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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.
The Richardson Tribe
- Entry Date: March/April 2013 -
Spring was almost here, and we'd made plans for camping in Alabama
and Tennessee over a period of 10-12 days. The weather
is always questionable this time of year, so we made
some back-up plans just in case it rained. The first leg
of our journey had us at
Desoto State Park near Fort Payne, Alabama, and the
rain came on our third day there.
One was the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. It
was about an hour and a half away, but we knew from
experience it would be well worth the drive. We arrived
late morning and almost immediately went into the
unusual domed theater watch a movie about the Hubble
telescope. The images were incredible! My only advice
here is to get as high-up in the seating as possible
and watch your step.
From there we entered the primary museum area. According
to those that know such things, this museum has the
finest collection of artifacts depicting the US race
to space. There are literally thousands of unique
items: engines, space suits, aircraft, space capsules,
rockets, simulators, more than I could list here. This
part of the museum is a kind of old and showing a little
wear and tear, but still an awesome place.
From there, we wandered outside to look at some of the
rockets and military equipment. Fortunately, the rain
held-off for the most part, sprinkling just enough to
keep it interesting. There are a few amusement park-like
rides here, and the kids enjoyed them thoroughly. Their
two favorite rides were a centrifugal force
demonstration and a rocket launch simulator. They rode
both multiple times since there was absolutely no line
whatsoever. I'd like to point out that, when visiting
this area, the rides may or may not be operating. You
may have to ask. In our case, they gladly ran the rides
for our kids.
building was new for us. We'd been here a few years
back, but the the "Saturn V Hall" was something like we'd never
seen. The huge 68,000 square foot building houses one of
only three real Saturn V rockets in the world. The
exhibits are very interactive displaying capsules, a
space station, a moon rock, and hundreds of other
exciting goodies. Kids can climb into training capsules
and flip switches like they're in the real deal. It was
really a lot of fun for the kids (ahem...).
outside, we visited the space shuttle and took a picture
of the kids similar to one we made on our last visit
seven years ago. On the way back through the older
building, the kids discovered a simulator that everyone
rode and a rock wall that everyone climbed. Exhaustion,
however, was setting in (and the kids were tired too).
We certainly had a lot of fun, but had a difficult time
exiting the gift shop. There were lots of things on
sale, so we picked-up some shirts and such. What a great
The museum has many interactive
three Saturn V Rockets exist today.
One of the many outdoor exhibits
For lots more pictures
and details about the US Space and Rocket
Center/Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville,
Alabama, visit the
destination's dedicated PB&J Adventures page.
A Bucket Full of Memories - Rockhounding with the Family -
Funny thing about rocks, you can find them
just about anywhere. From mountain streams
to the seashore, rocks have been
revealed and eroded by wind and water, blasted out of the Earth by
volcanoes, pushed from the ground by unseen forces, and exposed
by construction and mining. You might assume that since rocks are so common, they must not be very interesting, right?
Well, that depends on your perspective.
initially began collecting rocks because one of the kids
received a rock polisher for
Christmas a few years back. It was cheap and didn't last long
(Santa didn't know how to shop for a good quality rock tumbler,
but that's another story).
Coincidentally, it was around the same
time that we visited
James H (Sloppy) Floyd State Park, a place with an abundance
of collectible rocks and fossils. Quite by accident, while hiking
to the park's abandoned marble mine, we found some very unusual rocks.
After some research, we discovered
agate, and they polished beautifully. On that same trip, we
also found rose quartz, pink marble,
and a few fossils. It was this trip to Sloppy Floyd State Park
that inspired the purchase of a camper, and the rest is history.
What do we love about rockhounding?
Our list is
pretty long, so I'll try to be brief.
1- Rocks are everywhere, so no matter where you go or what you
do, rocks can't be too far away. It's a relatively easy and
inexpensive activity, at least until you start polishing the
2- Searching for rocks, minerals, fossils, and artifacts keeps kids entertained (distracted) on
those long hikes resulting
in fewer complaints about boredom or sore legs and feet. The twins were
just three when we went on that
hike to the marble mine at Sloppy Floyd, about a 2 mile
Searching for rocks (colors, shapes) encourages kids to keep
their eyes on the ground so they can watch their their step (and
watch for snakes).
4- It's educational. Every rock, fossil, is a lesson in
history, science, and mathematics. Learning how the various
types of rocks and minerals are formed and why they are shaped
or patterned the way they are is very interesting when you can
hold the evidence in your hand. We let the kids take some of the
rocks to school when they are covering Earth and geology. They
are always a big hit.
Rockhounding can take you places you wouldn't have otherwise discovered. We have visited several really neat towns and
remote areas based on research for rockhounding. Geocaching is
also a great activity for finding new places.
6- Rocks you find at various
locations will always remind you of that place and the things
you did while there. It's kind of like getting a souvenir without
the gift shop. I call our rocks a "bucket full of memories".
7- Rocks are beautiful. We have
found some of the most astonishingly beautiful rocks in some of
the most unlikely places. Semi precious gemstones are great, but
some of the prettiest rocks in our collection are more or less
worthless. That's ok, their value is much greater than any
amount of money.
8- Commercial gem grubbing
typically provide some pretty good inexpensive and not so clean fun. Give the kid a
bucket of dirt and tell them to go play in the water. You won't
get much argument. We spent two full days at Gold n Gem Grubbin
in Cleveland, Georgia, Panning for gold in the creek and
grubbing for Gems at the (nice place to camp too!).
Using the rocks and special wrapping wire, you can also learn to
make jewelry. The pendant shown here, I made with square silver
wire and a shaped and polished agate I found in Summerville,
Sloppy Floyd State Park.
10- The act of looking for and
collecting minerals, rocks, and fossils, and gem grubbing and
gold panning gives each and every family member something in common with
their siblings and parents. The kids have learned about different types of
crystals and rocks, and it gives them something to talk about. I
can't tell you how many times I have had one of the kids come
running up shouting Daddy, look at this rock I found. The kids
will compare their rocks and brag about who found the best one.
Perhaps my favorite benefits of
collecting and polishing rocks is the uncanny way they can bring
back memories. Sometimes we pull the bucket out and spread the
finely polished agate, quartz crystals, amethyst, chert nodules,
garnet, and various other rocks and minerals out on a towel
covered table. We'll turn the lights up and go through them one
by one talking about where we found them and what we did while
we were there.
So there you have it, 10, no 11
reasons we rockhound. We're making memories, and I'd be willing
to bet the kids will fight over the collection when Mommy and
Daddy are gone.
Cloudmont Ski and Golf Resort
- Adventure Journal - Entry Date: February 2013
Long long ago, in the years BC (before children), Rebecca
and I traveled out west to ski annually. We enjoyed skiing at Squaw
Valley, Heavenly (Lake Tahoe), Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Loveland,
Crested Butte (CO), and Taos (NM). So, when we first saw the roadside sign for
Alabama's Cloudmont Ski and Golf Resort on an afternoon drive along
Lookout Mountain many years ago, we laughed. Skiing in Alabama? Really?
We were ski snobs.
Fast forward 15 years. Now we have kids, four to be exact. The cost of
an annual ski trip out west is not within this family's budget. We have
taken a couple of trips to
Cataloochee Ski Area near Maggie Valley, North
Carolina where the kids have had lessons and learned the basics.
Unfortunately, a southeastern ski trip
like that can be pretty painful to the family pocketbook too.
So, one day we were eating at the Wildflower Cafe' in Mentone Alabama,
and we started talking with a family that has just left Cloudmont Ski
and Golf Resort. They were laughing and talking about how great of a
time they had, and they were skiers. It sparked our interest, and so we
had to check it out first-hand.
One of our favorite
campgrounds is located at
State Park, just a few minutes from Cloudmont Ski and Golf, so we
booked a long weekend around President's day. It had been unseasonably
warm weather, but several nights of cold leading-up to the weekend meant
they were making snow (they need 18 hours of temps 28 degrees or less to
open). We were waiting at the ticket window when they opened that Monday
We rented equipment for the kids and paid for all-day lift tickets. The
lift is a tow rope, but that's actually pretty good for beginners
because they can exit the lift at any elevation of the slope. As I
mentioned, the kids have had a couple of lessons, but their ski-time was
limited. Fortunately (for us), there were very few people on the slope
that day, so the kids were able to ski all day long with no waiting at
the lift. By the end of the day, they were all pretty good. John Micah
was even skiing backwards.
Now understand, Cloudmont is no Rocky Mountain ski resort. There is a
mere 150' drop on their two parallel running slopes. It is what it is,
but it is a load of fun and a great experience for the kids (and
grown-ups too). It's also very affordable (compared to other ski
destinations). Kids under 12 can rent equipment and ski all day for less
Check their website for prices because they vary based on
weekdays, weekend, and holidays.
We've decided to make Cloudmont a regular stop in the winter, and maybe
even other seasons. They have a very affordable golf course and there is
even horseback riding available. Nearby Desoto State Park and a
virtually limitless selection of other area attractions makes this an
awesome destination. We give it six thumbs-up.
For more details including reviews of the destination's facilities and
amenities, plus tons of pictures, visit the
Cloudmont PB&J Adventures page.
Snow is snow, and this little
slope has snow!
The kids spent the entire day on
by the end of the day, they were
Moto Mountain ATV Park -
Fairmount, Georgia -
Moto Mountain ATV Park is located near Fairmount in
North Georgia. It's very convenient to Atlanta and
Chattanooga, just about 20 minutes off Interstate 75
from Calhoun. It is also near some of our other favorite
Fort Mountain State Park and
John Micah navigating mud on one
of the tracks
The trails are
perfect for four wheelers
The morning after - muddy, tired,
Check-in is at Motorcycle
Bob's, a local icon situated on Highway 53 east of
Fairmount. This little shop sells gas, rents
motorcycles, ATVs, and helmets, serves food, and sells
various other supplies and trinkets. The ladies behind
the counter are very nice and eager to make your visit
pleasant. Once you sign the release forms and pay-up,
it's a short jaunt to Moto Mountain. As you enter the
park, you will begin to see the many trails to your
left. Pretty cool!
The area has obviously been logged, and I would assume
many of the tracks are remnants of old logging trails.
The large property is covered with snaking one-way
trails that resemble motocross tracks in some places.
There are mud bogs, jumps, and numerous play areas all
for the powersports enthusiast. There are some places
you may want to avoid with novice riders, but for the
most part, the trails are in pretty good shape and not
incredibly challenging. Don't get me wrong, when we
first arrived for our visit, I was a little apprehensive
about whether the kids could handle the mud and hill
climbs, but they all came through wonderfully. It was
actually a great learning experience for them.
Additionally, all trails are one-way making riding much
safer for everyone.
The environment itself is
made for motorcycle and ATV lovers. There is a culture
there that, if you are not familiar, could be a little
scary at first. There is a lot of dirt and mud, and lots
of machines running around, but it's all pretty safe. In
fact, we camped at the back of the property near the Pee
Wee Play Area and had a couple of nice long trails
virtually to ourselves. Note: If you are a citified
yuppy that doesn't like to get your fingernails dirty,
The folks that run Moto Mountain are down to earth
good-old southern country folk (and I mean that in a
good way) that bend over backward to make sure you visit
is the best it can be. If you are camping, they'll come
by and check on you, even dropping-off some firewood if
you wish. Thanks guys!
Moto Mountain is a
purpose-made retreat that is designed for one thing:
riding. Yes, there are other amenities they offer like a
zip line, but offroad riding is what it's all about. If
that's what you seek, then you won't be disappointed. In
summary., we can't wait to go back (but we'll need to
save-up a little). We suggest a family plan!
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park - Santa Rosa Beach,
Hill Preserve State Park is located on the west end
of Highway 30A in Walton County, Florida near San
Destin. In addition to providing an affordable stay
in a very exclusive (expensive) area, Topsail
features over 3 miles of pristine secluded beach
completely void of homes. condos, shops, and hotels.
Absolutely nothing but sea, sand, and nature adorn
this small piece of Florida's coastline.
beach is typical for the area (awesome). Fine
snow-white sand and emerald waters inspire beach
lovers. There are three methods of getting to the
beach from the campground. You can ride a bike,
walk, or take a shuttle that runs periodically. We
like the bike option. You can coast most of the way
down to the beach, and the ride back isn't terribly
bad either. Just be aware, it's about a half mile
bike ride down to the boardwalk that leads to the
beach. If you plan to walk or bike to the beach,
make sure you can carry your beach supplies!
abounds at Topsail Hill Preserve. The park features
over 1,600 acres of fish-filled fresh water lakes
and sand dunes, some as as much as 25' high. Deer,
raccoon, coyote, and snake are just a few of the
land creatures in the park. It's unlikely you'll
encounter any of these, but you might very well see
their tracks in the dunes (no humans allowed). You
might be more likely to see a sea turtle than
anything else. They seem to know it's a safe haven
campground is nice. It's set-up like an RV park, but
most sites are a respectable size. They have full
hookups and a decent laundry facility, so it's
painless to stay as long as you like. The pool and
recreation area is exceptionally nice. It even
features a shuffle board court.
no limit to local dining, entertainment, and
activities near Topsail Hill Preserve. The park is
just minutes from San Destin and Destin, and a
relatively short drive to Panama City Beach. These
resort areas offer numerous water parks, miniature
golf courses, parasailing, personal water craft
rentals, kayak rentals, bike rentals, deep sea
fishing, golf, and much more. There is never a dull
moment in this part of Florida. It's one of our
all-time favorite destinations.
This RV site backs up to a small
The endless beach is like a
If your business
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