The Bill and Kit Excellent Adventure Journal-Issue #8
Monday, February 2, 2009:
Underway at 1000 for points west. Well…..west until we hit water, then north till we get cold, then west until we hit water again. See….we have a travel plan.
It is 62 degrees and raining again! I thought this place was the “Sunshine State”! As we were leaving, our neighbor pulled into his site with a load of lumber and asked if we knew how long a “cubit” was. It was an interesting evolution hooking up the camper in the rain…..it sure cuts down on your “breaking camp” times.
We didn’t get to see everyone or everything on this trip. We had hoped to get over to Titusville to see some RVing friends from Brunswick and to Orlando to take a peek at Epcot. Well…..maybe next time…..we will be back!
This morning we are heading for Crystal River via Weeki Wachee (one observes very unusual towns and sights on the back roads). We noted many intersections where there were oranges, lying on the ground, on opposite corners…..sometimes as many as several dozen. The riddle was solved as we waited at a stop sign and a truck overflowing with freshly picked oranges turned in front of us and a few rolled off the pile. Wonder what the salvage laws are in regard to lost oranges?
Just passed an official yellow caution sign that simply said FOG SMOKE. Don’t have a clue what that one meant…..gonna have to look it up.
This area of Florida has a very diverse forest…..hardwoods, conifers and palm trees all interspersed. There are signs of logging activity and we spotted a few logging trucks loaded with long spindly (about 8 to 10 inches in diameter) logs. Apparently those are milled into lumber as we passed a mill with stacks of the same small logs and finished lumber on pallets.
Stopped for the night at a KOA in Perry, FL. Since mentioning Don’s name (remember Don?) did no good in generating a discount I mentioned I was a military veteran and scored 20% off the site rental. More and more the status of a military veteran is improving…..far better than in the 60’s. One of the Work Campers at the park was from Michigan and a retired Navy P-3 guy. Another opportunity to tell sea (air) stories which, of course, I took advantage of. Our buddy “KOA Don” is a Work Camper, a unique brand of RV traveler that works part time in the various parks they visit for free site rental and sometimes a stipend. Once trained and experienced a Work Camper can virtually work anywhere in the US that help is needed.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009: Goofed off around the campsite, filled one of the two 30# propane tanks (1st propane fill up since new) and got underway at 1100 for Pensacola. It is 48 degrees and sunny but supposed to get into the 60’s by mid day.
Taking US 98 West (thanks Dave) through Goose Pasture, by Snipe Island and the Saint Marks Wildlife Preserve. Looked to be great kayaking opportunities in this area…..also signs everywhere warning of alligators. Passed over the Apalachicola River and got to thinking (it did feel a bit unusual)…..you know, if the Apalachicola River merged with the Apalachirum River (stay with me now) and then flowed by a campground nestled in a Lime Grove, then……well, you know….
Traveled along the Gulf Coast Intra Coastal Waterway through Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa, passed by Eglin AFB, over Santa Rosa Sound, to Destin…..OBTW this whole area is known as the Emerald Coast.
The Emerald Coast is famous for “sugar sand” that is so incredibly white it makes the sea look emerald in color…..hey, if blueberry can be a color, then emerald certainly can! I grabbed the above shot off an online brochure…..the picture I wanted to take was from the top of a bridge over the many sounds in the area. Not the best place to stop a 45 foot rig and snap a few photos.
Traveled down the Miracle Strip Parkway through the towns of Mary Esther and Navarre across the Bayou Chico Bridge and took the scenic tour of downtown Pensacola. Arrived at Oak Grove Park on the base at Naval Air Station, Pensacola around 1700.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009: Up early and out the door…..well at least Bill was. Took a walk on the beach for about an hour. It was 35 degrees but the sun was up over the horizon and beginning to warm things up. I experienced a strange sensation…..as I walked northerly along Pensacola Bay I was very warm on my right side, and
returning the reverse was true. Every once in a while, to even out the temperature I just walked in circles. Made for some strange looking foot prints on the sand as well as looks from the few other hearty folks that were out.
Oak Grove Park is a military campground of 52 full hook-up RV sites, 20 cottages, and 8 tent sites right on the base at Naval Air Station Pensacola. The park is in the trees but right on the beach of Pensacola Bay and faces south. Very well run, very clean and the price is incredible. It appears about half the folks here have been set for months and will not leave until May or so. Not a bad snow-bird spot to hunker down for the winter.
Sherman Field is very near by and the newbie Navy pilots in there training planes treat us to a daily air shows.
Did some laundry at the park, shopping at the very nice and large exchange, picked up groceries at the commissary where we met a Vietnamese
woman who befriended us after seeing my veterans’ license plate. She was 4 feet nothing and talked a mile a minute. Heard her whole story standing in the parking lot. Her Navy retired husband was originally from Kansas and she from DaNang but they both like Florida better.
Tomorrow is a goof off day…..yea I know it’s hard to tell a goof off day from a productive day living the retiree life.
Love, Dad/Mom, Poppy/Guma, Bill/Kit