Along the Gulf Coast

It was chilly in the morning at Tickfaw State Park.  The sun was shining and the sounds of birds (Momma Kitty liked these) was about.

'camped' in a parking lot.  all the RV sites were full and being in the parking lot was simpler than unhooking the boat.

‘camped’ in a parking lot. all the RV sites were full and being in the parking lot was simpler than unhooking the boat.

Morning coffee and breakfast was had, then I walked over to the campground, as I was ‘camped’ in a parking lot, to use the facilities.  Very nice bathrooms that were clean and modern.

Looking around it was clear this campground was built in a swamp.  All places, besides the roads and trails, there was standing water.  I bet the bugs are BAD spring, summer and fall.  IMO winter is the time to visit.

I broke camp and drove to the dump site to empty my gray water tank.  Had a couple of folks ask me where I was going sailing as the park is only set up for using canoes.  I explained I was heading to Florida and a boat show in Miami.

Back on the road and heading east on I-12, then I-10, the day warmed and the sun shined.  This was a nice change from the cold and overcast weather experienced so far on this trip.   This stretch of Interstate has some nice bridges, causeways and even a tunnel.  You can also see a battleship!

Mobile, AL.  Just about to enter the tunnel going under the west side of Mobile Bay.

Mobile, AL. Just about to enter the George Wallace Tunnel going under the Mobile River.

Tunnel heading east out of Mobile, AL.

George Wallace Tunnel heading east out of Mobile, AL.

Causeway across Mobile Bay.

Jubilee Parkway across Mobile Bay.

The battleship Alabama.

The battleship Alabama.

Causeway over Escambia Bay (between AL and FL).

Escambia Bay Bridge over Escambia Bay heading east out of Pensacola.

As late afternoon approached I began to look for a place to stop for the night.  Using the smartphone I couldn’t find reference to a KOA I have stayed just west of Tallahassee, FL (I later found that the location had closed).  So I selected a campground about 40 miles further east – Tallahassee East/Monticello KOA.

I arrived late, after 8PM, so I had a ‘late arrival packet’ waiting for me when I arrived.  I set camp, made a supper of spamwiches and went to bed.

Samwiches with a side of dressing, chips and salsa.

Spamwiches with a side of dressing, chips and salsa.

Another sunny morning!  Besides birds this campground featured squirrels for Momma Kitty to observe.  After a cup of coffee I went the main building to use the facilities.  As usual for a KOA they were nice and clean … though the shower stalls were on the small side.

Tallahassee East KOA has many trees on the property, which is nice to block the semi-tropical sun.  The ‘roads’ in the campground are not paved and the sites are close to being level.  The unpaved roads are very sandy so I took off the shoes each time I got into the camper.  Though a paved campground is nice, the ‘rustic’ look of the sandy/gravely roads makes this location seem a bit more rustic … even though you are 100 yards from the Interstate.

I had a nice breakfast and realized I had now been using the Caribou Lite for seven days, including the shakedown weekend.

Since I don't carry a toaster I heat bagles in a pan.

Since I don’t carry a toaster I heat bagles in a pan.

Wanting to know how much propane I had used I went to the KOA office to arrange filling the camper’s tank.  The staff seemed a bit overwhelmed by having two customers and using their computer to process reservations & payments; so it took almost 30 minutes for someone to fill my tank.

The result was in seven days of cold weather camping I had used two gallons of propane … 1/3rd of the 20 pound tank’s capacity.

I left the KOA at 10:30am and a few hours later I turned south on Interstate 75 headed for Port Charlotte.  Today I’m stopping to show the boat to a couple interested in getting their own Sage 17.

At 6pm I arrive at the couple’s home.  We spent a couple of hours looking at the boat and then had a nice BBQ dinner on their screened patio.  They were also nice enough to allow me to ‘camp’ in their driveway for the night.

– Dave


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