Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ohio AEP Lands and Wayne National Forest

Nothing beats free camping, other than free camping with hot showers. I didn't get that lucky here, no showers to be had but I still love this life of freedom. Ohio AEP Lands, you need to register but its easy and the sites are wonderful. Wayne National Forest  is absolutely beautiful, I was fortunate enough to stay on private land though so I can't report if it's easy to find boondocking there or not.  I will be heading back to the area next week and hope to have a report by then.

Ivy in the front, Cricket in the camper door. 

Giant butterflies and flowers that dwarfed my rig, honestly they were Jurassic park size.

If you enlarge this picture of the bumble bee, you will see it is covered with pollen. Did you know bee pollen is good for you if you eat it? I don't know how they collect it off the bees though. I licked this bee and wound up getting stung so I defiantly won't do that again. Who knew?

If you haven't signed up for my blog, will you? I promise it won't send you crap in your inbox, at least I don't think it will. If it does I will change settings. If you sign up, it will make it easier to find out when I update.

I have been happily increasing my greeting card line. Nothing beats sitting outside under my umbrella next to my little camper and creating paintings. Life is very good. Before I took up this lifestyle, I was always so stressed and had no time to paint. My soul was lacking until I took up a simple life, got rid of things I didn't need and hit the road. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Why not be kind?

It is a cold cruel world out here. Nothing new, it always has been a cold cruel world. There are so many opportunities to be kind and I would rather use the chance to make my little small difference. Heck, I can be mean and nasty too often myself. I'm not just talking about individuals like you and me. I'm talking about towns like Amelia Island. While I was using their beach parking lot to camp on, I had locals talk to me and even the police inquire how I was doing. 

There were a few homeless, some living in their cars (I'm not talking about homeless by choice, like I am). A few had all their belongings on old bikes. The people I met kept themselves and their areas under the pagodas  as tidy as possible and they left for other areas during the day.  The hot clean showers the island provided the opportunity to bathe if you wished. I frequently saw locals talking to the few homeless. The camping areas had million dollar properties on both sides.  I guess I'm bringing this up because other places I have been with obviously rich people were often not nice. 

I stayed for a few days at a time before moving and was not harassed. The first morning there, I woke up to see an old bike and belongings under the pagoda/shelter next to where I was parked. I thought the sleeping bag was empty but after a while the man sleeping got up and sorted through his meager belongings.  I just finished perking a pot of coffee and offered him a cup. He accepted and asked if I had any creamer.  He used up most of it and walked away to sit back down without uttering another word. 

The following morning a young guy stopped in for coffee with creamer. He was waiting to call a bar about getting a job and was very happy I loaned him my phone to place the call. I had seen his little tent set up in the sand dunes.  He had just cleaned up at the shower house and was ready to walk the 6 miles for a coveted job interview.  I have a feeling he got the job as a cook, he was a sweet young man that made some bad choices regarding friends but was struggling to make something of himself.

All that we have can be taken from any one of us at any time. I need choose to be kind more often than I am.  

 These are a few paintings I have done to go into my greeting card line. I love being out like this, I have the time and the peace to create.

Sea birds at the beach.

Icheetucknee Springs Florida

I stayed for a week at Icheetucknee Springs Campground .  My boyfriend back home found it for me online.  I had left Cedar Key and ran into a bad rainstorm.  I was already tired and didn't know how much longer I would be able to see with darkness coming within an hour. My eyesight doesn't focus well at night, especially in the rain. Jim hopped on the internet and found me a campground between Cedar Key and Amelia Island, where I was headed to. I put my rig onto the berm and programmed the address into the Garmin.

I pulled down the long driveway of the campground just as it was getting dark. I was met out in the rain and followed a fellow in a golf cart.  He led me into a perfect spot. I didn't need electric since I am just fine with my solar power and battery and my rig is tiny so I was given a 10.00 spot. They had a lot of those tent spots I found out, they like to accommodate bike travelers and families on a budget.

Each site was wonderful and private.

The following morning the sun came out and I was able to see just how beautiful this place is. One of the fellows that worked at the camp drove by and talked to me about my little camper Serenity. I told him, yes, I did the artwork.  A while later the two lovely ladies that managed the place rode by and stopped to talk. They loved the dogs, I forgot to mention that the place is very pet friendly. They asked how long I was staying and I explained I was running low on money and would be leaving. Well, to make a long story short, I traded doing something I love to do, painting, for free camping. I was of course in my glory, getting to paint to my hearts desire.  This fence panel is outside the lodge and game room.

Amelia Island Florida Late May 2015

Anyone up for camping on the edge of sand dunes overlooking a beach and the Atlantic Ocean?  Even better a place with hot showers and a decent restroom? What could get better? How about a few miles from south Georgia into Florida and a free 24 hour stay.  I thought that would get your attention.

We (the dogs and I) stayed here in Feb. this year and then again in late April.  There are two places like this that I found, within 5 miles of each other. There may be more.  The Amelia Island people and police are very nice, even to travelers and homeless.  I appreciate the Island folk being generous with their beautiful resources. I have been to to many uppity better than the lesser beings such as the homeless or ones such as myself, without a big expensive RV or state of the art travel trailer. 

Looking out my camper door, that's Ivy chewing on a rawhide bone.

 The sand dunes and boardwalk over the dunes.

 The Atlantic Ocean.

Lucky and Cricket

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Chasing flowers tour begins Feb. 14th 2015

It's been a long time my friends and now its time to start posting my adventures again.

I started out Valentines day with business to do east of Ohio, my plan was to beat the weather by 24 hours then head south. As often happens with plans, mother nature threw a fit and traveled faster than I could bringing with her below zero temps and winds and snow. I was lucky to find a place that took me and my 3 dogs. Thank-you Days Inn in Somerset, or was it Breezewood Pa? I
was stranded for 3 days and nights before I could head south due to the cold and snow.

Oh, a very important thank-you Jesus moment to tell you about. I was on the turnpike and it was getting incredibly dark with blackening clouds, I could feel the winds picking up and just a little snow was showing what was to come. A voice came to me as well as a feeling of dread. I listened to the voice say "Get off at the next exit". Sure enough an exit came up, I pulled my little rig into an abandoned gas station just as a whiteout occurred.  I grabbed the dogs and climbed into my camper. It was rocking and shaking and then tornado sirens went off. I handled it well and busted out crying. Took me a while to pull up my big girl panties and get it together though.