Solar orientation at Ft Yargo State Park

We visited a super nice little state park on our way from Perry, Ga to Kannapolis, NC. Jim’s daughter, Hannah, is in Atlanta and we hoped for a good visit with her. A campground close enough could allow us to drive in or Hannah to drive out and meet us.

Several Georgia friends advised us on campgrounds near Atlanta. The winner appeared to be Stone Mountain Park Campground. But Stone Mtn campground requires minimum two nights and the site rental cost is $47 per night. This popular destination provides great location, crowded campground, slow registration, and anyone’s guess on quality of assigned campsite location.

The show-stopper with Stone Mountain for us was the two-night minimum so we hunted other possibilities. Because we were heading from southeast of Atlanta we looked east and northeast for state parks. We found a campground near Winder, GA, only about an hour’s drive from Hannah. Ft Yargo State Park turned out an excellent choice for us. Ft Yargo State Park has two rv camping loops with a total of 47 sites.

Our gps directed us perfectly to this state park’s entrance. Registration was very expeditious, requiring only five minutes to register, pay, and obtain our campground directions. We searched the first of two loops and found no appealing sites. The second loop showed several good prospects and on our second pass we selected a site for orientation to the sun and sufficient distance from the children’s playground.

Criteria for site selection has evolved. We formerly first considered view, privacy, and site plane (is it level?). We rarely thought of orientation with respect to the sun’s path. Our winter months in sunny Okeechobee changed our perspective on the sun’s turn around our patio. The sun rose off our street-side rear corner and tracked around to the opposite corner, burning onto our patio.

Awning endshade improves our afternoon patio space

Awning endshade improves our afternoon patio space

We purchased an awning end sunscreen to provide us some relief in the afternoons. This helped immensely in blocking the afternoon low sun, is really nice looking, and gave us a little privacy. Even more helpful would have been orienting the trailer clockwise exactly 180 degrees. But our Okeechobee site was back-in so we could only re-orient +/- 15 or 20 degrees at most. And this would look wacky — we like things pretty straight. We’ll eventually add a long sunscreen for the awning length. When we can’t avoid the patio facing afternoon sun the awning screen will add some shading.

We attended two rallies after leaving Okeechobee. We paid attention to the parking site orientation with respect to the sun. It was for naught. The parking committee had not done so. I appealed to them, “Can’t we park anywhere so the sun won’t shine under our awning all afternoon?” They couldn’t manage it, it wasn’t in their plan and they couldn’t imagine it. Two days later I turned our Airstream 180 degrees so the patio faced east and was readily pleased with our nice shady patio each afternoon.

Beautiful trees seen from our Ft Yargo patio

Beautiful trees seen from our Ft Yargo patio

Fort Yargo provided us the opportunity to exercise this new criterion as part of site selection. We arrived just after 2 p.m. with bright sunshine and could assess the sun’s direction across each campsite. We picked a nice level and quiet site with the patio facing east. Guess what? It worked perfectly! We enjoyed a gorgeous sunny afternoon under our awning, looking at this view. Very comfortable and pretty nice too.

Jim and Hannah enjoy the beautiful morning at Ft Yargo SP

Jim and Hannah enjoy the beautiful morning at Ft Yargo SP

Hannah drove up to join us for breakfast the next morning. We had a great breakfast, a sweet visit, and an overall perfect morning. After breakfast we were standing around talking and looking at some of Hannah’s works in progress. Hannah is doing very pretty work and experimenting with new media.

Young cardinal in flowering dogwood

Young cardinal in flowering dogwood

Just before Hannah returned home and before we started breaking camp, we spotted this cardinal in the flowering dogwood. Okay, this may have been the best time to visit the park. The dogwoods are all in bloom, the birds seem happy, and there are enough leaves in the trees to help filter the sun. Reminds me of an invitation to visit the Catskills in the spring or fall — someone told us they are beautiful in those seasons. Fort Yargo State Park is beautiful this spring.

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