Monday, March 3, 2014

Off to Florida

Our annual trip to Florida got started later this year. We left on 1 March, a couple of weeks after a big snowstorm, and just before another one hit. The timing had nothing to do with stormy weather (though we lucked out on that) but in order to attend a BIG motorhome festival in Georgia on our way back.

As usual, the first couple of days were just get-there days. No touring, just keep moving (and keep ahead of the storm). We got a late start Saturday, and made Florence, SC the first night. We ate and stayed at the Cracker Barrel, which is becoming standard for us.

Sunday we headed for Cedar Key. After several hours of increasing traffic on I-95, Jean (the Navigodess) got us off onto US17, which parallels I-95 but is infinitely better. We pushed on through South Carolina and Georgia into Florida. Then across Florida. By 7:00 at night we had made it to Gainesville, where we gave up and hit another Cracker Barrel for supper and the night. A quiet, level space behind the building --- this one's a keeper.

Today we got a leisurely start. We decided to bag Cedar Key (we've been there) and head for Crystal River. After a short side trip due to missing a poorly-marked turn, we got to Crystal River about 1:00 and wound down. We walked around a little, admired a rough-and-ready reproduction of a sailing scow (gaff sloop), and went through the little museum at the visitor center.

Then back to town where we found a shady parking place in a mall parking lot and had a casual lunch.

It's a jungle out there

Across the street we took a short (.3 mile) hike on a boardwalk through the coastal jungle. Didn't spot any birds or other wildlife, but then it was the middle of the day.

About 3:15 we found and checked in to the Chassahowitzka River Campground (say that five times fast) and Gene went about "summerizing" (more positive than "de-winterizing") the Roadtrek. All went more or less well until he got to the part of flushing out the anti-freeze and filling the lines with fresh water. Then all he got was a little spitting and a lot of air coming out of the faucet. After trying a number of different ideas, and taking a long walk, he tried re-setting the fresh water input to the pump. He must have put it on crooked when he removed the tube to the anti-freeze. It screwed on farther, and things seem to be working now. That must have been the source of the air leak.

We heard from the folks back home. After a 65 degree day yesterday, they have several inches of snow and an overnight forecast of 5 degrees. We had to decide whether or not to run the air conditioner. Location is everything.

Back in the saddle. More adventures tomorrow.

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