Meaher State Park, Spanish Fort, Alabama (February, 2019)

My very first test of van camping was at the Meaher State Park in Spanish Fort, Alabama. Stretch and I were able to get a tent site and I set up our sleeping arrangements for the night. The site came with water and electric. .

The tent camping area next to the boat ramp

Stretch and I spent 3 nights in all and were able to hike quite a bit around the campground area. There is lots of shade in the tent area. The boardwalk which is accessed through a dirt path to the south of the tent area, a fishing pier, kayak launch area and boat ramp area are all near the tent site area and the cabin area. There is an area for raising bees and some type of agricultural site set aside for private individuals which I guess give additional revenue to the Alabama State Park (good idea). I also noticed that they seem to have a storage facility for RVs.

Additional revenue for Alabama state parks

One thing that I noticed is that Meaher State Park doesn’t have receptacles for the disposal/recycling of monofilament fishing line. While walking along the fishing pier I picked up quite a bit of used, broken fishing line. It sure would make it easier for fishermen to dispose of their line if the Alabama State Parks would install bins like the ones I’ve seen in other states. Florida has a very active and great recycling program. Here is what I’ve seen in Mississippi. They are usually located at fishing piers, boat ramps and like areas. http://www.dmr.ms.gov/index.php/monofilament-recycling-program/9-monofilament/detail/99-monotube#

If you are a nature lover and photographer, I believe you will enjoy this state park, as much I did.

Sunrise taken from my campsite at Meaher State Park
One morning it was foggy and windy at Meaher State Park
Great Blue Heron fishing in the shallows off the boardwalk at Meaher State Park

The bathhouses were nice, clean and well lit. The park itself was clean and I felt safe in the area. The cost of the tent site was more expensive than I expected but for the peace of mind and for my first experience, I paid the fee. I would recommend this state park, I just wish Alabama would offer discounts to seniors. Oh well!!

I have to start somewhere

In February of this year, 2019, I purchased a 2011 Kia Sedona minivan with the intention of converting it to a camper van so that I can explore parts of this great country that I have never visited. My minivan will include a sleeping area, cooking area and as much comfort as I can manage by living in the minivan for an extended period of time (my plan 3 months, but it’s not set in stone should I find it more difficult than I can handle). I will be staying in city, county, state and national parks that have bathing, bathrooms and other facilities that will provide me with additional comfort and safety. I will not be boondocking or dry camping this time.

My 2011 Kia Sedona which will serve as my camper van.

My faithful companion a 12 year old rat terrier, Stretch will be by my side. I hope to be able to do some hiking, certainly walking, kayaking, exploring and, of course, photographing what is of interest to me.

My faithful companion, Stretch, my 12 year old rat terrier

My journey will begin at the end of August, 2019 when I travel to Houston to visit with my son, daughter in law, my grandson and the soon to arrive granddaughter. The plan is to then travel west and start my adventures.

I have tested out the Kia since February and I have camped in Alabama, Texas and visited Seattle and Oregon (not in the Kia). I will be organizing my photographs and identifying them over the next several weeks and hopefully catch up so that once I hit the road my past trips will be already posted.