Time to move again! On Wednesday, February 19th, it was time to reluctantly say goodbye to Stephen Foster. Did I already say what a wonderful state park it is? Even if I did, I’ll say it again! We so enjoyed our short stay there and we’ll definitely return again in the future.
Our next destination was Carrabelle Beach RV Resort in Carrabelle, Florida. Carrabelle is located approximately 151 miles south and west of White Springs so we knew we had a relatively long drive (about 2 1/2 hours) ahead of us. Carrabelle is located about 90 miles southeast of Tallahassee along the coast at the western end of the “big bend” in part of the “Forgotten Coast” referring to the quieter, undeveloped section of coastline.
Leaving Stephen Foster state park around noon time, we headed out from White Springs on FL-136. There is no direct interstate route to Carrabelle from White Springs so it was slower travel but I found it more enjoyable since there was lots of constantly changing scenery.
After a pleasant and uneventful drive, we finally pulled into the Carrabelle Beach RV Resort, stopping at the office so we could check in. As we walked in, we were greeted by a very friendly woman behind the desk and several other very friendly guys who were just hanging out in the office. We were assigned to site #15. Their rate is $42.95/night plus tax but they were offering a buy 2 nights and get the 3rd night free deal so for our 3 night stay the cost was $93.63 (including tax) or $31/night.
Usually I lead the way to the site but there was no room for me to get past the coach so Rob had to go first. Yikes, even though the roads were paved they were pretty narrow with tight turns. No way he could avoid running over the some of the landscaped corners, but no plantings were hurt during this exercise! Our site was a pull thru, thank goodness because it was difficult enough making the turn going forward into the site. Although the site was a nice concrete pad (as are all the sites here), it was barely long enough for our coach. Even with one corner of the beast’s butt hanging into the road slightly, we still had to use a shoe horn to squeeze the car in the front of the coach. It was so tight we couldn’t open the car doors on one side. Jeesh! Width of the sites was typical (small) for a private park, perhaps a bit less.
Carrabelle Beach RV Park which is an RVC Destination offers all concrete sites with full hook-ups (50 amp, sewer, water and cable), free wi-fi, pool with an observation deck, convenience store, laundry facilities, picnic table on each site, rec hall (with workout equipment, foosball table, big screen TV, computer station and a full kitchen), a playground, horseshoes, a bark park and of course, the lovely beach across the street. In addition to the RV sites, they have resort cottages, 2 BR cottages, haven bungalows and haven cottages. They claim that every RV site has a view of the Gulf of Mexico but we found that is only true if you don’t have a coach or 5th wheel next to you. In that case, your only view is of your next door neighbor.
While Rob was maneuvering the coach onto the pad, I apologized to our next door neighbors, who were sitting outside their 5th wheel, for ruining their view! No problem replied Denise and Lee from Michigan. Great, fun people, traveling with their conure (small parrot), Ripley. Ripley was quite amusing, could speak some words and phrases (we never actually heard him talk) and wanted constant attention. They were saying that he isn’t quite used to traveling yet so he is squawking a lot more than normal. Pretty cute! Not sure if the kitties ever realized during our stay that a bird was their next door neighbor. It was kind of interesting that they had recently come from Rock Crusher Canyon campground where we had just been (they didn’t think it was so great either) and on Friday they were leaving for Topsail Hill State Park which is where we were going on Saturday.
One odd (and annoying) aspect of our site here was its extreme un-levelness. Since 2010 we have never experienced a site where we could not get the coach level with just the jacks – until now, and this was a full concrete pad site which are usually built with levelness in mind! Usually a diesel coach with air bags can get level pretty easily once the air bags have been dumped and the coach is “lowered”. Not here, at least on site #15! There was about a 12″ difference in height off the ground between the front and back of the coach and we still weren’t level. Even with the front tires 2″ off the ground we could not get level fore and aft. Rob doesn’t like stressing out the suspension that way so we lowered the front tires so they were back on the ground and just lived with the tilt for the three nights of our stay.
Just as a note, later during our stay we walked over to the sites on the east side of the resort (to the right as you face the office). There were more Class A motorhomes on this side – the sites here were 90 degrees to the roads unlike the west side which had angled sites, but the streets seemed wider and many of the sites appeared longer. The back end of this park is “uphill” with the sites cutting across the slope, so the angled sites are probably more prone to being unlevel as they partially face downhill.
Once we got settled in, we took a walk across the street to the beach. Very pretty! There’s a historic marker near the parking lot – apparently this area was used by the Army as training for the Normandy Invasion. Interesting!
As we walked along the beach, we noticed a group of birds we had never seen before standing still on the beach. With their very long black beaks with an orange stripe (hard to see in the photo), these birds turned out to be Skimmers. They are the only bird whose lower mandible is longer than the upper one allowing them to “skim” through the water, catching small fish. Even as we approached fairly close to them, they just stood there motionless except for the wind ruffling their feathers. Cool.
Walking along, we passed by a village of sand castles that someone must have made earlier in the day. Further down the beach, we came across a “forest” of remnant tree stumps. These were not driftwood, but quite obviously had been living there in the not too distant past. Perhaps a hurricane had reshaped the shoreline putting these trees on the beach where they probably succumbed to the salt in the water – in any case they made for a very interesting beach-scape.
Our plans were to take a day trip to St. George’s Island the next day. More on that in our next post!