Our Viva!

Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area • Flagler Beach, FL • NOV 12 - 13, 2017


This was our third of four Sunday trips to Gamble Rogers. This stay was for just two nights, the first night on Site 019, and the second night on 021.

Time for a flashback…to exactly three years ago to the day, November 12, 2014. And somewhat eerily and unsettling, on the same site, 019. And at almost the same arrival time. And almost the same weather. With all of those "same" factors, you might understand why Rick was a bit apprehensive as he hooked up the Viva. Apprehensive, because three years ago (again, to the day! and same site!) was when he had his close encounter with the Eastern diamondback rattlesnake. If you would like to read that escapade, here is the link:

Fortunately, there was no rattlesnake this time, but there was an encounter with another nasty little critter. Rick and Zoe were walking through the campground when an unrestrained dog came charging out and attacked Zoe. It was a small dog, but it led with its teeth and actually nipped Zoe before Rick came to her rescue. Zoe was surprised, not hurt, and didn't know how to react. Rick grabbed the aggressive dog by the collar and held it until its owner came out to retrieve it. She was apologetic, but that still doesn't excuse not securing her dog. There are always lots of people walking dogs in the campground, plus people on bikes, kids running around, etc., so a loose dog is not a good thing. When Rick and Zoe returned to the Viva, we discovered that blood had been drawn—but not Zoe's blood. Rick dropped to his knees to put himself between the attacking dog and Zoe, and in the process he scraped and bloodied his knees on the rocks and sand in the road. No worries, he's been hurt much worse!

Rick and Zoe ran and walked the trail, but it was too windy for Linda to ride her bike or spend much time walking the beach. We were able to have a fire the first night. We ran into friends we had met on a previous stay here, Trish and Gary, and we invited them down for a campfire the second night. However, it was far too windy for a fire. They said they were staying two weeks, and we'll be next to them when we return in a week, so hopefully we can enjoy a campfire then and swap travel stories.

There was an upside to the wind—there were a number of large, beautiful kites flying on Flagler Beach.

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Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area • Flagler Beach, FL • NOV 5 - 7, 2017


Somehow—well, thanks to Linda's due diligence on the web—we were able to book four consecutive Sundays at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach. This was trip #2. We originally booked three nights on Site 014, but Site 019—our favorite—popped up as available, so we snatched it immediately. So the first night and third nights were on 014, and the middle night was on 019. That involved connecting and disconnecting the Viva from the hookups several times, plus putting up/taking down and moving our screen room, but it was worth it to have a day, night, and morning on our favorite site.

The only blemish on this trip occurred just after arrival, and didn't last long…rain! Otherwise, the weather was great, the orange-colored moon amazing, and the sunrises spectacular. We had two campfires, Linda rode her bike and walked the beach, Rick and Zoe ran, walked the trails, and splashed in the ocean, and Tybee took it easy and snoozed a lot. The poor little guy is well into his twilight years at 15 and a half, and as you can see from his photo, has some incontinence issues for which he wears an absorbent pad. Cushing's Disease has taken its toll. We're not sure how many more trips he'll be able to make with us, but we treasure each one.

Regular readers of our travel blog have seen many photos and several videos we've taken of a large object on the beach. It is still partially buried as a result of Hurricane Irma. No one we've asked here knows what it is, and Rick hadn't been able to find anything on the web about it…until this trip. We suspected it was from a ship, and we were right. Here is what Rick found, courtesy of the North Peninsula State Park website:

"In 1993, a metal object was first sighted in the tidal zone at North Peninsula State Park. The object appeared to be a winch or windless, perhaps for an anchor or other heavy lifting. Research suggests the object could be from the wreck of the North Western, a ship that sank before World War II near the Volusia County line."

And now you know the rest of the story!

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