Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

One FINE day

Kaying the Silver River

Glad to welcome new followers Karen and Al  whose advice we decided to take before they even gave it.  And boy were they right.  Today’s kayak trip was perhaps the best we have ever taken.  We did go down to Ray Wayside Park (Ocala Boat Basin) on the south side of Route 40 only about 4 miles from the park and put in at 10:45.  Not as early a start as I like but that happens with a slow easy breakfast and no more hurries in life.   We paddled up the canal about ¼ mile to the river , turned right and headed up stream into a not inconsiderable current.  The change in the water color from the canal to the river was noticeable.  The river gets clearer and clearer the further you go up toward the springs at the head.  The natural scenery along the banks is wild and jungly and we joked about being Tarzan and Jane.  Those old shows as well as Sea Hunt were filmed here.  Sure would be fun to watch Maureen O’Sullivan and Johnny Weismuller again after being here.

Our weather was a perfect combination of soft sun and gentle winds as we paddled up stream seeing Ibis, Cormorants, Turtles, Alligators………. well I’ll just let the pictures show you. The whole trip took our breath away.  We couldn't stop saying we felt like we were in Shagri-La

                                                             It's Tarzan and Jane

                                 Meet............GASP..........do you see him??

                                                                    An Anhinga sunning

                                White Ibis grown up this time

                                                            The Wood Ducks

                                       Mr. Green Jeans  no no I mean Mr. Green Legs

You've just seen 9 of the 175 pictures we took on this magnificent day.   If you are in the state of Florida and like Kayaking or Canoeing be sure to make this 10 mile trip one of your must do plans.  You can also rent canoes at the State Park and put in there for a shorter easier trip up to the springs.   The round trip from Ray Wayside Park was for us 4 hours of paddling upstream and an easy 2-3 hour float/paddle back.  Putting in at the state park cuts this at least in half but beware in both cases that taking pictures going upstream has a cost in that every time you try to do it you find yourself being carried back down the river.  :-)

We pretty much had the river to ourselves one jet ski, 3 other kayakers and 2 motor boats in the 7 hours we were on the water.  It was like being lost in a wonderful dream. And though we didn't see the troop of rhesus monkeys, who are descendents of a group released in the 1930's to lend an exotic air to jungle cruises along the river, we sure did hear them.  At first we thought it was a police siren and then the whole group joined in and the noise was nearly deafening.   But it sure gave an authentic jungle feel.  

When you get to the springs, the river ends but it is really the beginning of Silver River at these springs which send an average of 550 million gallons of water to the Atlantic every day.  This is the largest limestone artesian spring in the world and just amazing.  The theme park is still there and still has its glass bottom boats that many of us rode on as children.  Some of the drivers have been doing these tours for 50 years.  The piped music, Rhapsody in Blue when we got there, was a bit much for us but we were so enamoured of the non commerical river that it just brought more smiles to our faces.

Hope this gives you some sense of what a FINE day we had.

Kerplunk and Bang

Crooked River to Silver River
Site 43 Silver River State Park
Ocala Florida

Since we had such a great paddle yesterday on our last day at Crooked River, I decided not to mention the way it ended so today I’ll tell all.    When we got back to the boat landing and  David got out of his kayak, he stood up without noticing his digital camera was on his lap  KERPLUNK.  Naturally he snatched it right up. While he was fiddling with it and drying it off and mumbling under his breath…well not totally under his breath, I went up to get the car.   I backed out of the space turning as I did so and backed into what turned out to be a super long trailer  BANG.   So now we have a digital camera that will have to be replaced and a driver’s side fender with metal boat trailer scrapes.  Not such a great end to a wonderful day but you just have to let those things go and know that in a year you’ll have forgotten all about it but you’ll still have the great memories of the wonderful time.   And so we did.

This morning I was out running my 4.5 and then we packed up and set out for Silver River State Park in Ocala Florida arriving at Site 43 at about 2:30.  We got hooked up and set up in a what seemed like a a jiffy compared to the morning departure routine. J  Had an early dinner, biked around the campground to see who our neighbors were and their rigs and then over to the River Trail. Left the bikes and hiked down to the river where we tried to catch some sunset

and saw the Park’s kayak put in on the Silver River which requires that you tote your boat about ½ mile.  I have a set of wheels for my kayak for just that purpose but David doesn’t so we decided we get up early tomorrow and head out to Ray Wayside Landing and kayak the river up to Silver Springs.

So with anticipation of another great day we went to bed -  again with Rain on the Roof and smiles on our faces.

Crooked Paddling

Crooked River State Park Georgia

I had one of those nights where I went to bed late, 11:45, and woke up at 5am and couldn’t go back to sleep and was feeling blah and groggy by sunrise.  David, as he nearly always does, slept like a log.

So I went out and did an hour of yoga along side the river

while David made one of our favorite breakfasts, chocolate chip pancakes.

Those two fixed me right up along with the glorious temperatures in the low and mid 70’s.  No AC on all day.  FANtastic.

We had done our tide and put in calculations the day before and for the 6.5 mile trail we could get in at 11:30, about an hour and a half before high tide, and make it all the way easily in leisurely time.  It was a wonderful partly cloudy day with breezes and great water.  We saw lots of water birds as we paddled along the cord grasses of this tidal river. 

Here are some of the houses we saw as we started off.  I loved this farm house which reminded me of ours except it, of course, has the BIG added attraction of being on the river.

We named this one the home of The Ostentatious family  with its screened in pool and outlandish square feet.

This gull deterrent didn’t seem to be working all that well.

It was a lazy paddling day and just about perfect.

We got back around 3:30, put the kayaks back on the car, came back and I made salmon burgers and salad for our dinner and then we began working on our departure lists so we can get an early start in the morning on our drive to Silver River State Park    I'll leave you with the view from our site at the end of another GREAT day. 

And the rains came...

From a rainy
Site #11
Crooked River State Park

Winona’s darkened windows make it tough to see when it is light enough to get out running so I wasn’t out as early as I would like to have been. I'm updating the time for Wednesday. But out I was and around the park I went for 4.5 miles in very nice temperatures but also VERY humid.   David came along “sort of” or should that be "sometimes".  He says he’ll have to keep at it if he wants to run that far.  Of course he doesn’t really want to so I’m not sure why he was out there.  But he caught up, took short cuts, walked, ran and finished.   And it's finishing that counts right?  Even if you cut off part of the course???  :-)   That's only illegal in the Boston Marathon Right??

Had a great breakfast on our picnic table over looking the crooked river.  Check out this river front diner.  Want to join us?

                                                 What a fabulous spot. 

I looked up the tide charts and figured out from the kayak trail information what time we’d have to go out in order to do them at the recommended times before or after high or low tide each day.  Turns out our only options were about 20 minutes from when I got the information figured out or at about 11:30 tomorrow.  We are really only capable of “moderately difficult” certainly not "difficult" which one of the 3 trails is.   So of the 3 mapped trails, we will be doing one and have to save the other for next time.  Hmmmmm   another "next time".

Since we’d just missed the latest put in time not to get grounded by low tide in the Crooked River (which is a tidal river), we thought we’d take on one of the 4 hiking trails.  The Sempervirens Trail (Latin for “ever living”) introduces you to a Coastal Shell Midden Forest which is a hardwood forest growing on the decayed remains of oyster shells left by Native Americans. The oyster mound is called a midden. The calcium in the rich soil allows plants to grow here that are unusual in south Georgia.  The huge oak, cherry and hickories in the midden forest are the oldest trees in the park.  The trail also boasts five Georgia Champion Trees.  David is a forest man while I am an ocean girl so this was his big excitement although I do love stately big trees. But it was so dark in the forest and the trees so big that we couldn't get any pictures that were worth posting

Also along this trail we were told there was a possibility we might see the gopher tortoise, the only tortoise found east of the Mississippi.
                                                    The Salt Marsh on the trail 

We’d done about half or maybe even ¾ of the trail when the rains came.  They were wonderful in this almost jungle like atmosphere of a hardwood forest like we are used to seeing in Virginia with the understory being largely palms.   Very unusual. 

We continued on in the rain and it got more and more steady and insistent.  Sadly we didn’t see the tortoise and missed the burrow that was supposed to be toward the end of the trail.  Maybe another reason to return  J   It’s beginning to sound like we should just turn around after the birthday party and retrace our route and spend the amount of time we wish we could have spent in the first place.

We had biked to the trail head and the rains let up just as we got back to the bikes and long enough for us to bike home.  Then they came with a vengeance and kept us inside the rest of the day.   Still I had the dinette view of the river and David had chores he wanted to take care of.  So we were quite happy listening to the rain on the roof.

It’s supposed to clear up in time for our kayak trail trip tomorrow.   Aren’t we the lucky ones???

My home on the water

Sunday 9/26/10
Skidaway to Crooked River State Park

On the road by 10:15 after spending some time talking to some very nice people traveling in their little 17’ Casita travel trailer.  It’s just darling and has all the essentials bed, dinette, ½ size refrig, microwave, TV, bath, shower.  Pretty amazing use of space but clearly a week-ender.  It’s very light and can be pulled by a 6 Cylinder Engine so they take it everywhere.  It's cute for sure.  I wonder if anyone has ever full timed in something that small? 

Stopped for one check of all the connections and things strapped on and for gas but still arrived in Crooked River by 1:15.  My kind of driving day.   Another lovely park with only 60 campsites half of which were closed.  Only 9 RVs and one popup staying here.

We first thought we’d take a pull in site that was huge and secluded with no other sites even close.  But then we saw #11 with the river views in our front yard and it was love.  We have some very nice neighbors both next to us and across and the site is very large but the river view is wonderful.  I’ve always wanted a home on the water and now I have one.  Whooopie!!!!

We had our first encounter with low voltage here and thankfully our Winnebago Power Management System cuts off the power at less than 104 volts.   We got hooked up and turned on the water heater so we had it, one AC unit, the lights and the refrig running when the power cut out.  Turned off the AC, began to investigate, no codes on the EMS system but the voltage reader was low.  After this happened a couple more times we determined that we could have either the air conditioning OR the hot water.  At 88 degrees with 98% humidity we opted for the AC.  We let the park know but the couple next to us say Georgia State Parks are famous for this potentially serious problem.  Although we had no problems at all running anything we wanted including the hot water heater, the hot pot for boiling water for coffee and two Air conditioners at Skidaway so clearly not ALL Georgia parks have this problem but beware if you are in one that you may have a problem.   Don’t remember reading about anything about electric problems from Howard when he and Linda were here.

We finished getting set up, got an early dinner and hopped on the bikes to take a tour around.  We checked out the trail heads, the boat ramp and the miniature golf course ($3 to play as long as you like it appears).  We could hear the thunder as we pulled up in time for sunset over the river in our outdoor chairs.  But nothing to see with all the clouds and the rain soon forced us inside.

Not sure what we’ll do on a rainy day but it will be wonderful sleeping to its sound on the roof.  A first for us………..rain on the roof of the Brave.   Life is Definitely Good.

Little Old Lady Reprise and more

Skidaway Island State Park

Out at 7:30am just after sun up to go running.  That seems so late to me, Sun up at 7:15.  I ran the two trails we hadn’t already seen and around the park for a total of 4.5 miles but BOY was it hot and sticky.  I was exhausted by the time I got back and only wanted to jump in the shower and cool down as soon as I could.  When I got out, I felt great but totally forgot to stretch and later in the day I could feel my muscles' complaints.   I usually do yoga 4 or 5 times a week and I have done none in over two weeks.  Have to figure out how to get that back into my life.  Who knew I'd be busier now than in my busy life.  ;-)

In spite of the heat, we did a few chores – David adjusted my bike seat for me and took off the water bottle holder which was mounted in the holes put in by the factory but was in my way getting off the bike.    I have some thigh bruises to show for it.  At only 5 feet tall, I have quite a few height challenges that don't bother others at all.  David also found that the AC evaporator drain was clogged and that was what had caused our atlases lying under the dash on the passenger’s side to get so soaked that we had to iron the pages.   He cleaned it out easily.  Great to get another two problems solved!!

We decided then to go out and hike those two trails at a leisurely pace and enjoy the scenery.  But when we got on the bikes I could hear this great female voice that sounded like Aretha Franklin whose concert in Charlottesville on Friday October 1, I had a chance to see for free but we of course won’t be there.   So I rode over toward the sound and discovered the Sweet as a Peach PT Cruiser Car Show was in the park for the week-end.  As I pulled in, there it was again….The Little Old Lady From Pasadena.  At this rate I'll never get that song out of my head.   It was a car show DJ with 5000 tunes from the 50’s and 60’s and a great sound system.   So we took a look around and here is some of what we saw.
I call this one PT Woody - Surf City Here We Come complete with Surfboard on top.

                                               How about this paint job?  Both Outside -

                                                And Inside. :-)

And then there was Froggie.  Check out this paint job and Kermit in the Passenger's Seat.

And one last one, David's favorite, what I'm calling "the sophisticated PT"

Next we went into the interpretive center and found that the curved beaked bird we had seen at Cedar Point and I thought they were Whimbrels but Heyduke first thought they were Curlews and then later wrote back to say they were Ibis and he was right.  They were confirmed by the ranger at Skidaway as immature White Ibis. (see blog entry Sept 18)  While we  were talking with the ranger and standing in front of their bird feeding area a Painted Bunting and his mate flew up to the bird bath.  My camera just wasn’t up to the task.  I took a couple of pictures but my zoom just isn’t good enough.  I’m making holiday gift hints pretty heavily now.  

David ran out to get his much better camera from the bike but two obnoxious cow birds intimidated the buntings and they flew off before he could get back.  I got a picture of both buntings at the waterer but I have to blow it up too much for it to be clear enough to post.  Such a shame as they were beautiful.   But how about this instead.

On the way out, still trying to get to the trails,  we looked in the side room and there was a replica of a 20’ tall Ground Sloth whose fossilized bones were found at Skidaway in 1820.  This guy ate 600-700 pounds of vegetation per day and weighed 6000 pounds.  Sure glad I wasn’t here when he was. 

 By this point the day was closing in on us and we were getting hungry.  So we skipped the two trails in favor of food and getting a little start on the pack up for tomorrow.  

Getting ready to move on AGAIN…this time to Crooked River State Park near the Florida Georgia Border.   See you there.

Tupelos, Palms and Spanish Moss

Skidaway Island State Park, Georgia  Site 14

Here’s some advice for anyone who comes to Skidaway Island to visit.  Don’t bike the Big Ferry Trail even though they tell you that you can.   Yes, you can, but there are so many tree roots crawling all over the trail that you have to pay too much attention to them to fully enjoy this wonderful scenery.  We were getting off and on the bikes constantly to spend time in the various spots that were vegetatively so different than what we are accustomed to.  If we were going to be here longer, I would definitely walk this trail again and take it all in with even more attention.
                          Here's the beginning of the trail, deceptively sandy and rootless.  Just wait....

                                              Saw Palmetto and Spanish Moss

                                                     Taking a break among the Palms.

We spent the mid part of the day when it was 91 degrees and 100% humidity doing chores inside.  David made a call to Winnebago about some questions.  They are just amazing.  Free technical support and advice from people you can understand and who know what they are talking about.  And it doesn’t matter whether you are the first or 20th owner of the Rig.  Then he made a hardware store run to get some RV fluids, an O ring for the water filter and some other stuff I can’t remember.  The hardware store is one of his favorite places to go and given that I hate shopping of every kind, a hardware store is the LAST place I would ever want to be.  So  while he was gone, I read in the air conditioned comfort in the recliner. 

Then st sunset  I went  Down to the Observation tower on the Big Ferry Trail.  Don’t tell anyone since the park rules are "no one on trails after dark" and they had put the chain over the wide entrance but I could step over so I did.   Check out this sunset.  Definitely worth “the risk”.

When David came back, we watched a video of one of the last concerts of Jan & Dean.  Actually I think perhaps the last concert.  Entitled One Last Ride.  Jan Berry was seriously injured at the height of their career in an auto accident when he was 24 years old in 1966 and in his second year of medical school.  He had paralysis and brain damage but it was great to hear that surfer music again especially since we'd just come from Huntington Beach where the first two days we were there, the waves were extremely big (for east coast waves) and the surfers were out.  I was singing "Surf City" and "Little Old Lady From Passadena" all night long!  :-)

Moving on To Skidaway

From Site 14
Skidaway Island State Park
Outside of Savannah, Georgia

We did “slightly” better on this move day but are grumbling about this time table that requires us to go 1000 miles in 2 weeks to make the 90th birthday party in Largo Florida.

I was up and out the door to run into the sunrise on the wonderful Huntington Island Beach.  Not much color before the blazing orange orb showed up but when it crested the horizon there was again a wonderfully blue sky and puffy white clouds so the rays shot through from the sun upwards in a fan.  Sorry I can’t share that picture with you.  I don’t generally run with my camera  so I didn't even think of it.  But now wish I had put my it in my small waist pack so I could have gotten that  picture.  A Blazing orange fire ball with white rays streaming up into the clouds.  It was spectacular.  

Of course I’m not totally sure where the small waist pack is but I will go on a search tomorrow even though I won’t have a beach to run on at sunrise for some time.  Although who knows what other things I may discover that will deserve a picture as I run a new route every few days.

I finished 4 1/3 miles and found my way back to the path I’d come in on.  Thanks Garmin!  So I took off my shoes and my Garmin does everything watch.   Slipped it in the shoe, sock in to cover it up and went running out into the water dressed in my running clothes.  I thought wow an easy shower and rinse for my sweaty clothing.   It was great as always.  Perfect water temperature.  Perfect waves.   I could have stayed all day.   But nooooooooooooo  I have to get on the road to make our destination in 8 days.

With a big SIGH I said good-bye to this really perfect place and walked back to the rig for a breakfast of eggs and sausage and the routine of getting everything packed up, stowed away, checked, rechecked, unplugged, unhooked or rehooked as the case may be.  Even though we had not gotten much out after bringing Winona back from Larry's at 5:00 the night before, it still took 2.5 hours to do it all and we were finally on our way by 11:30 am.   We were able to cut it back from 3+ hours and really must get it down to one hour on the day we leave so we can be on our way by 9 or 10 am and still be able to eat breakfast.   That’s the goal.  I’ll be reorganizing our departure list into Day before and Day Of lists to see if that will help. 

If any of you full time motorhomers have great Departure Lists, I’d love to see them.

(Short aside) about my Garmin does everything watch.  I haven't actually figured out everything it can do but here's what I use it for without reading much of the manual.  I know, I know.  I will read it next time it rains.  :-)  When I run, It tells me my heart rate, the distance I've gone, my pace, the number of calories I've burned and the amount of time I've run.  When I bike it tells me my speed, distance, time I've been biking and time of day.  It will actually tell me any of about 40 choices and will allow me to record several exercise sessions and a whole lot more I'm sure.   But today it enabled me to get right back to where I'd started out and recognize the path back to the coach along a beautiful unspoiled beach with no markers but sand and sea oats.  I ran 2.17 one way and turned around and ran 2.17 back and wouldn't you know it, there I was.  Here's the little beauty herself.  I have a very small wrist and the watch looks huge on me but the band is designed so it will fit any size wrist and with my fickle eyesight these days I actually love it being this large. 

Back to my moving tale.  Off we went down Route 17 AGAIN but this time on the section we hadn’t traveled a dozen times.  Slow going since nearly all the trip was on 17, a 4 lane rather local coastal road, until we picked up 95 outside of Charleston.  By the time we arrived at Skidaway, we had traveled 209 miles and it took us 4 hours and 40 minutes.    I hope most of that was due to Route 17 but still 4 hours is at least an hour more than either of us want to travel in any day. But we had to do it since I’d had no idea the South Carolina parks would be totally full during September.   Nancy Mills told me September and October are the most popular months in South Carolina but I was too late to reserve a spot at Hunting Island State Park.  This popularity is apparently not the case for Georgia.  Who knows why.  When we came to Skidaway just outside of Savannah, there was plenty of room and we would not have had to make reservations. 

And after running, packing, traveling, I am beat.  Skidaway is a very nice low country park and I’ll leave you with one picture of our large pull through site #14, before anything but the relax chairs were set up, as a teaser for more tomorrow when a good night's rest will rejuvinate us both..

The saga is finally Over

Huntington Beach State Park
Myrtle Beach, NC

Thankfully, all the answers were revealed today.

It wasn't a great place to wake up on the Fall Equinox but we finished our night in the parking lot and tried to remember everything we needed to take with us for the day while we waited for them to finish the work.   Off we went back down Route 17, which we are coming to know far too well, to our favorite park.  We got on the bikes and took a ride across the Causeway and down the bike path.  We rode to the state park’s access to the marsh for boats.  Lots of fisherfolk there.  Next time for sure we will be paddling but today we just wanted to play some more in those great waves and water.

It was another fantastic clear blue sky day with perfect temperatures and beautiful water.  Definitely cheered us up while we waited and took our minds off the suspense.

Thankfully Larry and the guys did get everything finished by closing time.  YEA!!!   And we will be able to stay in our park site for tonight although we have to get up and get moving tomorrow since we have a long drive.   Because Hunting Island park had no sites, we will now be driving to Skidaway Island State Park outside of  Savannah.  

We went to pick up the Brave and post her bail which was more than enough to choke a horse and a lot more than we were originally hoping for given that this was supposed to be a “recall”.  But it turns out only 3 of our calipers failed and had collateral damage so although Workhorse would replace all 4 calipers and repair the collateral damage, we were stuck with the bill for the 4th one that hadn’t failed yet in terms of  all the upgrades that were being done to the other three.    The AC does have a small leak but they were unable to find it .  However it cost $147  just to have them  try to find it and put dye in so perhaps when it inevitably fails again someone else can find it.   The total cost was more than we were hoping but less than we feared so it’s now part of the history books.  We are on our way again. 

David took Winona back to her spot and I took the car to the grocery store.

After dinner I double checked the route for tomorrow and we tried to get some of the preparations done for leaving.   No Fall Equinox Celebration unfortunately.  We’ll be on the road again tomorrow for a longer than I like trip of 200 miles.  But we are over those bumps and back on solid ground.  Off to more adventures.  Tomorrow’s the full moon.  Wonder what crazy things may happen?  See you then.  

Another Bump in the Road

Huntington Beach State Park
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Well we had 2 sets of instructions to get to Larry’s by 7:45.  The one David got from the gal at Larry’s which he apparently didn’t really understand but thought google map would be fine.   The google map one which seemed very easy given that Larry’s was only 14 miles away from the campground.  BUT which turned out not to be at all right.

We left at 7:15 to go 14 miles and got there at 8:15 after calling Larry’s twice on the way up route 17 and 17 business and Rt 544 and Market Commons and……….SIGH

So it’s 8:15, that’s still fine. we leave Larry's with visions of paying only for the AC and fingers crossed that it just needs to be recharged.  We call Larry at noon.  They haven’t started on it yet and we will have to spend the night in Larry’s parking lot rather than in our lovely $30 RV site.

Spent most of the afternoon trying to get reservations at the campgrounds I “assumed” we could just go to since it was mid week.  Hunting Island State Park in S.C was to be our next stop 165 miles away.  But they were full up according to both their on line reservations and the girl at the park.  Perhaps they would have the same "full" situation as we found here but it wasn't a chance we could take sadly since it looks like another fabulous South Carolina state park.  So I was able to get us in at  Skidway Island State Park near Savannah, a 200 mile drive.  OH WELL.  At least we have reservations now and don’t have to be concerned.   Moral here:  If you are on a time table………make reservations. 

And then the amazing thing happened.  I get an email from Nancy Mills saying that while she was working at Home Depot on Route 17 she thought she might have seen us go by.  WOW Nancy, what eyes and what a memory!   Isn't that JUST AMAZING that we were driving down the road in front of her store and she saw us.  I'm blown away by this and so, we heard, was Bill.  We met Bill and Nancy at the RV Dreams Rally this past April and really enjoyed our time with them and have enjoyed their blog.  So in the midst of all these discouraging events here they come to the rescue.  

We made plans to get together for a bite at Subway as an excuse to get ice cream at Painters.  Back to the ocean to get cheered up and then off with Bill and Nancy for even more cheer!

After great conversation, terrific stories, many laughs and getting to know them better, we were on our way to camp out in front of Larry’s Auto Clinic for the night.   We got there, got our keys, plugged into the electric.  No power.   Bump #????   So after 20 minutes of checking everything possible.  David called the night number and left a message.  Larry called back and said the extension cord we’d been given was no good.  Thanks AGAIN to Howard, we have a 50 foot extension cord so we were not in an unairconditioned coach on a back road in a sketchy area in South Myrtle Beach.  Compare this photo to yesterday’s camping spot. (Winona is third from the left)  ……..

Tune in tomorrow to see…………will Larry’s finish the work on Wednesday?  Or will Sherry and David be camping again in Larry's Lovely Lot while their terrific site at Huntington Beach sits empty two nights in a row?   Will Workhorse cover all the costs or just some of the costs?  Will the air conditioner need only recharging or a new compressor?????

Troubles on the Trail

On the Trail toward Huntington Beach State Park
Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Boy do we have to get more efficient in packing up and getting out.  It took us nearly 3 hours to “break camp” and get on the road.  It was 11:30 before we left Cedar Point. 

What should have been a 3.5 hour trip turned into a 5 hour drive to go 167 miles as one thing after another turned sour.

First the AC began to dwindle and then to blow warm air.  This became most noticeable on Route 17 a 4 lane highway with many traffic lights and it is 90 degrees in later September, usual they told us for the South Carolina coast. 

We were both getting hot under the collar so I got out the laptop, plugged in the air card and googled Winnebago service in Myrtle Beach, our destination.  The hands down favorite with all the reviews was Larry’s Auto Clinic.  So I gave them a call on my cell phone which I have sort of learned to use.  I asked the woman on the phone about the air conditioning and if they could look at it and she asked me what kind of coach it was.  After telling her Winnebago she asked if we had “had our calipers done”.  Turns out Winnebago had just issued a recall for all 4 calipers and we had not had it done.  So we made an appointment for Wednesday for them to take a look at the AC and replace the calipers at Workhorse’s expense.  Not too bad.  Just a small trouble.  

About 15 miles later we began to smell burning.  Stopped to see if it was a tire.  Nope.  David said it smelled like it was coming from the brakes.  Up to this point we’d had no trouble with them at all.   5 miles later the RV check engine light comes on.  We stop to check.  David sees nothing.  Another 5 miles or so the RV won’t go over 50 mph.  We stop again.  10 miles later it’s pulling to the right.  We stop again.  By this time it’s looking like BIG troubles.

We call Larry’s back and (lucky us?unlucky us) she tells us the calipers are under a recall which “hopefully” will cover any collateral damage.  So we have to bring it in the next morning by 7:30.  Back another 15 miles.   We drive on to Huntington Beach State Park, pull in and see NO VACANCY.   We hadn’t made reservations.  It’s Monday, the week-end crowd should be gone.  It’s September, summer vacation is over.  By this time we are HOT and worried and I determined that they must have a spot for us since we simply cannot drive any more.

After telling our sad tale of woe and 5 hours on the road in a basically unairconditioned coach the gate attendant took pity on us, radioed ahead and was told there were a few spaces and in we went.   Good fairies were watching out for us because there was an major Arts and Crafts show at the park this week-end but they had a site for M-W if we wanted it.  You bet we did.  Turned out to be a perfect site and quite possibly the one I would have taken if we’d had our choice of any of the 131 sites there. 

Site 31 is one site down from the beautiful path to the Ocean and is treed and secluded.  I’d love to come back and stay the full 2 weeks allowed.  We were really looking forward to enjoying the park while our Rig was in the stop on Tuesday.  We walked down the path to the beach and found it completely natural and deserted.  All development was so far away you could hardly see the buildings.  It’s the most beautiful unspoiled  beach I’ve seen since False Cape in Virginia to which you cannot drive.  Just sea oats, waves and us. 

We took a dip to cool off and cool down.  It worked!

Although it was a very stressful day of one problem after another, we are so lucky to have the recall cover some (hopefully most) of the work and to have this lovely site in a campground that said it was full.  We are thankful.

Just another great day!

Jumped on our bikes this morning try to catch the sunrise over the marsh from the boat put-in but our view was obstructed by trees and since it was a clear blue sky day the colors weren’t glorious like they sometimes are.  BUT every sunrise is a lucky one and we’re just glad to have the freedom to check them out any morning that we want to.

Came back, had a little breakfast and packed up to go over to Emerald Isle to the beach.  Seemed like about a 5 mile drive.  We got there about 10:30 and stayed until 3:00.  Just a perfect day.  Sunny and breezy.  When we packed up to go, we forgot to bring the beach umbrella and with the sun so strong we were concerned about spending as much time as we really wanted to be on the beach. David went back to the Brave and got the umbrella which promptly turned inside out and fell apart when we tried to open it in the breeze.  So off I went to Burt's surf shop and got the world's greatest umbrella which will last for at least the next 30 years.  Many of which I'd love to spend on the ocean just like this where the water was warm, the beach uncrowded and the waves BIG.  

We had a great time playing in them although the waves were just a tad too much for us to use the “boogie board”.

But the waves wore poor David out and he needed another of those naps you’ve seen.  After that we loaded up the kayaks to get out on the water and try to find the newly refurbished (according to the sign at the boat put in) Canoe Trail. 

We spent a wonderful two evening hours among the grasses and alleys of the marsh, one of my favorite places to be.  It was particularly nice because the bugs mainly kept to themselves.  We closed it off with the sunset.

Another late dinner for us.  We’re becoming victims of too short a time in this nice place.  It is definitely on our list to come back to and stay longer.  14 days is the limit they will allow and we could most certainly do that. 

Off to South Carolina tomorrow.  See you there!