Settling in to routine

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
Trip End Mar 21, 2010

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gamble roger state park

Flag of United States  , Florida
Friday, February 26, 2010

Last night was our last night at Anastasia Park so we packed up first thing after breakfast. But before we left the park we drove over to Island Joe's, so I could post yesterday’s blog. While I was doing that Jon took the dogs for a walk (you know, one of those walks where he loses all sense of time!) to see the quarry, the one the stone came from for the old fort. Being the lawbreaker that he is, he found a nice trail between the dunes and the water where he walked the dogs off leash. As he said, he never met a soul…..quite proud of the fact that he never got caught! After that we took the A1A, essentially the old highway along the coast to get to our next campground. Along the way we stopped for picnic lunch at a dog beach or rather Frank Butler Recreation Area, which allows dogs on the beach. We took the opportunity to go for a walk along the beach, while a number of cars drove on the beach, as the sand is very hard packed. Not sure we would want to take the Westie on the sand, so it stayed in the parking spot by the dunes. Once again there was virtually no one on the beach except the crazy Canadians. Then back into the van for a meander down the highway, no high rises here, just old style Florida motels and B&B’s and small shops. The campground Roger Gamble is not what I expected from the reviews. It is fully booked, so good thing we had reservations. One of their 'rules’ requires that you must be squarely backed into your site, no angling of your vehicle….must have been a frustrated military type who devised that one! Even so we need to change sites for the last night. The camping spots are right beside the dunes with palmetto plants blocking each area; an easy walk to the beach and the park is across the highway along an estuary. The highway is not busy so it is quite fine. Last night the roar of the ocean was quite loud, as we are so close to it. Another chilly night, out came the heater.

Happy birthday to Jonathan today, but no cake baking for me, hmm, maybe I could buy a cupcake somewhere. This morning it is bright and sunny, although in the wind it is cool. So off we went after breakfast over to the trails by the estuary. Signs mention manatees, but with the colder water, I think they went south…smart manatees! (Signs also mention alligators…..GULP!) A relaxing afternoon, sitting in the sun….. Then it was on to some geocaching, our newest hobby. Geocaching is like a treasure hunt using GPS Global Positioning using satellites. There is a website where you go download the coordinates for caches, they are found all over the world. So we downloaded two that were in walking distance from the campsite, always a good thing if we don’t have to pack everything up to drive for a short visit. Anyway the first cache took us along A1A, past a beach bar where it said "Bikers Only" is that us? Nope, it means motorcycles, they were all lined up outside. I thought the one painted like a leopard was really nice, and the lady owner also wore leopard motorcycle chaps. (Deb noticed this one!) There are so many motorcycles around because it is Motorcycle weekend in Daytona and we are about 20 miles from there. Lots of choppers and Harleys, big bikes thundering down the A1, only they can mask the sound of the Atlantic. On towards the cache, we narrow it down to a set of stairs to access the beach. An elderly couple was sitting on the top stair and of course they wondered what we were up to. After wandering around poking our hands into all sorts of places we had no luck finding the cache. So off down the beach for a doggie walk. We had time so we walked further up the beach, then up into an adjoining neighborhood to follow the GPS to another cache. Well…this one took us to what we eventually figured out, was the wrong side of an estuary, so back around and back into a trail. Then we again looked about for 10 or 15 minutes until Jonathan said maybe it is up higher and sure enough, there it was in the crook of a palm tree, a well disguised old ammo can. What a treasure trove of goodies with a log book to record our visit. (Sort of like a birthday present) We also found a ‘Travel Bug’ and decided we would take this bug with us and place it in a new cache further down the road, which is what you are suppose to do with them. Then all of a sudden three loose dogs come bounding and barking towards us in the middle of this wood. Followed shortly thereafter by the lady owner. Turns out, if we read the history notes on the web page about this cache, her dog, Bonnie, now 11yrs and deaf, is the official ‘keeper of the cache’. For years Bonnie has sat at their home and watches geocachers go into the woods. So they came to greet us. What fun, then a long walk back to camp, supper at the 5-star Westfalia Club, onto the computer to log our find (that way people know the travel bug is on the move) and settle in for the night as, it gets dark at 7 pm.
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Kevin Zach on

Hopefully you folks get warmer weather soon. Supposed to be in the pluses here all week.

Happy birthday Jon! Waiting for treats until you get back.

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