Virginia to Florida August 17th - December 20 2008

Because there are so many pictures of this particular trip they are broken into multiple pages.
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From Hilton Head we traveled further south to Jekyll Island. The water was very calm, and as we usually find this late in the year the beaches were nearly empty.

Jekyll Island is the home of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, where they work on injured turtles, particularly loggerheads.
Northward view along the Jekyll Island beach
Veterinarian cleaning a wound on an injured loggerhead
A three-legged turtle (right-rear missing) chomps on a squid
We geocached along some rather swampy areas on the island!
With a couple of days to kill between Jekyll Island and a scheduled Blue Bird rally in Central Georgia we stopped by the "Birds Nest" which is the factory-sponsored campground. It was full, mostly with others who moved over to the rally at the same time we did.
One of the events at the rally was a guided tour of the factory, which they do every Friday morning - they are on a Mon-Thursday work week.
Cummins ISX engines. Red-topped 450HP on left for Express busses, and chrome-topped 600HP on the right for Wanderlodges.
These are nearly complete over-the-road Express coaches.
Slideout assemblies for Wanderlodges
Engine in rear of Wanderlodge
There are just two Wanderlodge bodies in assembly
They will not be completed until they have buyers waiting for them
Potluck night at the rally
You can tell its was Halloween!
Arley makes a move on Joy
Technical walkthrough, looking at various coach features
From the RATS rally it was on to Tampa, for the Datastorm Rally. We were there more than a week early, so we took the time to visit a few of the sites, including the Big Cat Rescue facility.
This is a rare desert sand cat from the Middle East
This is a shot from the beach in Clearwater.
Just a couple of shots from the rally itself. It was a very enjoyable rally, probably because we only had 50 RVs compared with 115 the year earlier in Tucson. Made things much less hectic!
Michael and Georgia joined us in Tampa, and we stayed together for a couple of weeks afterwards. These pictures were taken on Sanibel Island.
After Sanibel, we drove through "Alligator Alley" to the southern tip of Florida. Didn't see many gators, but there were huge flocks of egrets.
Georgia, Michael, Patrick, Holly, and Joy at the monument marking the southern most point in the 48 states. Cuba is off somewhere over the horizon at the left.
Joy's main interest in Key West was to see the Hemingway house, and in particular all of the cats living there.

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