OUR TRAVEL DAY WITH AN UNHAPPY ENDING

Arriving at:
Little Talbot Island State Park
Jacksonville, FL


TRAVEL DAY - 135 miles

SALT SPRINGS RECREATION AREA
to
LITTLE TALBOT ISLAND STATE PARK

A pleasant country road drive away from the Interstate


Using our Garmin RV770 GPS to plan our travel routes is really taking the chore out of the last minute decisions on which way to arrive at our next destination. The night before, in the comfort of sitting at the dinette table, all the routing decisions are made. We can avoid the Interstates and choose a more desirable small town, country backroads kind of experience for our travels. It really makes our travel days more enjoyable.

Today's trip was going along just as planned. A short section of I-295 to get around the top of Jacksonville was the only Interstate on the entire route. Once off the highway we had a lovely 15 mile drive along the waterfront of the St. Johns River until we arrive at our campground. Just as we are pulling up to the ranger station to check in it begins to pour down rain, like it does every afternoon in Florida during the summertime. We wait it out for a few minutes and then run for the office. After all the paperwork is done and rules are explained the first he says is we have to make a U-turn because the entrance to the campground is across the street. The day use area has the nice pristine beaches and picnic areas along the coastline and the campground is tucked away on the other side of A1A, surrounded by inland waterways and marshes. Equally as beautiful in it's own way.

We input our gate code and gain access to the campground. This is where things start to go bad. I notice the road in is very narrow (maybe 15 feet wide) and we encounter many turns with blind corners to navigate. I start to think what happens if we cross paths with someone pulling a trailer who is trying to exit the campground. How will we find room to pass each other and more importantly, who has the right of way and who has to back up their trailer to let the other person pass?

Just as we come around another corner there is a three way split in the road. The campsites are divided into sections so we travel down the road to the far left which includes our campsite, number 40. All of the roads are now obviously one-way and are maybe 10 feet wide with trees and bushes lining both sides and very tight turns . At one point our trailer is six inches away from scraping against this large pine tree on one side and thick thorny bushes on the other. We finally come around a corner at get a look at our site. There is no way to get any trailer into this site, approaching it from this direction, no matter what size it is. We will somehow have to make a U-turn and come in from the opposite direction. Luckily there is a boat ramp and parking area just two more sites down from us where we can get turned around.

Fortunate to have this turn around basin next door

Keep in mind this whole time it has been pouring down rain, my mirrors are just about useless to see out of and each time we get out of the truck to evaluate whether or not to continue inching forward we are attacked by a swarm of hungry mosquitoes. When we got to the clearing around the boat ramp I put the truck in park and just sat still for a while, it was then I seriously considered just throwing in the towel and search the surrounding area for another campground.

Snuggly fit into our campsite #40

We are supposed to be here for a week to visit with Tricia's friend, then leave the day after the Fourth of July to head into Georgia. Guess we will somehow have to make this work for us. After several tries we manage to get the trailer into the site, leveled, unhooked and plugged into the electricity. The whole time we were relentlessly being attacked by the mosquitoes.

I have an idea, let's get out of here and get a drink and some early dinner. We passed several waterfront restaurant/bars on the way here, one of them must have some good food and cold drinks. Still raining, we sat inside the restaurant looking outside, watching the St. Johns Ferry crossing back and forth across the wide mouth of the river.



Until next time
TWO PEAS


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