The drive from Adel to Eastpointe was a refreshing change. Entirely off the Interstate and on rural south Georgia and north Florida roads. Other than the stop-and-go traffic through Tallahassee it was a nice and uneventful drive. The last 60 miles or so were on Hwy 98 along the gulf coast and just a lovely drive. We got to our RV park, the Coastline RV Resort in Eastpointe and were immediately impressed with how nice and new everything about the park was. In many ways it reminded us very much of Pandion Ridge over in Gulf Shores where we stayed a month earlier. We set up camp and with some daylight left, decided to drive over to the beach on St George Island across the bay. The beach right in town was really nice so we stopped to enjoy the sand, water and a nice sunset. Crayton ran around like a crazy man. He's really turning into a beach lover!
Flying over the waves
The work-week went quickly and in the evenings we ran some errands and went back to the beach a time or two. The pool at the RV resort was cool, still being early in the season, but nice. The resort itself is just across the road from the bay and they have a fishing pier. Most evenings we'd head down there to look around. One evening we saw dolphins way off in the distance, so every other evening we went down I'd bring the spotting scope, tripod and my camera mount. Naturally we then saw no dolphins. It's sort of like the old trick that if you don't want it to rain, be sure to remember your umbrella.
Saturday took a trip down to St George Island State Park at the far eastern end of the island. Being Saturday, the island was hopping with activity, but the beach there was much less crowded than the beach in town. Crowded is a relative term, though. We found this whole area to be a bit off the tourist radar. Very few kitschy tourist trinket stores, no big hotels, no chain restaurants (a beach without Bubba Gump Shrimp, can it be so?!). It was, by far, our favorite beach stop yet. Anyhow, the state park had a few dozen people instead of a few hundred people and we enjoyed a great afternoon of wading the water, building sand castles, chasing seagulls and just enjoying the day. Crayton even made little bracelets made of seaweed and shells for all of us.
Seashore washed by the suds and foam
The bracelets Crayton made
Sunday was Easter. We're not religious, but enjoy the pagan traditions of the holiday, so Crayton woke up to an Easter egg hunt, lots of surprise eggs (one of his favorite things) and a basket of candy. A sign of how off the beaten path we were was the difficulty we had building a decent basket for him from what was available in the little stores here. The RV park had a few holiday activities including a fun scavenger hunt and we spent the day lazing about.
Monday came and we were off again! This time heading to the Spirit of Suwanee Music Park in Live Oak, FL for their Wanee Music Festival! We considered going to a large festival like this for a long time. We've taken Crayton to smaller festivals in Wisconsin and he's done well, but some of the larger festivals can get a little rowdy. We researched this one a bit as it was right on our route and the timing was perfect and the lineup of acts was amazing. Everything I read said folks bring their kids all the time, though they don't have any kid-focused areas or activities. Reading accounts of people there in past years it didn't sound too crazy so we decided to go. The festival ground is also a campground, but it was too late to get an RV site with hookups so we'd be boondocking. The festival was Thurs-Sat with some pre-festival acts on Wed and they allow campers to arrive as early at Mon for a few bucks more. We decided to arrive on Monday so we could get a prime shady out-of-the-way spot in the 'generator' section.
We arrived and had our pick of spots, there only being two or three other RVs in that section so far. Naturally they had the generator section waaaaaay out in the boonies so we'd have quite a walk to get to the stages, but being out of the way like that suited us as it should keep any late night rowdiness away from us and Crayton. It was HOT. The entire week was mid-90s and humid. We fired up the generator to run the A/C during the day, but quickly realized we'd be going through a lot of fuel and getting in and out of the grounds would get progressively more difficult as things filled up, so we bought and filled a couple of larger fuel cans. As much as we'd like to install a solar/battery system on our rig this is a case where we'd still likely have had to run the generator as building a solar system large enough to power Air Conditioning is expensive and impractical. The only other concern for our longish boondocking stint was getting fresh water and disposing of waste water. I'd recently bought a large flexible fresh-water bladder that we used through the week to shuttle water from the spigots near us and used the RVs pump to get it into our tank. You'll remember from my last post that we also bought a large portable waste water tank. We used that to shuttle gray water to the dump station on the festival grounds. We were pretty well set to live like kings. I'm used to tenting at festivals and this was just a bit of an upgrade.
Our setup before the crowds arrived
Shortly after arriving we noticed that a camper van near us had kids, but for the first day or so we never seemed to see them out at inconvenient times. Finally we managed to meet them and Crayton immediately had two 'best friends', Zella and Jake. Their parents, Heather and Zach and their friend Pete were great folks and a lot of fun to hang out with. It was also their first time at Wanee and their first trip in their new (to them) Dodge Coachmen conversion. Pam and I have been eyeballing class B campers like this for an eventual trip to Mexico and Central America, so it was cool to see their setup. We wound up spending much of the week with them, sharing meals, sitting together for the main acts, letting the kids play and keep each other occupied while we made lasting friends. Pete even brought the materials to make Tie Dyes and we spent an afternoon dying shirts for everyone!
Crayton, Zella and Jake hamming it up
Making Tie Dye. Thanks Pete!
Didn't turn out half bad!
They crew staying cool at the main stage
The music was amazing. There were two stages. A large stage (the Peach stage) out in the open that was no fun in the hot afternoon, but was great in the evenings for the headliner acts. The second stage (the Mushroom stage) was back in the woods and much cooler for acts during the day. They even set up a ton of hammocks for folks to use. The stage names should hint at the fact that the festival founders were members of the Allmann Brothers band and much of the music was along those lines with many southern rock and psych rock acts. Highlights for me were Keller Williams, Pink Talking Fish, Blackberry Smoke, Darkstar Orchestra, Trey Anastasio Band and Bob Weir. The last two even played an acoustic duo set that was unexpected and really great.
Goofing around by the Mushroom stage
The Peach stage from the ferris wheel
Trey and Bob!
We'd typically sleep in, have a leisurely morning hanging out at camp, then sometime mid-afternoon head over to the Mushroom stage grab a spot by the hammocks so Crayton could play and watch a few acts there before heading over to the Peach stage for the evening's headliners. All-in-all it was a great experience and other than one heavily sedated 'spinner' during Bob Weir's set that crashed into us nearly falling on Pam and the kids we had no issues. We'd love to do this again sometime. We have tickets for a much smaller festival in northern New Hampshire called Jerry Jam in July, but it should be no problem given it's size and reputation for being family friendly.
Nighttime with the kids on the Ferris wheel
Piggy back rides during Darkstar Orchestra
Much to our disappointment, the festival did eventually end and we had to leave. We packed up, said our goodbyes to new friends with promises to visit them in Delaware when we come up the east coast and off we drove to Orlando!