Tuesday, February 28, 2006

06-07 Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach Florida

(7) On The Road Again
Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach

Ft Clinch. I was able to get out of the campsite at Anastasia State Park ok. They had watered the sand down and it packed well enough for me to get my rig out of the campsite.

It was about a 74 mile trip to Fernandina Beach taking US 1 and then 9A around the eastern end of Jax. Pleasant drive, with little traffic. It’s hard to believe it’s about 30 miles from Jax. It feels more like a hundred miles away from any city.

I arrived at Ft Clinch State Park, which is on the northern end of the island. And I couldn’t be more pleased. I’m on the beach loop in full sun, but the camper has good A/C and I’m right next to the beach access ramp! I love the water, the ocean, the sand and the sun. I’m in heaven.

Sand dunes, ocean view, blue sky, warm breezes, what more could you ask for?
I can see everyone coming and going along the boardwalk, what fun, especially if you’re a people watcher.

Families with their kids, mainly young pre-teens. Is school out already? A number of older sun worshipers with deep dark tans. Shrimp boats going out for the days catch, pleasure boats and sailboats heading past the red and green markers between the stone jetties. The occasional cargo ships lined up along the horizon.

I love this lifestyle. As much as I enjoy exploring the country, especially out west, I love the water. The ocean, the sand, the sun, the warmth of the sun. Reading a good book in a beach chair with a big umbrella so I can stay by the waters edge all day. Swimming in the gentle shallow waters. The waves barely breaking against the shore.

Amelia Island’s homes have perfect manicured lawns, trees, all set back from the main roads. The Ritz Carlton and The Plantation have made it a high end destination. The beach homes include a couple in the shape of light houses. Many of the restaurants are high end and pricey. Including the only 5 star restaurant in Florida. But I found some reasonable eateries in the old part of town, including a seafood place right on the water. Great town to walk and shop.

Yes, my dream of being a beach bum, a vagabond, traveling to where ever my gypsy wheels carry me, has come true. Being a camper, I’m able to stay in places one would normally not be able to afford. Fortune smiles on the camper. Saving the best spots for camping in our state parks. In Florida, many are right on the ocean or Gulf of Mexico. A paradise waiting for the lucky few who leave the arm chair and TV behind and explore a whole world outside.

RV TIP. there are two camping sections in Ft Clinch State Park. The beach circle that I’m at and the Pine Forest. Although the pine forested campsites are well shaded and on a lagoon, it is heavily mosquito infested, even during the daytime. Take your pick, sun and beach or shade with mosquito’s.

Anastasia State Park has all their campsites in a scrub oak hammock and from what I could tell, mosquito free. As I sat out past dark at my campsite every evening and thoroughly enjoyed the breezy night air.

Bonus thought for a lifetime: “Reach for the Moon. Even if you don’t make it - you’ll be among the Stars”

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