Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Port Orange, Florida - Episode 1

Originally posted: April 6, 2015

With the actual Daytona Beach and the town of Daytona only a few miles away, I located this campground from my Passport America resource book and made my camping reservations while still in Savannah. After all, when the winds blow cold and the snow flies up north, the “Snowbirds” fly south. I wanted to be sure I had a place to park my rig for a month. My reservation placed by phone, I pulled-up stakes (an old tent camping reference) and hit the road for the relatively short drive south on I-95. There was road construction through Jacksonville, but as I was traveling on a Sunday, it was barely a slow-down.

The Chief  didn't have any answers for me, be stood guard very well.
I arrived around 4:30 pm and was amazed the office was closed. However, it WAS Sunday. I should have known better. Campground employees are people first, employees second – as they should be. I didn’t know what to do, then. I looked around for a clue and even asked the Chief, here, but he seemed preoccupied and had a strange look in his eye and I didn’t want to test him further.

I found a clipboard stating that I should sign-in and “pick a spot”. Could it really be that simple? Drive around and pick a spot? I left the rig where it was and walked around the campgrounds looking for a spot. There were several, but my being a newbie caused me wonder if I could ever get into one of them. I didn’t dare take it on my own.

Soon, I was relieved to find an “official”-looking man driving a golf cart with various tools of his trade on-board. I introduced myself and he had a temporary solution to my troubles until in the morning. He guided me to a pull-thru spot, told me to remain hitched then instructed me to hook-up just the power and water for tonight – cable TV if I wanted – then check-in at the office first thing in the morning to determine my final spot. No problem. Within the hour I was watching TV and fixing dinner.

It was early to bed this night. It’s amazing how stressful a little Sunday drive can be when towing your lifestyle down the road. I awoke – early to bed, early to rise – and unhooked the utilities. Today was moving day, again, as I had yet to pick my spot. I walked down to the office, said ‘hello’ to the Chief and walked in. The lady who checked me in was from Boston – yeah, no kidding. She gave me a map and circled the places that were available on a monthly basis. I took the map, then took a hike.

The Office held a Rec Room with big screen TV, pool table, card tables and tourist brochure rack.
I found an amiable site and reported back to the office where final arrangements were made. I’ll be on Lot #75 on Cricket Crossing Lane. One of the maintenance fellows would help me back-in and answer any other questions I might have. Very friendly folks there – all month-long. I still can’t have a campfire unless it is contained in an above ground pan.

I always get a shot of my camp site. There was lots of sand  underneath the grass.
All set up and ready to celebrate Christmas-time during my stay, I took a walkabout with my camera. Once again, mine is about the smallest rig in the place. I just don’t have to haul as much stuff. Some of these “campers” – just Wow! I got what I wanted and I’m happy. I can’t wait to walk through at night to see their Christmas light displays.

I like the secluded feel of the attractive plantings around the pool.
The weather was pretty cool, but I did have a few good days there. I wanted to check-out the pool, but it was still pretty chilly/ The pool is heated. (Oh, yeah.) I really liked the way the camp was decorated with attractive plantings. Continuing my walkabout, I kept looking for the elusive armadillo said to be lurking about. In my stay, I still never saw one. I guess I’ll have to go to Texas next Winter. Here is some wildlife for you – best I can do.

Squirrels always stop to say, "Hello", but they disappear in the afternoon when hawks circle overhead.
I hear you out there… ‘but, Jim, where’s the beach?’

I feel your pain. Up north, its snowing, cold and miserable. Showing you sunny beach photos might just throw you into a tizzy-fit. However, while it was cold up there, it was too chilly and windy down here to hit the beach, but I did anyway. I felt the call of the winds. With temperatures barely in the high 60s, but sunny, I ventured out. Just a right turn out of the camp, then another right turn to the next light, then a left – up over the bridge and across two streets and there you are … driving on the beach.

As the weather wasn’t exactly ideal, attendance was down, but – like me – there were several out-of-towners who were not going to let that spoil their day. I parked and set-up my folding chair allowing the car to block the wind, but not the sun. I tried to get some rays. In the background of this shot, you’ll see my tripod and my Kodak Zi-10 pocket video camera capturing about 30 minutes of HD video of nothing but waves and the people who walked in front of it. I’m not sure I want to edit it, but I will add a peaceful soundtrack to it someday. It is mesmerizing.

The wind was still chilly, but the sun felt warm. I couldn't wait.
I unfolded my camp chair and angled it toward the sun for maximum effect. Keep in mind that this is late autumn in the neighborhoods I'm originally from. The leaves have fallen and it's much colder there. Boston is getting snow already. I took a short video with my HTC cell phone - just so I could get the incoming tide wave action. When I got back to camp and downloaded the video, I couldn't wait to get back to the beach.

On other days, I tried the pool. It was nice too for the days I was too lazy to drive to the ocean. I have noticed myself getting more lazy about things. I wonder if this will become a habit or if its just a passing thing. Time will tell. Pool time!

First time in the pool. Nice and warm, despite cooler air.

Some days, it was just as nice to dip one's pinkies into the warm water.
I leaned back and looked at the sky through the almost forest of palm trees.

That’s it for now. More Daytona coming up soon.



  1. beach sounds awesome. :) i hate you ... LOL ... teaser!

    1. I know you do, but your time is coming -- sooner or later. Get your beach bag ready. This was my winter 2015 trip, but I dearly want to go back this year, sometime. I'm thinking Clearwater area this season for a while.