Category Archives: travels

Sadler State Park South Carolina June 4th 2017

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.

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Gordonia State Park, Georgia

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.

No coffee in the house

Saturday,  June 3rd,  2017

After an uneventful, quiet night at Laura S Walker State Park we are once again on the road. Having no coffee “in the house” causes one to pack quickly and efficiently. The gas problem was solved five miles down the road in a teeny tiny town called Hoboken. I kid you not! We filled up tanks, coffee and gas and continued our travels down Highway 121. Some travelers would not be content to take these country highways, but I truly am. Lately, I have suffered terrible traffic anxiety, seeing an accident in every turn. Taking these meandering byways are peaceful and truly beautiful. It allows you to see a side of life one cannot see on major highways. Little to no traffic makes it stress free for both myself and Captain Jim. My only regret is I can’t stop at every rustic barn, quiet town and cute cow to take a picture. Destination Gordonia State Park.

The people are home but no lights are on

Friday June 2nd, 180 miles into the trip.

How can a whole town be without electricity? We stopped for lunch along Highway 121, Brandy Branch Road AKA Brady Brunch Road, according to Captain Jim. It was a quaint, meaning tiny, little gas station. We pulled in and decided to have some lunch and a much-needed bathroom break. It was pouring rain and as we sat in our home away from home we decided we could push it a little further down the road for a bigger gas station. The town of Folkston was only about fifteen miles down the road. What a nightmare! Our targeted gas station was closed and construction was blocking the entrance to further gas stations. “No problem”, says Captain Jim, “I can get us in there.”  Well here (Flash Foods) was down for the count as the electricity was out and so was the next place, the next and the next. As we drove through this god-forsaken town of Folkston Georgia, it was becoming apparent electricity was not to be had anywhere. Our first nights destination, Laura S Walker State Park, being only about 30 miles down the road, we will traverse on and hope to find gas along the way.

Here we go again

Friday 6/2/2017 

Away on another adventure exploring the unknown and revisiting some known. The traveling Willoughby’s leave the misty, overcast humidity of Florida and head for Roan Mountain, Tennessee. Days of last-minute appointments, end-of-year school prep, airport excursions, family visits and of course, packing, has left us subdued, but most definitely ready for the peace and quiet of the mountains. Follow us as we once again travel, play, photograph and explore.

DC Statues

One cannot help but notice the thousands of statues and sculptures that are scattered throughout Washington DC.  Notice one and you are probably missing half a dozen more.  These are great subjects to photograph as they don’t move.  They can be challenging in that you have to get your shots without people in them.  The shots are usually in the what I call the “crane your neck” view as you have to look up at them to take the shots.  This also means you have to watch that the sky doesn’t blow out your highlights.  This view, however, can add to the immensity of some of these works of art.  Especially my favorite, the view of the Infinity Sculpture/Artwork that we found outside the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  I’ve taken this shot before, but never did it come out like this one.  The reflection of the sky in the metal just added to the feeling of motion.  I don’t know what the names of many of the statues are, as I took them as we were walking from point A to point B.  Often, I was only afforded a few minutes to point and shoot.  We were always on the go!  There is just so much to do in DC.

 

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Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

The first place we visit when in Washington DC is, of course, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  This is a must due to my very nerdy men.  My husband, a fifth grade teacher, loves science almost as much as he loves me and that’s a lot.  Our 8 year old son, gifted, cute and truly a young scientist at heart wants to be a NASA engineer when he grows up.  Last year he even got to meet a real NASA engineer, which of course, further fueled his desire to one day build a faster rocket than anything they have today!  Watch out future American citizens, he just might do it.

 

These are only a few of the photos I took.  I didn’t take near as many as I did the first time we went to the Air and Space Museum.  Back in 2014, I think I took a photo of just about every exhibit.  This year, not so much.  I wanted to concentrate on what I was seeing.  Of course, the coolest exhibit this year was the original model of the spaceship Star Trek Enterprise.  Being a fan of the show, this was a must see.