We stayed at the Jennings KOA for a week to escape hurricane Dorian. Luckily, Dorian turned and stayed off the coast of Florida but we were glad to be on asphalt pads rather than dirt like we were at Christmas, FL. We got very little wind and no rain here from Dorian but I don’t think it ever got that bad in Christmas either. We do know they got a fair amount of rain and it really didn’t take much to turn the park into a swamp. For peace of mind it was worth adding a few hundred extra miles to our trip.
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ Site Quality: Asphalt roads and pads. Barely long enough for our rig and truck, we had to back the truck up under the trailer as far as we could. Sites are somewhat narrow and only have broken concrete patios with a picnic table. Luckily they have electrical limitations supporting 50A trailers so they generally only fill every other site which makes it feel less cramped. Type: Commercial Park Access: Just off Interstate 75 on Hamilton Ave in Jennings. Staff: The staff were friendly and accommodating as we lengthened our stay twice as we tried to figure out where hurricane Dorian was going to go. The owner moved other reservations around so we wouldn’t need to change sites part way through. Amenities: Laundry facilities, Restrooms/showers, Volleyball, Shuffleboard, horseshoes, Bocce, Basketball, Cornhole, Gaga Ball, Tic Tac Toe, community fire pits. Playground and picnic area along with a small lake. Swimming pool. Recreation room. Free cable TV and WiFi. Cellular/WiFi: Verizon and AT&T were both decent at about 4 Mbps. Their WiFi was also usable at about 3.5 Mbps. What we liked: Full hookup sites on pavement (important during the rainy season). Although within site of I-75, there wasn’t much road noise. What we didn’t like: KOAs are always expensive for what you get. Sites are narrow and the site we were on (#50) was difficult to get the truck parked in front of the trailer. You either had to back up a long way or go through an empty site. There isn’t much around Jennings, however, Valdosta Georgia is only about 20 miles away and has pretty much everything you would want including a Walmart and Sam’s Club. Verdict: This is not a destination park but for us it was exactly what we needed. It was about 100 miles from the coast which helped distance us from the expected path of hurricane Dorian. It also had paved roads, few trees above the sites (nothing to fall on our rig in high winds and satellite TV access) and it had cable TV which included the weather channel and several locals for us to get weather information. Overall, it was one of the nicest and best maintained KOAs we have stayed at.
We came to Christmas RV Park in Christmas, FL to settle in for a month, do some sightseeing and to leave our trailer safely for 5 days while we went on a Disney Cruise with our family. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans… Hurricane Dorian decided to throw a kink in ours.
New terms such as ‘Cone of Uncertainty’ and ‘Evacuation Plan’ soon became very important to us.
We followed all the weather news projections, read the hurricane prep websites and created the important Evacuation plan! This meant sitting in lines at gas stations, hunting for a propane refill center that had not run out, enduring the grocery store as the last pallet of water was fought over and stocking up on food. We booked the last spot at the Jennings, Florida KOA at the Florida/Georgia state line and evacuated there.
Now a new term to us is ‘Hurricane Fatigue’.
Dorian has strengthened to an incredible Category 5 and is crawling along. We’ve extended our stay at Jennings to ride out the storm with hopefully only tropical storm conditions. We hope to reserve a spot in an RV park in Orlando later this week so we can meet up with our family and still go on our Disney Cruise.
Rating: ⭐⭐1/2 Site Quality: Dirt/gravel road with quite a few pot holes and mud puddles. Grass/dirt pads with some having gravel pads. We got lucky and had a wood deck but as it wasn’t tied down so we were very concerned about safety in hurricane force winds. Type: Commercial Park Access: From Interstate 95 take FL-50 west to the park. Staff: Friendly but indifferent. Not helpful when we called to make original reservation and took a couple of calls to reserve site. Manager called us crazy when we left early to evacuate. Amenities: Heated pool, mail service with TV/game room, community fire pit, shuffleboard, meeting halls and kitchen, 2 very clean laundry rooms, 2 very clean restrooms/showers, dump station, onsite well and sewage treatment. Lots of planned activities during the busy winter season. Cellular/WiFi: Verizon and AT&T were both decent at about 4 Mbps. What we liked: Our site was D-1 on Dasher Lane. Many friendly long-term residents stopped by to visit, invite us to Friday happy hour and make us feel welcome. Lots of trees. All the names of the roads in the park and buildings were Christmas season names. Nice sunsets. What we didn’t like: This park was all mostly dirt which made for a soggy, swampy mess during the summer wet season. All sites are dirt and grass with a crushed shell mix on a few. The mosquitoes and no-see-ums were relentless. Being here in the wet summer season was not a good idea but the drier winter season is likely better. Verdict: Despite the friendly residents we would not return.
This launch on 8/22/2019 was historic as it is the final launch of a Delta IV rocket in the medium, single stick configuration. There were clouds and some rain in the area the morning of the launch that caused weather to go red for a short time.
We found an Osprey waiting for the launch nearby where we decided to set up to see the launch. We were in Jetty Park where we camped the week before.
We were about 8 miles away from the launch pad which is about as close as you can get for safety. The picture below shows what we could see (with magnification) of the launch pad from where we were viewing the launch. The rocket is hidden just below the trees.
We originally booked Jetty Park hoping to see a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral as well as to spend some time on the beach. While we accomplished the latter, we missed the opportunity to see a rocket launch by just a few days and had to move on. Luckily we didn’t move far though and we plan to come back to Jetty Park on launch day to see United Launch Alliance send a GPS satellite into orbit aboard the final launch of a medium configuration Delta IV rocket. We will have more about that in a future blog post.
We weren’t too sure what we’d get into at Jetty Park since many of the sites including ours were grass and the roads were dirt. It turned out to be about as we expected with numerous small pot holes in the road and at least some of the sites were in bad shape due to recent rains. Ours turned out to not be too bad and we managed to get in and out without leaving deep ruts. The other issue was that we were only able to get a 30 amp site instead of a 50 amp site. Because of the way 50 amp connections work you actually get 100 amps of power to work with. So, 30 amps was less than 1/3 of what we normally have. What this means is that we could only run one AC unit at a time and with temperatures reaching into the 90’s they each run full time normally. We managed by just running the AC in the area we were using – bedroom at night and living room during the day. Lucky for us, we had rain nearly every afternoon and that helped too . The one night it didn’t, it took a while to get the bedroom cooled down from 90 degrees.
Once again, another beautiful park in Georgia. Extra large sites, full hook-ups, shade and miles of trails. Lots of wildlife, nesting turtles and alligators! It was a bit startling to see so many signs about the alligators along trails, ponds and the river! We had daily turtle visits to our site but no alligators (except one on the side of the road which had been hit by a car) and we didn’t allow Purdy out of the trailer, just in case. There were tons of short palmetto palms growing as a thick shrubbery and taller palms along with live oaks providing lots of shade. Just like in the South Carolina, the live oaks and palms have lots of Spanish Moss hanging in them which is a sight we are not used to seeing.