Okay, this might be sounding like a stuck record (most people under a certain age will have no idea what that means), but we went back to Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area…again.
But this trip, at least one part of it, will be very hard to top!
We arrived a little after 2:00 p.m. on a beautiful fall day. After checking in at the Ranger Station, we crossed back over A1A and drove into the campgrounds. We found our spot--Site 19-- and pulled in so we would be facing the ocean.
There is a short, wooden fence on each site that prevents anyone from driving into the dunes that separate the campgrounds from the beach. Before hooking up, Rick stood at the fence for a minute or so, just soaking up the beauty of the beach, ocean, and blue sky.
We’ve camped enough times so that hooking up to the campground services took just a couple of minutes. Rick then asked Linda for the camera so he could take two quick photos--one from the left rear of the Viva facing the ocean, and the other from the right rear. The second photo showed the wooden fence previously mentioned.
Linda then asked Rick to empty the ice from the cooler. It was a bit heavy, so he went inside the Viva to get it so that Linda wouldn’t have to lift it. He stepped outside and turned toward the fence, where he was going to go to dump the ice. What he saw at the base of the fence made him quickly change his plans!
The photo above removed any chance at drama or surprise for anyone reading this blog, and yes, Rick saw an Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake. It was amazing to see it so close. And of course, if you know Rick, you know that he had to get closer. He asked Linda for his iPhone so he could shoot some video and take several photos. Click HERE for a bigger version of our visitor.
Speaking of photos, remember the photo from the right rear of the Viva that Rick took just after hooking up? When he later enlarged the photo, the rattlesnake was clearly visible--which means that when Rick was standing at the fence and then hooking up the Viva, the rattlesnake couldn’t have been more than a few feet away in the weeds.
We met a nice couple from Orlando who asked for and received a tour of the Viva--and they loved it, by the way--and we did the usual things we do at this campground: walked on the beach, walked the dogs along A1A, Rick ran (6 miles), and just relaxed and enjoyed the mesmerizing view in front of us. But never far from our minds was the visitor we saw shortly after arrival! We didn’t see him (her?) again, but just before we left, another camper stopped to ask us if we were the ones who saw the rattlesnake. We told him yes, and he said that he had been camping on our site two weeks earlier. He saw a rattlesnake (he thinks it was probably the same one), crawl under his RV, continue on to crawl under the trailer on the next site to the right, and then go back into the dunes.
Rick saw a small diamondback at the entrance to the campground on August 25 (see that blog entry), but we didn’t expect to find a much larger rattlesnake literally on our campsite. Needless to say, we will forever be much more aware of our surroundings when we camp here!
Click for ALL of this trip’s PHOTOS (7 total)
After not camping at all in October (and going through Viva withdrawal), we once again made the short trip to Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area for a three night stay on Site 21.
The highlight of our trip, by far, was the almost full moon. This photo was taken on November 5th, with no flash, manual settings, and no tripod. It turned out okay, all things considered.
Linda went for several walks on the beach, and both of us took the dogs for long walks each day along A1A. Rick ran three days in a row, including a 6 mile run in the middle of the afternoon when the temperature was in the low 80s. Not fun! Speaking of temperature, the weather was gorgeous.
Rick’s only walk on the beach was after his 6 mile run, and mostly to cool his feet. He saw several jellyfish washed ashore, and rescued a tiny fish that was caught in the surf. Just before he got out of the water, a Portuguese Man of War floated right beside his legs. They are nasty looking creatures.
Click for this trip’s highlight PHOTOS (5 total)
Click for ALL of this trip’s PHOTOS (16 total)