Back to nature!

After the hustle and bustle of Tampa and Disney World, we were both ready to get back to a quiet campground. 

 Mike Roess, Gold Head Branch State Park near Gainesville, Florida delivered. It wasn't the most beautiful park we've been to, which is why there aren't many photos to share, but it was peaceful. It was nice to get back to a slower pace. We only stayed there a few days, it was really just a stop on our way back to somewhere with water. There's something about being near water, be it a lake, river, or ocean, that makes us happy. 

 Leaves everywhere!

Leaves everywhere!

 The water in the bottom of the ravine was so clear, you can't really see it in the photo.

The water in the bottom of the ravine was so clear, you can't really see it in the photo.

 Our next stop was Laura S. Walker State Park in Georgia. It's near the Okefenokee Swamp, which means lots of water and lots of trees. We snagged the best site in the park, with a great view of the lake. It was the cleanest park we've been to, and the only noises we had to deal with were the Canadian Geese. As nice as that park was, we were looking forward to getting back to the ocean. I had never seen the Atlantic Ocean, and was excited to see it. 

 The view from the back window.

The view from the back window.

 Sunset on the lake.

Sunset on the lake.

 We've found that we prefer State Parks, so we chose Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina. It's located above Hilton Head. I always pictured the Atlantic to be more robust than the Pacific. Not so much! Now I know why The Beach Boys always sang about California and not South Carolina. 

 My toes saying hello to the Atlantic Ocean!

My toes saying hello to the Atlantic Ocean!

 Riding my bike on the beach.

Riding my bike on the beach.

 You don't see sea oats on the west coast.

You don't see sea oats on the west coast.

 The island was beautiful. The pine trees grew next to the palm trees, right along the shore. We took a bike ride for about four miles along the beach and then back through the trees. The tidal marsh was just as beautiful as the beach. 

 Paul riding his bike on the beach.

Paul riding his bike on the beach.

 The tidal marsh. Is it just me, or does it look like the palm on the left is photo-bombing us?

The tidal marsh. Is it just me, or does it look like the palm on the left is photo-bombing us?

 Where the rich forest floor meets the sand. 

Where the rich forest floor meets the sand. 

 We met a couple that were interested in how we live full time in a truck camper. They invited us to their campfire for happy hour. We discovered that we stayed in the same campsite they had in the last State Park we were in. Not just the same park, the same site! It's a small world, even living on the road.

 It was now time to start making our way west toward Nashville, and the first concert of Kenny Chesney's Big Revival Tour. Well, the first and second concerts of the tour. I can't imagine being in a town, where Kenny is singing two nights, and not going to both shows! I'm not the only one, I'm meeting a bunch of friends, from all over the country, (and one from Canada) there. 

 The first stop west was Hamilton Branch State Park, South Carolina. It's on Strom Thurmond Lake, above Augusta, Georgia. The state line runs through the middle of the lake. You can see Georgia from here. The park is big, but just a few loops are open this time of year. We are parked right next to the water. The dirt is red, like you hear about in all those country songs. The downfall to this campground, is there's no sewer connection at the site. I don't want to fill the tank too fast, so I decided to pee in the forest. This country girl, is calling on her country upbringing! 

 Lake Strom Thurmond, South Carolina/Georgia.

Lake Strom Thurmond, South Carolina/Georgia.

 Another great view from the back window.

Another great view from the back window.

 The orange/red pebbles under the water along the bank.

The orange/red pebbles under the water along the bank.

 If it was a tad warmer, I'd swim out to those islands,

If it was a tad warmer, I'd swim out to those islands,

When we got here, the forecast called for rain every day. They got it wrong and the first four days ended up being sunny. After enjoying the neighbor campers campfire on our last stop, we decided to gather wood and have our first campfire since we've been on the adventure. I forgot how much I enjoyed having a campfire. I enjoyed it so much, that when Paul didn't want to have another fire the next night, I went out and lit one up for myself. I wasn't going to leave the wood I gathered for the next campers! 

 A fire at sunset.

A fire at sunset.

 I gathered the wood, I'm burning it! 

I gathered the wood, I'm burning it!