Conclusion of Tour 4.

6 Dec

The curve of Gulf coast in Northern Florida known as Big Bend lay between us and our final destination campground for this tour. We identified a location at Keaton Beach to stop over en route – 17 miles off the main 98 highway along a minor road we hoped the campground would be OK as it was a long way to the next one!

Pulling into the campground we found the office closed and a note on the door giving the numbers of 4 vacant sites we could choose from, while deciding which to take we were approached by a couple already camping by the waters edge who introduced themselves and passed on some campground information also telling us that the caretaker would be back soon. Site 22 looked idylic to us – overlooking the bay, peacfull, no road noise AND pelicans! We set up camp.

That afternoon we enjoyed the company of our neighbours – Debbie and Ed from Vermont – exchanging travel tips and taking in the sunshine. Tony (the caretaker) joined us when he returned from his fishing trip to add a few more travel tales the party only breaking up as the sun went down and the wind got just a little too cold.

Next morning we looked out on a totally different view, the tide was out. We had been warned by Debbie and Ed that the water dissapeared and it certainly did, the whole bay became a semi dry sandy/muddy beach. Later Tony told us that the water even when at full tide is very shallow, allowing scallopers to wade out from boats in places, to find their catch.

There were some strage looking characters sitting on the beach!

We took a walk the quarter mile or so to the pier at the end of the road, the end of the small community too. Keaton Beach consists of two roads and a waterway each lined with an assortment of properties, mainly it seemed vacation homes, at this time of year most were empty but apparently in scallop season the small community is alive with fishermen and scallop hunters. One small store and a burger bar provide the local amenities.

The photo perhaps paints a more idylic picture than was the case…. the wind was bitter, however the tranquility of the location was more than can be captured here. 

Tony and his wife Sheila joined us Friday evening and we enjoyed discussing with them their travel experiences in Europe and US. Leaving on Saturday morning we felt we had once again gained some great freinds. On our way once more we stopped for lunch by the Suwannee River ( and I learned it is not the swannee river as I had always thought) The original bridge, which is the southern most crossing of the river has been preserved to one side of the actual river as an historical monument. I was intending to post pictures here but am having some “technical” issues today so this is a somewhat less pictoral post than usual.

Finally mid afternoon we arrived at Quail Roost, Crystal River. We will spend the next few days cleaning and packing, putting haRVey into storage here as we fly to UK on Thursday for our Christmas celebrations with the family. We chose this campground to enable us to meet up with more friends, Doreen and Joe from Ontario (we met on the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan) who spend their winters here. It was good to hear all their news and meet with some of their neighbours on the campground.

So, Roadvoyager’s tour 4 concludes. It has once again been an eventfull trip, especially with the unexpected journey back to Vancouver.

On the 6th September when we set off from Toronto our oddometer read 23,235 – it now reads 32749, that is 9,514 miles, over 7 thousand of those we have completed since October 18th! It is difficult to take in quite how much we have seen as we travelled from Toronto in July through New York State and into New England. The drive from Baltimore to Vancouver, whilst a little stressfull gave us the opportunity to meet old friends in the west (Sue and Alan) and take in some States we had not yet visited. The return drive to Florida bought us back to the Gulf, an area with some great unspoiled locations alongside some very commercial areas too.

It is my hope as I write this that you have enjoyed reading about our adventures as much as we have enjoyed having them. We look forward to next year, tour 5 (Florida to NE Canada ending in Montreal in June) meeting more new friends, perhaps revisiting some old ones too, whatever the road may bring!

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3 Responses to “Conclusion of Tour 4.”

  1. Gloria December 6, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

    Looking forward to seeing you back in cold & snowy England Have a good Christmas if we dont see you before

  2. Liz aka Oouchemam December 14, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Elaine, I have enjoyed reading about your travels and wishing you a wonderful Christmas holiday with your family back in England. Although here it is cold over there. My girlfriends who live in Atlanta, woke up to it being 15 degrees, very cold for the South East.

    We are hoping to go and see Yellowstone and Glacier Park with my new found cousin. Oh the cousing part is a long story. In all my travels with working for AT&T, never made it to either of those places.

    Again, Happy Holidays and wishing you a wonderful New Year that will be blessed with good health and good travels.

    • elainethehill December 15, 2010 at 12:56 am #

      Thank you for your good wishes. I am so pleased you enjoy my ramblings.
      Yellowstone is a wonderful place, when are you going? Its VERY cold there right now. We have yet to visit Glacier although have been to Waterton = the Canadian half of the Park. You willl have to let us know how you get on there.
      Happy Christmas to you and yours hoping the New Year will bring you everything you wish for.

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