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

Henry David Thoreau

Moving to Long Key

Sunday – Tuesday                                                                                   Most Recent Posts:
December 13 –15, 2015                                                                           Indian Key Fiasco
Long Key State Park                                                                               Upscale Local Housing and Looe Key Snorkel
Layton, Florida





This is a tale of the true life of a Fulltimer even in the Keys.  We seem to have left our charmed life at the bridge from Homestead.  Rain, extreme winds, destroyed camera and now…………

This morning we take our time with breakfast and the last of the pack up for our move 12 miles North to Long Key State Park.  We’re in no hurry since check out time here is 1:00 and check in time there is 3:00.

Finally at 12:40 we decide to pull in the slides and bring up the jacks.  I try to start to bring in the slides and nothing happens.  Nothing but clicking.  GREAT – we have 15 minutes now to find the problem, fix it, bring in the slides, bring up the jack including the lazy one that we are still having to crowbar up most of the time, get the blocks out from where they were under the blocks, brush the sand off of them, put them away, put the dolly on the RV and get out of the site.




I think the battery is dead.  What in the world would cause that?   David tries this and that and discovers that the house battery boost isn’t working.  Finally he concedes that we’ll have to jump the rig with Ruby.  It’s now 1:00.  Getting Ruby in place so that the jumper cables will reach the engine battery under the steps is a real trick but after a few tries we manage without scraping either Ruby or Winnona against each other.






When he opens the battery compartment we find that someone has started a nest. We aren’t sure if it was started recently here or at Bahia Honda before we left there.  The nest builder doesn’t seem to have chewed any wires thankfully.










We are only about 10 minutes late getting out of the site and to the dump station. We arrive at Long Key at 2:00 but of course they want us to wait until 3:00 to check in.  So we go around to the day use area and pull over and have lunch.

I do love that in a Class A you can just get up from the driver’s seat and walk back to use the bathroom or the kitchen.  SO nice! 




When we pull into site 24, we find it is sloped and we’ll have to use the horse mats under the back tires.  We dig a little trench under the front tires and when we go inside to level the coach we find amazingly that those two things have made the coach level as it sat.  All we have to do is put down the jacks.









Some good luck we think, after our earlier problem.  Then when we go to plug into the electric box, we find that big ants have invaded our remote display for our Progressive Industries EMS.  Ewwww!!  

David didn’t notice them when we did our hurried exit earlier today.  No reason to look at the remote then but he does look at it when we plug in here.  They are all over and inside the box.






I hate chemicals but in this situation, we have no choice, I spray the compartment and then all around the tires and the jacks.   I spend a while trying to get the now dead ants out of the remote and succeed mostly.  But when we hook it up, it no longer works.  Like the camera, we will have to replace it.  The EMS system is working and that’s good news since it has saved us and our electronics many times.  We just can’t see what’s going on. 





Other good news is that our site, and all the sites at Long Key, have fantastic ocean views.  We’ll have the sounds of the ocean all day and all night such as they are in the Keys with the calm waves.  The down side is that the campground is also right on US Highway 1 and the highway noise comes and goes all night and all day too. 



Our neighbors are here to greet us when we pull in and we’re looking forward to getting to know them all well.

















Because I have no camera and David doesn’t always use his, we have no pictures of setting up our holiday decorations today.  But we do have one picture of our progress thus far.

The day is spent with me ordering a new camera after taking my Canon out of the rice and finding that it simply will no longer even turn on.  It won’t even be a Yule present becasue Carrie is coming on Saturday and I have to have a camera by then.  Thanks to Amazon Prime the “refurbished by Canon” SX50 will arrive on Wednesday.  The cost of a new one has gone up considerably in the two years I’ve owned mine.

David spends some time on the phone with Progressive Industries over replacing our remote under the life time warranty.  They want a receipt for the purchase.  We should have kept that receipt with the other papers on the EMS but we instead kept it with the receipts for the month we purchased it which was in 2010.  Of course we no longer have those credit card receipts.  Who has room to store 5 years worth of receipts?

BUT amazingly we purchased it from RV Upgrades and when we call them on the outside chance that they would have it somewhere in their system, we work with a simply wonderful representative Cheyenne who really goes above and beyond to do what she can to find the receipt.  They have of course replaced their accounting system in those 5 years and the records are  not readily available so this is an ongoing saga of trying to get the remote replaced under the warranty.  Stay Tuned.






By now I have developed a morning routine.  I am out at 6am in the dark walking the campground road to the end circle and from there out onto the beach.  I walk as far south as I can go and then turn back north to the day use area as I watch the colors in the sky increase and then decrease as the 7:00 sunrise approaches.  The Nikon sunrise pictures are too disappointing to use but this one of Ruby decorated isn’t too bad.  Although you can’t see her entry door outside lights. 



When I return after sunrise, David is up and preparing to go for his walk.  While he is gone I do 45 minutes to an hour of Yoga and then we have breakfast.  Still no camera, so no pictures but that all changes later today when the camera arrives.   Now I’ll have it for our next trip to Key West tomorrow. 




In the afternoon we take the kayaks out to paddle north along the coast of Long Key.  I get all the way to within sight of the bridge to Islamarada but David turns back before that but I’m able to catch him on the trip back.






The water is a little choppy but not bad.  We encounter the usual suspects, the black crowned night heron, the snowy egret, the comorant, the little blue heron.




But sticking close to the banks we also find some new characters like these lovely tree snails.








We also encounter some not so fun characters like these Portuguese man of war.  Beware,as interesting looking as they are, especially being blue in color and having that long tail, they sting.




We paddle through a field of little red mangrove shoots at the beginning of creating another island.






Another nice day on the water and nothing was lost or broken.  Tomorrow is a Key West day and I have no idea what we might do.    Thanks David for the paddle pictures.




  1. sometimes a routine feels nice doesn't it. . .we are enjoying one as well at our Thousand Trails Park in Columbus. . .

    Sorry for all your trials. . .they do seem to come in little bunches, don't they?

  2. Gee, that was quite a 12 mile move! So glad all worked out for you. State Parks are beautiful but they do bring unwelcome guests with all that nature surrounding you. Hope you don't have any new unwelcome visitors:) Nice kayaking adventure. The tree snails are so cute! Too bad something so pretty is so dangerous! Good luck tomorrow with the Key West visit:)

  3. I am still waiting for someone to invent better batteries and now I will add bug prove to my wish list. Over the years I have become slightly obsessive about using a surge protector. So mush so, that I now carry a backup-just in case.

  4. Dang if it's not one thing it's another. I'm still waiting to install the hot water tank and had to get the truck jumped two days ago. But I'd trade all that and more for that beach side view and lovely neighbors. Assume the new camera didn't go kayaking.

  5. Long Key SP is great for being so close to the beach, but that is where we had a horrible problem with no-see-ums. You've had enough other issues so hope bugs aren't one of them.
    Winona sure looks cozy and Christmasy!

  6. Sure make me glad I have an old 1994 camper which has nothing needing a surge protector. Amazon was quick getting you back into the photo business, enjoying all your animal pics.

  7. Good to see you got a nice paddle in. I think we are even on wet cameras. I lost my second one about a month ago. It's just part of the game taking pictures on the water. :O)

  8. Interesting, I can use your comments tonight with IE, so go figure, you change anything?

  9. Geesh! When it rains, it pours! But glad things are smoothing out... :-)

  10. When it rains, it pours ... and it's not always liquid from the sky either. Glad it all worked out in the end.

  11. Here's hoping all the crap is behind you. Long Key looks like a place you will enjoy and since Carrie is coming...there is no doubt you will have fun the rest of your stay!!!

  12. We've only had them enforce the 3:00 check in rule once and we found it annoying when no one was in the site anyway. In the parks in the Keys they really should reconsider, especially at Bahia Honda because those waiting RV's take up space in the marina, and then the boaters who pay extra to launch at the marina, have no place to park their trailers. That has happened to us more than once.

    Glad you got the MH jumped and set up. We've looked for those horse pads but never have found them. Maybe now that we're in a big town, we can find some. They worked out well for you there.

    I agree about the road noise. It does kind of spoil ambiance, doesn't it? Unfortunately, most places in the Keys are close to the road. We had the problem when we used to stay at Sunshine Key, but thankfully no road noise on our lot at Venture Out.

    Progressive has replaced two units for us without asking for our receipt. Your post made me start to wonder if we have our receipt. I guess I need to check my receipt file, but I'm thinking I don't have one. We bought ours from a mobile tech and I have some emails corresponding back and forth about it but I'm not sure I have a receipt. I have been meaning to photograph my receipts and put them in a folder in my emails, but of course, I haven't done it yet. :)

    Your motorhome looks very festive. I guess you won't be moving again until you leave the Keys. I hope the weather is nice, the seas are calm and the vis good!

    Glad you found a replacement camera. That is a hard thing to be without, isn't it?

  13. I love the subtle colors of the tree snails - so cool!

  14. That looks like a nice site. So close to the water...

  15. Well the critters certainly messed with you guys this time! I think the pecking bird was sent as a distraction so the others could wreak havoc upon you - hopefully they aren't following you :-) If it is a lifetime warranty then what would the receipt tell them? That you didn't steal it from someone else? Geeeez! Love the variety of pretty snails, but that man-o-war looks a bit scary. Your decorations are looking wonderful. I finally get to do ours today! Solstice blessings if I don't get the chance before it slips by :-)

  16. The man of war is an interesting critter... I don't think I'll ever see one myself.

  17. Annoyances do seem to come in bunches...glad to know you're working them out and that you made it to Long Key for a nice paddle. The new camera takes great pictures!! :)

  18. Wow, you sure have had some critter issues, as if the bugs weren't bad enough in Florida!

    Just some thoughts as to what I do. I always have my engine running before running my slides in and out. Once the slides are in I bring up the jacks. When I'm extending the jacks, I also do so with the engine running. Because these items are so electrical dependent, the extra charging from the engine is helpful.

    I've had a few instances where I've used the dash switch that ties the engine batteries and the house batteries together when one set was too discharged instead of using jumper cables.

    On my previous MH, a WB Adventurer, I had an issue where the solenoid that sends voltage to the house batteries went bad, I was able to jump the house batteries from the engine battery that was also located under the step with jumper cables. Maybe your engine battery is located in a different spot?

    Another time, my engine alternator failed and it was about 100 miles to the Freightliner service center, so I started my generator and wedged a piece of cardboard under the dash switch that ties the batteries together and kept the engine battery charging through it so we were able to safely reach the service center while still being able to use the headlights, heat, etc.

    Just some thoughts as to some possible work arounds for dead batteries. Of course, your solution worked just fine, too. I also carry jumper cables just in case. :c)

  19. I'm looking forward to the days when we can spend weeks in the Keys :-). I have to go back and read what happened to your camera...been just too exhausted to do anything besides work eat and sleep!

  20. Glad you were able to get a new camera quickly from good ole' Amazon :) Hopefully this ends your streak of bad luck!

  21. You certainly have had your share of annoying critters! Hope that's all behind you now, and that you can relax and enjoy your waterfront site at Long Key. Your view is gorgeous, and how terrific to be able to paddle right from your site! Winnona looks so festive for the holidays. :-)

  22. I too think it is a solenoid that went bad...happen on our class C earlier this year, cost less than $25 to fix, easy install (but that depends on where it is located). David should be able to tell if the batteries are being charged or not fairly easy. We also carry a battery charger for the car or the RV, David should be able to find one down there if you decide to get one. Good luck, these problems are never fun, but part of the lifestyle.


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