Left Camp Lejeune Onslow Beach campground after one last walk on the beach for sharks’ teeth and crushed shell to hide them in for Zane and Sienna to find later. And a few pictures and video clips that may come in handy for the blog. Military stays are interesting – Ospreys (VTOLs) flying over us along the beach, hovercraft throwing spray offshore, tanks and troops chugging through the woods.

So here’s how we got here. We wanted to get away for a bit. Every other attempt to travel this year got canceled because of Covid-19 so we’d take the opportunity to head out for a couple of months in our camper. Since we planned to spend Thanksgiving in Illinois with Richard and family, we worked up a loose itinerary to get there. We also needed to place grave markers for Kathy’s pioneer ancestors in Sturgis Kentucky. And head to Apalachicola for a family reunion in December. To tie it all together we’d visit as many national parks as we reasonably could along the way. We’d vary our stays between military campgrounds, state parks, national parks, private campgrounds, and possibly Harvest Hosts. We’d head up the East coast as far as Virginia then wind our way west to Kentucky and Illinois before turning south back to Florida. We’ve been to a lot of the national parks in the southeastern region and we’ll be able to visit a lot more on this trip. The passport book is filling up for this region.

Even though we’re well into Fall, we’ve encountered a lot of annoying insects – mosquitoes, gnats, flies, and now ticks. Well we didn’t actually encounter ticks, they just deterred us from staying at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore campground at Frisco. Most of the reviews for Frisco mentioned sand spurs and mosquitoes. Coming from Florida those weren’t really a concern. But then Kathy noticed some recent reviews that mentioned ticks, and lots of them. While we were looking forward to a couple of days of boon docking at the beach, the threat of ticks convinced us otherwise. We had a bad tick experience at Sturgis last year so the mere thought of them was enough to change our minds.

Mosquitoes however were a real nuisance. They swarmed us at Kingsley Plantation with a few managing to sneak into the truck to keep us busy the rest of the day. One beautiful sunny day at Cape Lookout National Seashore, we set off on the seaside trail. When we entered the tree canopy they were waiting. I immediately noticed four on the back of Kathy’s left leg. Stopping to swat them off we played right into their trap. Those four were just a decoy. The main force were ready and waiting and descended on us full strength. We took off at a brisk pace. When we came to a fork in the path, we separated hoping to confuse the swarm. It sort of worked as long as we didn’t slow down. We met back at the truck and compared welts.

Gnats can be really annoying. Walking around with a cloud of gnat bastards zooming around your head is bad enough but breathing them in is really insulting. And then they manage to get stuck in your food or even worse, swim laps in your glass of wine. Ugh.

Joe Biden signs have been few and far between, about as scarce as Teslas in this part of the country. If the election is decided by the number of flags, banners, signs, posters, and folks yelling from the bed of a roadside pickup truck, Trump will win handily.

We’ve had a good trip so far but like always, we manage to stay too busy and not schedule enough down time. There’s so much to do, see, eat, drink that we can’t help ourselves. We like staying active, then coming back to our trailer in the afternoon, usually to a glass of wine.