Dry Tortugas National Park

We did it!  We completed our goal of traveling to 58 of the 59 designated National Parks (sorry American Samoa).  Dry Tortugas, a small island park 70 miles southwest of Key West, in our home state of Florida was set aside as our final park.  This paradisiacal park consists of largely of ocean, coral reefs and seven tiny island.  Garden Key, the largest island, is the most popular and easy to visit.  It is home to historic Fort Jefferson, used in 1800s to protect the Gulf trade route and home to slaves and prisoners in the Civil War. 

Boat or sea plane are only transportation Fort Jefferson and Garden Key.  Andrew and I opted to camp on the island for two nights, which left us with the ferry as our only travel option (sea planes can’t transport camping equipment).  If looking for a little serenity, camping is highly recommended.  During the day, 175 people disembark from the ferry and smaller groups come by plane.  However, after 3 o’clock the boat sails into the horizon, leaving only a few dozen campers behind. 

While Garden Key doesn’t have much for amenities, it offers a peaceful paradise with a small beach for snorkeling, historic architecture to explore, beautiful ocean vistas to reflect upon, and marine wildlife to watch…not to mention an occasional visit from the salt water crocodile who likes to sunbath in this idyllic spot!

Dry Tortugas
Fort Jefferson Panorama
Dry Tortugas
Fort Jefferson
Fort Jefferson
Fort Jefferson
Fort Jefferson Views
Hermit Crab, Dry Tortugas
Starfish, Dry Tortugas
Dry Tortugas
View from Bush Key
Ramrod Key View

Savannah, GA

Our next major stop due south is Savannah Georgia.  This is one place Andrew and I have never been to, even though we lived only a few hours away for many years.  Recently, we saw that WBCCI SouthEast Camping Unit planned to host a rally in area.  What better way to see a new city than with other Airstream enthusiasts?  So, we signed up.

Arrival day we spent at our campground Red Gate Farms meeting and greeting forty new friends.  On the second day, Andrew and I headed into historic Savannah.  We parked at the Visitor Center parking lot, which is quite large (large enough for several RVs to park with cars) and affordable.  From there, we walked around the historic district looking at charming old architecture and monumental places, such as Flannery O’Connor and Juliette Gordon Low’s childhood homes.  Of course Savannah is the perfect place to pursued one of my favorite tourist activities, visiting cemeteries.  We strolled through the city’s oldest, Colonial Park, and city’s most gothic, Bonaventure.

Our final day in Savannah we joined several people on SE Camping Unit for an adventure in oystering.  One Airstream couple was truly kind to invite us to their property to collect oysters and hosted a lunch.  After a few hours and several full buckets, we headed back to camp for a group oyster roast.

While our trip to the area was short and sweet, it left us with an growing list of places and activities we’d like to come back to see and do.  Also, we look forward to more SECU rally’s in the future.  This event was a great group of people and a lot of fun.

Cathedral of St John the Baptist
Colonial Park Cemetery
Colonial Park Cemetery
Bonaventure Cemetery
Floras, Bonaventure Cemetery
Flannery O’Connor’s Childhood Home
Bluffton, SC Views
Oystering, WBCCI SECU Group

Stopover in DC area

At the beginning of December we began our journey south towards Florida.  We celebrate the fact that New England’s weather held out, and no major snowstorms hit before we could put our home on the road. 

Our first stop heading south was the Washington DC area.  We chose to camp in Greenbelt Park, a national park campground in Greenbelt, Maryland.  The reviews for this campground were mixed, with biggest pro being its’ convenience to DC.  It is only 2 miles to the College Park Metro Station and 20 minutes by train into the city.  However, the biggest con was the amount of ticks reported by many reviews.  We weighed our option, and decided to the ticks shouldn’t be a problem because the average temperature was forecasted down in the low 50s.  We are so happy with our decision.  We encountered an empty campground and not one tick.

With three days in the area, we took the train into DC only one day to visit my friend Jenny and her daughter.  In the morning Andrew and I browsed the National Museum of American Indian, then met Jenny for a stroll around the Botanical Gardens and National Mall.  We only see each other once a year, and every time is nonstop catching up. It is always so wonderful to visit with her and daughter.

Capitol, Washington DC
Mini Capitol, Washington DC Botanical Gardens
The Mall & Washington Monument