Barrington County Park may sound rather mundane but this place turned out to be quite special for a variety of reasons. This campground is located about 1 hour south of Savannah and is completely free! Now that doesn’t sound too special as there are plenty of free spots. But what this campground offered for free is unheard of, at least in our travels thus far. First it has a boat ramp giving campers access to Harper Lake, a small lake that leads to the Altamaha River just a short paddle away. From many of the undesignated spots there is a nice view of the water and old oaks covered in Spanish Moss. In addition it offers trash bins that are collected weekly, real bathrooms, and a shower house. Plus a water spigot on the outside of the bath/shower house. According to one of the campers, “there’s hot water in the showers”. Of course from what we heard, the bathroom and showers weren’t the cleanest but hot water, that’s unusual for a free spot. Since we are completely self contained we did not check out the bathrooms or showers.
This place turned out to be special for another reason, the people we met during our stay. It was the first time we met several full timers in the last nine months. I enjoyed meeting others on the road full time, trading ideas, and tricks of the trade. I did not take photos of the people we met but I’m happy to share their stories and a little about each of them. Note: names have not been changed to protect the innocent 🙂
We met LeeAnn the day we arrived. She is traveling full time in an older Airstream. She completely gutted her Airstream and had already renovated some of it with more to go, including installing lithium, and solar. For now she had no power to speak of. Her three dogs accompany her, Willie, Penelope, and Charlie. We watched two of her dogs one afternoon while she ran into town. The big dog we called Wet Willie, because he loved to swim. Charlie is also pictured below, her and Penelope were the same breed.
The next day we met Tom. I must tell you he was quite a hoot. Tom is probably in his mid to late 60’s and travels full time in his van. He’s been on the road for about 3 years. And this guy had stories to tell. I could have sat around and listened to his stories for hours. The most unique thing about him was his tattoos. At the age of 60, he got his first one and now both of his arms, chest, and stomach are covered. One arm includes a beautiful portrait of his late wife plus the various jobs he’s had over the years. The other arm shows his medical history, surgeries, broken bones, and more. His chest and stomach portray all of his hobbies, things he’s done. All of the tattoos were very detailed and done by the same tattoo artist. I meant to get a photo of them before I left, but alas they are only in my memory for now. Until I run across him again 🙂
That same day we met the nicest couple, Kevin and Claire, along with their dog named Yoshi. Yoshi is completely deaf and a total sweetheart. Turns out Clair and Kevin are musicians originally from Chicago and were now traveling in their Scamp and playing music. Ironically, they recorded their albums in Elkhart, IN (where Shane is from). They had everything to install their lithium and solar, a project among many they were going to tackle at the next destination.
Then the magic really happened. That evening after meeting everyone we did a combined dinner. Everyone pitched in something and we all gathered at our “camp” as we had the kitchen and running water. That evening was completely magical with a shared meal, a campfire, great conversations, booze, everyone’s dogs and live music. Shane played guitar with Kevin and Claire. Then as a special treat they sang some of their songs for us. I must say this couple has it. Their harmonies and chemistry were perfection. As was the whole evening. By the end of the evening it felt as if we had known each other for years. In case you are interested their band name is Scuttlebuggs, You can find them on Spotify here.
Claire and Kevin departed the next day and we all bid them safe travels. I made dinner for LeeAnn, Tom and ourselves. Tom commented on the toasted hamburger buns. He was enjoying the proper meals. We became the place to hang out as we had the real kitchen and were located right in the middle. While we were here we celebrated New Year’s Eve with our new friends. LeeAnn cooked for all of us, Tom joined and told us many stories. Another neighbor, named Cole, joined us. Cole was in his mid-twenties and from Minnesota. He was driving a large school bus he converted into a sleeping space and a car hauler. Turns out he participated in drifting events and his BMW was in the back of his bus. That’s right he custom built a drop down ramp to transport his car to the track. He also traveled with his dog, named Subie.
The five us rang in 2022 around a campfire in Georgia. I was thrilled to be ringing in the New Year in sandals! Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love my sandals.
We also met Emily, Dan and their dog named Scout. Emily was a traveling nurse. They had a van and towed a tiny house they built. They travel to her assignments with their own “house” on wheels.
I must say it was a real treat to meet so many wonderful folks. All were friendly and had plenty of stories to share. We had the biggest rig at this place, something new for us. Tom commented upon entering our rig, “wow there’s a ton of room, you could dance in here.” I laughed and said “sometimes we do”. I’ve always had gratitude for our wonderful home on the road but during our stay here we realized we truly have it made. We have a shower, a bathroom, a kitchen, and two queen sized beds. Everyone has their way of living on the road and we feel grateful we found Ralphie and have the space we have. It was a pleasure to share with others during our time here.
The weather was quite wonderful. We spent New Year’s day on the beach at St. Simone’s Island. Starting out 2022 on the beach made me smile and filled my heart with much joy. Immense gratitude flowing that day.
During our stay, we finally got the kayaks out. The first time since August! It felt great to be out on the water with the sun kissing our faces. We paddled out to the Altamaha River and found a nice sand mound to park it and hang out for the afternoon. Enjoyed a sandwich and watched Josie have the time of her life splashing in the water and lying in the sand when she got tired.
Life on the road is far from perfect, there are challenges, worries, and many unknowns but our time at Barrington County Park filled me with much joy and gratitude. The people you meet along the way, the friendships you form, the memories you make, all of it makes up for the challenges that may come. We may not have it all figured out but we sure are loving the hell out of life on the road.
Now if only we can figure out how to make a consistent income on the road. See, it’s not all rainbows and ponies but we will meet that challenge with our favorite mantra “work the problem”. Stay tuned folks as we continue to make our way south.
I’ll leave you with a few short videos from our stay.