Last night we stopped at a county park campground in Bastom, Alabama, called Neal’s Landing. This campground was an unmarked almost free campground. We found it on the site https://freecampsites.net/. We had to use their directions because Google tried to take us somewhere else. That somewhere was an exercise in determination and patience for Capt. Jim as he had to turn the camper around in a tight space. He did well!
Neal’s Landing was very pretty with tall pines throughout, surrounded by a thick wooded wildlife management area. We chose a site next to the river although we could not get to the river from our site due to a steep embankment. There was a boat ramp further up. We chose not to put the canoe in as the river was fast moving. Kaelin had fun running through the campground. It would have been perfect for his trike however, a flat tire flattened those plans.
We had many sites to choose from as there was only the campground host as a neighbor. Quite empty. Although it was very pretty and cost us a whopping $5, we stayed only the one night. The biggest drawback, besides the relentless bugs, was NO WATER. Anywhere! This is truly some boondocking!! We did enjoy a very quiet, dark nights sleep.
This campground could be such a gem with a little more management. Add even just water spigots and you might increase the camper population.
I give it a 3 star rating for cleanliness, quiet and layout.
Captain Jim gives it a 4 star rating for it’s boondocking mystique.
Sadler State Park turned out to be quite a gem, 395 Acres of beautiful forests on a peninsula of Lake Hartwell (56,000 acres). We stayed on Loop #1, site # 1, a pull through that abutts up to the water.
After quickly setting up, little man and I took a walk down to the beach area. He and I, loaded with our cameras, partook in a few photography lessons. I talked to him about composition and foreground and background. He caught on quickly; took a few of his own shots on his Kodak camera his dad had given him and then took off to run the beach. Lessons over, I took many beautiful landscape shots of the lake and its shores. I practiced what I learned in the book Perfect Exposure (I’ll edit with the authors name later.) Using the sand as my midtones, I got perfect shots. Can’t wait to see them on my Surface.
When we checked into the campground little man decided, for some odd reason, that he was afraid to fall in the water! He didn’t want to stay at the site we had chosen. Of course, we didn’t listen to him and number one it was. After seeing how shallow the water was at the shore he decided it was quite safe to play knee-deep for several hours.
We had a lovely evening and slept very well. The next morning, little man earned his level 1 Junior Ranger badge. We had a nice chat with Ranger Austin who suggested we come in the fall. I do believe our Thanksgiving week plans have been made.
Gordonia State Park was hard to find due to poor signage. We almost missed it. There was a separate entrance that we happened on while heading to Walmart. We followed the GPS even though the sign on the road said “Dead End.” It wasn’t a Dead End. Go figure.
It has a lot to offer; golf course, splash pad, lake, canoe rental. The sites were clean although oddly set up. Gnats were absolutely relentless, so be aware you might decide to stay in your camper.
The office was at the golf course club house, however that too was not clearly marked. We had to guess (although correctly) that was where we were to sign in. And there was no RV turn around. It was very difficult on Captain Jim to have to flip flop the camper and avoid golf carts. So if, dear readers, you choose to go here please note that it’s a kinda hunt and peck situation.
Lil Man probably would say that the splash pad was the best part of the park. I got some terrific shots there. We didn’t stay long though, because it wasn’t very parent friendly. There were lots of kids, but only so many hot, metal benches for parents to sit on and not efficient shading.
All in all, probably wouldn’t go back to camp there, however, I could see where it’s a good day park to visit.
For many years we heard that there were monkeys living along the Silver River in the Ocala National Forest. Many people, myself included, felt this to be urban legend. Well, I have proof it is not. Back in February we took a canoe trip down the Silver River. It was such an enjoyable, beautiful day, made even better by encountering these fun creatures. They live about 5 miles from the Ray Wayside Park. Their territory seems to be about a mile in length. We found it interesting that both times we came here, this was the area they hung out in. Why they don’t travel farther, we don’t know.
My photos are not the best, as it is difficult to get a steady shot from a canoe, sometimes moving at that! Unfortunately, we were limited to staying inside the boat. My dream is to get a faster lens so that some of this issue is eliminated, but until then……