New Friends

I have been making some wonderful new friends as I travel around the country.  From time to time I will try to add their stories and photos to this page.

Sumer 2011

Louisa and Joe

You really have to be people focused to be a campground host and Joe and Louisa, who hosted at Rock Crek in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma were just that.

Once again I have made some great new friends who are hosts at one of the campgrounds I have stayed at.  This is Mary and Charlie who host at Devils Tower in Wyoming and also at Devils tower I met Jerry and Terry from MInnesota.

Terry and Jerry from Minnesota

Spring 2011

I have often said that the “Hosts” add a lot to how well you enjoy a campground and Jack and Shirley are the proof of that.  They host at Big Biloxi Campground in the DeSoto National Forest of MIssissippi.  I had a great time just sitting and talking with them by the fire on chilly mornings.

Jack and Shirley with "Shorty"

Winter 2010


Jara and Tom

Jara and Tom are from the Netherlands and were a really nice young couple.  They worked at several jobs to save enough to travel in the U.S. and they spent about 6 months all over the country.

Michael and Gigs

Michael and Gigs were from the Northeast around Boston and New York.  They had the greates nighttime candle light show I have seen and were responsible for the dancing diamondback photos.

3 generations of Everglades campers

That’s Betty, Chris, Ted and Brock.  I first met Ted in the Everglades last winter and this year had the pleasure of meeting his wife Betty, their son Chris and Chris’s son Brock.  Simply great people!

Ken, Sandy and Betty

That’s Ken and Sandy from Libby, Montana standing with Betty.  I also met Ken last year in the Everglades and over the summer he was lucky enough to Marry Sandy so I got to meet her also.  They added a lot of laughs and smiles to a great time around the campsite!

July 2010
I was going to stay at Hot Springs National Park but didn’t like it so I ended up at nearby Lake Sylvia.  It worked out fine because I got to meet “Cat and Greg”

Cat and Greg with their dogs Waffles and Rocky

They are a wonderful, really down to earth couple who love to camp.  They even participate in the annual Mountain Man Rendezvous.  I love meeting new people on this trip and this is a great example of why.

June 2010
I just wantedto give another shout out to a couple of great hosts at Matthews Arm Campground in the Shenandoah National Park.  This is Nancy and John, two great people who made my time there a lot better!

Nancy and John

May 2010
I really believe that the hosts at campgrounds in the National Parks and Forests add a lot to the ease of the camping experience.  I know it’s true in the case of Tom, the host at the Badin Lake Campground in the Uwharrie National Forest.  During the time I spent there we became good friends and he was always there when I needed some thing I forgot.  We even got the chance to do some fishing on the lake in his inflatable boat.
Thanks Tom, for doing a greatb job!
I also got to meet Erika and Willi and Chris and Don while at Badin Lake.  Erika and Willi have been camping there for several years and shared some great tips about camping.  How to find worms, which bays were best for fish and how to make Cherry pies over the fire with bread, butter and pie filling.  They are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary later this year.  Congratulations!
Chris and Don are amateur prospectors who worked hard at panning for gold in some of the streams around Badin Lake.  They actually found some and even a small “nuggett”.  It was fun to hear their stories and each night we would wait anxiously for them to return and to see if they struck it rich.

Tom the camp host at Badin Lake

Erika and Willi

Chris and Don

May 2010
I first met Mike and Sherri in the Everglades last January and we have become great friends.  Little did I know at the time that they would show up one day at my campsite in North Carolina. It turns out the lived just a few miles from where I was at and stopped by to say hello.  They are just super nice people who are back on the road again this summer.

Mike and Sherri

April 2010
At Ocean Pond I got a chance for some cooking lesons from Earl.  Earl is retired Navy and has been hiking and camping all his life.  I ate, and learned how to make, fried green apples and fried cornbread!

Earl from Jacksonville

January 2010
I don’t think I have ever met two people more interested in helping others than brothers Dave and Ted.

  I met them at Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park and immediately knew they were special. Ted (from Virginia) has been coming to the Everglades for 10 years now and his brother Dave (from Maine) has joined him for the last 2 years. 

Welcome to Ted and Daves Campsite

As the sign on their campsite indicates you can get just about anything you need or forgot from them including a hot cup of coffee, tea, and cocoa in the morning.  Oh, and great ideas and conversation at any time. 

January 2010
This is Chuck and Joan from Illinois.  A gem of a couple with a lot of road experience who gave me some great tips to ease my travels.  They also took the time to get me a St Christopher medal that I had been searching for since I began my travels.  I met them at Big Cypress and then ran into themagain at Everglades N. P.

Chuck and Joan

February 2010
When you think of good old down home “folk” you would be describing Louie and Debbie.  What you see is what you get and what you get in this case are two special people who enjoy life and each other.  If you ever get to meet them ask Louie about the time he saw a Portugese Man O War!

Louie and Debbie


5 Responses to New Friends

  1. Louie & Debbie says:

    Like the pic. We enjoyed visiting with you alot.

  2. bill says:

    Hi Andy, It’s great to see you’re web site especially pics of Louie & Deb. What wonderful people. Won’t be surprised to see Debs photos in National Geographic sometime soon! Alas, not so great to be back from the road and not wondering what the new day will bring or where we will be sleeping 2night! We are trying to gear up for spring but the tasks have become very old over the years and our recent adventure keeps us wanting more. We returned home March 1 and here I sit hoping for you’re health, happiness and joy while admiring you’re sense of adventure achieved only by having the resolve( balls) to cut free! With a now fresh outlook having thought of where you might be I’ll return to the work that will sometime in the near future set us free. Till then here’s wishing you dry nights and sunny days! Hope you can visit on you’re way up the East coast as you’re welcome anytime. Bill

    • usandyd says:

      Hey Bill…glad to hear that you and Jean made it home safely. I am in Central Florida and starting the trek north. I still hope to stop by and visit when I get up that way. I ran into Louie and Debbie again at Monument Lake! Small world! Take care.

  3. Roy and Annie says:

    Hi Andy When you are at Padre Island Walt and Beryl are camphosts there say hi to them, They were camphosts at Midway but not when your were there.

  4. Isn’t it so much fun meeting all these people?

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