An Urban Oasis

Visiting state capital’s and national parks has become a huge part of our lives in the last year.  So what could be better for us than combining these two things into one great experience? While visiting the capital city of Maryland we stayed in Greenbelt National Park, which has an awesome location.  It is also a great place to camp right near the city.  We are still amazed at how many cool places there are to go and see in this country, no matter where we go there seems to be an endless amount of places we want to check out.  State capitol buildings provide opportunities to learn about history while national parks provide us with experiences in nature.  What I like about these places is that they are free or very inexpensive to visit.  So read on and I will tell you about our family’s adventure to the wonderful capital city of Maryland.

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A Unique Beginning for South Carolina

We traveled the state from a single camp.

It is unusual for us to stay in only a single campsite when visiting a state, but in South Carolina one stop was perfect. We saw all we had hoped to see.  We stayed at an RV park called Barnyard RV.  It was not great, but we made due for a week.  The only good thing about it was its location.  It was a quick drive into Columbia and less than two hours for us to get to the beach.  Other than that it was noisy, the Wi-Fi was virtually non-existent, and the roads were littered with pot holes, just to name a few of the down sides.   Despite the site being sub-standard we still managed to have a great time while visiting Columbia, South Carolina.

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Winter in the Gulf Coast at Padre Island National Seashore

Padre Island National Seashore is 60 miles of beach on one side and a bay on the other

It is located in the Gulf Coast between Corpus Christi and Brownsville in south Texas.  There are many amazing things about Padre Island, and I am grateful that we got to experience some of them.  We originally intended to stay at the Malaquite campground inside the park, however, things do not always go as planned. We have learned to be flexible with our plans as they often change on the spur of the moment.  The campground was completely full when we arrived, so we studied the map for a few minutes, drove to the other campground on the bay side, and then decided we would take the trailer right down to the beach.  There are no amenities when camping on the beach, but the view is amazing and the price is reasonable (free!).  It is possible to drive the entire length of the beach.  Four wheel drive is recommended after the 5 mile marker, so we only took the trailer down about a mile or two.  We found a great spot, backed in, and set up camp.  I can’t think of anything better than camping on the beach in a national park in January.  It was awesome.

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Petrified Forest

Before leaving Arizona we made our last stop at Petrified Forest National Park.

 

All of the national parks are so different and interesting.  There is so much to learn from these wonderful lands and I am grateful that we have been able to visit so many.  Petrified Forest National Park is a very unique place.  It is not the only place  that petrified wood can be found; however, it is the largest concentrated area of petrified wood in the world.  We were able to  stay at a gift shop just outside the entrance to the park which was great because it was so close and had power for us!  We needed it because it got pretty cold at night while we were there.  The days were nice for hiking though so it all worked out.

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