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.
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.
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.
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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.
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Live Oak Campground is one of two that make up Edisto Beach State Park. The Beachfront Campground was full when we made reservations so we stayed in Live Oak instead. The Beachfront Campground is about a mile away from the Live Oak Campground. We didn’t find out too much about the Beachfront Campground although we had coastal flooding all week due to high tides and have heard that some of the campsites on the beach are subject to flooding. Of course, on the beach you would be able to hear the ocean so there are tradeoffs to being safe from the flooding. There are nearly 4 miles of nice soft trails throughout the park winding through the salt marsh area.
Edisto Beach State Park is just outside the town of Edisto Beach on Edisto Island. This is a small town of about 400 permanent residents and numerous tourists. Most houses within the town seem to be vacation rental properties. There are no stoplights, and very few stop signs but there are several great seafood restaurants including the Sea Cow and local favorite (as well as our’s) Whaley’s. There is a small grocery and a few other shops as well as a few non-seafood restaurants there too.
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