Newport Campground

At Newport Park

Ron talking with the sweet camp host at Newport Park. Sunny is visible in the Casita door if you look closely. 🙂

We just spent a wonderful week driveway camping at Gail’s, grilling ribs and steaks and eating way too much good food.

The front of the park facing the county road.

The front of the park facing the county road.

This evening we are at Newport Park, a sleepy little campground near Crawfordville, Florida.  This park is near the Gulf after Florida curves back in from the Panhandle.  So it’s only 90 miles from Live Oak.

The river offers fishing and boating, and there is a wildlife observation area across the road.   There are several large dogs here.  Since Sheba won’t quit barking at them, she is on restriction inside the camper.  To her, that’s a fate worse than death!

Walkway over the swamp to the river observation deck

Walkway over the swamp to the river observation deck

Replicas of the Pinta and Nina are supposed to pull into nearby St. Marks tomorrow.  I would love to go see them.  I guess we’ll put the dogs in the truck and try to find a shaded spot for them.  Since Sunny has lost part of his little mind, we can’t leave him in the trailer and go places anymore.  He yips hysterically the whole time we are gone.   So far, he will still stay in the truck with Sheba without causing a commotion.

Fish cleaning station

Fish cleaning station

This campground is way out in the boonies of the old Florida.  Oddly enough, my paternal grandmother lived in this area when she was young, but it is the first time we’ve been here.

I was afraid we’d be without a cell signal as I watched it disappear the closer we got to our campground.  But I am relieved to discover that we get 2-3 bars here, which is enough for phone calls and uploading pictures.

St. Marks River

St. Marks River

We plan to stay here a week, then head for Florida Caverns State Park.  We are still just making our itinerary up as we go along.

And loving it!

The bridge.  There are signs offering a reward for reporting a tagged striped bass.

The bridge. There are signs offering a reward for reporting a tagged striped bass.

 

 

 

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21 Comments

  1. Sounds and loks like a great camp and a good time for sure. Do check out those boats they are really something to see. We saw them many times on the upper Mississippi when we were boaters on the Alton Pool. Will be interesting to see what you think after getting an up close look.

    WS

    • I’m looking foward to seeing them, Wayne. Many years ago I toured the Star of India (I think) in San Diego and loved seeing how the crew lived. I bet I will really love these ships.

  2. Isn’t the spontaneous life fun? Would love to see the sailing ship replicas.

    • We have discovered that we like to stay places 7 days, then we get antsy to move.

      Not being able to get in at the state parks we wanted has turned into a fun hunt for often overlooked places.

      And I am really anxious to tour the ships.

      One of the things I dreamed of being when I was a kid was captain of an old-time sailing ship. 🙂

  3. Emily

     /  February 12, 2015

    I am so happy for you guys – you have finally “not been on a schedule”.

    • Emily, I wasn’t sure how we would handle it. We have missed seeing some places we wanted to see. But the feeling of freedom is even better than I had hoped.

      We are really happy — and it’s due to not having to be anywhere except wherever we decide to go next.

      I could get used to this. 🙂

  4. Happy travels for you since you started out. How wonderful this has been to follow along with your and see all the great campgrounds. I hope you get to see the ships and take some great pictures

  5. Adventures on the “Fly” is a Terrific way to enjoy life…thanks for sharing…Horst sends

    • I’m already planning to come back to Florida next winter because it’s the only time I get to see family. I think I will make reservations at a couple of places that I don’t want to miss. But I’m loving the fly-by-the-seats-of-my-pants lifestyle.

  6. Looks wonderful ….almost missing FL.

    Hope you see the ships…they came through Chattanooga last fall…lots of interest with long lines.

    • Lynne, today was very cold– too cold to enjoy touring the ships. Tomorrow will be a lot warmer.

      The ships will be here till the 23rd. We’ve decided to wait till the weekend crowds are over, so will visit them on a weekday.

  7. Looks like you are enjoying peaceful camping. You must not be in the spots where all the northern SnowAngels are congregating. Looks great!

    • No, we are searching for out of the way places where there aren’t a lot of us Snow Angels. 😀

      We still run into a lot of them — including international visitors. Camping must appeal as an inexpensive way to visit the States. And also to really see the country instead of just tourist spots.

      • I agree. We’ve run into many international campers in our travels. They are a blast to engage in conversation. Their take on visiting the States is always interesting.

  8. Sharon. Your Florida journey has been a treat to follow. Living in Gulf Breeze makes us take too much for granted, and you have whetted our appetite for exploring our back yard. We are off to Fort Pickens tommorow for a short two nights with Grandkids. It will b cold and windy out at the beach, but we need to enjoy the old fort while we can. The word is that the Park service will not repair the road again when a storm washes it away. it will happen. The gulf is but a scant 50 yards off the road in some areas and you can see where the tide line is getting closer to the road.

    You will enjoy Florida Caverns. Best to arrive before dark as it is a heavily forrested area with limited lighting. We rented canoes last year and had a peaceful paddle on the river. The caverns are interesting if you have never done the tour. A bit of stooping here and there but worth the effort.

    Be blessed.

    • David, I love your comments. They are so encouraging.

      I understand why this part of Florida is called The Forgotten Coast. I would never have come here if I hadn’t had to explore out of the way places because the state parks were all booked.

      I’m SO glad I did. I’ve discovered a long chain of new places to see. I won’t get to them this trip, but will probably see them next winter.

      I am SO glad I got to see the old fort year before last. Are they going to stop maintaining the road to the campground, too? I hope not.

      Ron and I learned that there is so much to see within an hour or so near home. It made for some wonderful and inexpensive camping trips.

      There is so much for history buffs to discover where we are now.

      I am having second thoughts about the caverns as I am severely claustrophobic. I’ll talk to Ron and see if it’s a big deal for him to see them. Thanks for the heads up about some tight places.

      You be blessed, too! 🙂

  9. Scott

     /  February 13, 2015

    How cool, I clicked on a link from a site I read and saw you mentioned going to see the Pinta and Nina…..I then checked the pictures and said ‘They are in the campground across from the St. Mark’s Park! Always interesting to see my local area in other people’s blogs 🙂 If you are looking for a beautiful beach, try St. George Island.

    • How cool for you to share your beautiful part of Florida with us! 🙂

      I have read posts and seen pictures of St. George Island. It’s a bit out of our limited travel budget this time, but it is definitely high on my list of places to go — maybe next trip!

  10. Sadly the entire park, campgrounds, fort, beaches, etc. will be accessible only from the water after the next storm tears up the road again. There is a plan for a ferry from Pensacola over to Fort Pickens, but I don’t believe it will be a car ferry. The park was closed for several years after hurricane Ivan and deteriated sigficantly during that span. Without regular maintenance the salt and sea will take over leading to a ruin rather than an historical site.

    Florida Caverns is a nice park even if you can’t do the caverns themselves. There is a varied eco system with easy hiking to a cypress swamp complete with sink holes. Egrets by the thousands make their home in the swamp and can be seen from an elevated boardwalk. Showers are well maintained and If my memory serves they have full sewer hookups.

    • David, thanks for getting back to me. I am really saddened at the impending loss of those facilities. But so grateful I got to enjoy them before they disappear.

      Thanks also for the update on Florida Caverns. I thought I’d cancel our reservations, but will keep them since it sounds like a place I can enjoy even without the cavern tour.

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