Monday March 1st 2021
The night ended early with the arrival of a heavy rain shower just before sunrise. I was out of bed at 6AM to close the windows and didn’t really get back to sleep before I needed to be up and moving. Two things were behind the early start. Today was a longer travel day and it was also time to book another two week stay for next winter.
This morning at 8AM the eleven month Florida State Park reservation window open for stays starting the last three days of January and the first day of February. The short month of February creates a real focus on the first of March. The good news is there are more sites available, the bad news is there are more people trying to book the sites. The first site I tried to book was unavailable when I clicked the mouse as the clock turned to 8AM. Someone else was quicker on the mouse click than I was. I was successful on the second site I tried. It pays to have a prioritized list of potential sites.
Getting my holding tanks dumped and everything ready to travel was a little more complicated this morning because of the rain. The storms were over, but everything was wet. I don’t know if it was the rain or some other combination of events that caused this mornings one significant hiccup. When I went to pull in the two slide rooms nothing happened. This problem occurred once before in my first year on the road. That time I called the factory for assistance. They worked with me to check various things and somehow it magically started to work. Today the magic happened again. The problem has something to do with the interlock that requires the keys to be in the on position and the parking brake set. I played around with turning the vehicle on and off, releasing and resetting the parking break and generally wiggling wires under the dash. One of those things did the trick. I got the slides in and the jacks up in time to meet my planned departure time. At 10:20AM I pulled out of the Starke Florida KOA.
The journey south was not without a few challenges. The morning rain was not over it the area I was traveling through. I encountered a few showers. The gas station I stopped at just before getting on the interstate was filled with puddles. Once I was on Interstate 75 the only problems were heavy traffic and an annoying head wind. It took two hands on the wheel and extra concentration.
I was backing into my site at Lake Manatee State Park west of Bradenton Florida just after 2PM. I am on the same site I departed seven weeks ago. Not much has changed. This area is south of the weather front that brought the rain this morning. The temperature was in the high eighties with lots of humidity this afternoon. It is only forecast to drop to about seventy tonight. The rain is do here later tomorrow.