Airstream

Camping on Florida’s Forgotten Coast

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We just got home from our first trip with the Airstream to our favorite place: Florida’s beautiful Forgotten Coast.

We spent a week camping at Coastline RV Resort in Eastpoint, FL. The weather was incredible – steady winds in the 10mph range most days with sun and blue skies. The last couple of days clouded up a bit, but that just made the sunsets even prettier.

Our favorite days looked something like this:

We also very much enjoyed the dock at the campground which offered an incredible view of the stars on cloudless nights.

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The St George Island State Park ($3/adult entry fee) is another favorite spot – we spent a day on the beach in the park with less than a dozen other beachgoers.

We’ve already planned another trip back in October to camp at the state park. We’ve not camped there before, so are looking forward to a new adventure in a favorite area.

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Stay Dates: May 14 to May 21, 2017
Nightly Rate: $55
Miles Traveled: 800 (roundtrip)

Airstream

The one where our cat tagged along (and we didn’t know it)

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Our third camping trip was over MLK weekend. We left our house Friday evening and drove to Athens to set up shop at Pine Lake RV Campground for the night. We had a birthday celebration to attend. We woke up the next morning and headed south to Milledgeville.

As we were settling into our campsite in Milledgeville, we heard a cat meowing loudly, and it sounded for all the world like the cat was at our campsite. We looked around, but found no sign of a cat. We finished setting up, and drove into town to Wal Mart and Lowe’s. When we got out of the truck at Lowe’s, we heard the same distressed meow. We looked closer at the truck, and I noticed a fluffy grey tail was visible in the back driver’s side wheel well. As I watched, the tail disappeared and the face of a kitten appeared… our kitten, Skata!

I looked over the truck bed at Justin and said “There’s a CAT in your TRUCK!”

Dumbfounded, we picked her up, exchanged “What in the world??” a couple of times, and realized she’d ridden in a cavity under the truck bed all the way from the house – 18 hours had elapsed, and we’d stopped and started at least a half dozen times. We couldn’t believe she hadn’t fallen out, or jumped out at one of our earlier stops.

Fortunately, Justin’s brother lives in Milledgeville and has a cat. He had an extra pet carrier and an extra litter box that he greeted us with when we pulled up to his house a few hours later.

And, even more fortunately, Skata is the best cat we’ve ever met. She showed up on our front stoop as a tiny kitten in last October (2016), and took up residence in our woodpile shortly thereafter. She was elusive as a kitten, but I spent as much time as I could sitting nearby and getting her used to our presence. By Thanksgiving, she let my mother-in-law pick her up. And in January, this trip, she finally spent the night inside with us – though not necessarily by choice!

We dropped her in the litter box as soon as we got back to the camper, and she knew exactly what to do. She was so exhausted that first day (I’m sure I would be, too, after using one of nine lives) she slept the day and night away tucked up in the corner of our dinette. Mid-way through the night, she decided to jump on the bed. She landed with all four feet on a sleeping, unsuspecting Justin, and the chaos that ensued on that side of the bed had me laughing for days. Arms, legs, fur, and covers flew everywhere. Poor Justin had a year taken off of his life.

We finished up the weekend, stowed her in the pet carrier in the front of the truck, and headed home. We’ve not taken her on another camping trip, nor has she stowed away again, but this one made for quite an adventure and a memory!

Campground

Sweetwater, TN KOA Review

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Our very first night spent in the camper was at the Sweetwater, TN KOA, just off I-75 about an hour south of Knoxville, in mid-November 2016. We’d left home that morning for the three hour drive north to pick up Emma the Airstream from the dealer (Chilhowee RV near Knoxville, TN). Our original plan was to stay at Whispering Pines RV Resort for the weekend, but there was a forest fire in Walland that was blocking access to the campground. We re-grouped.

The Sweetwater KOA was comfortable with friendly hosts and reliable wi-fi. It’s about an hour away from both Knoxville, TN and Chattanooga, TN. I don’t know that we would stay there for anything other than a quick overnight stop, but it was just right for a first trip out. The hosts were friendly, our site was easy to access, and services were as expected. The power went off one morning for the campground, but we did not even realize it because the camper switched to battery automatically.

We spent Friday and Saturday nights camping, and drove to Chattanooga for the day Saturday to hang out with some of our favorite people. It was a glorious, though brisk, fall day, and we thoroughly enjoyed the visit.

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Stay dates: Nov 18-20, 2016
Nightly Rate: $45
Campendium Reviews

Explore

Dicks Creek Falls – Dahlonega, GA

We visited Dicks Creek Falls for the first time just after Christmas 2015. The flow at that time was significant as the weeks prior had been rainy and lots of water was running down off the mountain. The mist rising off the falls was my most favorite part.

Dicks Creek Falls is right off one of the Forestry Service roads here in Dahlonega. The road to the falls is narrow at times and it’s probably a good idea to take a vehicle with 4 wheel drive (especially if it’s been raining) – though we saw several cars make it in and out okay. A busy day (from our estimate) involves passing approximately five cars on your way in and out.

The parking lot for the falls is off to the right, and the falls are just across the road. It’s a short trail to get to a view of the falls, and the trail runs alongside the creek for awhile so you can explore a bit. I love seeing the falls from different angles.

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We took Justin’s parents to visit the falls about six weeks later, and found the flow had diminished some, but was still significantly above normal. It was neat to see the rock formations under the falls emerge a bit this trip.

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And then we took my parents to visit six months later in early July 2016. The flow had settled down to its normal rate, and, man, was this peaceful. We spent a lot of time just watching the water running.

Dicks Creek Falls is a popular swimming hole in the summer – we met a couple of high school guys hanging out jumping off the rocks to the sides this trip. Justin slow-mo videoed one of them – the guys crowded around Justin to watch the replay and did the guy-thing where they whooped and hollered at the good parts. It was great fun to watch.

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If you’re local or visiting the area and haven’t been out to Dicks Creek Falls, you should go visit! There’s also a fun forestry service road that climbs the mountain just past Dicks Creek Falls. We explored this one day in my brother-in-law’s Jeep, and it was great fun.

There are primitive campsites along the forestry service road that have pretty nice gravel pads and fire rings. Not a place for a travel trailer, unless you have a sweet adventure trailer or rooftop tent that makes it through all kinds of terrain, but fun for a day trip!

 

Airstream

Meet Emma the Airstream

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Emma is a 2017 23′ International Serenity Airstream travel trailer. She’s outfitted with a forward bed, a dinette and galley, and a full bathroom. She’s the perfect size for weekend trips with the occasional longer trip (especially to the beach!) and tows like a dream on curvy foothill roads, flatland highways, and Interstates.

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She’s also recently joined the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) and loves her new red numbers.

Owners Justin and Amy live and work in Northeast Georgia (hi, y’all)! We picked an Airstream travel trailer for its quality and character. Emma is our first RV, and we could not be happier with our choice.