Leaving Amity

Sun glowing through trees after the rain

Sun glowing through trees after the rain

Amity COE is probably the most beautiful campground we’ve ever enjoyed.  But when there was no one else in our loop over the weekend — and only a handful of campers in other loops, we were starting to miss people.

Little Sunny enjoying camping.  :)

Little Sunny enjoying camping. 🙂

We left Amity around 3:00 and pulled into FDR State Park around 4:00 this afternoon.  After a fast set up, we headed back toward town to pick up KFC — and Almond Joy ice cream cones at LuBelle’s Ice Cream Parlor.  What a treat!

We got back to FDR amidst a drenching downpour.  It’s still too soggy and drizzly to take pictures here, so I’ll post a few of my final shots from the Alabama side of West Point Lake.

By the boat launch

By the boat launch

We are planning to tour FDR’s Little White House tomorrow.

Upstream of the dam

Upstream of the dam

Downstream from the dam

Downstream from the dam

A glimpse of the dam machinery

A glimpse of the dam machinery



Amity Campground

new campsite

Our Casita at Amity COE.

Our (huge) campsite from the water.

Our (huge) campsite from the water.

We arrived at Amity Corps of Engineers campground on West Point Lake near Lanette, AL yesterday.  As pretty as our site was, it did not have much of a water view.

Since I live in deep woods, a pretty woods view was an awful lot like being home.  So today we moved to a different site that on the water that we like a lot better.

The sites here are HUGE.  They all have a paved area for an RV, a tent pad quite a distance from the paved area and a concrete picnic table with a gravel base.  I have never seen campsites this large.  And I have seen houses a lot closer than these campsites are.  It’s beautiful.

The lake

The lake

Oddly enough, here on the Alabama side, the campgrounds are almost deserted.  On the Georgia side I couldn’t get a reservation for 6 days.  Granted, there is not a lot to do here unless you love hiking, boating, fishing and just being out in nature.  But I am really surprised at how few people are here.

The trails look lovely.  I am pretty stiff from the walk with Cindy Saturday, so am not up to hiking yet.  But with a little help from Aleve, I’m hoping to remedy that!

This was our first campsite before we moved.  Beautiful, but we missed a water view.

This was our first campsite before we moved. Beautiful, but we missed a water view.

It was blisteringly hot today, near 90.  We spent the heat of the day reading outside in deep shade, enjoying the breezes off the lake.  It cooled down enough for a nice walk with the dogs late this afternoon.  Just perfect for cooking and eating outside.  And it is almost chilly outside this evening.  Lovely!

Kim is supposed to stop by for a visit tomorrow.  I’m really looking forward to seeing her!

The trail is carpeted with pine needles.

The trail is carpeted with pine needles.


Ready to Camp Again & Container Gardening

Radicchio in Earth Box

Radicchio in Earth Box

When we got home from our camping trip to Watson’s Mill Bridge last week, we threw a load of laundry in the washer, put on a pot of coffee, and Ron announced, “I’m ready to go camping again.”

The bell pepper plants are loaded with baby peppers.  The tomatoes are not faring so well.

The bell pepper plants are loaded with baby peppers. The tomatoes are not faring so well.

I was, too.

For some reason, our place just depresses us.  It’s a pit stop.  A place to come home to until we can leave again.

I have been reluctant to plant my square foot gardens.  I guess the truth is, I just don’t want to be tied down by them.  So I’m settling for what I have planted in my ten Earth Boxes — at least for now.  We may lose them while we are out camping.  If so, that’s just the way it is.

We are aging and don’t have a lot of years left.  The camping is SO much more important to us at this stage of our lives.

The cold spring killed the fig trees that we have enjoyed for 15 years.  The buds are all black or brown and I have finally accepted that they are not coming back.

Dead fig trees

Dead fig trees

Anyway, I just made reservations for a week at West Point Lake next week.  We couldn’t get a site for that amount of time on the Georgia side, so we’ll be camping on the Alabama side.

We can’t wait!!!!!!




Last Day at Whitetail Ridge

Ron and Sheba and the little island that looks like Tom Sawyer ought to appear on his raft at any moment.

Ron and Sheba and the little island that looks like Tom Sawyer ought to appear on his raft at any moment.

Today is chilly.  Ron is gone to town to search out a good take out dinner.  He took Sunny with him.

I’m sitting inside the Casita watching the reflection of the sunset turn the sky and the water a serene mauve.

Earlier Sheba and I went for a walk.  I deliberately left the camera behind, wanting to soak up the scenery and Sheba’s companionship without distraction.

We sauntered uphill and downhill, enjoying the play of light on the trees and over the water.  Noting sunbeams that turned the brown carpet of fallen leaves to golden magic. Inhaling the faint scent of a distant campfire.  The almost deserted campground was completely silent.

We detoured to the water’s edge so Sheba could wade and lap up her fill of water.

I felt as though I were saying goodbye to something significant, but couldn’t put my finger on anything definitive.  Maybe just saying goodbye to another autumn as we head into winter.

When we got back, I was warm enough from the walk to sit outside with Sheba for a little while.  I treated her to a dinner of her favorite canned dog food instead of the usual mix of kibble and canned.

Then I watched the setting sun blaze through the leaves, seemingly illuminating them from within.

Now the mauve is fading from the water and twilight descends.

It’s been a beautiful trip.

Whitetail Ridge

My favorite little camping buddy.  Sunny coming out of his sweater.

My favorite little camping buddy. Sunny coming out of his sweater.

Carla and Jerry stopped by this morning to say goodbye on their way into Montgomery to see some of the historical sites.

Our site at Whitetail Ridge

Our site at Whitetail Ridge

I had fallen asleep last night and slept like a rock –until around 12:00 a.m.  Then I couldn’t get back to sleep until around 5:30 this morning.  So I had a bit of trouble getting up and moving this morning.  When they stopped by to say goodbye, I stumbled outside looking pretty disheveled.

Waterfront access behind our site

Waterfront access behind our site

I sure hope they don’t remember me that way!

We were planning to go to one of the COE campgrounds farther south, but ended up deciding on Whitetail Ridge on West Point Lake.  I’m glad we did.  This place is gorgeous!!!

We are surrounded on three sides by water, so get to see the sun set over the lake, and also enjoy the afterglow reflected off the clouds and water behind our trailer.

Looking down the road from our site

Looking down the road from our site

It’s a little cool for camping.  I think we might head into town tomorrow and see if we can find an inexpensive screen room with a wind break so we can enjoy sitting outside while we are here.

Fiery sunset across the loop

Fiery sunset across the loop

The sunset reflected in the clouds and on the water behind our trailer.

The sunset reflected in the clouds and on the water behind our trailer.

Still on West Point Lake

Our view with the weekend campers gone

Our view with the weekend campers gone

The campground almost emptied today.  It’s such a different atmosphere when the weekenders leave.

Another Casita in the next loop

Another Casita in the next loop

The thunderstorms that we expected weren’t nearly as bad as predicted.  There was occasional thunder and sporadic light showers.  But we still had plenty of time to get out for nice walks with the dogs.

While we were out, we spotted another Casita and walked over to their loop to say hello.  Their door was open, but no one was outside, so we didn’t bother them.  Maybe we can meet them tomorrow.

The tent sites are empty now

The tent sites are empty now

I did enjoy photographing a robin who was apparently having good luck hunting worms that the rain brought to the surface.

Due to the on and off rain, I spent much of the day inside reading.  I really appreciate this chance to just veg out for a couple of days because when we get home, we have our work cut out for us.  The yard is a disaster from all the limbs

Blackbirds at the lake's edge

Blackbirds at the lake’s edge

that blew down over the winter.  And there’s a lot of other sprucing up that needs to be done.




Geese family

Geese family

Ron with Sheba and Sunny

Ron with Sheba and Sunny


West Point Lake

Our campsite on a narrow section of  West Point Lake

Our campsite on a narrow section of West Point Lake

We started meandering toward home today.  We weren’t sure how far we would feel like driving, so left our destination open.

Doggie room with a view

Doggie room with a view

After a while we decided we were feeling pretty good, so we decided to shoot for West Point Lake on the Alabama/Georgia border. We’ve camped here before and like it.  Our only concern was whether or not they would have any walk-in sites available late on a Friday afternoon.

I sent up a quick prayer that everything would work out for us–and it did!

There were only 3 or 4 sites left.  I told the gate attendants that we’d like something really easy to get into, as I was too tired to fight with a difficult back-in situation (some of the sites here are nerve wracking to get into), and something that would be nice for two dogs.

Army Corps of Engineers doggie pen :)

Army Corps of Engineers doggie pen 🙂

They suggested we would probably like site 91.  It’s a pull-thru, but it’s on a  narrow part of the lake so didn’t offer an expansive lake view.  That sounded fine with us.

When we got to the site, we really liked it.  It’s a small site, but has a nice deck on 3 sides with benches for our stove and grill.  The picnic table area projects farther out than the rest of the deck.  Since we didn’t need to use the picnic table, we decided that it was a perfect place to fence in to corral the dogs.

One particular little dog would much prefer to be leashed than caged.

One particular little dog would much prefer to be leashed than caged.

We’re pooped tonight.  So this will be a short post just to let you know we arrived safely.  We plan to leave here the 30th, as I need to be home by the 1st.

I apologize for all the dog chatter, but we were too tired to do any interesting camping-type things this evening — other than grill ribs.  🙂

Sunsets at West Point Lake, GA

Sunset 1 at West Point Lake

A sunset at West Point Lake

We are home from our camping trip to West Point Lake now.  Since the days ranged from the low to high 90’s, we couldn’t do our normal camping activities like hiking, so we got bored.  It was the first time I have been anxious to return from a camping trip.

Sunset 2 over West Point Lake

Another glorious sunset

My best memories of the trip are the glorious sunsets.  All were shades of orange and mauve, but each was distinctive and unforgettable.  Long after the sun set, the gleaming colors lingered on the surface of the water.

One of three sunset shots over lake

First of three photos of this sunset

Shot 2 of 3

Second of three photos

Final shot of sunset 3

The last photo of the sunset the night before we left

R. Shaefer Heard COE Campground

Aliner high on a steep bluff

Aliner high on a steep bank

It is 99 degrees at 5:50 p.m. in town.  I think it must be cooler where we are.  We are in the shade and there is a nice breeze off the lake.

It is scary backing just the truck down the steep driveway to our site.  It was hair-raising backing the Aliner in.  But I got it done, even managing to miss the tree at edge of the drive after several — no, make that MANY– tries!

Aliner at R. Shaefer Heard Army Corps of Engineers campground

Our site

The campground is gorgeous.  There are all kinds of sites.  There are some that have smooth, grassy lawns gently sloping right down to the lake.  We drove by that section earlier and there were kids splashing in the water.

My only complaint about the campground is that something died in the nearby woods, and we get a whiff of it now and then.

We haven’t done any hiking since we got here.  When we are active, the heat really gets to us.  If we take it easy, it’s not bad.  It helps being a Florida native and adapted to hot weather.  But we do take a nice air conditioned siesta in the afternoons.

Sunset over West Point Lake

Sunset over West Point Lake

Last night’s sunset over the lake was gorgeous.  A breathtaking palette of mauves and oranges.

I brought my new mushroom book by Michael Kuo and have been studying it.   It is an excellent guide — a great addition to my library.  I am praying for rain so that mushrooms will sprout up while we are here.  It’s never too hot for me to hunt them!

We may get thunderstorms tomorrow.  In fact, it sprinkled lightly

Another sunset shot

Another shot of that gorgeous sunset!

earlier, and we are getting occasional flashes of lightning and distant thunder now.

It’s a pretty steep path to get from our site down to the water.  But there are trees to hold onto.  It has been too hot for us to want to fish, then deal with cleaning them, but we will probably do that before we leave — especially if it cools down a bit.

We are loving being here.  It is so peaceful, so beautiful, and it feels so safe.  We normally don’t like to return to the same campground as there are so many others to explore.  But this one is special to us.

Rocks at the edge of West Point Lake

Rocks at the edge of the lake in front of our site

And the fact that Ron’s senior pass makes the sites 50% off makes it irresistible!

The Aliner at sunset

Ron relaxing by the Aliner at sunset

Camping Next Week!

I just made our reservations for the R. Shaefer Heard COE campground at West Point Lake. It looks like our site will have a panoramic view of the huge lake. We will be leaving July 7 for 8 days.

I can’t wait!

We got new all terrain tires on the truck today.  Lack of traction had been a real problem at some of the places we have taken the camper.  So these should have plenty of grip without being too bumpy or noisy on the road.

soot on the inside of our screen room

The result of using a citronella torch inside the screen room

We do have to clean our screen room.  We used a citronella torch inside to help discourage bugs on our last few camping trips.  It worked, but now we have a cleaning job to do.  I plan to spray it with Greased Lightning and hose it down, and hope it takes the worst of the soot off.

I unsuccessfully looked for mushrooms again today.  The rain we got was apparently not sufficient to make them pop up.

Maybe we will hit another mushroom bonanza on our camping trip like we did on the last one.

I’ll close with pictures of flowers I took in the yard today.

peach colored gladiola

Gorgeous colors!

pink gladiola

These gladiolas are volunteers from last years bulbs that were not lifted over the winter.

unsprayed roses

These roses have never been sprayed, yet are almost bug free. Amazingly, the Japanese beetles have found the blackberries, but haven't touched the roses.

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