Sunday, April 26, 2015

4/26 Old Federal Campground - Lake Lanier, GA

Old Federal is another Corps of Engineering (COE) campground on Lake Lanier, but on the southeastern side of the lake.  It consists of four narrow peninsulas, which means that almost all of the campsites are right on the water, compared to Bald Ridge where maybe only half are directly on the water.  The view is of a more open part of the lake, which means that there are farther views and more boats to see at any one time.

And I like my campsite on this lake because I can see on both sides of the peninsula and have excellent satellite access. This is looking back towards the main campground.  You can see the little bay on the left, but there is another on the right of me.

Looking out to the end of the peninsula.

This is the view to my left.

And to my right out of my motorhome.  The water near the shore looks muddy, but actually that is just the Georgia red clay showing in the shallows.
And, some photos of the rest of the campground and day use area.  I thought this would be a good place for a bike ride, but it is very windy today, so I got several eyefuls of pollen or some kind of grit.  I had to come back and rinse my eyes out. 

This is looking back to my RV from farther out on the peninsula.

Overall, this is a very pretty place to visit and to camp in.  Got my senior half-price deal also!  And since it is Sunday afternoon, most of the weekend campers are leaving, so it is fairly private and quiet.

Friday, April 24, 2015

4/23 Bald Ridge Campground, Lake Lanier, GA

A few days ago, I bailed out of Florida because the heat and humidity was getting too much for me.  When I am stuck inside the motorhome because of the heat and bugs, that is the time to leave, so I did.  (Of course the bugs had one last chance to bite me as I cleaned out the mess from the raccoon visitor!) I decided to head north a little earlier than planned, my goal being Lake Lanier because I knew it would be cooler and was a place I had been before and enjoyed.  It ended up being two hard days of driving, 310 miles one day and then 260 the next day, I was happy to get here and find a great camping spot.
Lake Lanier is a huge man-made lake in Northern Georgia, with several huge marinas and dozens of campgrounds and day-use areas along its length.  As you can see from the map, it has lots of narrow arms and bays, so it is impossible to see the entire lake from one location. 

Right now I am staying at the Bald Ridge Creek campground at the tip of the red arrow, but will be moving to Old Federal, at the tip of the green arrow tomorrow.  (Both are Corps of Engineers facilities, so we seniors get charged half price.)  I have been at Old Federal before, so I know the view is as nice as it is from this side of the lake.

It was rainy the first couple of days I was here, but nice and cool, at least compared to Florida.

This site is on a small peninsula, so I headed in for the more than 180 degree view.  It is also very private because the other sites are at least 50' away.

It was sunnier the day I took the next few photos.

Most of the campground is wooded and very pretty. Once the local weekenders left, it was also nice and quiet with a lot of empty spots.

I like this campground because it is clean and well cared for, has washers and dryers at each shower facility, and has both open and wooded sites. It also is scenic enough so that I have something to look at while I am inside working or just relaxing, so I will come back here again.   

Friday, April 17, 2015

4/16 Critters

Occasionally, I encounter critters a little more closely than I had expected.  At my campsite at Sebastian Inlet, I was backed into the dense sandy scrub area.  One of the first things I noticed was a lot of 1" in diameter holes in the ground and something that kept disappearing as soon as I got nearby.  At first, I thought it was large spiders, but I tried my trick of watching out of a window.  I have found that wildlife does not notice you when you have a piece of glass between you, so you can get a much better view.  Unfortunately, I need to do some window cleaning because the pictures I got of these little critters was not the best quality.

It turns out that these are sand fiddler crabs.  Mostly what I was seeing were males with their single big claws.  The females have two claws that are the same size, while the males have one big and one small claw.  These guys were sitting at the entrances to their burrows, waving their claws.  Occasionally they would come out and walk a few inches, but I am guessing they did most of their adventuring at night.

Here are a couple of images from the internet that shows them better. I was not expecting crabs since I was at least 500' from water.

This morning, I had another adventure.  I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to strange scratchings and thumpings.  I knew it wasn't birds on the roof, as often happens early in the morning.  And whatever it was had to be a lot bigger than a mouse, based on the noise. 

The more I thought about it, the more I suspected a raccoon.  A friend of mine once had what sounded like a "troupe of dwarves wearing combat boots" on her roof. Her words, not mine. 

So, I reluctantly got dressed, grabbed a flashlight and my handicap grabber, and headed out into the dusk.  I went to the back storage area, opened it up, used the flashlight to get a better look inside, and found a furry face wearing goggles staring back at me!  I yelled "Git out of there!" and he or she flew past me and into the scrub.  (I probably woke the neighbors, as well.) 

So this is the mess the critter had made.  I had left two partial rolls of paper towel, one of which was completely shredded and the pieces all over the place, mostly in the bin shown here.  In addition, part of a cardboard box had also been chewed.  Luckily, I don't think there are any electrical cords or anything else chewable in there.  It is hard to tell from this photo, but this storage area has a pass-through which is about 7" high and goes all the way to the other side and a matching deep storage area there. Perfect raccoon housing, other than the fact that if he or she had set up housekeeping there, he or she might have stuck his head out the door at 60 MPH on the freeway!

This is the mess before I cleaned it up.

This is the After photo.  Later that morning, I had to take everything out, pick out the shredded paper and cardboard, and then clean and put everything back again!  I ended up with a grocery bag full of trash. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

4/13 Sebastian Inlet State Park

This is a very pleasant state park located on an inlet located on a long, narrow barrier island.  This means you have the ocean just across the highway, accessed by walking under the big bridge, and the inlet and the Indian River located on the campground side of the state park.  The park encompasses both sides of the inlet, with two fishing piers extending into the ocean and fishing piers also located under the bridge on both sides.  Very nice beach, as well.    

I have been here before, so this time I chose one of the larger and more private campsites away from the inlet.  The ones with views are much more cramped and a lot less private. 

This view is from the bridge.  I rode over to the other side with my bike.  No bike path, so I did not want to stop too long.  Luckily, there is not much traffic today.

This is the café and gift shop on the other side.  There are very nice patios and balconies around the building, with a wonderful breeze today.

View from the top balcony of the gift shop/café. 

Looking at the campground at the far side of the bridge.

And a gopher tortoise that was really in a hurry.  Is this his good side?

Or is this his best side?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

4/9 Marie Selby Botanical Garden

The nice thing about a botanical garden is that you can return many times and see something different, depending on the time of year.  I visited this place over two years ago, but still enjoyed my visit today.  I don't know the names of all the plants, so I am just going to post them all without comment.

The important thing to know is that this garden specialized in orchids and other epiphytes or plants that grow on other plants.