New Island Plants & Tiny Campers

Fresh water marsh

Fresh water marsh

I would not have expected to find a fresh water marsh on a skinny strip of land between two bodies of salt water.

The Scamp 5th wheel we toured today

The Scamp 5th wheel we toured today

We took the nature walk trail today.  For something so mundane, it turned into an adventure (of sorts) for us.  Somehow, between my concentrating on learning new plants and Ron trying to keep Sheba from chasing irresistible scents off the side of the trail, we missed the signs — and went around the loop twice.  Then we got turned around on the way back and ended up in Loop A instead of our loop.

Homemade truck camper

Homemade truck camper

It worked out for us, though.  We stopped at the camp host’s site in Loop A and had a delightful conversation with them.  They breed Shih Tzus and had two of them with them.  They have 6 at home, with a new litter due soon.  At one time they traveled with 10 dogs!  They were some of the warmest, most hospitable people I’ve met in a while.

We must have looked pretty bedraggled because they offered to make us a pot of coffee or get us something to drink… and

Margie and her husband in front of their homemade camper.  I didn't catch her husband's name.

Margie and her husband in front of their homemade camper. I didn’t catch her husband’s name.

insisted we sit in their comfortable chairs instead of at the picnic table.  We declined and just enjoyed their company while we caught a second wind.

I got pretty badly sunburned.  I had applied sunscreen to my face and arms and was wearing a ball cap.  But apparently I didn’t apply the sunscreen thickly enough.  And I forgot the back of my neck.  It really burned, and I imagine it will be peeling soon.  In any case, I

The interior of the homemade camper.  In addition to the space over the cabover, the big board at top folds down to make a big bed.

The interior of the homemade camper. In addition to the space over the cabover, the big board at top folds down to make a big bed.

learned why some guys wear their baseball caps backwards!

We got our first tour of a Scamp 5th wheel today.  That was what we thought we wanted when we started looking for a molded fiberglass trailer because we thought it would give us a lot more room.  I was surprised when I got inside.  It felt smaller and more cramped than our Casita.  I think it’s because of the small windows mostly.  And I thought I would love the counters on both sides, but the aisle between them was much narrower than I expected.  The bathroom is so tiny you would have to sit on the toilet to shower.

Conradina -- a new plant to me.

Conradina — a new plant to me. The flowers look like little lavender owls to me!

I do think I would like the way a 5th wheel would tow.  But I left with a new appreciation for the huge windows and the open feeling of our Casita.

The 5th wheel was their third Scamp.  They started with a 13′, then went to a deluxe model without a bathroom.  But the wood interior of the deluxe model made it heavier to tow,  and they decided they wanted a bathroom, so they bought a new standard 5th wheel.  But now it is starting to feel too small for them, so they are looking at moving up to a Class B+ with a slideout.

I'm not sure what this is.  It might be yaupon holly.

I’m not sure what this is. It might be yaupon holly.

We met another couple who built their own homemade truck camper.  It’s tiny, but there is a bed in the cabover, plus another large fold-down section that makes a wide, comfortable bed.  They use the bottom area beneath the folded out bed mainly for storage.  They have a large screen room that they do their actual camping in.  They’ve been to Colorado in it and plan to take it to California soon.

A huge thistle flower

A huge thistle flower

Later this afternoon, the Scamp owners came down for a tour of our Casita.  They were very surprised at how open it looks and feels with our twin bed arrangement. They remarked it looked larger than their 5th wheel.

We gave one more tour while they were here, so at one point we had 5 people inside our Casita.

Sunny got a bath in our shower this evening.  We are taking Sheba into town tomorrow to get her bathed.  That will serve two purposes… a nice clean doggie in our camper — and a few hours of FREEDOM!  We can leave Sunny in the Casita and then we’ll be able to tour the Fort.

Ron and Sheba

Ron and Sheba

Vet bills and getting Sheba bathed have wiped out any hope of dinner out this trip, but that’s just the way it goes when you are on a budget.  In a more private campground, we’d probably risk bathing Sheba ourselves outside.  But here it’s not possible.

Sunny’s meds are working a doggie miracle.  He is feeling great.  I would never have taken him walking with us

I'm guessing this is some kind of sedum

I’m guessing this is some kind of sedum

today if we had known how long we would end up going.  But he did great.

Both dogs are really zonked tonight.  Ron took Sheba for a couple of other fairly long walks today, so she was ready to collapse this evening.

Even the blackberries struggle in this hostile environment.  The leaves and berries are tiny.

Even the blackberries struggle in this hostile environment. The leaves and berries are tiny.

Cute little bird hopping around our fire pit.

Cute little bird hopping around our fire pit.

Dead live oak.  (That's fun to say!)  :)

Dead live oak. (That’s fun to say!) 🙂

Fetterbush -- another new plant for me!

Fetterbush — another new plant for me!

Florida rosemary.  I had never seen this plant before, either.

Florida rosemary. I had never seen this plant before, either.

Rosebud, Periwinkles & Scamps

First rosebud of spring

I discovered our first rosebud of the year today!  It was nestled among a cluster of new, red, baby rose leaves.

Purple periwinkles (perennial vinca)

And down by our front steps, the purple periwinkles are blooming.  What incredible beauty!

Here's a closeup of the periwinkle's sweet face!

And, it was only two days ago that I said that we were definitely going to buy a Casita Liberty Deluxe.  But Ron just can’t handle the lack of space, so we are going to have to go with the Scamp 5th wheel.

I wrote a woman who owns a 1988 Scamp about whether she would buy a Casita or Scamp, given the option now that she has had a Scamp for so long.  She would still choose the Scamp (although she would much rather have the much more expensive Escape–and so would I!).   And I had letters last year from two Scamp owners who were very happy with their Scamps.  One had owned both a Casita and a Scamp 5th wheel, and he said that he would not hesitate to buy either one again.

So I’ve put the quality comparison issue to rest.

One of my biggest problems with the Scamp was the marine fabric behind the stove instead of a washable surface there.  But I talked to Jim at Scamp today and he assured me that they can put a washable splash board behind both the sink and the stove.  So that’s a non-issue.

I still don’t like the tiny bathroom and tiny black water tank in the Scamp.  But the extra space is a decent trade-off, I think.

Their prices are going up in two weeks.  I could have put a deposit on the Scamp today and locked in the lower price.  But until I get the Aliner paid off and my down payment saved up, I didn’t feel comfortable doing that.

So if no unexpected financial problems hit us in the meantime, we plan to order our Scamp this fall.

Heading Home Tomorrow

1923 Ford owned by one of the campers here

Our lovely vacation is drawing to a close.  Tonight’s our last night camping here at Indian Springs State Park.  We left winter weather behind and enjoyed seeing spring arrive during our month-long escape.

We feel as though the camp host, Dick, has become a dear friend.  And we met some wonderful campers.  Kathryn and Albert helped me search for a lost wallet —

Rear view of the 1923 Ford

which Ron later found in my jacket pocket after I had called the bank and canceled my debit cards and was on hold to cancel my credit cards.  So glad I had a long wait on hold.  🙂

And we really enjoyed meeting Virginia and Danny who were on their first outing in their new-to-them Shadow Cruiser.  They weren’t aware of the America the Beautiful Senior Pass that gives a 50% discount on camping fees at federal campgrounds, so it was our joy to share that

Beautiful proof that spring has really arrived!

information with them.

So now we will head home.  I’ll do some maintenance on the Aliner and probably put in my square foot vegetable garden and some flowers, and settle back into everyday home life.

But we will still plan on getting out for a week long camping trip each month.  Maybe we can make it to the Blue Ridge Mountains to cool off  in July or August when the weather is  really hot this year.

Sparkly rocks found down by the lake.

Hopefully I’ll get the Aliner paid off in July and start saving for a nice down payment on a Scamp 5th wheel, which is the larger camper Ron and I have decided would work best for us and our 6 cylinder truck.

We did go fishing this afternoon.  We didn’t even get a bite, but did enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery from the fishing dock.

And tonight there is a bright moon and beautiful stars in a clear sky.  So it’s the perfect ending to a very good trip.

Redbud trees are bursting into bloom all through the woods.

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