We enjoy reading
emails from our new friends. Here are some examples:
Hello! A friend of
mine sent me a link to your
Salt Springs, Florida
page, and as I looked around the page and your site,
I loved what I saw. I have just created my first
bookmark for camping locations and your site is it.
thanks for all the great reviews and information on
My family will be taking our FIRST trip to
Fort Mountain over Labor Day weekend, thanks to
ya'll! We are very excited. Thanks for a great
Joey and Family
I absolutely love your website. We have a travel
trailer that we've had a little less than a year. We
are still pretty new to camping with our travel
trailer. We are going to
Tannehill this weekend. We live in Prattville,
Alabama and love that you have so much information
on campgrounds close by. It is frustrating that so
many campgrounds have very little info and pictures
on their website. I've marked you in my favorites
and plan on using it as a tool to plan upcoming
trips. We have three kids and the information and
pictures you provide really help us to decide what
is a good place for our family. Thanks so much!
David and Family
"What a great website!
We are new to RVing, and are leaving south Florida
in the next day or two. You go to a lot of the places
we will be visiting. Thanks for your guides. Here we
"Thanks so much for the article on the Crooked River
State Park and
Cumberland Island area! We just enjoyed a fun
filled week! We saw so much wild life. We were close
to the Okefenokee, Cumberland Island, St. Mary's,
and too much more to mention! The park was super
clean and the campsites were large. We definitely
plan to go again! Thanks again!"
Lee and Family
"I wish I had many hours to sit
here and read every piece of information and every
adventure on your site! I love it and hope that I
can visit/camp at some of the places the Richardson
Tribe has ventured to!"
I really appreciate your website. Your descriptions
and pictures are so helpful in deciding our next
place to visit. We had been considering
(State Park) as
our next camping trip, and your website, I think,
has sealed the deal.
I have really enjoyed your website! It is
Note from the Richardson Tribe:
Welcome to PB&J
Adventures. We are an extremely curious family of
six that enjoys exploring, playing, and learning. We
have always made an effort to go somewhere and do
something as often as possible, leaving the house,
chores, and everyday worries behind.
Initially our adventures lasted only a day, so we
would pack a lunch, often PB&J sandwiches (which
inspired the name of our adventures). Sometimes the
adventures were framed by an event like a fair or
festival, however, most adventures were based on
local places, their unique history or features, and
any available activities at that location or in the
immediate area (we do, after all, have children).
Eventually the adventures became a major part of our
lives, sometimes lasting several days at a time. In
2007, we began documenting our adventures on a
Much to our surprise, many friends and family
members wanted to experience their own adventures or
join us for ours. Such was the inspiration for this
mission is to make the planning of your adventures
easy and predictable. We have done the research and
have personally visited and reviewed all listed
sites. The PB&J Adventures website features detailed
information about places to go and things to do.
Destination reviews include lots of pictures,
campground or lodging details, fun and educational
things to do in the vicinity, dates of local events,
maps for directions, links to official websites and
reservations, and most importantly, a personal
account of a local adventure by a real family.
you enjoy the website, and we sincerely hope your
family experiences the same benefits we have. If you
have questions about any of the sites or events we
Thanks for visiting PB&J Adventures.
Destination and event of the Week:
Mammoth Cave National Park is
located between Bowling Green and Louisville, Kentucky. It's a
beautifully wooded and rugged part of the country. The park's
limestone foundation is riddled with hundreds of miles caves. In
fact, Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system in the world. Much
of the cave is without mineral formations, but the sections of
the cave with formations are quite amazing. At nearly 400
explored miles, the sheer size of the cave is hard to fathom,
and makes the trip worthwhile.
Above ground, this 52,835 acre park
is just as awesome as its Swiss cheese basement. The forest is
open and clear underneath the massive hardwoods. The dense
overhead canopy and abundant wildlife contribute to underbrush
control. It's a very well preserved and clean national park
brimming with natural beauty and furry creatures.
Near the park's visitor center is a
the Mammoth Cave Hotel and the park's primary campground. There
are many options for
lodging within the
park, but camping, while very picturesque and natural, is
limited for the extended stay of this family of six. The lack of
water and electrical hookups can make stays of more than 2-3
nights a little trying. If you need full hookups, there are
several options in nearby Cave City and Park City. Yogi
Bear's Jellystone Park, with its child-oriented activities
and amenities, is always a hit with the kids.
There is plenty to do in the area.
If you are here for a short visit, you'll have a hard time
deciding which adventure to attempt. There are numerous caves
outside the national park that can be toured, including one
located in an Australia-themed park called Kentucky
Down Under. This area possesses a "retro" tacky tourist
appeal reminiscent of Gatlinburg, Panama City Beach, and Ghost
Town in the Sky. Rock shops, go karts, t-shirts, fudge, and
zip-lines abound. Many of the attractions are seasonal, so do
your homework before booking your accommodations.
The cave is massive, but still
close-in at times.
The formations' shapes and colors are awe
Something To Do:
Everyone knows the Richardson Tribe enjoys outdoor
activities, especially those associated with camping. One of the
luxuries of camping in an RV is a fully functional kitchen. However,
an RV's kitchen is inside, and somehow, cooking with a microwave
just doesn't produce a real "outdoorsy" experience. Sure,
appreciate the camper's indoor kitchen, but every once in a while, it's fun to do it the "old fashioned" way.
We initially became acquainted with this
type of cooking in 2008 while attending Frontier Days, an annual
October event held at
New Echota Historic
Site in Calhoun, Georgia. For the Cherokee, this village was the brief
capitol of their sovereign nation. New Echota was also home of the Phoenix,
only newspaper published in the Cherokee Nation's own language using a
type of alphabet developed by Sequoyah, an illiterate (in English) but
New Echota's Frontier Days event is great for the entire family. Lots of
hands-on experiences are provided throughout the park. One of the cabins featured a Native
American game that required spear throwing. There was also archery and
tomahawk target practice at the same cabin. The cabin also had a
wonderful fragrance of baked apples and cinnamon seeping through the
cracks in the walls. On the hearth of the cabin's fireplace were several
Dutch ovens, each containing some sort of culinary masterpiece. The
friendly folks demonstrating the Dutch ovens let us sample the food
while explaining how the process works. Rebecca was especially
interested and asked lots of questions about what kind of cookware and
accessories she needed to get started.
The very next weekend, we followed
the advice of the experts, and made
the beautiful drive up to South Pittsburg, Tennessee. The destination
was the official
Lodge Cookware Factory Outlet. The folks were very friendly and
helpful, by showing us exactly what we needed to get started. So began
our new adventures in camp cooking.
that day at the Lodge cookware outlet, we focused on purchasing the things we needed for
cooking the with Dutch Ovens. We got 10" and a 12" Dutch Ovens,
pair of leather
gloves, a charcoal starter chimney, a tripod, tongs for handling
charcoal, a lid handle, a lid stand, a cookbook, and a few other odds
and ends.. Since then, however, we have added pie irons that allow us to
make yummy calzones and grilled cheese. In the near future, I'd like to
purchase a folding
Dutch oven cooking table so I can get the ovens up off the ground.
So, in summary, Camp Cooking can be that
added flavor that makes your camping trips a bit more like camping
trips. Sure, it's easier to pop something in the microwave, but the
satisfaction of using iron cookware just like your Great Grandma may
have used on the family hearth is special.
For more information about camp cooking,
There's nothing more cozy than a fire and the
smell of home-madefood.
Sampling some yummy Dutch Oven
Lodge makes great cast-iron Dutch Ovens!
Adventure Journal - Fall Creek Falls Entry Date:
the last Adventure Journal entry was in 2008. Wow! Has
it been that long? It's not for a lack of desire to
return. We missed it! For years we've heard great things
about the Mountaineer Folk Festival held annually in at
Fall Creek Falls State Park, and we've tried to schedule
a trip around the festival, but there was always some
scheduling conflict. Well, not this year. When I tried
to book a campsite back in the summer, but it was
already sold-out. I persevered, logging onto the
reservation site sometimes 3-4 times a day, anxiously
hoping someone cancels. Then BAM! We're in!
Our oldest son had a football game/marching band
commitment, so the "littles" and I went up Friday
evening, and Mama and LT drove "Willy B" the Jeep up
Saturday morning. We got a pretty early start at the
festival, and dove right in to the yummy snacks. Kettle
corn, cookies, fudge, brittle, burgers, funnel cakes,
honey, sorghum syrup, and on and on and on... We
actually saw a mule turning a cane mill that squeezes
the juice from the cane. The juice runs into a bucket,
then it goes into a vat to cook down. Eventually it
becomes syrup. We watched the entire process from
beginning to end, then bought one of the rather
expensive jars of syrup. It was worth it just to meet
dozens and dozens of tent booths set up all over the
park's commons area near camp stores and recreation
center. There were leather goods, crafts, and art. We
met some ladies with an angora goat and angora rabbits.
We'd already talked about fiber animals, and I think
spending time with these sweet ladies and their animals
closed the deal. Lainey's started knitting some, and we
think it would be cool to get a spinning wheel and try
to make some of our own yarn. Why not!
We also met
a man with a "bluegrass instrument petting zoo." He was
encouraging people, especially kids to come pick up an
instrument, and play with it. He was showing kids simple
chords. I think he was impressed when our kids were
actually able to play along with him. We have guitar,
banjo, mandolin, and fiddle playing kids.
Speaking of music, there were two stages of folk music,
gospel, and bluegrass. There was a lot of talent at the
festival, so we wandered back and forth listening. By
the time we'd seen it all twice, we decided to drive up
to view the falls. Then we headed back to the campground
for a quiet evening and a campfire.
Back at the
campground, we met a neighbor that had birds. Lots of
birds. Parrots and cockatoos. They were all on perches
just outside his camper. He told us the story of many of
the birds, mostly rescued and previously neglected. Very
We had to head back to civilization on Sunday, but we
were so glad we'd come for the festival. Maybe next time
we'll have more time to enjoy more of the parks other
features we know so well.
For more about Fall Creek Falls, click here!
This beautiful mule sure loves
We sure do love these angora
Pickin' and grinnin' at the
Choccolocco Mountain ORV Park
son was invited to attend "Band Day" at Jacksonville
State University, so I began to look for nearby
campgrounds. There didn't appear to be anything in
the immediate area, but I stumbled across this place
called Choccolocco Mountain. According to their
website, they had a campground with water and
electric hookups. I found some videos on
YouTube of people driving Jeeps and UTV's at the
mountain, and it caught my attention. I grew up
off-road, and I want my kids to experience some of
the same thrills I did as a child (only a little
safer). We own a Jeep, but we recently purchased a
Polaris Ranger Crew, a full-sized side-by-side with
six seatbelts and awesome off road capabilities. I
decided to make a weekend of it!
Rebecca had to chaperone for the band, so she
traveled to the university with them. I loaded up
the other three kids into HOMER III (the motorhome),
put the Ranger (Big Hoss) on a trailer, and headed
to Jacksonville later that morning. When we arrived
at the park, we stopped at the shed near the
entrance. No one works in the shed, but there is a
guide that displays fees for camping and riding. You
have to calculate the fee, place the money in an
envelope, and deposit the envelope in the cash box.
We also had to sign waivers of liability for each
driver and passenger (including children).
I pulled the motorhome up the rather steep and dusty
hill and found an empty RV site. Campers can pull
alongside the sites, or back/pull into the sites. I
opted to pull straight in because there was a nice
view of the out the front windows, and I didn't have
to disconnect the trailer. I wasted no time pulling
the Ranger off the trailer, grabbing a trail map,
and heading out to explore. It was just three of our
kids and me on this adventure, at least initially.
It was very dry, and
there was some dust, but not so much as to make it
uncomfortable. There is more rock than anything. We
could see immediately that this was going to be very
different from most of our other trail rides. These
trails were pretty rough. Not impassible by any
means, but rocky and rutted. There's no riding fast
out on those trails. Then we started seeing some of
the side trails, and WOW! There was no way I
would even start to attempt many of those hill
climbs and boulder mine-fields. It was fun watching
others though! We spent hours on the mountain
covering what we could cover safely. There were a
couple of times that our adrenaline was pumping a
bit more than normal, but it was all pretty safe.
We met a few folks at Choccolocco that had some very
elaborate off roaders People can spend a lot of
money building rock crawlers, and this is the
perfect playground for them to give their rigs a
challenge. We were disappointed when a fairly large
group decided to fire up their engines and take a
rather noisy and dangerous midnight ride, something
that is not allowed. Thankfully, we were sound
asleep by the time they returned.
Will we be back? Well duh!
Click here for more details and dozens of trail and
Choccolocco Mountain ORV Park is a popular gathering
place for off roaders.
The view from our Polaris Ranger occasionally made
our adrenaline pump!
This is one
trail I'll leave to the experts!
trails were the bomb, but the littles
enjoyed the kid-sized zip line too.
We've been doing a lot of back country Jeeping recently,
and have logged quite a few miles in the Cohutta Wilderness
over the last month. Most of the rides have been on somewhat
familiar dirt roads that we've explored many times over the
years. We recently heard about this single lane Jeep trail
that winds for about 5-6 miles back into the wilderness and
dead ends at a cemetery. The main attraction was the
prospect of water crossings, and this trail has several.
A couple of my
oldest buddies recently purchased Jeeps and were eager to
join us for the ride. We had just a little trouble finding the
road, but when we did, we knew we'd discovered a gem. It's mild
enough that most any vehicle could handle it, but aggressive
enough to provide some fun and excitement. I wouldn't bring the
family sedan up here. It's a little scary at times (especially
meeting another vehicle), but we felt safe. This is what Jeeps
are built for.
The creek crossings were easy, and the water was never more than
12-24 inches. The water is crystal clear and very cold (even in
August). In fact, the air temperature was probably 10-15 degrees
cooler on this ride than in Ellijay although there is not a lot
of altitude change. There's an amazing waterfall about 2/3 of
the way in that makes the ride that much better. We also
discovered that there is a second cemetery on this road, but
getting up the hill to view it is treacherous. If you have a
decent Jeep and consider yourself a 4X4 expert, then go for it.
I really recommend walking the hill first though, just so you
can get a good idea of the 3' deep ruts and washes beforehand.
The old dirt road over Grassy Mountain
Panning in the Cashes Valley area near Blue Ridge