Miami, FL

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For our stop in the Miami area we parked at the Larry & Penny Thompson Memorial Park & Campground.  This is a Miami-Dade County park that is located about 20 miles south of the city of Miami, actually closer to Homestead, FL.  This location put us in between two national parks:  Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park.

Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park is the first park area to be protected not for its scenic beauty but for its biological and ecological value.  As the largest tropical wilderness in the United States this area supports 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals and 50 species of reptiles.  Although it is commonly thought of as a swamp, it is in fact the widest river in the world, however, it is shallow and slow moving, about 1/2 mile per day.  Early settlers considered this part of Florida to be useless land and over the years tried in many ways to “reclaim” it so it could be put to better use. Continue reading

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Columbia, SC

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We visited Columbia during our road trip in 2013.  This time we parked at The Barnyard RV Park in Lexington, SC.  Our primary objective this time was to visit the only National Park in South Carolina.

Pop quiz:  What is the most visited US national park?  Many people might think it’s Yellowstone or Grand Canyon.  Actually, by a wide margin, it’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Makes sense since it is easily accessible to a large number of people in the surrounding states of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Caroline, Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia and West Virginia.  So after having been to the most visited national park we went to one of the least visited, Congaree National Park.

Congaree National Park

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Asheville, NC

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Continuing our visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains we stopped in Asheville, NC, for 5 nights at the Bear Creek RV Park.  This time we did not travel on the Blue Ridge Parkway since there is a very steep ascent and descent just before reaching Asheville so we didn’t want to put this stress on our vehicle.

Biltmore Estate

I suppose a visit to Asheville wouldn’t be complete without going to see the Biltmore Estate.  This very large estate with a massive house, extensive gardens, parklands and a winery, was built by George Vanderbilt.  The Biltmore House was opened in 1895 after six years of construction.  It was during this same time that Cornelius Vanderbilt completed the family’s beach house in Newport, RI, which is know as “The Breakers”.  We toured that house back in August.  We particularly enjoyed the Biltmore gardens and the Conservatory with its extensive selection of orchids.  After we visited the winery and tasted some of the Biltmore wines we encountered a special event where they were presenting a variety of artisan foods to sample. Continue reading

Acadia National Park (Trenton, ME)

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Acadia National Park recently celebrated its 100th anniversary which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the National Park Service.  A substantial portion of the parkland was gifted by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. much as he did to help establish Grand Teton National Park.

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Akron, OH

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Pro Football Hall of Fame

On our drive from Hocking Hills to Akron, we stopped in Canton in order to check out the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Like me, you may ask, why is the Pro Football Hall of Fame located in Canton, OH?  The primary reason is that the American Professional Football Association, which later became the National Football League, was founded in Canton in 1920.  In addition, the Canton Bulldogs were an early pro-football power team.  If you’re a fan of professional football, it’s worth taking the time to visit.

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