• Welcome to Toad Hall

    The home of the WXToad
  • Yeap - Another Winter in FL '05-'06

    This was our sixth winter trip to Florida, and our longest yet - 5 months. As usual, we meandered down the Atlantic coastline in the fall and then spent two months as volunteer Campground Hosts at Gamble Rogers SP in Flagler Beach, FL. Rather than make our usual trip out to the Panhandle in March, we wandered up into Georgia, where we spent nearly three weeks exploring a number of GA state parks. From there, we went up through the Carolinas into Virginia, traveling part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and all of the Skyline Drive. We were about two weeks later than last year, and what a difference - flowers and trees were popping out all along the way. Last year in MD and PA, we encountered snow flurries; this year it was well into the 60's.

    For pictures and comments of all the parks we visited, click on "Campground Reviews" above.

     Came across this interesting camping domicile at our annual stop at Myrtle Beach SP, SC.  myr7
     shipwreck2 This brand-new 40' sailboat went aground just south of Gamble Rogers SRA while we were there. Faulty equipment, fell asleep - all sorts of theories. 
     It took three days to bring in the proper equipment to lift the boat off the beach.  shipwreck7
     stanley2  Ormond Beach hosted a major rally of Stanley Steamers in January, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Stanley Steamer speed record, set on the beach.
     The Leslie Special, the actual movie car from the movie "The Great Race." It was driven by Tony Curtis in the movie with Natalie Wood as passenger.  stanley7
     stanley14 It was a gorgeous, but chilly morning as the steamers gathered on the beach to re-enact those early races.
     Here's a beauty of a steamer. For more info on Stanley Steamers, visit the Stanley Steamer Museum, in Kingfield ME.  stanley19
     staug3  St Augustine is always an interesting place to spend some time. On the waterfront is the Castillo de San Marco.
     Lots of shops and restaurants line St George Street in Old Town. Here is the oldest schoolhouse in North America.  staug9
     griffin8  At Lake Griffin SP is FL's 5th largest live oak. It's over 300 years old, 70' tall, a crown spread of 137' and a trunk diameter of 10'.
     We discovered a true gem this year - Stephen Foster SP in White Springs. The park, on the banks of the Suwanee River, was built to honor the composer of the "Old Folks at Home". There is a carillon that plays Foster songs several times a day. The campground is one of the nicest in the FL park system. We ended staying nearly three weeks ! foster20 
     fdr21 One of our stops as headed northward through Georgia was at FDR SP, near Warm Springs. Nearby is FDR's Little White House
     There is a new FDR museum adjacent to the Little White House, filled with FDR memorabilia. Among the many exhibits are his 1938 Ford convertible equipped with hand controls, which FDR drove all around the surrounding area.  fdr18
     fdr17  In the 1920's, FDR bought and greatly increased the spa at Warm Springs to offer some relaxation and comfort to polio patients. There were three connected pools; the one in the foreground once was enclosed in glass so it could be used all year round.
    Liz makes good use of our LD's oven, keeping me supplied with home-made bread and other goodies.   PDR 2281
     PDR 2316  We stopped for lunch in Barnesville, GA, and found this beautiful historical mural adorning the sides of a building.
     The falls at High Falls SP.  highfalls23
     watson13  This bridge at Watson Bridge is the oldest surviving covered bridge in the state. The bridge is located at Watson Mill Bridge SP.
     In NW South Carolina, along the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway, we came across an interesting spot called Rocky Shoals. It particularly appealed to me because it was so very similar to Flat Rocks, a place in NH where I used to swim as a kid nearly every day. rockyshoals3 
     tablerock23  Table Rock SP in SC offers some wonderful hiking trails that follow streams. Longer hikes to mountain peaks are also available.
    Stupid camera tricks! I set the camera timer, but didn't quite make it back across the stream before the shutter clicked. tablerock31
    kingsmt10 At two different SC parks, we found old gas pumps like this one at Kings Mountain SP.