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Old 04-24-2020, 08:02 PM   #1
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Camping Along the Eastern Seaboard

I've read much about wonderful camping spots west of the Continental Divide but very little about sites in the east, understandably so, perhaps, as the West is stunningly beautiful, and sites there are far less crowded and more economically feasible. That said, having camped at Ocracoke Island when latrines, cold showers, and flipflops were de rigueur, I know that lovely and relatively unspoiled sites do exist in the East, and I'm hoping that you'll share some of the ones you've discovered with me. I want to visit as many as possible while my health still holds, particularly the more "basic" or out-of-the-way spots where nature still reigns - as long as they're not in the mountains, anyway. 🌄

I know, I know! I'll be missing out on some of the loveliest, lushest spots available, but it can't be helped. Vertigo's a real thing, folks, a demon I fought all along my route to and from Chilliwack last October. I was stunned and nearly immobilized by its ferocity. Believe you me, it's hard to appreciate breathtaking views when you're white-knuckling and talking yourself through each pass. Thankfully, I retain lovely memories of many trips (including summer camping) through mountains on both coasts made in younger (pre-vertigo) years. Now it's gentle hills, shallow valleys, and sea-level traveling for me, at least unless/until vertigo loosens its hold.

As soon as conditions allow this year, I'll be heading north from Houston to North Carolina, but Toronto's my ultimate goal, either for this year or next. The plan is to visit family and friends along mostly coastal routes while traveling north and then traveling south via inland routes, remaining east of the Mississippi and returning to Houston in the fall. The trip north is one I hope to make yearly for as long as I'm able, varying routes each year to see parts of the east I haven't yet traveled. So ... if you have any non-mountain sites you enjoy and are willing to share, I'll happily record them in my files, either to visit this year or trips after.

Houstonians are required to wear masks 😷 in public these days, so I'm dreaming ahead, as I've lots of traveling to do before my own journey ends!
Thanks in advance for sharing your treasured sites with me!

This, too, shall pass, friends. In the meantime, be safe out there!
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Old 04-24-2020, 08:52 PM   #2
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James Island County Park, Charleston, SC
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Old 04-25-2020, 07:05 AM   #3
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Vertigo is an inner ear condition not normally caused by elevation changes, but by head positional changes that would disorient or cause dizziness. Are you sure you haven’t been misdiagnosed? Can you fly on an airliner without experiencing symptoms?

Regardless, I would guess that elevation in relation to sea level is causing a problem for you. That would likely rule out the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. I guess you are somewhat restricted to the shoreline by your affliction. North Carolina’s Outer Banks are beautiful, as are the various small towns and lobstering villages along Maine’s rocky coast north of Portland. Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington, DC are filled with history but given the current pandemic it may be a long time before they are accessible. Some people like the Florida Keys (I don’t and I am a Florida resident, but at this time only residents of the keys are allowed in.
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Old 04-25-2020, 07:47 AM   #4
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My better half has minears which causes vertigo you might want to see a specialist to rule out this as it can be devastating.It affect the inner ear. She has gone thru 2 surgeries for it. I hope this is not the case for u. It started out simple but now when she has an attack it can last for several days
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:12 AM   #5
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Some sites of a more "civilized" design would be:

Florida
Fort Clinch SP
Anastasia SP
East Bank COE

Georgia - all COE
J. Strom Thurmond Lake
Richard B. Russell Lake
Hartwell Lake

Less "civilized"
No BLM land like out west, the closest would be Corp of Engineers. There are some that are very isolated and remote, less so on the Eastern Seaboard. I would look at purchasing the book on COE campgrounds. Make sure you get the latest edition.

In our neck of the woods the most isolated sites are either state forests or national forests. Those would deserve a serious look. Pisgah NF in the Asheville area of NC has many sites in the valleys. Bent Creek and Davidson are "civilized" but there are others off the beaten path and not at elevation.

I would become intimate with several phone apps: Allstays, Ultimate CG Project and my favorite, RV Life.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:18 AM   #6
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I'd change the thread title from camping to more like "parking" as there is so much congestion here on the east coast, I feel a sigh of relief when crossing the Mississippi.....and can see the horizon.
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:33 AM   #7
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If you have any interest in exploring Cedar Key on the west coast of Florida (considered "old Florida"), you can stay in crowded, expensive campgrounds in town, or 9 miles away at Shell Mound County Park.

In Cedar Key, check out the Museum, and enjoy some excellent New England style Clam Chowder next door at Tony's. A bit spicier than I'm used to, but very good. Pages 21 to 23 covers my most recent visit to the area.
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Old 04-25-2020, 10:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDMan View Post
James Island County Park, Charleston, SC
That's a new one for me, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
If you have any interest in exploring Cedar Key on the west coast of Florida (considered "old Florida"), you can stay in crowded, expensive campgrounds in town, or 9 miles away at Shell Mound County Park.

In Cedar Key, check out the Museum, and enjoy some excellent New England style Clam Chowder next door at Tony's. A bit spicier than I'm used to, but very good. Pages 21 to 23 covers my most recent visit to the area.
Thanks for the suggestions, Jon. I definitely prefer less crowded spots, so Shell Mound sounds perfect! I'll likely skirt around Florida and its heat until fall - or next spring when I head out again. As to the chowder, I love spicy!
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Old 04-25-2020, 12:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
Vertigo is an inner ear condition not normally caused by elevation changes, but by head positional changes that would disorient or cause dizziness. Are you sure you haven’t been misdiagnosed? Can you fly on an airliner without experiencing symptoms?

Regardless, I would guess that elevation in relation to sea level is causing a problem for you. That would likely rule out the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. I guess you are somewhat restricted to the shoreline by your affliction. North Carolina’s Outer Banks are beautiful, as are the various small towns and lobstering villages along Maine’s rocky coast north of Portland. Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington, DC are filled with history but given the current pandemic it may be a long time before they are accessible. Some people like the Florida Keys (I don’t and I am a Florida resident, but at this time only residents of the keys are allowed in.
You're absolutely right. I used the word "vertigo" when I should have used "acrophobia" - the unreasoning fear, dizziness, and other symptoms Jimmy Stewart experienced in the movie "Vertigo." I'm not sure how or why it developed but am glad I got to enjoy the Appalachians and the Pacific Coast Highway before it did! I'll likely avoid the urban areas (been there; done that) but look forward to visiting the small towns and lobstering villages. Do any camping spots in the area come to mind?

I know that the northernmost parts of this trip will likely have to be postponed but have decided to begin making plans - and reservations for next year, insofar as possible. I boondocked much of the way back from Chilliwack - easy to do in the West - but during this period of isolation, I've read that reservations are most often needed when traveling in the East.

Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
My better half has minears which causes vertigo you might want to see a specialist to rule out this as it can be devastating.It affect the inner ear. She has gone thru 2 surgeries for it. I hope this is not the case for u. It started out simple but now when she has an attack it can last for several days
Thanks for your sweet thoughts, and prayers for your wife! As stated above, I should have written "acrophobia" instead of "vertigo." I'm clearly a "head case."

Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Some sites of a more "civilized" design would be:

Florida
Fort Clinch SP
Anastasia SP
East Bank COE

Georgia - all COE
J. Strom Thurmond Lake
Richard B. Russell Lake
Hartwell Lake

Less "civilized"
No BLM land like out west, the closest would be Corp of Engineers. There are some that are very isolated and remote, less so on the Eastern Seaboard. I would look at purchasing the book on COE campgrounds. Make sure you get the latest edition.

In our neck of the woods the most isolated sites are either state forests or national forests. Those would deserve a serious look. Pisgah NF in the Asheville area of NC has many sites in the valleys. Bent Creek and Davidson are "civilized" but there are others off the beaten path and not at elevation.

I would become intimate with several phone apps: Allstays, Ultimate CG Project and my favorite, RV Life.
Thanks, Fudge Brownie! I have all applicable phone apps and am hoping that a new edition of the book on COE campgrounds will soon be published, as the latest is far from complete. I've pulled down from the Internet and placed in my file a list of all the COE's, because I prefer "on the water" sites - lakes, streams, oceans, bays - and I've read that the COE grounds are generally well kept. That said, I also love the lush green South, appreciate specific recommendations, and am grateful for those you've provided. I place asterisks *** beside sites in my files that have been recommended by fellow Escapees - "more civilized" or "less," as I'll appreciate each in turn. One must do laundry from time to time!



Quote:
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I'd change the thread title from camping to more like "parking" as there is so much congestion here on the east coast, I feel a sigh of relief when crossing the Mississippi.....and can see the horizon.
Each to his own, Jim! Like you, I do hate congestion and will avoid crowded campgrounds wherever possible, but I prefer landscapes that include tall, deciduous trees and/or water views to the wide open skies and barren rock formations that most others appreciate. I'd love to visit British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon again - if I can just conquer the ridiculous fear of heights.
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Old 04-25-2020, 12:52 PM   #10
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Ava- I know what you mean. I find the little two-lane roads carved into the side of a mountain to be particularly disturbing. While camped at Mattole Campground in King Range National Conservation Area in California last month, I decided to drive my truck up Prosper Ridge Road. It was a steep and winding one-lane road, and I lost my nerve after about a half-mile or less. When I found a wide spot in the road I carefully turned around and eased on back down the mountain to the campground. Not recommended for Floridians.
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Old 04-25-2020, 12:59 PM   #11
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Acadia National Park in Maine is beautiful. Sometimes difficult to get sites at the campgrounds in the park, but Lamoine State Park is across the bay.

One perk of the state park - you can have a lobster dinner (cooked or ready for the pot) delivered to your campsite.
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Old 04-25-2020, 02:04 PM   #12
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This is a very nice, waterfront Forest Service campground not too far north of Charleston, SC.

Buck Hall

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/scnf...a/?recid=47291

Enjoy your trip.

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Old 04-25-2020, 02:15 PM   #13
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And here is a favorite of ours near Jacksonville, FL
Ocean front. Camping on a beautiful inlet.
Huguenot Memorial Park.

https://www.coj.net/departments/park...rial-park.aspx

Enjoy

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Old 04-25-2020, 02:21 PM   #14
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And one more.
Blythe Island. Georgia.

https://www.glynncounty.org/177/Park-Features

Easy access from 95.

Enjoy

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Old 04-25-2020, 02:46 PM   #15
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There is a guy who sells lobster dinners at the KOA near Acadia, I think his name was Clayton, delivered to your site.
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Old 04-25-2020, 02:52 PM   #16
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Having no idea about your route, but if you are heading towards the Great Lakes area , here is a waterfront winner in Burlington, VT

https://enjoyburlington.com/place/no...ch-campground/



Another favorite from years past.

An easy walk to beautiful downtown Burlington, or a great bike ride for miles along the shoreline or hop the ferry to New York on the other side of the lake.
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Old 04-25-2020, 03:22 PM   #17
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Ava- I know what you mean. I find the little two-lane roads carved into the side of a mountain to be particularly disturbing. While camped at Mattole Campground in King Range National Conservation Area in California last month, I decided to drive my truck up Prosper Ridge Road. It was a steep and winding one-lane road, and I lost my nerve after about a half-mile or less. When I found a wide spot in the road I carefully turned around and eased on back down the mountain to the campground. Not recommended for Floridians.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Mike. Folks were warning me not to try to pull a 17B behind my Toyota Sienna, even with its tow package and WDH hitch. Turns out that any problem I encountered was all me! (Sojourner tracked well once hitched behind!) I struggled with the direct (though lovely) route from Houston to Chilliwack, through Colorado Springs and all of the mountains thereafter. My plans to enjoy BC, Washington, and Northern Oregon after picking up Sojourner were scrapped by cold, wet weather … with more to come in the forecast - and plans to tour wine country fell by the wayside due to wildfires. I diverted away from the fires - which led me straight into the mountains, and I remained there far longer than expected, so that even the lower mountains I later encountered began to feel like insurmountable obstacles. If I'd known in advance just how demolished I'd feel at the end of my travels, I'd have gladly paid for delivery - but I'm glad I didn't know. I'm grateful to have experienced Colorado and other parts of the country I hadn't yet visited, including Washington's lush mountains. Also, I came to understand my limits and will be careful to plan accordingly from now on. I'll likely travel up the occasional mountain, just as I travel the high bridges above the levees in Louisiana, but I won't attempt ranges - at least, not until I've managed more than a few sincere mountains. There is much yet to discover, particularly along the Northeast coast. I'm so looking forward to exploring it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
Acadia National Park in Maine is beautiful. Sometimes difficult to get sites at the campgrounds in the park, but Lamoine State Park is across the bay.

One perk of the state park - you can have a lobster dinner (cooked or ready for the pot) delivered to your campsite.
I'm looking forward to visiting Maine and greatly appreciate your recommendations, Jon. My parents grew up on the NC coast, and my dad made frequent trips "back home," so we always enjoyed shrimp, crabs, and fish, fresh or quick frozen from one of our two freezers. I later developed a love of lobster and look forward to having it cooked and delivered right to my door. What a treat! Love the photo!
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Old 04-25-2020, 03:31 PM   #18
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- as long as they're not in the mountains, anyway. ��

I know, I know! I'll be missing out on some of the loveliest, lushest spots available, but it can't be helped. Vertigo's a real thing, folks, a demon I fought all along my route to and from Chilliwack last October. I was stunned and nearly immobilized by its ferocity. Believe you me, it's hard to appreciate breathtaking views when you're white-knuckling and talking yourself through each pass.
I'm with you there. Mine is just simple fear of heights, though. Most things I'm okay with when driving but the first trailer rally I went to was up at Crestline in S. Cal. I had no idea what kind of road I'd be towing up, only that it was better than the alternative, according to reports from others. OMG. I thought I was going to die. Hit it near rush hour, lots of switchbacks, I could not go terribly fast towing, and it was horrible. I'd have been worried going down except I ended up leaving in the middle of the night due to an emergency so no view and no traffic as I descended.

Now I try to find a video of any questionable drive before I take it, to make sure I won't freak out.

Bridges are the other thing. I guess coming from Washington with a history of falling bridges there is a reason for that! I crossed the Astoria bridge towing during bridge construction- got stopped on the uphill side, freaked me out every time a big truck came down and shook the bridge! And it turned out the same day another Washington bridge fell (the one in Burlington) though luckily I did not know about it until later. I do cross bridges but it isn't something I enjoy.
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Old 04-25-2020, 03:48 PM   #19
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Thanks Ed and Jim! I appreciate all recommendations east of the Mississippi - as long as they're not hanging on mountain tops. That said, my best childhood friend has invited me to her summer home in the Virginia mountains, so I may grit my teeth and forge on to enjoy her company again. I'll have to see just how far up that mountain she is!

Heading north from Houston toward Canada is something I plan to do from spring to fall each year for as long as I'm able. Whatever I can't do this year, I'll plan for the next … or the next. I'll add Florida in early spring next year if a new strain of this virus doesn't knock out that plan. It's a treat to consider all of the available possibilities amidst this forced isolation, particularly as Houston's summer heats creeps forward.

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Old 04-25-2020, 04:03 PM   #20
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I'm with you there. Mine is just simple fear of heights, though. . . . Now I try to find a video of any questionable drive before I take it, to make sure I won't freak out.... Bridges are the other thing.
I'm now fortified with copies of the Mountain Directory West and the Mountain Directory East for Truckers, RV, and Motorhome Drivers, and you can believe that I'll use them from now on. (You can buy them on Amazon, but I found new copies more affordable on eBay) I love that our Escapes are equipped with kitchens and bathrooms, because bathrooms and restrooms may be few and far between along some of those routes. Happy, safe travels, Bobbie!
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