F.D. Roosevelt’s Little White House

The campground in F. D. Roosevelt State Park was a great home base to explore nearby Warm Springs, Georgia.

Franklin D. Roosevelt served as the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 until 1945. He died at his home in Warm Springs, Georgia on April 12, 1945 after suffering a stroke while posing for a portrait.

FDR was born in New York and was diagnosed with polio in 1921. In 1924 he made his first visit to Warm Springs to receive physical therapy in the warm waters of the springs (88 degrees year round). He returned many times to Warm Springs to receive therapy and although it did help it did not cure his disease. The pools are no longer used for therapy. They are now part of a museum with displays about their history and how they were used to help polio patients.

These pictures show what the pools were like when FDR used them
These pictures show what the pools were like when FDR used them
Therapy pool in Warm Springs, GA
Therapy pool in Warm Springs, GA

He loved coming to Warm Springs and built a home overlooking the mountains just a short distance from the pools. A tour of The Little White House begins in the museum with many artifacts and interesting displays telling about the time he spent in Georgia.

FDR drove around Georgia in this car
FDR drove around Georgia in this car
FDR's carriage in Warm Springs
FDR’s carriage in Warm Springs

The Little White House was even smaller than I imagined. It had a tiny kitchen, living room, dining room, one bathroom and two small bedrooms. The best part of the home was the veranda overlooking the mountains. I was so busy enjoying the view I forgot to take a picture!

Around the house were Sentry Posts for Secret Service and Marines. Servants quarters and a guest house were also on the property. Everything in his home has been restored and everything is original to the house.

Dogwoods blooming at the Little White House
Dogwoods blooming at the Little White House
Marine Corps Sentry Post at Little White House
Marine Corps Sentry Post at Little White House
Servants Quarters and Guest House at The Little White House
Servants Quarters and Guest House at The Little White House
One of the many boats built by FDR while at the Little White House
One of the many boats built by FDR while at the Little White House
The Unfinished Portrait
“The Unfinished Portrait” – FDR had a stroke and died while having this portrait painted
Pink Dogwood blossoms on the grounds of the Little White House
Pink Dogwood blossoms on the grounds of the Little White House

One of his favorite spots to get away was Dowdell’s Knob. He even had a barbeque pit built there that is still on the property. There is bronze statue of him on a bench looking out at the view.

FDR enjoyed the view at Dowdell’s Knob
Dowdell's Knob with FDR's barbeque pit
Dowdell’s Knob with FDR’s barbeque pit

Spring at Callaway Gardens

Our latest wandering took us on a short trip that was full of excitement. Our first stop was F. D. Roosevelt State Park, Georgia’s largest state park, in Pine Mountain. It was the perfect place for us to use as home base for exploring both Callaway Gardens and F.D.R.’s Little White House in Warm Springs.

After driving in the rain on the winding road through the park we arrived at the Visitor’s Center to check in just after a tornado warning had been lifted. Everything was fine in the campground and we set up camp just before another rain shower began.

“Connecting man and nature in a way that benefits both.” – Callaway Gardens Mission

With the sun shining the next morning we drove about 15 minutes from our campsite to Callaway Gardens.  Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Callaway Gardens opened in 1952. Today, there are many different gardens to explore, a lodge, golf course, swimming beach, and even a zip-line adventure.

Our tour of the gardens began with a stop at the Pioneer Log Cabin. From there we strolled along the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Trail with many Georgia native plants.  The Flowering Dogwoods and many other wildflowers displayed their brilliant spring colors.

Pioneer Log Cabin at Callaway Gardens
Pioneer Log Cabin at Callaway Gardens
Flowering Dogwood on Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail
Flowering Dogwood on Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
Azalea at Callaway Gardens
Azalea at Callaway Gardens
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Trail at Callaway Gardens

Next we walked on the trails to the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center for a look at some tropical butterflies. Butterflies of all sizes, shapes and colors fed on the colorful blossoms and sailed by our heads as they flew from flower to flower.

Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens
Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens
Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens
Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens
Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens
Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens

We learned about some of Georgia’s birds of prey at the Discovery Center. As our guide gave a very informative presentation, two different species of owl and a red tailed hawk flew over our heads during the program.

Juniper the Great Horned Owl at Birds of Prey program
Juniper the Great Horned Owl at Birds of Prey program
Barred Owl Birds of Prey demonstration at Callaway Gardens
Willow the Barred Owl Birds of Prey demonstration at Callaway Gardens
Red Tailed Hawk Callaway Gardens Birds of Prey Show
Red Tailed Hawk Callaway Gardens Birds of Prey Show

We must have just missed the Azaleas at their peak because most of the Azaleas on the Overlook Azalea trail had finished blooming. The Flowering Dogwoods and other trees added color to the landscape.

20170404Callaway-Gardens-Azalea-Trail
Callaway Gardens Azalea Trail
20170404Callaway-Gardens-Flowering-Dogwood
Flowering Dogwoods were in bloom at Callaway Gardens
Eastern Redbud Callaway Gardens
Eastern Redbud at Callaway Gardens
Callaway Gardens Overlook Azalea Trail
Callaway Gardens Overlook Azalea Trail

Our visit to Callaway Gardens included only a few of the many gardens there. It is a wonderful family destination and bicycles are a popular way to get around the park. There are several restaurants to choose from or you can have a picnic in one of the picnic areas.

Having Fun touring Vintage Trailers

“We have more fun than anyone.” – Sisters on the Fly® motto

We have more fun than anyone
We have more fun than anyone

Some members of Sisters on the Fly® recently gathered together at River’s End Campground on Tybee Island, GA.  A quote from their website says:

“Sisters on the Fly®” is the largest outdoor women’s group in the United States with currently over 8,100 “Sisters.” This membership-based community supports women in their journey to get up, get out and become more adventurous!”

Sisters on the Fly
Sisters on the Fly

When they visited River’s End campground they opened up their campers for a tour. I had too much fun looking at all the unique trailers and talking to some of the “Sisters”.  They shared their stories, answered questions, and everyone laughed a lot.

Sisters on the Fly Serendipity
Serendipity
Sisters on the Fly Run-A-Muk
Run-A-Muk
Sisters on the Fly Happy Trails
Happy Trails

They came from as far away as Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina. Many were dressed to match the theme of their trailer and some were decked out in Mardi Gras colors to march in the Tybee Mardi Gras Parade  later that afternoon.

Sisters on the Fly
Vintage 1968 Trailer
Sisters on the Fly
1968 Vintage Trailer kitchen
Barbie Camper and Skates
Barbie Camper and Skates
Sisters on the Fly
Red and White theme inside and out
Sisters on the Fly
Sisters on the Fly
Sisters on the Fly
Cowgirl Condo I
Sisters on the Fly
Vintage Shasta Trailer
Vintage Shasta Trailer
Vintage Shasta Trailer
Bless your Heart
Bless your Heart
Girls Raised in the South
Girls Raised in the South

When the “Sisters” have an event, the husbands and kids stay home. If someone has trouble backing up their trailer, another Sister is always there to take over and do the backing for them. One member said you can laugh away 10 pounds at one of their events.

Sisters on the Fly
Home is where you park it
Sisters on the Fly
Welcome

The “Sisters” often travel in caravans and stop to help each other out if there are any problems. If you ever see any of these campers in a campground, be sure to stop and say hello. I guarantee you will have fun.

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Georgia

State 8:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically and the next state is my home state!

Georgia

Georgia was one of the original 13 colonies and became the 4th  state on January 2, 1788. The capital is Atlanta where the capital dome is covered in gold leaf from the Georgia Gold Rush in Dahlonega during the 1830’s.

I was born in Georgia but did not grow up here. When I was a child, our summer vacations were spent visiting relatives in middle Georgia where my mother grew up.  I first moved to Georgia as a freshman at the University of Georgia in Athens and I’ve lived in the state ever since. Even when we are wandering I always have Georgia on my mind.

I’m afraid I won’t be able to do our state justice. How I condense a lifetime of memories into one post?

With the city of Atlanta, the north Georgia mountains, National Wildlife Refuges and National Forests, The Okefenokee Swamp, peach and pecan groves, cotton fields, lakes and streams, the Grand Canyon of Georgia, Athens the Classic City, Stone Mountain, antebellum homes, historical lighthouses, salt marshes, barrier islands, beautiful beaches, friendly small towns, and many historic sites Georgia has much to offer. And did I mention the delicious sweet tea, barbeque, grits, fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, low country boil, fresh wild Georgia shrimp and blue crabs, peach cobbler, banana pudding, and all the other amazing food around the state?

Unfortunately I am missing photos from many places around the state. No matter where you go there are interesting things to see and do in the Peach State.

Peach County, Georgia
Peach County, Georgia

Georgia is the Peach State and Peach County produces many of those peaches. There is nothing in the world that’s better than a fresh Georgia peach plucked right from the tree when it is perfectly ripe in the summer time. You know it’s perfect when you bite into it and the nectar drips down your chin and all over your hands. And fresh peach cobbler is a staple around our house when the peaches are in season.

In Georgia, you can watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean or watch the sunset over one of the Georgia’s many lakes.

Nothing says springtime in Georgia like azaleas, peach blossoms,  and flowering dogwoods.

With ancient live oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss, squares, a beautiful historic district, museums, historic forts, and one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States, Savannah is a popular vacation destination.

Tybee Island Light Station 4th of July American Flag
Tybee Island Light Station 4th of July American Flag

Three lighthouses protecting the Georgia Coast are accessible to the public. The Tybee Island Light Station is the tallest lighthouse in Georgia.

Cockspur Lighthouse at Fort Pulaski National Monument
Cockspur Lighthouse at Fort Pulaski National Monument

 

A trail at Fort Pulaski National Monument winds through palmettos for a close up view of the Cockspur Island Lighthouse.

St. Simons Lighthouse
St. Simons Lighthouse

 

 

The St. Simons Island Lighthouse was rebuilt after it was destroyed by the Union Army during the War between the States.

 

Brer Rabbit stands in front of the Uncle Remus Museum in Eatonton, GA
Brer Rabbit stands in front of the Uncle Remus Museum in Eatonton, GA

Joel Chandler Harris, Alice Walker, and Flannery O’Connor are just a few of the writers from Georgia. The Uncle Remus Museum in Eatonton celebrates the creator of Brer Rabbit, Joel Chandler Harris.

Laurel and Hardy Museum at Harlem, Georgia
Laurel and Hardy Museum at Harlem, Georgia

Georgia also has a close connection with the film industry. Many movies and tv shows have been filmed in Georgia. Oliver Hardy was one of the stars who was born in Georgia.

You know your shrimp is fresh when you see the shrimp boats that caught them.

Shrimp Boats in Darien
Shrimp Boats in Darien

Atlanta is the capital and the home to companies such as Coca Cola, UPS and Delta Airlines. Atlanta also hosted the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996.

Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta
Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta
Centennial Olympic Stadium 1996 - Reconstructed after Paralympics to become Turner Field
Centennial Olympic Stadium 1996 – Reconstructed after Paralympics to become Turner Field

The birds and other wildlife are abundant all over the state.

The Iron Horse was originally placed on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens and later moved to the middle of a field near Greensboro.

The Iron Horse stands tall in the middle of a cornfield
The Iron Horse stands tall in the middle of a cornfield
Our fifth wheel has a new look
Our fifth wheel has a new look

We Georgians love our sports teams! When we travel in our fifth wheel, there is no doubt which college team we support!  How bout them Dawgs!

As I put the finishing touches on this post the Atlanta Falcons are preparing to take on the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in Houston.  Go Falcons!

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida

Best Campgrounds of the year – 2016

Welcome to our third annual “Wandering Dawgs best campgrounds of the year” list.

Our 2016 wandering took us on a short trips to Florida, Georgia,  Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

We prefer staying in state and federal parks and this year our top three all fall into one of those categories.

Number 3: Oak Mountain State Park, Pelham, Alabama

Early Morning at Tranquility Lake
Tranquility Lake was just a short walk from our campsite

We stopped at Oak Mountain on our way to Mississippi and enjoyed it so much we returned to the same site (A28) on our way back home to Georgia.

Our site was spacious with full hook ups and nothing but woods behind us. This large state park has a golf course, archery range, equestrian camping and horse stables, nature and hiking trails, lake front beach, mountain bike trails, and scenic drives. The road through the park is a popular place for bicyclists. Nearby Pelham and Birmingham have restaurants and shopping.

View from Peavine Falls Road Overlook
View from Peavine Falls Road Overlook

Click First Stop on our Fall Football Road Trip to read more about our stay.

Number 2: Stephen C. Foster State Park in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Fargo, Georgia

Do you see the alligator behind the Cypress tree?
Do you see the alligator behind the Cypress tree?

We love this place so much we have camped here numerous times in past 10 years. Our most recent trip was in March, 2016.

Just getting to the campground is an adventure. After turning off the highway, seventeen miles of driving through pine forests and palmettos takes you into the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. It is remote, quiet, and wild.

We camp in one of the large premium pull through sites. It is a short walk or bike ride from the campground to the marina where you can go on a guided tour of the Okefenokee Swamp, rent a boat or canoe, launch your own boat, or take a walk on the nature trail through the swamp. Alligators are often seen around the marina but we’ve never seen one in the campground.

Sophie the Mama Gator
Sophie the Mama Gator

Click Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge to read more about our stay.

Number 1: Fort Pickens Campground, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida

Ready for Beach Chair Sitting on the Gulf of Mexico
Ready for Beach Chair Sitting on the Gulf of Mexico

Miles of white sugar sand beach in Gulf Islands National Seashore within walking distance from our campsite, an historic fort to explore, a nice campsite, nature trails, beautiful sunsets, fresh seafood, fishing pier, museums and a lighthouse nearby – what’s not to love?

Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico
Sunset over the Gulf of Mexico

Click Gulf Islands National Seashore to read more about our stay.

Honorable Mention:

  • We returned to Mississippi River State Park in Marianna, Arkansas, our “Best Campground of the Year – 2014“. I left it out of the top three tp make room for three new campgrounds
  • Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center, White Springs, Florida
  • Eastbank Corps of Engineers  Campground, Bainbridge, Georgia

Where do you think we will wander next year? Stay tuned…