An eclectic collection of camping stories, trailer-towing articles, campground and park reviews as we discover the world of RV camping in our small camping trailer.
If you are expecting sugar-coated, sponsored reviews, or cut-and-paste Chamber of Commerce pamphlets, you are on the wrong page!
Sunday, September 3, 2017
we were camping at Cloudland Canyon State Park, on the top of Lookout
Mountain, people asked, “Where are you headed next?” The
responses we got ranged from blank stares to looks of outright
surprise. We began to have doubts about the campsite reservation I
made at James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park near Summerville,
Georgia, back in April. I picked the park based on its location and
campsite availability in late August, and the fact it was located in
the nearby Chattahoochee National Forest.
we drove down the center of Lookout Mountain from Cloudland Canyon –
it’s really a long, thirty-five mile plateau – headed south
toward our next campsite at Sloppy Floyd, Ilse and I both became
apprehensive: we had no idea what to expect at our next campsite.
Quite honestly, the name of the state park did nothing to whet our
is a subliminal message in the park name “Sloppy,” even if it is
named after the speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives who
served from 1953 until 1974. The nickname “Sloppy” just doesn’t
inspire enthusiasm. His reputation doesn’t either as he’s
nationally famous as the Georgia legislator who defiantly walked out
of the Georgia State House when Julian Bond, the first black elected
to the legislature, was sworn in. Was ‘Ol Jim sloppy all the time
or just on the farm? Or, maybe only while working in the State House?
More importantly, does the state park actually represent the name?
onto Sloppy Floyd Lake Road from US 27 does not alleviate any fears,
at least not until you get to the sign announcing the park. From
there on, it is one of the prettiest Georgia state parks we’ve
seen. Large, well manicured woods with picnic shelters surround two
small, tranquil lakes that even offer several paddle boats. The
office has free WiFi – which we didn’t have at Cloudland Canyon -
and has standard park business hours. The WiFi proved to be weak and
highly intermittent, but we occasionally got on the Internet without
burning our precious data usage on our cellphone.
park offered a half-price discount for camping sites during August,
which I assume means they aren’t as full as they would like to be.
It also meant I got half of my money back when I checked in early
Monday afternoon, in addition to the twenty percent age discount that
you can’t get when you make reservations on-line at
knew was it was a smaller state park than the one we left, with only
twenty-five sites, although nine of those sites are spacious
pull-throughs. It is located just south of the bustling town of
Summerville on US Highway 27. At over 1000 feet lower than our last
campsite, it is quite a bit warmer than on top of the mountain. The
park has no main gate. All of the facilities, including the campsite,
four new, state-of-the-art cottages, and the picnic areas, are
accessed from the rather narrow, twisty, lake-side county road that
traverses the park.
campsites and the park itself are a pleasant surprise. The twisty,
narrow one-way access road to the campsites flattens out on top of
the hill and campsites are spread in such a manner that gives
everyone privacy, and yet easy access. The only shower/toilet
facility is old, but spotlessly clean.
backed into our reserved site 14 – this is one of the few Georgia
State Parks that use the pre-selected site method – and within an
hour were setup and fixing lunch. We even had time to drive back to
the Visitor Center just as people began milling around outside the
office as the highly anticipated Solar Eclipse got underway. Rachel,
the young ranger who checked us in, lent everyone her certified
viewing glasses and we all got to see some part of the eclipse.
Someone quipped at the height of the eclipse – which looked more
like a really cloudy day – that they could hear crickets and it was
surely several degrees cooler. Smiles all around as everyone enjoyed
Solar eclipse shadows
walked over four miles on the paved parks roads on Tuesday before it
got too hot, then drove into nearby Summerville after lunch to stock
up necessities. We also stopped by a local auto parts store to order
two new gas-pistons for the rear lift gate on the Sequoia. Believe
me, when they fail, getting anything out of the back of the car
becomes a nightmare. I watched a you-tube video made by an amateur
mechanic about replacing the pistons just to make sure there weren’t
any procedures I wasn’t aware of. The you-tube “mechanic”
propped the heavy lift gate open with a piece of PVC pipe. You know,
the plastic, flexible water pipe used for sprinkler systems. I
couldn’t help but wonder if he is still hospitalized. Perhaps he
isn’t, but I have no doubt anyone who emulated him may either have
been decapitated or currently plays the role of Captain Hook in Peter
did the Marble Mine Trail on Wednesday, and since the trail is based
on an old gravel road, we took Taz along for the hike. While the
condition of the trail is no problem, the angle of the roadway
sometimes requires unexpected water breaks. The old mine isn’t
awe-inspiring like the vistas at Cloudland Canyon, but it is still
in all, James H. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park gets high ratings from
us. Cloudland Canyon has its vistas and Vogel has two – count ‘em,
two! - miniature golf courses so both of those parks are at the other
end of the tourist spectrum. This is where you kick back for a couple
of days when they crowds head back to the city. Don’t expect the
throngs of Atlanta license plates here. A great place to enjoy the
dog days of summer. Nobody here but the locals, and those who know
not to judge a book by its cover. Next: Headed South, Sort of...