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

Henry David Thoreau

It’s a Wrap: 2017 Year Review

From Florida to Maine and Back                                                   Most Recent  Posts:
January 1 to December 31, 2017                                                  Ending 2017 – Before and After our Trip
                                                                                                     Our Real Holiday Joy


YEAR 7 FACTS


Jan to June 2017In this our 7th year on the road we traveled 4801 miles from Florida to Maine and back.  We spent our longest stay ever in one place with over 12 weeks in Acadia National Park.

We stayed in 23 parks and spent a total of  $5566 in camping fees for the year as well as $1569 in gasoline to get around to all those places.  That’s a monthly average for camping of  $464 and a monthly gasoline cost of $130.75.   We’ve gravitated over the years to preferring 2 weeks at least in one place but our average this year would be seriously skewed if I averaged our two months at Narrows Too into that.



Jan to April FLAWinnona had a big year.  She got a new TAC Module to start off the year in January, a new starter along with a new shuttle valve for the jacks in February,  a knock sensor replacement,  a new rear air conditioner a dump valve replacement during the summer.    She also got 6 new tires in the spring while we were in Charlottesville and a set of EEZ Tire Pressure monitors which we are happy to have.  She got her smoke alarm replaced, her propane alarm replaced and 4 new fire extinguishers.  She should be set to go for some time. 



 YEAR 7 FUN


JANUARY

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January of 2017 found us at Hillsborough River State Park where we celebrated David’s birthday David style – pizza, movies with popcorn, ice cream. Brusters of course.

Hillsborough is our park for the annual Moffitt Cancer Center doctor visits and the RV Supershow in Tampa.   We hiked and kayaked the Hillsborough River as well walking right from our campsite to both

I won the raffle at the campground potluck which turned out to be $55 for our $5 investment

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Drum sundown Jan

From Hillsborough River we move further South to Oscar Scherer State Park. where we have wonderfully warm weather and a hawk, and an armadillo for neighbors and an Eagle’s nest nearby to watch..   We visit our favorite nearby beach, Nakomis, often and once to drum down the sun.

We go birding at the park with the Venice Audubon Society and see a wide variety of birds including the red headed woodpecker and the scrub jay.  We visit Yoder’s for breakfast and bike down the Legacy Trail 5.3 miles to the Venice Train Depot.  There we pick up the Venetian Waterway Trail for 3.5 miles to Casperson Beach to hunt for Sharks teeth.  A really nice round trip ride of nearly 18 miles.

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FEBRUARY

Picking citrus

February finds us at Lake Louisa picking citrus and David installed a new starter for Winnona.
We celebrate Carrie’s birthday week in Disney World and wish she was with us.    We meet up with Friends Paul and Marti Dahl while we are there.  So good to see them after such a long time


Paul & Marti Dworld


Us DisneyW
We move from Disney to Rainbow Springs State Park where at the end of our first week David comes down with a cold that turns into Pneumonia and lands him in the hospital.  I take him into Tampa to Moffitt 90 miles and drive round trip each day to visit until I too get the virus.  Our two week limit goes by and the wonderful folks at Rainbow Springs allow me to move Winnona into a walk in site and stay as long as I need to.   After 7 days in the hospital I pick him up but he’s still not well.  They felt he was well enough to leave since hospitals are probably more dangerous places than Winnona for him.  But he’s not well enough to move on to our next reservation.  Thank you thank you to the people at Rainbow Springs for letting us outstay our reservation.  


Rainbow cormorant

Thanks also to the springs and the beautiful wood ducks and birds in breeding attire that I saw on my nearly daily early morning kayaking up the Rainbow River before visiting the hospital

Rainbow wood ducks



MARCH

St geo appal oysters

In March we finally are able to move to what’s left of our reservation at St. George Island State Park.  We have missed our reservations at St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge all together. At St. George we enjoy the gorgeous beach, sunrise and sunset as well as delicious Appalachicola Oysters.

ST Geo sunset


We move on to O’Leno State Park where we hike from River Sink where the Sante Fe goes underground to River Rise where it reappears 3.5 miles away.   We kayak the Sante Fe River though not underground !  <grin>

Oleno river sink


 Oleno river rise


rodman campground

Next we visit Rodman Campground for the first time in honor of Marjorie Harris Carr  and saw the Rodman Dam which she vigorously opposed and camped across from the only part of the Cross Florida Canal built before she was able to stop it.  I  celebrate Spring Equinox by hiking a section of the Cross Florida Trail.  We visited nearby Ravine Gardens State Park where sadly what must be an amazing display of Azaleas was finished.  We paddled the Oklawaha River which she devoted her life to saving.  She’s a real Heroine in my opinion.

Rodman florida trailRodman oklawaha



wekiwa bball

At  Wekiwa Springs  we watch the NCAA Basketball tournament where our teams win, both the women coached by our favorite Dawn Staley and the UNC Tar Heel men.   Yes we’re from Virginia where Staley was a standout but before that our hearts belonged to Carolina.  Once a Tar Heel, always a Tar Heel.   Of course we made time to enjoy the springs, the trails and paddling the Rock Spring run before April sent us on our way.



wekiwa rock spring run


APRIL

Our last stop in Florida before heading north to Virginia mid month was at Faver Dykes State Park.  It’s a small old timey park that isn’t for those who don’t like dirt roads and sand sites.  We manage to finish waxing Winnona there and enjoy several wonderful paddles on beautiful Pellicier Creek.. 

faver pelicier north great



MAY

Celia is one

The main goals for Virginia are to do all the medical appointments – dentist, annual check ups, optomitrist etc, to visit with our friends and enjoy the sweet little town of Charlottesville, our home town, before it became notorious. and of course, most importantly to see Carrie and Celia.   We celebrate Celia’s first birthday.  How can she be a year old already??  Early in our stay, I go to DC where my friend Lynda and I meet up with Carrie to march in the People’s Climate March.  Late in our stay I take a Nature Journaling Workshop at Shenandoah National Park.


Climate march 2


Shen N PSNP workshop




JUNE – JULY – AUGUST – SEPTEMBER

Our Travels in Maine


Maine Map

Maine thurstons lobster
After 6 weeks, we head north for the summer.  First stop Seawall Campground in Acadia National park where we spend a week boondocking and enjoying being inside the park and how close we are to the ocean.  We start our quest to taste test as much lobster as possible. 

We then move to Narrows Too for the two months of  rare for us Full Hook Ups.  It’s wonderful having Bill and Nancy Mills as our next door neighbors. 


Nancy and I watch the sunrise from the top of Acadia’s tallest peak on the Summer Solstice.


summer solstice cadillac


We do a lot of hiking and a LOT of blueberry picking with them resulting in blueberry pancakes, at least 2 blueberry pies and 2 freezers full of bags of berries.  YUM!

maine carriage bridges B&NMaine berry pickingmaine berry 2





maine hiking



Due to the many foggy mornings, I am shut out of the gorgeous views on at least two hikes I take hoping the fog will burn off.    David and I hike to all 17 of the carriage bridges and summit most of the 31 peaks in Acadia.  We kayak most of the lakes on the island as well always hoping and often succeeding to see and hear the loons.  At Jordan pond we’re lucky to come upon a nesting loon.

maine jordan pond nesting loon


David’s brother and his wife Carol come for a visit and we all splurge with a lobster dinner overlooking the harbor in Bar Harbor.   FANtastic!


Maine Roger & CarolMaine Roger & lobster


Of course on the coast of Maine there are lighthouses everywhere.  We see more than half a dozen of them up and down the coast including the iconic Bass Harbor Light, Egg Rock Light, Winter Harbor Light and Prospect Harbor light to name a few.

maine bass harbor light





schoodic hiking
At the end of our reservations at Narrows Too, we just aren’t ready to head south so we move over to the Schoodic Woods Campground and enjoy the fantastic Schoodic Point.  There is great hiking right from the campground and the sweet little towns like Winter Harbor with its wonderful library.  We take trips to both Lubec for the Annual Pirate Festival and Eastport Maine to visit the family owned Raye’s Stone Ground Mustard Mill.



schoodic library
While the rest of the country seems to swelter in unbelievable heat this summer, we’re comfortably cool and it’s just a fantastic summer.  Acadia National Park is stunningly beautiful and I took SO many pictures of the beauty we saw in every direction no matter where we went.

It’s seriously hard to leave Acadia but after three months, it’s time.



Schoodic gives us a great send off.


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SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER


Celia & NanaWe spend a last few days in Seawall Campground before heading south to Virginia in Mid September.

We thought by arriving in mid September that surely we would get to enjoy the wonderful Blue Ridge fall colors.  They always show up in October.  But not this year.  It wasn’t until after we had moved on South the last week of October that things turned colorful finally in November.

   But we did  get some chores crossed off our list, see friends and family and have several great visits with  Carrie and Celia  including a fun halloween/birthday party.


Celia Halloween


Celila & Carrie



NOVEMBER

Back in Florida after a 7 month absence, we hang out near the East Coast to enjoy the Atlantic.
One of these years we hope to be out west for the Winter, say Arizona or Desert Hot Spring?  Turns out, it should have been this year.


Travel Map November through December

Nov to December zoom in 2017

Fort clinch sunrise









The First of November found us at Fort Clinch state park where I was able to walk right out to the ocean for sunrise every morning.   LOVE IT!   After two weeks, we move south to Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine where the ocean is a bit further walk but the lighthouse is nearby and a farmer’s market is almost in the park.


St aug lighthouse


Gamble view

From there we go to my very favorite spot, an ocean front site at Gamble Rogers State Recreation Area.   While we’re there David takes a flight to Texas to visit his brother and his family including a trip to Terlingua to the Javalina Hide Out and to Big Bend National Park.  He has a wonderful time.  I have my first ever solo Thanksgiving.



texas David



DECEMBER

Birthday Disney

December finds us headed yet again for Disney World for my birthday. We stage up at Lake Louisa for the week end before our 5 day stay at Fort Wilderness.  Of course the actual birthday has to include bubbles and No Way Jose.

Birthday No way Jose



Leaving Disney, we move to Wekiwa Springs State Park where we come down with the Disney Crud from which we still suffer a month later.  The coughing is made some what more tolerable by a birthday gift of 60 glitter pens that Carrie sends. But we didn’t get to do any kayaking at this park which is a great place for it.  That’s a bummer.

birthday pens

We close out the year back at Gamble Rogers State Recreation area and with a flight to Baltimore to visit with Carrie’s Family for the holidays.  


Baltimore Celia and Nana


Iwanowskis


It’s been another busy and wonderful year on the road.  David’s disease appears to still be under control for which we are beyond grateful to all his medical support team who make our travels possible.  Our darling granddaughter gets cuter each time we visit her and even 12 weeks and 4 days in Acadia National Park was not enough.  It’s the longest we’ve stayed anywhere since going on the road in 2010 and we’d do it again in a heart beat.

Who knows what’s up for 2018?  Thus far we have no plans past April so we’ll just have to wait and see.   But I do hope it includes scenes like this.

Fort Clinch sunset

18 comments:

  1. You had quite a year! Wonderful shots.

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  2. Absolutely fabulous year for me, and I have many people to thank for that, but most importantly that would be you Sherry. ;) I would not have remembered all these great times without splendid review. Thank you!!

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  3. The year may have started off a little rough but pretty much got better and better. I LOVE the shot of you and Celia in your PJs. Awesome review. You lead a good life, take great photos, and write an excellent story. Here's to 2018, and whatever it brings us.

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  4. Wonderful wrap up, Sherry, you really filled up the year with great experiences and photos to share. It was fun looking back at the beginning of the year and your times in Florida. I think we might actually get there winter 2019, at least to the northern part of the state. Mo wants to kayak all those springs, but refuses to ever go south of Tampa again.

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  5. What a nice summary of your RVing year! You did get to see lots of beautiful scenery, wildlife, and, of course, go to Disney for your birthday! I enjoyed your animal, bird, sunrise, sunset, flower and water photos this year! xxooo Onward to more adventures in 2018!

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  6. Great year and fun to be part of it! Such a special time at Acadia...wish we could do it again!! However, doubt we can make that work this year:o(( Regardless, looking forward to new adventures in 2018!!

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  7. What a year! There was so much fun packed into 12 months and I do so enjoy following along. Happy 2018!

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  8. Splendid recap! I'm sure your highlight was seeing your lovely Celia.

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  9. What a terrific year! Wishing you a healthy and happy new year full of adventure!

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  10. You and David certainly had a wonderful year. I can't believe how much Celia grew in the one year.

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  11. Is that all you did? ;c)

    Good thing you put new shoes on Winnona 'cause of all your travels this past year. Hope the tires last long enough to get you all the way through 2018! No question of any grass growing under your feet.

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  12. What a wonderful year of adventures!! You're definitely making the best of your east coast "restriction", and seeing such beautiful sights. Disney and Celia add such joy in addition to all the natural beauty you've enjoyed. Looking forward to 2018!

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  13. What a wonderful review of your 2017 travels and adventures! You may be limited to the east coast, but it doesn't seem like a limitation with all of the interesting things you do. Good to know that even 12 weeks wasn't enough for Acadia. We need to plan accordingly! We're looking forward to seeing you guys in March for some kayaking. I hope you have many lavender sunsets in the year ahead. :-)

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  14. Happy New Year! Great recap of your year! What an adorable little granddaughter! Hope you guys get over that crud quickly!

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  15. Excellent recap and I would say overall it was a great year for you minus the scare in Rainbow Springs. Hoping 2018 brings more wonderful adventures! Already looking forward to a VA visit in Spring :) Your blog brings joy to many, I think. Great photos, wonderful storytelling - thanks for the view into your amazing RV life! Here's to living the dream in 2018 :)

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  16. What a great wrap up of your 2017 adventures! I missed a lot of your summer posts but your excellent review brought me up to date. Even Celia is getting cuter each time I see her on your posts. And hey you even have a map! With Florida in sight for us in December/January I sure hope we can meet up with you and David somewhere.
    Cheers to another year of fun adventures and continued good health for you and David.

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  17. Great summary. Glad we got to see you both in Bar Harbor and had a blast with David when he came to Texas. Cute pictures of Celia. Looks like a pretty good year!

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  18. I love this summary! What a well-lived year you guys have had! I really love the last photo, of Winnona looking out over her big horizon. Can’t believe it has been seven years! <3

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