Road Trip #12 – The Panhandle

Looks like it’s time to run my mouth or rattle my fingers on the keyboard.  Road Trip #10 was a fun Christmas visit with the family on the east coast of Florida.

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Road Trip #11 was a warranty service trip to Fort Myers and unremarkable so no blog entry.  We also had a tow-bar mounted on our “Toad”, a 2015 Chevy Equinox.

Road Trip #12 was in April and May and served as a recuperation and rest period after my March hospitalization.  We spent two nights on the road getting to Pensacola, a day drive to Carrabelle Beach and a night out going home.  Spending a week at each location made this a trip of total relaxation.  At Pensacola we stayed at the Blue Angels Navy Recreation Area campground right on Big Lagoon and only a couple of miles from Corry Station.

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While there we spent a day touring the National Naval Aviation Museum and the Pensacola Naval Air Station.  To top it off, an F14 from my former squadron, VF-41 is displayed at the entrance to the museum.

While there we spent a day touring the National Naval Aviation Museum and the Pensacola Naval Air Station.  To top it off, an F14 from my former squadron, VF-41 is displayed at the entrance to the museum.

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What an awesome collection of aircraft.  We were fortunate enough to watch a “Winging Ceremony” while we were there.  One female and seven male flight students were in the graduating class and their assigned nicknames at the ceremony were Snow White, Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy and you can figure out the rest.  Can you imagine Top Gun with pilots by those names?

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The rest of the week at Pensacola was thoroughly relaxing.

It took us a day to travel across US-98 from Pensacola to Carrabelle in the Big Bend and we stayed at the Carrabelle Beach Resort, an encore visit.  This is really a nice campground.  I let Barb drive our “Toad” and she cut the sidewall of the left front tire.  My fault though because I wanted to go down to the docks and see the fishing boats and it was a dirt road with a lot of potholes.  Otherwise Carrabelle was uneventful.  We found a couple of new restaurants to make an encore visit the next time we’re up there.  Here’s a sunset picture from the campground.

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And now we head back home to Parrish via an overnight stop at Sandy Oaks RV Park in Beverly Hills near Old Town.

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Road Trip #9, Part 6 – Leaving Pennsylvania Behind

We had spent about two weeks in Lancaster before continuing our trip.  During this leg mechanical issues developed in the truck:  the alternator/voltage regulator stopped working properly and the headlight switch also started to fail.  All of this developed on our way to the Fredericksburg, VA KOA.  The next day these issues continued on our way to Virginia Beach and at the junction of I-95 and I-295, north of Richmond, VA, the truck “died” on the left shoulder of the Interstate.  I placed a call to AAA.  Thank heavens we carry AAA RV Plus.  A wrecker was dispatched and when it arrived, he ran a test with his voltage meter and everything indicated normal, so we opted to continue our trip east.  We managed to go about 30 miles before we broke down again.  I called AAA again, and this time we dropped the trailer, got the truck up on the rollback, hooked up to the trailer and continued the 80 miles to Virginia Beach.

What a way to arrive at the campground (dedicated campers.)

We had planned a week with Bob and Donna, (Barb’s brother), so we had plenty of time to get the truck repaired and have a super family visit that residential geography and employment restrictions had prevented in past years.

Our next leg took us to Mount Pleasant/Charleston, SC via the KOAs at Rocky Mount/Enfield, NC and Lumberton, NC.  During this trip I noticed that the trailer seemed to be riding a little bit lower than it should have and upon arrival at Mt. Pleasant, SC I had it checked out at Palmetto RV Sales and Service.  Inspection revealed that the right rear shock absorber had failed and we had the shock replaced at a local Firestone repair shop.  We stayed a couple of days longer to sightsee the area.  We had also acquired some hitch damage to the trailer during the tow to Virginia Beach, so we bought the replacement parts at Corbin’s Hitch Shop and I made the repairs at the CG.  During a shopping visit at the local Camping World, Barb wandered around the RV showroom and “checked out” some Class C motorhomes.  She had never been in one before and seemed impressed with her window shopping.

Our original 45 day trip has now reached 54 days and we still have about 10 days left.  Whew.  Both of us are getting a little tired, and set-up and tear-down has become a physical chore that neither of us relish.  Next trip will be shorrrrr-ter.

Anyway, the next stop was Palm Coast, FL to spend a couple of days with our youngest nephew and his family.  We had a fantastic visit which included a ride in his Grady White fishing boat out to the Intracoastal Waterway and lunch at “Captain’s BBQ”.

We finally started our last leg, the one day trip home, on November 2.  We weren’t 10 miles up the road from Flagler Beach, where our campground was located, when Barb said “Do you hear that?”  I said “what?”  She said “Don’t you hear that?”  I said “Hear what?”

 

The Dream Becomes Reality – Road Trip #1, Key West

Barb retired from the Sheriff’s Office on April 30th of 2015 and we were on the road to Key West on May 9th.  The first night out we stayed in Homestead, FL.  (We try to limit driving to 3-4 hours daily).

Before continuing to Key West, we toured the Coral Castle in Leisure City, outside of Miami.  Back in the ‘20s, Edward Leedskalnin emigrated to the United States from Latvia. Ed’s fiance broke off the engagement and cancelled their wedding the day before the blessed day.  As a result Ed left Latvia and came to America. He settled in the Miami-Dade area and spent 28 years building his home.  A man’s home is his castle and that’s what he called his work.

Mr. Leedskalnin single-handedly harvested blocks of coral on site and built and sculpted this amazing structure.  As you can see from these images, Ed had an awesome imagination to come up with the ideas for his homestead.  (www.coralcastle.com).

Week 29, Theme 12 – Diamonds

Although “Diamonds” are a girls’ best friend, I’m not going to talk about that kind of diamond today.  Instead I’m putting on my railfan hat and will talk briefly on railroad “Diamonds”.  These diamonds are properly known as crossings, where one track crosses another at the same grade.  Crossings are generally 90o but can be constructed at varying safe angles to accomplish the needed result.  It gets its nickname from the shape of the space in the center of the crossing.

One of these crossings can be found in Plant City.  The Union Station Depot was built in 1908-1909 by both the Atlantic Coast Line (east-west line) and the Seaboard Airline Railroads (north-south line).1  Across from the Robert W Willaford Railroad Museum at the old Plant City Union Station Depot is a train watching platform and tower built in 2013.  The tower is a super vantage point to watch railroad activity with rail traffic northbound toward Wildwood, Jacksonville and Atlanta; westbound to Tampa and Bradenton; and eastbound to Lakeland, Miami and Orlando.GC2_0003 edit 1Some information was obtained from the Plant City Government website.

Week 12, Theme 43 – Single Tree

Sitting at the picnic table on our campsite here at Three Rivers State Park I was looking down at the lake and noticed this little tree standing all alone at the bank of the lake.  There were some benches and tables down there at the shore so I decided to take a walk down and see if I could get the right composition to use this tree for the “Single Tree”  theme.  I had taken a couple of shots when the egret arrived and I decided to include it in the background.

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Week 11, Theme A4 – Patriotism

In the beginning of October we were in Carrabelle, in the big Bend area of our state on Road Trip #4.  While sightseeing in Carrabelle, we came across this Veteran’s Memorial Park.  Each branch of the military service is represented by a miniature statue of a member in full uniform and holding the service flag.  I was impressed by the display of “Patriotism”  shown by this small town.

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