Steve Breckheimer


Steve Breckheimer

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Starting a 3 month US wander-about in January

North America » United States » North Carolina » Saluda March 6th 2011

I loved Florida... the sunshine, the warmth, the palm trees & palmettos, the sprawling live oaks and resurrection ferns, the sand & water, and the birds... I stayed as long as I could, and then slipped onto I-95 and drove north for 7 hours toward Raleigh. I had listened to all of my CDs, finished up my books on tape, and most of my food! The van did great, it's a comfy ride. When I stopped to rest for a couple of hours before going to my sister Jess' surprise 50th birthday party, I pulled out my receipts to tally my expenses. Thanks to the generosity of some helpful friends along the way I was able to keep my expenses to $50 a day. I was pleased. Early on Sunday morning I left Raleigh and headed ... read more
smiling daffodils

My trip is almost over... I spent last night at Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach just north of Jacksonville. Even though the weather report said that it wasn’t going to rain it did, however, sleeping in the van is terrific – nothing gets wet and no soggy tent to put away! I can only stay here one night because they stage a reenactment at the fort on the first weekend of every month, and I just happened to hit it, but I had a great time yesterday afternoon enjoying the fort, beach, and super bike trails. From atop the fort, across the mouth of the channel, I could see the southern tip of Cumberland Island Georgia. Before coming here I stayed 2 nights at Anastasia St Pk near St Augustine; and made sure my ... read more
Hotel Ponce de Leon now Flagler College
hotel lobby
wind sculpted

North America » United States » Florida » Flagler Beach March 1st 2011

When I told my dear old friend Deb Williams that I was going to Florida in February (the dreaded month of cold and darkness) she said I should wait until it warmed up a bit and then go down… NO WAY! But then, she promised to try and meet me toward the end of the month; and boy did we get some nice weather. YAY! Deb has been telling me about her cousin Shannon and Shannon’s husband Danny for years. It has been a pleasure to spend the last few days enjoying their kind hospitality. These do-it-yourselfers have built (mostly by themselves) a fabulous home on the marsh at Flagler Beach and I have enjoyed every minute of my visit. Tomorrow I am headed up to St. Augustine and Anastasia State Park. ... read more
Deb on upper deck w/morning coffee
Shannon & Deb on the patio
Danny's garden

North America » United States » Florida » Flagler Beach February 25th 2011

When you travel by yourself you get to make your own decisions, but when you travel with someone else you have to negotiate outcomes... both are important things to experience and to learn how to do (with grace!). My latest dilemma, aside from deciding which camp site to choose, was whether to stay in Titusville to see the space shuttle take off, or to keep going another 60+ miles to Alexander Springs, a campground recommended in my travel guide. It was a tough decision… if I had stayed to watch the launch it would have been a big party. I saw the campers staking out their territories as I came across the bridge toward Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which was recommended to me when Gail and I were in Cedar Key. The timing wasn’t quite ... read more
5 stars for beauty!
people enjoying spring pool
retaining wall had steps into pool

North America » United States » Florida » Hobe Sound February 22nd 2011

My travel guide advised me to secure my cooler at Long Pine Key campground because of raccoons! I have learned to be wary of these critters, as they like to eat what I like to eat, so my cooler was extremely secure during my 4-night stay. Then, on my last night I attended an interpretive talk about alligators. When the topic came around to prey during the questions the ranger explained about the exotic snake problem they were having. It seems that within the last year and a half since my guidebook had been written Burmese pythons have eaten every raccoon in the park… Then he explained about their active capture program of these exotic snakes that are raking havoc in the food chain! The morning I left the Everglades I stopped one more time ... read more
Barbara & Randy's place
lunch under strangler fig
Henry Flagler's White Hall

North America » United States » Florida » Homestead February 17th 2011

If you haven’t seen the Ken Burns series on the National Parks, I highly recommend it. All of the stories of how the parks came to be preserved are wonderful, but I particularly remembered the story about Biscayne National Park. Biscayne Bay lies just south of Miami and just north of Key Largo. The mangrove shoreline and swamp seemed worthless up until 1960 when there was some interest in putting a causeway across the bay from Miami to Elliot Key and finally connecting it to Key Largo at the head of the Florida Keys. A female reporter at the Miami Herald led a David vs. Goliath fight to protect the bay and stop the causeway. Developers were salivating to get to Elliot Key, but they finally failed in 1968 when the area was designated as a ... read more
view from Biscayne visitors center
glass-bottom boat

North America » United States » Florida » Homestead February 16th 2011

Traveling alone has forced me to rely on myself. That’s been really good, I have to do things and fix things that normally I rely on Steve to do. Since I basically went from my father’s house to my husband’s (Steve & I got married when I was 20). I’ve never really forged out on my own. Being alone and being lonely are 2 different things. I haven’t really been lonely. When I’m in a campground I try to strike up conversations. My targets are usually people who drive interesting vehicles, and since I want to upgrade someday, I like to look and talk to people about what they are driving and camping in. Sometimes the people you approach are interesting, and sometimes you stumble on people who really want to talk to you more than ... read more
hanging out in warm water
big guy!

North America » United States » Florida » Fort Myers February 14th 2011

The second camping spot I stayed in (2 nights), recommended by my travel guide, really paid off. The following are the ratings (remember, it’s a scale with 5 being tops), plus my commentary: Beauty: 5 stars, Yep, it was beautiful. Privacy: 4 Hmm… maybe a 3, but I camped on a busy weekend so I had a lot of neighbors… Spaciousness: 5, Yep, plenty of space between camp sites. Quiet: 4, No, maybe a 3, I heard lots of road noise both nights. Security: 5, Yep, I felt very safe. Cleanliness 5, Yes, super clean. So, here is what sounded really good when I started reading about Caloosahatchee Regional Park Campground: “The walk-in tent sites and recreational opportunities should serve as a model for other tent-camping destinations.” So true… My thoughts: If you never leave home ... read more
morning on the Caloosahatchee River
wonderful climbing things along boardwalk
gopher tortoise hole

North America » United States » Florida » Brooksville February 11th 2011

I’m not so sure that the 5 out of 5 stars were earned for Beauty by the Mutual Mine campground, I would give it a 4 maybe! The trip to get here was beautiful though, with giant live oaks dripping with Spanish moss dotting rolling grasslands, where horses & cattle grazed around ranch houses. The other ratings in my travel book were: Privacy: 3 out of 5, I would say that’s about right, only 2 campsites and one camp host were there. Spaciousness: gets a 5, I agree with that rating. Quiet: gets a 2 because of some road noise. Security: gets a 3, I felt pretty secure... And, cleanliness gets a 4, which is about right. Mutual Mine is a small Forest Service campground situated around an old phosphate mine that was abandoned in 1914 ... read more
long-leaf pine ready to send pollen
water filled phosphate mine

North America » United States » Florida » Brooksville February 9th 2011

I waved good bye to Gail and Gracie this morning. They're heading home and I'm off to Brooksville FL in search of a beautiful campground called Mutual Mine Recreation Area, which gets 5 out of 5 stars for beauty in my travel book, The Best Tent Camping in Florida for those hate big RVs, concrete slabs, and loud boom boxes. I swear, that's the name! The jet stream took a big dip this past week and it got really cold, rainy, and windy. BUMMER! It was a nice little shelter here in our tiny apartment in Cedar Key, and I was so glad to enjoy the creature comforts for a week. Plus, when you stay in one place for a week you get to know a place and its people a little better than if you're ... read more
recycling everywhere!
Honeymoon Cottage

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