Counting down the days

We have thoroughly enjoyed our Summer of 2016 in the Adirondack Mountains exploring new places, meeting new friends and enjoying good times and campfires with family and friends. Now – as the leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder – it’s time to think about warmer destinations for the months ahead.

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Our Southerly course is plotted and we are anxious to be on the road again to see what’s around that next curve and what is just over that next hill – and we invite you to Hop Aboard and “follow” along with us via this Blog.

Our 1,500+ mile journey begins on October 14th with 7 two-day stopovers planned for exploring (and maybe finding a great new “Mom & Pop restaurant” or two). We should land in our Winter home-base in New Port Richey, FL on October 28th.

As usual we will post reports with photos, reviews and the costs. For us it’s not the destination but the adventure and the new discoveries along the way.

Jack, Niki and our Furry Family Crewmen, B.B. and Stanley

P.S. If you have visited any of our planned stops and have any cautions or must-see suggestions we’d love to hear from you. We’re at snowbirdrvtrails@gmail.com.

Adirondack Mountain High

Another beautiful Adirondack weekend in the books (and on Pinterest) –
things done, places gone, people seen….

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The tranquil Schroon River with a glimpse of the Adirondack High Peaks
in the background. Near Rte 9 in Essex County.

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The North Hudson Town Beach is located on the Schroon River in Essex County.

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Town-wide yard sales happen throughout the Summer in the Adirondacks. This weekend it’s in Elizabethtown, New York….County Seat for Essex County.

More Adirondack photos on our Pinterest pages….https://www.pinterest.com/snowbirdrvtrail/ and more articles on our website at http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/.

 

Stopover: Chattanooga, Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE – Interesting places we visited on our two night stopover at
Holiday Travel Park, 1709 S Mack Smith Road (I-75, TN Exit 1B)
A nice, neat campground for RVers as well as tenters passing through. The staff is personable, the prices fair and it’s easy off/on I-75. It’s also built on a Civil War battlefield with a marker to prove it.
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Holiday Travel Park, Chattanooga, Tennessee
The RV Park is actually where an Indiana Regiment bivouacked before some fierce fighting on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge back in 1863. There is a path to the stone marker proclaiming such within the Park. More formation about Holiday at our
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/holidaytravelpark.htm

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Jenkins Buffet, 4134 Ringgold Road
Fried chicken, ham, chopped steak and a great selection of all the Southern style veggies like boiled cabbage, fried okra, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, field, green and black-eyed peas, shoepeg corn and homemade salads you’ve been craving. Save some room for the dessert table! Website: http:// .jenkinsbuffet.com/

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The International Towing & Recovery Museum, 3315 Broad Street
Who knew that Chattanooga was the Mecca for all the guys and gals who pull us out of the troubles we get into along life’s roadways. They have 15 wreckers on display from the earliest to the mammoth truck that could  easily handle 70 tons (only four ever built!). We also found the wrecker that set a World’s record for speed and even one of the big green monsters that followed our guys to the Front in WWII. They also have hundreds of old and newer toy trucks.

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Some big, bad towing machines at the International Towing & Recovery Museum!

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The Wall of the Fallen at the International Towing & Recovery Museum….
Remembering those who have lost their lives doing their jobs.

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There is a Wall of Fame….
inside the Museum honoring new inductees each year from around the World.

Both are very nice tributes to the industry.

I found the Museum interesting for a one time visit. It’s more a guy thing and kids would love it, as well as anyone interested in history, trucks and things mechanical.

Niki was not so excited by it?

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The Southern Belle, 201 Riverfront Parkway
A Tennessee River paddle boat with a beer & burger grill open on the third deck.

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The Southern Belle dockside on the Tennessee River

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Traffic on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tennessee

The Sara Lee Bakery Outlet Store (conveniently located across from Holiday Travel Park) was hard to miss so it made it a must! They have a great assortment of breads, cookies and all kinds of chocolate and other fortifying snacks at good prices.

Oh, and there are also several roadway tunnels under Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga which are a hoot to drive through – but be sure to leave the RV elsewhere!

Exploring America and having fun-
from the road,
Jack, Niki, K.C. & B.B.
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This trip started on Day 1 –
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/2016rvtripnorthday1and2.htm

Day Trip to Andersonville National Historic Site

Andersonville – The Prison
Niki and I spent Memorial Day 2016 at the Andersonville Historic Site in Georgia. It is composed of three main sections: Andersonville Prison, The National Prisoner of War Museum and the Andersonville National Cemetery.

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For those who may not know, Andersonville Prison was a Confederate Prison in Georgia.
Almost 45,000 Union soldiers were held prisoner at Camp Sumter, known as Andersonville, in 14 months. Nearly 13,000 died there. Conditions were deplorable with little food, a small swampy and contaminated water source and the most unsanitary conditions. Space was such that each individual had only the space of his extended arms.

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The enormity of this cruelty hits home when standing on the site itself. The first photo shows the plot of land looking South. This Northern end of the compound has numerous monuments erected by the States that had many prisoners who were incarcerated there and many who died there. The tree with the fence shows one of several places the inmates tried tunneling out. None ever escaped by tunnels. They either caved in or were turned in by snitches among the prisoners.

The outermost white stake indicates the placement of the main wall while the inside stake marked an approximate 19′ “dead man’s zone” surrounding the camp where any prisoner would be shot without question or warning if he tried to approach the wall. There were 52 guard towers around the wall.
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This second photo shows the camp looking toward the North. The stockade in the upper right corner marks the Northeast corner of the camp while the stone column (lower left) shows the Southwestern corner. The uncut area is the swampy area that was the tainted water source as well as the main lavatory.

Can you picture thousands of men in this small area?

The Northwest corner has several memorials.
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Memorial Day at Andersonville

Memorial Day 2016
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Niki and I were fortunate to spend a few hours at the Andersonville (Georgia) National Historic Site today. The Site’s 516 acres includes the infamous Andersonville Prison from the Civil War, arguably the most inhumane prison this country has ever seen, the National Prisoner of War Museum and the Andersonville National Cemetery with 13,714 graves. Through the efforts of countless volunteers, all graves held an American Flag this Memorial Day. Tomorrow the flags will be removed. This is a most thought provoking site that gives one great cause to reflect on man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. We shall have more photos of the three main sections found at Andersonville in future posts.
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snowbirdrvtrails.com

On the RV Road Again! New Port Richey, Florida to the Northeast

On the Road Again!
New Port Richey, Florida to the Northeast

Part I – Florida to Indiana
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Mapping a route from Florida through Indiana to New England

We have begun our newest Snowbird RV Route North – starting in New Port Richey, Florida to our Summer destination in the Northeast. This time we will be going by way of Indiana to attend an important high school graduation.

We will spend 25 days on the road and travel through Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and New York. This route will take us along I-75, I-64, I-65, I-71, I-90, I-86, I-88 and I-87. We’ll visit 10 campgrounds along nearly 2,000 miles.

If you’d like to follow along with us we will be posting on this our “Trip Blog” every couple of days to talk about the campgrounds, restaurants and other interesting places we find along the route with photos, prices and other insights.

Days 1 and 2 – Lake Park, Georgia
221 miles from our starting point of New Port Richey near Tampa on Florida’s West Coast.

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Eagles Roost RV Resort in Lake Park, Georgia

Lake Park is off GA Exit 5 on I-75. There are 3 campgrounds to choose from near the Exit. We had not stopped here before and chose Eagles Roost RV Resort from the good reviews we had read on line. The pull-throughs, full-hookups, paved pads and shady, Spanish moss draped oaks made it an easy choice.

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The Farmhouse Restaurant in Lake Park, Georgia

We spent 2 nights to explore the area and were not disappointed. First off we found a really nice restaurant for each evening. The first night we tried The Farmhouse Restaurant at 5123 Mill Store Road. Niki had the breaded Grouper with fried okra and cheesy grits. I had the homemade spaghetti with meat sauce, cole slaw and garlic toast. We both had the peach cobbler for dessert. Both entrees were very good and the sides were well prepared and in large portions (4 Stars for each!). The cobbler, however, was not what we expected. It was more like a “cinnamon cake topped with peaches in syrup” as Niki describes it. They offer daily specials and a decent salad bar (but $5.50/one trip?). With a coffee and an iced tea the bill came to $29.98. Service was very good.

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Rodeo Mexican Restaurant in Lake Park, Georgia

The second afternoon we followed a local’s suggestion and tried the Rodeo Mexican Restaurant, 1219 Lakes Blvd. Once again we were not diappointed. Niki chose the Fajita Bowl and I tried a nice sampler plate. We shared a pitcher of tasty lime margaritas and both came away stuffed but quite happy! The tab came to $35.87 with tip.

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It’s 5 o’clock in Lake Park, Georgia

We decided to visit the other two local campgrounds to see what we might have missed and to do a dash cam video tour of all three which we will add to our website (snowbirdrvtrails.com) and our You Tube page in the future.

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Grassy Pond Family Campground

Grassy Pond Family Camp is actually a Moody Air Force Base Recreation Area but it is open to the public. It has picnic facilities, boat rentals, cabins and a nice waterfront recreation area. The campground has 58 well maintained sites for RV’s.

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Camping World Campground Valdosta

We were surprised when we visited the Camping World Campground! We expected perhaps some RV overnight parking spaces around the store but it is a separate yet adjacent complex with a large number of nicely maintained sites near a small pond.

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For more pictures, prices and much more info about the three campgrounds, visit the write-ups on our website at http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/2016rvtripnorthday1and2.htm.

Next stop Perry, Georgia – jumping off point for the infamous Andersonville as well as Plains, Georgia

SIX DAYS AND COUNTING….

ONLY 6 DAYS until we are on the road again! This newest trip will take us from Tampa and Florida through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and the Adirondack Mountains of way Upstate New York. We’ll be on the road 25 days and visit 10 campgrounds (for at least 2 nights each to explore the area). We’d love to have you ride along with us as for a few miles as we post maps, photos, dining reviews and campground pics & videos as well as costs and other interesting finds. To hop aboard just choose to “Follow”” us here as we will post Trip Reports daily from the road. -Jack, Niki, K.C. & B.B.
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The Storks of Shoppers Way Lane

Day Trip – The Storks of Shoppers Way Lane
Hidden behind a large shopping center – just off busy US-19 in Port Richey, Florida you will find a small pond with cypress trees and ringed with mangroves. Easy to miss driving by but the perfect spot for a Rookery of American Wood Storks!

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For directions, photos and more info – visit our website at
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/storksofshopperswaylane.htm

 

Day Trip to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida

350x350boktowerbBok Tower Gardens is about an hour and a half from Tampa. It’s an easy drive and well worth the trip. In addition to the 7 1/2 acres of beautifully landscaped  grounds, trails and the Singing Tower Carillon you’ll find 126 different species of birds ()it is a designated site on the Florida Birding Trail. The gopher tortoise is in residence as well as the endangered eastern indigo snake. Plan to spend all day or at least a few hours to experience it all. In the Visitor Center you’ll find the Blue Palmetto Cafe for lunch or just a snack as well as exhibits tracing Edward Bok’s life as well as the history and development of the 205′ Singing Tower.  and Gardens. T0ur the 20 room Pinewood Estate on the property.Built in the 1930’s it’s the former “retreat” of  Charles Austin Buck, a Bethlehem Steel vice president. More photos, prices and info from our trip on our website page: http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/daytriptoboktowergardens.htm.