Our Viva!

Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area • Flagler Beach, FL • NOV 14 - 17, 2016

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This was our first visit to our favorite campground since Hurricane Matthew hit Flagler Beach. We saw photos on the web right after the hurricane, and A1A, the highway that runs adjacent to the beach, had been decimated. Huge chunks of pavement were gone in a nearly mile-long stretch. Almost all of the wooden beach access stairs and ramps had been wiped out.

Amazingly, we arrived to find that the highway had been repaired and was open to traffic. Repairing the beach and accesses, and shoring up the dunes, will take a lot more time. Construction will be ongoing for months, as they are grading and bringing in huge boulders to fortify the dunes. It will take even longer for the ocean to return all of the beach sand that was swept away during the storm. Just a guess, but it seemed to us that the beach was about two feet lower than normal. Houses and businesses along that stretch were also hit pretty hard—we saw numerous blue tarps on roofs, and lots of lesser damage. Compared to other Florida hurricanes, though, this one could have been much worse.

We had good weather throughout our stay, and we were treated to the closest Supermoon since 1948. The first night was cloudy, but the next three nights brought spectacular moonrises over the ocean horizon. We tried to capture the beauty with our iPhones, but it was impossible. We had campfires on two of the four nights. We brought vegan hot dogs, but no vegan marshmallows this time.

Linda walked the beach every day. Rick ran each day, and Zoe got to run with him a couple of times. We also walked the trails on the Riverside part of the park. Zoe and Rick did the trail by themselves once, and as they passed the Ranger Station a ranger who really likes Zoe came out and gave her a treat. The ranger is aware of how famous Zoe is—her Facebook video is now over 1.6 million views!

Across from us was a couple in a Class A Pace Arrow—a rig that was probably $250,000 or more when new, and it wasn't very old. They also had a BMW. We always wonder what kind of jobs people like that have. Next to that rig was a woman camping alone in an older Class C. We heard the woman from the Class A talking with the woman from the Class C, and they were conversing in French. We checked, and both rigs were from Quebec, Canada. What are the odds of that?

We met the couple in the nice Class A next to us. Their names were Gary and Trish. They said they would be back the week of Christmas, in the same spot. We told them we'd be back, too, in our same spot, so we'll be next to them again! What are the odds of that, part two?

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