 18 and 19 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada

Day 18 and 19 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada
Mount Jackson, VA to Dover, PA 161 miles
5/18-5/19 Sunday-Monday

We are both readers and love to visit library book sales around the Country as we travel. We also sell out-of-print books that interest us on Amazon and on our other website, northwoodsbookshop.com.

That said, Lancaster, PA just happens to be having their weeklong Spring Super Library Book Sale when we are passing nearby. This sale offers 250,000 “gently used” books for sale in all genres and many are just fifty cents for softcover or $2 for hardcovers. It’s almost always well worth our time for a side trip whenever we know of a library book sale. We’ll attend many up in the Northeast this Summer.

Gettysburg Farm RV Resort in Dover Pennsylvania
Gettysburg Farm RV Resort in Dover Pennsylvania

In researching for a Passport America or Good Sam campground nearby, we narrowed it down through reviews, photos, and websites to the Gettysburg Farm RV Resort. It’s our first time dealing with a Thousand Trails “Club Resort” though we have talked with their representatives at RV Shows in the past.
We did receive an invitation to a no-obligation orientation to hear about the Thousand Trails program. In essence a “Zone Park Pass” would entitle us to 30 nights of free camping a year and additional nights would cost only $3 each. The cost of membership is $545 per year but at this time we could join for $425 for the year. I believe this can be used at other member campgrounds in whatever “Zone” we would choose. We looked and there don’t seem to be many members where we want to go. We will pass but would really like to hear from anyone who has joined and has had good experience with the Club.

Farm animals at Gettysburg Farm RV Resort
Farm animals at Gettysburg Farm RV Resort

This is actually a working farm and it is probably great for families. There are ducks and turkeys running loose, donkeys and llamas to watch, as well as a petting zoo. They have miniature golf, a playground, and an activity center.

We started having concerns about the place when we phoned to make a reservation. They do accept Passport America but if you are not a Thousand Trails or Encore member you are considered a “Retail” and listed as such. I found the lady on the desk curt on the phone and even more so in person. Now I definitely know what it feels like to be a second class “Retail” citizen.

They take your reservation and your money but all sites are on a first come – first served basis. You arrive and drive around to find an open site and then you tell the desk which one you picked. We asked if there was a pull-thru and were told, “Well there might be. Not sure. You’ll have to look.” They really don’t seem to know “who’s on first” or any other site for that matter! Do they really care? Now we are talking $45/night campsites here (soon to be $52 with Memorial Day and the start of “The Season”). Does anyone else get the feeling that customer service has become a lost art?

So we drove around the farm for about 30 minutes, towing, looking for what was available. The only pull-thrus were if 2 back-to-back sites were open then you could pull into one. Most of the sites are very close together. We ended up on site #123 which is a 30Amp, FHU, back-in, but with plenty of space and an open field on one side. Should you happen to stop here we do recommend #123 though we doubt if we will come back to this or any other Thousand Trails campground in the future. It was not the fun experience we look for when we are paying for the privilege.

On Monday we drove to the book sale and found it quite uncrowded, which is unusual but enjoyable. We ended up with 2 large bags of books for under $20.

Silver Spring Family Restaurant in Lancaster. Pennsylvania
Silver Spring Family Restaurant in Lancaster. Pennsylvania

The day got even better when we took a chance on a Trip Advisor recommendation for dinner at the Silver Spring Family Restaurant at 3653 Marietta Avenue in Lancaster on our way back from the book sale. Very good food and great service from happy, smiling young ladies who took and served our orders. Try the “Grilled Sticky Bun Sundae”. That’s a large, warm, sticky bun, your flavor choice, topped with ice cream and whipped cream. Suggestion: Order only one but with 2 spoons. It’s just that big, as Jack soon found out.

The local price we paid

 

for gas was $3.699 at the local Sheetz. Average is $3.739 in the area.

Next stop: Oswego, New York

More info about:
Gettysburg Farm Rv, A Thousand Trails & Encore Resort PA/$24.18, Sun-Thurs only.
6200 Big Mount Rd, Dover PA, 17315
Reservations: (888) 318-1243
30/50Amp, water. Some FHU sites w/sewer. WiFi available. Pool, laundry, propane.

Nearby: American Civil War Museum, Antique Auto Museum, Battlefield Tours, Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, Hershey’s Chocolate World, Utz Potato Chip Factory, Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations Plant, and Sturgis Pretzel House.

Gettysburg Farm RV Website:
http://www.thousandtrails.com/pennsylvania/gettysburg-farm-rv-campground/

Passport America information:
http://www.passportamerica.com/campgrounds/pa/gettysburgfarmrvanencoreresort3060
http://www.rvparkreviews.com/regions/Pennsylvania/Dover.html

Trip Advisor and Things To Do & Restaurants:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g52508-Dover_Pennsylvania-Vacations.html

Day 16 and 17 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada

Day 16 and 17 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada
Mt Airy, NC to Mt. Jackson, VA 231 miles
5/16-5/17 Friday-Saturday

Shenandoah Valley Campground - Mount Jackson, Virginia
Shenandoah Valley Campground – Mount Jackson, Virginia

Shenandoah Family Campground is located just off I-81, VA Exit 269. This campground is only a year old and already popular with RVers looking for an overnight spot on their way North or South. The young couple running the place are very personable and ready to answer any questions.

This stopover deserves a little more attention than just a quick night off the road. To begin with the Town of New Market is the next Exit South and an easy drive to visit the well known site of the Battle of New Market during the War between the States. In fact on this particular weekend they are having a reenactment of the battle. There are hundreds of the small white tents set up in various areas of the Park and blue and gray uniforms are everywhere.

North Entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway
North Entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway

Since we had only the one full day we opted for one of the other big area attractions and that is the Shenandoah National Park and a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This most Northern section runs for 30 miles along the crest from the Thornton Gap Entrance near our campground to the Northern Entrance at Front Royal, Virginia.

Admission is free with an America the Beautiful or Senior National Park Pass.

Blue Ridge Parkway -Jeremys Run Overlook
Blue Ridge Parkway – Pass Mountain Overlook

We were fortunate in that it was one of those beautiful sunny days when you can see forever. There are wide, paved “pull-offs” at regular intervals with names like Jeremys Run Overlook at 2,410 ft that we stopped at along the way.

Elk Wallow Visitors Area Blue Ridge Parkway
Elk Wallow Visitors Area

We stopped at “Elk Wallow” where they have a large picnic area, gift shop, and snack bar. We had lunch there and we have to say that the hot dog and grilled chicken sandwich were prepared fresh and were quite good. I might mention that if you are on a tight budget you may want to bring your own picnic lunch. Same goes for the souvenirs and camping supplies. They are the only source for miles around and the prices reflect this.

We did enjoy sitting and watching the crowd. This is a junction in the Appalachian Trail as well and there were hikers and bikers and tourists from all over the World. The bikers were talking about a wildcat and a bear cub they had seen on their journey.

Hogback Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Hogback Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway

“Hogback Overlook” was our next stop and it is the highest on this part of the Parkway at 3,385ft.

Blue Ridge Parkway Overlook
Blue Ridge Parkway Overlook

 

There are views from other overlooks with names like Gimlet Ridge (2,655ft), Hogwallow Flats (2,665ft), Jenkins Gap (2,355ft), and Gooney Run Overlook (2,085ft).

Dickey Ridge Visitor Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Dickey Ridge Visitor Center

On our way down toward the Front Royal Northern exit/entrance we stopped at the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (1,940ft) where Rangers are on hand to answer questions and, of course, there’s another gift/souvenir shop. This was perhaps the most relaxing place to view the Shenandoah Valley.

Shenandoah Valley Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Shenandoah Valley Overlook

The last was the Shenandoah Valley Overlook (1,390ft). This stop had signs explaining what we were viewing as did many of the other Overlooks.

We had dinner in New Market our first evening here, at the suggestion of our campground host. The restaurant is called the Southern Kitchen and is located on South Congress Street. It has a 50’s/60’s style with a soda fountain and the jukebox selection boxes at the tables along the walls. We didn’t really enjoy the food that much and it is rather pricey. Again, we don’t complain about price if the food quality and service merit it. This place is not a good value. However we do recommend a frozen custard stand also in New Market on US-211 just as you start out of town toward the Blue Ridge Parkway. They have a hot fudge brownie creation that you won’t soon forget!

Home of Route 11 Potato Chips
Home of Route 11 Potato Chips

Other reasons to make this campground a stopover? On the same street as the campground is the Route 11 Potato Chip Factory. They do give tours during the week with samples and they do have a retail outlet.

This is also a great starting point for a visit to either the Luray or Shenandoah Caverns nearby.

Gas at this Exit is $3.359.

Our next stop will be Dover, Pennsylvania.

More information about:
Shenandoah Family Campground
168 Industrial Park Road, Mt. Jackson (Quicksburg), Virginia 22842
(540) 477-3080 PA/$23.50
PT, 20/30/50Amp, FHU, Free WiFi & Cable. Passport America/1 night – Sunday through Thursday only.
43 total RV sites, can accommodate RV’s up to 70ft, 30/50 amp, dump station, back-ins, pull-thrus, full hookups, tent sites, Cable TV, Wi-Fi, restrooms, showers, laundry, handicap accessible, swimming pool, playground, BBQ, fire rings, picnic tables, horseshoes, recycling, security, restaurant, store, propane and ice.

Shenandoah Campground website:
http://www.shenandoahfamilycampground.com/Campground_Map.html

Passport America information:
http://www.passportamerica.com/campgrounds/va/shenandoahvalleycampground3546

Route 11 Potato Chip Factory
http://www.rt11.com/cfmodules/ObjMgr.cfm?Obj=home

Day 14 and 15 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada

Day 14 and 15 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada
Asheboro, NC to Mount Airy, NC 93 miles
5/14-5/15/2014 Wednesday-Thursday

Mayberry Campground in Mount Airy, NC
Mayberry Campground in Mount Airy, NC

Mayberry Campground is on the outskirts of the small City of Mountt Airy, North Carolina. It’s a nicely laid out campground though the sites are a little close together. There are both back-in and pull-thru sites and most have FHU. It’s located near land once was owned and farmed by Eng and Chang Bunker, the famous Siamese twins of the 19th Century.

Welcome to Downtown Mayberry USA
Welcome to Downtown Mayberry USA

Visit Andy Griffith’s “homeplace” at 711 East Haymore Street. Less than a mile away you’ll find “The Snappy Lunch” still making the “famous pork chop sandwiches”. It’s next door to “Floyd’s Barbershop” and “Opie’s Candy Store”. Just a little farther down Main Street you’ll find “Wally’s Garage” and “The Courthouse” with a recreation of the jail set, office and cells, we remember from The Andy Griffith Show. That’s also the place to sign up for a “Squad Car Tour” of the Town in a vintage Mayberry Police Car just like Barney and Andy drove.

The Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy
The Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy

Not far away you’ll find the “Andy Griffith Theatre” housed in the building where Andy attended school assemblies in grade school (and the stage where he made his first public appearance in 3rd Grade). Beside the Theatre is the Andy Griffith Museum, where they have hundreds (perhaps thousands) of artifacts and memorabilia from Andy’s career on stage, TV and in the movies and as a singer and comedian. The Museum’s lower level has an exhibition of material from Eng and Chang’s life as well. All very interesting and a great value for the admission price of $3.21.

Andy & Opie Taylor heading for the old fishin' hole
Andy & Opie heading for the old fishin’ hole

Outside of the Theatre and Museum you’ll see the life-sized statues of Andy and Opie Taylor headed for the Old Fishin’ Hole. The statue was donated to the Town by the TV Land Network in recognition of Andy’s body of work. Andy was on hand, as well as many others from the show when it was dedicated in 2004.

We were fortunate to find 2 really good restaurants over this 2 night stop in “Mayberry”.

The Copper Pot Restaurant in Mount Airy, NC
The Copper Pot Restaurant in Mount Airy, NC

The first was The Copper Pot located at 123 Scenic Outlet Lane, located just a few miles from the campground. They have daily specials and the entire menu is priced reasonably. Jack had baked spaghetti, green salad, and Texas toast. Niki had a vegetable plate with fried okra, corn fritters, pinto beans, mac & cheese and a cornbread muffin. The dessert special was warm homemade blackberry cobbler with ice cream. The bill for all with drinks (iced tea y’all!), tax, and tip came to $22.51.

Our second day we had a late lunch at Tlaquepaque Mexican Restaurant & Grill (we can’t pronounce it either!). Their address is 2123 Rockford Street, which is on the main highway going into town. It’s a small restaurant with a talented chef. Both of our meals, traditional Mexican combos, were really delicious, as were the warm tortilla chips and homemade salsa brought to our table when we sat down. The total bill including coffee, a cerveza, and tip was $22.99.

Conclusion: If you are a diehard Andy Griffith fan this is the place to come to immerse yourself. You might also consider a visit the last weekend of September when they will be having the “25th Annual Mayberry Days”. Mount Airy is a fun, lighthearted place with friendly people.

The gas price at the local Sheetz station near Interstate Exit 11 is $3.599.

Our next stop will be Mt Jackson, Virginia.

More info about:
Mayberry Campground PA/$16.75 2 nights max, Mon – Thurs only.
114 Bunker Rd., Mount Airy, NC 27030 (336) 789-6199
PT, 20/30/50 Amp, FHU, Free WiFi & Cable, Fishing ponds, and a mile long Hiking Trail that ends near Eng and Chang’s gravesite.

Mayberry Campground website:
http://www.mayberrycampground.com/

Passport America information:
http://www.passportamerica.com/campgrounds/nc/mayberrycampground2691

Things to see & do in Mount Airy:
Floyd’s Barber Shop, Snappy Lunch, Old Mayberry Jail, Barney’s Cafe, Mount Airy Museum, Leon’s Burger Express, Main Oak Emporium, Bluebird Diner, Squad Car Tours, Andy Griffith Playhouse, Downtown Cinema, Opie’s Candy Store, Andy’s Home place, Wally’s Service Station, Mayberry Square, and Pandowdy’s.

Day 12 and 13 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada

Day 12 and 13 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada
Myrtle Beach, SC to Asheboro, NC 193 Miles
5/12-5/13/2014 Mon-Tues

Zooland Family Campground - Asheboro, NC
Zooland Family Campground – Asheboro, NC

Zooland Family Campground in Asheboro, North Carolina is a nice Passport America stopover for one or two nights when passing through this area. It’s in the country and not far off the Interstate. They have free wifi and you can pick up the commercial TV stations with your antenna (no cable). The facilities include a swimming pool, fishing pond, miniature golf, camp store, game room and small laundry facility.

Zooland Family Campground - Asheboro, NC
Zooland Family Campground campsites

There are 146 sites, of which 88 are 30/50 Amp full hook-up sites. That said there are some problems as far as level sites go. Personally I would request a site in the 1 through 20 section and preferably make it 1 through 9. The owner tells us he is booked full often during the Summer and always on Holiday weekends.

The North Carolina State Zoo is located nearby. We decided not to visit the Zoo on this trip.

Our first evening in Asheboro we drove into town to look around and noticed all of the cars at this restaurant so we decided to give it a try.
Davids Restaurant - Asheboro, North Carolina

David’s Restaurant
709 South Fayetteville St, Asheboro, NC, 27203
(336) 683-0000
7 miles from Zooland Family Campground

They offer daily lunch and dinner specials. All come with soup or salad and dessert. We both chose the daily special which was Chicken Primavera. The plates came piled high with fettuccine in an Alfredo sauce with tender chunks of chicken and several vegetables mixed in. It was very good and more than enough to bring the excess home for another meal. The price for the 2 meals with drinks and tip was $26.86.
On day 2 in Asheboro we did some shopping and exploring, and we asked about people’s favorite local restaurants. One was mentioned more than any – and that was the “Dixie 3”.

Dixie III Restaurant
715 E Dixie Dr, Asheboro, NC 27203
(336) 625-8345
9 miles from Zooland Family Campground

The Dixie III Restaurant in Asheboro, NC
The Dixie III Restaurant – Asheboro, NC

Located near Walmart, it is easy to find in town.
They have lunch and dinner specials at very reasonable prices. Besides sandwiches and salads, they have many meat and seafood entrees to choose from. Your entree comes with a choice of 3 vegetables. All dinners were in the $7 to $10 range. Niki chose a vegetable plate and Jack chose spaghetti with homemade sauce. With our iced tea, butterscotch delight desserts, and tip the bill was under $20. You could tell this was a favorite restaurant among the locals as everyone knew everyone else. One of the better meals we have had on this trip.

The best price we found for gas in Asheboro was $3.599 in Town.

Worth noting: On the long drive from I-95 to Asheboro and the Zooland Campground there is only one Rest Area and it’s just before Exit 61 of I-74/75.

Our next stop will be Mt. Airy, NC.

More info about:
Zooland Family Campground PA/$15.75 5 nights max, Mon-Thurs
3671 Pisgah Covered Bridge Road, Asheboro NC, 27205 (336) 381-3422
PT, 20/30/50Amp, FHU, Free WiFi.

Zooland Family Campground website:
http://www.zoolandfc.com/index.html

Passport America information:
http://www.passportamerica.com/campgrounds/nc/zoolandfamilycampground1536

Things to do in Asheboro, NC:
http://www.ci.asheboro.nc.us/visitor%20info/visitors_thingstodo.html

Day 7 thru 11 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada

Day 7 thru 11 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada
St. George, SC to Murrells Inlet, SC 171 miles
5/7-5/11 Wednesday-Sunday

Entering Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet,
Entering Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, SC

Huntington Beach State Park is located on the Atlantic Ocean in Murrells Inlet, SC, just South of Myrtle Beach and just across from Brookgreen Gardens. The Park covers 2,500 acres and includes a camping area, day use picnic area, a large sandy beach with relatively few beachgoers, hiking/biking trails, and many places to enjoy birding and gator watching.

Huntington Beach State Park Ranger Station & Gift Shop
Huntington Beach State Park Ranger Station & Gift Shop

You’ll find a limited camp store/gift shop at the Ranger Station/check-in location near the day use area.

Campsites in the Huntington Beach State Park camping area
Campsites in the Huntington Beach State Park camping area

The camping area consists of 131 campsites nicely spaced for the most part. Maximum trailer lengths vary from 30’ to 40’. They are arranged in loops around a green space usually with a combined restroom/shower building in the center. There are access trails to the beach from the camping area as well as the picnic area.

The beautiful beach at Huntington Beach State Park
The beautiful beach at Huntington Beach State Park

The beach seems to extend forever and is unmarred by the proximity to the hotels and high-rises found along most sections of the Grand Strand. If nothing else it is well worth the $5 day use fee to make a visit just to enjoy the uncrowded beach in this part of the area.

Huntington Beach State Park's Nature Center
Huntington Beach State Park’s Nature Center

Nature lovers will enjoy the park’s Nature Center and wide variety of programming, including the chance to see alligators, loggerhead turtles and other endangered plant and animal species up close.

Huntington Beach State Park Boardwalks
Huntington Beach State Park Boardwalks

There are several boardwalks extending out into the lake and marsh area with interpretive signs to explain certain historical and ecological facts.

Huntington Beach State Park Causeway
Huntington Beach State Park Causeway

The causeway between the park’s freshwater lake (Mullet Pond) and Oaks Creek saltwater marsh area is a sure-fire place to see alligators, egrets, and birds of many kinds.

Atalaya Castle in Huntington Beach State Park Murrells Inlet, SC
Atalaya Castle in Huntington Beach State Park Murrells Inlet, SC

Atalaya Castle, also in the Park, is the picturesque, Moorish-style winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, philanthropist and sculptor, respectively, who left the park and adjacent Brookgreen Gardens as their legacy. Constructed to withstand hurricanes, it was built during the Depression giving much needed employment to dozens of local people.

The first evening of our stopover we had dinner at an old favorite, the 120 item China Buffet in Surfside Beach. The food was just fair this time. Perhaps it has changed hands but it used to be exceptional. The tab with tip was $27.17 for the 2 of us.

A picnic with old friends at Huntington Beach State Park
A picnic with old friends at Huntington Beach State Park

Our second afternoon we were very pleased to have two old Myrtle Beach friends, Patrish Blackstock and Wally Snider, join us for a picnic at our campsite. Many know the couple through Patrish’s exceptional website, funbeaches.com, an all inclusive guide to the Myrtle Beach Area. It was great fun catching up with what all of us had been doing.

Maggi D's Fine Italian Restaurant in Myrtle Beach, SC
Maggi D’s Fine Italian Restaurant in Myrtle Beach, SC

Our third afternoon we took Patrish’s and Wally’s suggestion and had dinner at Maggi D’s Italian Restaurant near the Coastal Grand Mall in Myrtle Beach. Exceptional service cheerfully prodded on by the jovial owner. We enjoyed the Chicken French and the Spaghetti & Meatballs. A piece of lemon cake for dessert topped off the meal nicely. The 2 dinners came to $43.96 with tip.

Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse in Myrtle Beach, SC
Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse in Myrtle Beach, SC

The 4th day ‘twas the night before Mother’s Day so we splurged and took Niki out to the Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse in Myrtle Beach. Neither of us is a big meat eater so we had just the salad bar which offers some 35 items that you don’t normally find on an average salad bar. The atmosphere is noisy and chaotic but we both enjoyed our meal. “The Kids” treat came to $66.14 for the both of us.

Barefoot Landing Boardwalk & Shops in Myrtle Beach, SC
Barefoot Landing Boardwalk & Shops in Myrtle Beach, SC

Before the Rioz we spent some time wandering around Barefoot Landing near the Intracoastal Waterway in North Myrtle Beach. Barefoot consists of over 100 specialty shops and restaurants around a 27 acre lake. Our stroll ended up with only the purchase of a $4 decadent cookie we bought to share from the River Street Sweets shop.

Sunday, our last full day, we spend repacking everything for our departure on Monday since rain showers are predicted for the next leg of our trip. It’s always better to pack on a dry day!
Our last dinner in Myrtle Beach is at Angelo’s, another favorite of ours. It’s a favorite for golfers as well; after a day of chasing the little white ball nothing beats a really good steak and Angelo’s serves close to 100,000 of them each year!

There are many who prefer to camp in the huge, reach-out-and-touch-your-neighbor, golf cart infested, mega campgrounds along the beach but we have found 2 with a slower pace and closer to Nature and the peace and quiet we like. One is this Huntington Beach State Park, which is about 16 miles South of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade. The other is Carrollwoods RV Park at Grapeful Sisters Vineyard in Tabor City, NC – 20 miles North of the City of North Myrtle Beach.

The best price we found for gasoline was $3.399 at the Circle K on the corner of Hwy 17 and 544 in Surfside Beach.

Our next stop will be Asheboro, NC.

More info about:
Huntington Beach State Park
16148 Ocean HWY, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
843-237-4440 huntingtonbeach@scprt.com

107 sites with Elec. & Water at $21-41/site/night.
24 FHU (Full Hookup Sites with Elec, Water, Sewer) at $24-47/site/night.
Call 1-866-345-7275 for reservations.

Huntington Beach State Park website:
http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/huntingtonbeach/introduction.aspx

Things to do & see on the Grand Strand:
http://www.myrtlebeachsnowbird.com
http://www.funbeaches.com

Day 5 and 6 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada

Day 5 and 6 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada
Brunswick, GA to St. George, SC 166 miles
5/5-5/6/2014 Monday-Tuesday

Heading North on I-95 the ride gets pretty rough after you hit the SC line. Much of the Interstate is concrete highway with chunks missing or repaired unevenly. It’s not impassable by any means, just be prepared for some jostling.

Jolly Acres RV Park St. George, South Carolina
Jolly Acres RV Park St. George, South Carolina

Jolly Acres RV Park is a favorite of ours whiere we have stayed several times. It’s a small well-kept campground out in the country, a little more than 5 miles from Exit 77 off I-95. It is owned and run by a very sweet older lady.

That said there is not much to do in St. George, SC. It’s 45 miles from Charleston and we have taken day trips into that city. All of the popular chain restaurants are nearby but for us it’s our “R&R” stop to just take a break before we spend a few busy days in our next stop – Myrtle Beach.

It’s quiet here in the country. Our “Kids,” B.B. and K.C., love it because there is plenty of wildlife for them to watch. The campground offers all of the amenities except cable TV. There are plenty of commercial TV stations you can pick up from Charleston. They also have a nice fishing/duck pond on site.

Georgios Pizza & Restaurant St. George, SC
Georgios Pizza & Restaurant St. George, SC

We did try Georgio’s Pizza and Restaurant in town which was recommended to us for dinner. They had a nice, fresh salad bar, but the Chicken Parm and Alfredo entrees we ordered were nothing special for a dinner tab of $39 with tip. We would have done just as well by choosing the Pizza Hut next door.
Shugs Southern Soul Cafe
Shugs Southern Soul Cafe St. George, SC

Day 6, and our second day in St. George, proved to be much better. Another restaurant recommended to us was “Shugs Southern Soul Cafe”. It’s about a mile West from I-95 Exit 77 and on the way towards Jolly Acres RV Park. Owned and operated by Chef Noah Coleman, who knows how to properly prepare the really good down-home Southern staples. They are open for lunch from 10-3 and for dinner from 5pm to 10pm. There are daily specials and a buffet served on Sundays. We both ordered the BBQ chicken special which came with rice and collard greens. All cooked just right and oh so good. Niki says the sweet iced tea is just as good as she makes it. Desserts are made on the premises and we each tried a piece of cake – lemon for Niki and the chocolate cake for Jack. Delicious! A great meal for $30.59 with drinks and tip. We will definitely make it a point to stop when we are on this route again.
Santee StatePark Santee, South Carolina
Santee StatePark Santee, South Carolina

After lunch we wanted to look at 2 campgrounds a little further North on I-95. The first was Santee State Park. It is located on Lake Marion near I-95 Exit 98. It has everything you would expect in a State Park and more.
Santee State Park store and boat launch
Santee State Park store and boat launch

They have a Visitor Center, Park Store and WiFi Lounge, fishing pier, boat launch, cabins to rent, and 2 camping areas with both pull-thru and back-in sites.
Santee State Park cabins to rent
Santee State Park cabins to rent

The cabins are circular in design with a deck and waterfront view and are not built right beside each other. Several are built out on piers extending out on the lake.
Santee State Park campground
Santee State Park campground

The fees are very reasonable. The one and only drawback we found – the roads, and they were a deal-breaker. There is not 10’ without a bump and we mean a real jolt! We stopped and chatted with the host and his wife for a few minutes. We asked if the roads were ever graded and they told us it couldn’t be done because it was all rock. Gravel would certainly help! They did tell us that the State was planning to pave the roads in the next year or two. As was pointed out to us, there were many nice trailers in many of the sites. Indeed, there were many nice 5th wheels and travel trailers on sites. It’s just something we don’t want to put our suspension through. We wondered how many campers hadn’t known about the poor roads before they arrived?

We had planned to travel up to Exit 102 and visit Santee Lakes Campground but an accident had Northbound I-95 traffic backed up for miles. We will try to visit that campground on another trip.

Two beautiful sunny days in St. George for us. Both days in the 80’s.

The best gasoline price in St. George: $3.499.
Our next stop will be Murrells Inlet, SC.

More info about:
Jolly Acres RV Park PA/$16/Sun-Thurs 5.5Mi from I-95
289 Horne Taylor Road, Saint George, SC 29477 (843) 563-8303
PT, 20/30/50Amp (Add $3 f/50A ), FHU, Free WiFi (Reception spotty).

Jolly Acres RV Park website:
http://www.syrrrun.com/

Passport America Info on this campground:
http://www.passportamerica.com/campgrounds/sc/jollyacresrvparkandstorage1982

Santee State Park website:
http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/santee/introduction.aspx