The Calm before the Weekend Rush

Wednesday June 30th 2021

The temperature didn’t get above the mid eighties today. An overcast mostly cloudy day was responsible. It was still very humid and uncomfortable when the breeze wasn’t blowing. The afternoon thunderstorms held off until 7PM Eastern time, but tonight’s storms were heavier than the last few days.

Today was a very slow day in the campground. The maintenance crew was back to finish the lawn mowing. They were focused on trimming today. The large expanses of grass look very nice. Many campers that have been here since before I arrived departed today. Around noon the campground looked very empty, but a few sites filled in as the evening approached. Talking with one of the camp hosts, today is the calm before the weekend rush. They expect a full campground over the weekend and are worried about potential bad behavior. I think that is less of an official concern and more fearful thinking on the hosts part.

Beautiful landscape grass in the campground.

I spent more time on the computer doing research today. I have reservations for November through February of 2022, but I’m not sure were I’m going when I leave here in a week. Lots of little issues keep me from making a commitment on direction and duration. Over the next few days I hope to resolve enough of the little issues to formalize a plan of travel for this summer. In the mean time I’m looking at the summer of 2022 already. Planning is such a love hate activity. General travel is fun, but specific travel is a pain in the …

Late this afternoon I got a notice that my Amazon delivery to the locker in Tallahassee is ready. Yesterday’s plan becomes tomorrow’s plan. I’ll be heading into the city tomorrow for errands and shopping.

Not According to Plan

Tuesday June 29th 2021

Nothing went according to plan today including the weather. The forecast called for a warm and sunny day with only a small window with thunderstorms in the afternoon. That window turned into several hours of light rain from around 4PM to almost sunset just before 9PM. The morning was very humid and the bright sunny allowed the temperature to reach the upper eighties before the rain brought it back into the seventies.

Today was mowing day in the campground. At this park, the maintenance staff is responsible for cutting the grass. Many parks, including Corp of Engineers parks, outsource the job. Here the maintenance staff arrived with lawn tractors in tow to cut the sizable tract of grass. My morning walk was cut short by the swarming mowers and blowing grass cuttings. Not only was it noisy, but it was a little dangerous dodging the fast moving riding mowers as well.

I took another more complete walk after the mowing crew departed. For some reason they suddenly loaded up their mowers onto the trailers and departed. They departed in mid row with large areas of the park unmowed. I don’t think it was the lunch hour or a set amount of time spent mowing. They probably had something else in the greater Lake Seminole area to attend to. Two or three hours after they departed, they were back to finish the job. At least I got one good complete walking circuit of the park before they came back.

My big plan for the day was a trip into Tallahassee. I need to do some shopping and pick up a package from Amazon. The package was do supposed to be at an Amazon locker, but it didn’t arrive on time. The tracking note said the locker was full. Since Tallahassee is about forty miles away, I don’t want to make more trips than necessary. Changing plans, I’ll try again tomorrow. Hopefully there will be room in the locker by then.

Pictures and Research

Monday June 28th 2021

The first half of the day was very cloudy. There were no breaks in the clouds for the sun to peak through, but it was still warm and humid. Just when I was convinced it was going to remain cloudy all day, the sun broke through. From about 2PM on it was a partly cloudy day which allowed the sun to heat the air into the upper eighties. Today’s afternoon rain stayed to the south of here.

Other than my usual walks and other activities, I spent most of my time today doing research on the internet. Some of the research was travel related and some was RV maintenance related. I’ll write more about both topics as I come to decisions in the next few days. Here are some of the pictures I took on my three walks today.

A Day in the Life

Sunday June 27th 2021

The temperature peaked in the high eighties with normal humidity for the area. The forecast had a low probability of rain. For most of the day it looked like the forecast was correct. Around 5PM, while I was on my second walk of the day, the eastern sky started to darken and the sound of thunder was in the air. I headed back to my RV home as a precaution. A little after 6PM, the sky opened up. It rained hard for about half an hour before the sun returned.

A view of the sky over the lake. The clouds blew through the area most of the day.

I am having difficulty finding a topic to write about in this blog entry. My day was very ordinary today, but far from a disappointing day. When I look at my day from a time management perspective there isn’t an incredible amount of free time. Of course I can make time for things, but my regular routine can fill most of the day.

Bug in a blossom.
Butterfly visiting a wildflower.

The early part of most day’s is focused on transitioning from sleep to wake. Getting cleaned up, dressed and having breakfast takes at least two hours. It is accompanied by catching up on the news and reading various sites on the Internet. If I find something interesting to read it can easily expand to three hours or more. Generally noon is approaching as I come up for air.

My first activity of the day is usually my first walk of the day. Most of my walks are about an hour long and include taking pictures of lots of things to include in my blog entry for the day. After the first walk, I may leave the RV park or start in on some of the tasks for the day. The second walk of the day is usually around four or five. Before that I have to find something to eat. Other than breakfast, which is usually coffee and something simple like toast, I have one simple meal and one more extensive meal. The simple meal might be a sandwich, a frozen dinner or a bowl of cereal. It takes less than half an hour to prepare and eat the simple meal. The bigger meal involves cooking. The preparation, eating and cleanup takes more than hour for the simplest things. The more complicated meals take longer. The second walk of the day and other optional tasks falls between the two meals regardless of order. Some days the simple meal is first. Today the more complex meal preparation fell between the walks.

In the evening, I have my blog entry to prepare. It starts with reviewing all of the pictures I took during the day. Most of them don’t reach blog level. They are either out of focus, uninteresting, or redundant. The pictures I select may need to be cropped or otherwise adjusted before I reduce the resolution to make them easier to manage on the blog. Then I write the content of the blog. Even when I take the easy way out by including lots of pictures and few words, it takes over an hour to complete. A longer entry, like this one is turning into, takes two hours or more.

Alligator and a duck out in the lake.

All of this adds up to nine or ten hours of routine behavior if I don’t have a reason to hurry, skip or consolidate things. All of these things have to be done by me. There is no divide and conquer possible. If I get in all of my routine activities the day seems fulfilling. It just may not be that interesting for blog readers.

Relaxation Saturday

Saturday June 26th 2021

Today’s weather followed the normal summer weather pattern for the area. It was a mostly sunny day with high, but not extreme humidity. During the afternoon a fast moving shower came through the area and a couple of others missed to the north and south. The temperature peaked in the high eighties. It was fairly predictable and easy to deal with.

This blog entry is mostly the pictures I took on today’s walks around the campground.

This was a day of leisure. Most of my day was spent reading and watching TV. I took my first walk around the park in the late morning and my second walk after the showers in the late afternoon. At sunset, I took a quick third walk to catch a picture of the sunset over the lake. It doesn’t take long for the exercise to work up a good sweat.

Just Another Friday

Friday June 25th 2021

As I write this blog entry there are still a couple of hours to the day, but I think I can say “It didn’t rain today”. The humidity was down a little and the clouds were few and far between. Toward evening showers approached the area from the east, but dissipated before they got here. This is the first completely dry day in about a week. The temperature peaked in the high eighties.

I got caught up in chores around my RV home today. Even though none of the tasks was particularly complicated or lengthy in nature, they took up most of the day. I still managed to get in two walks in during the day and prepare a couple of meals. That’s one thing about living a solo life, if it has to be done, I’m the only one to do it. I’m not complaining, just explaining. I like it that way.

Most of my walks are around the campground. There are a couple of trails that are currently closed because of downed trees. I walk to the boat launch area at the northern end of the park along the park roads then return to via the camping loops to the picnic pavilion at the southern end of the park. My campsite is deep in the back of the “B” loop on the east side of the park away from Lake Seminole. The entire loop walk is probably over a mile and includes a hill with a decent incline. The views of the lake are the big attraction.

The campground isn’t as full for the weekend as I anticipated. The two camping loops near the water are mostly full, but my loop is mostly empty. There isn’t a lot of attractions at the campground for kids. There is no swimming and no real playground. There is a horseshoe pit and a volleyball net which make up more of an adult playground. Many of the people that are here for the weekend came with boats to fish in the lake.

Settling in on the Banks of Lake Seminole

Thursday June 24th 2021

Thankfully today’s weather did not live up to the forecast. Last night the forecast called for rain all day. Instead we got a sunny very humid day with a few very brief showers. The temperature only reached the mid eighties, but the humidity made it seem much warmer.

After all the effort and stress of yesterday’s travel, I slept in this morning. This is the first day in a long time that I haven’t had highway noise to listen to overnight. Here it was just the insects in the trees serenading. I slept well and woke up near 10AM, but still managed to catch the end of the morning TV news programs. All of the TV stations are from locations in the central time zone. I am located right on the line between the eastern and central time zones. Across Lake Seminole is the central time zone. My cell phone even thinks I’m an hour behind.

I spent the day exploring the campground. Not a lot on land has changed since my last visit in September. Lake Seminole is much higher than it was during my last visit. The level is controlled by the Woodruff Dam which is visible from the campground. The park is about half full. The site markers have reservation tags that indicate the park will be close to full this weekend and probably the holiday weekend to follow.

Horrible Travel Day

Wednesday June 23rd 2021

Today was a travel day. A lot of things went wrong and part of the trip was in a downpour. It was a horrible travel day, but I’m safely setup in my home for the next two weeks at the East Bank Corp of Engineers Campground on Lake Seminole. It is located in Georgia just over the state line from Chattahoochee Florida.

The day began like a normal travel day. The weather was even cooperating. The sun was out, but it was also very humid. The first problem I ran into was an electrical issue. The devices on my dash board that get power from the house battery system were not working. This is related to the dead or almost dead house batteries that I haven’t replaced yet. It has been able to get enough power from the engine alternator, but not today. I tried to start the generator to provide another source of power without success. In hindsight I probably could have gotten the generator to start if I’d plugged the motorhome back into the campground power temporarily.

I resigned myself to traveling without the radio or rear view monitor and continued on with hooking up my Honda CRV for towing. It took two attempts to get everything right without the backup monitor and power to manually apply the towed car brakes. It was close to noon when I departed the Jennings KOA; almost an hour after the official checkout time.

The actual journey can be viewed in three parts. The first part was almost normal. The sun was out, traffic was light and I got used to the electrical issues. I listened to a podcast on my cell phone and used my mirrors more to watch the rear. The second part of the journey was really intense. About thirty miles east of Tallahassee the rain arrived and lasted all the way through the city on Interstate 10. Visibility was very poor. Lights on the cars in front disappeared after a hundred yards and if they didn’t have lights on it was even shorter. Speeds went down to 50mph and slower in some areas.

The third part of the journey was punctuated by an occasional brief shower, but visibility and conditions were much better. I got off the Interstate onto US 90 for the last thirty five miles. There were plenty of indicators that the heavy storm had already passed through the area. There were a lot puddles along the side of the roads and the trees showed signs of getting blown around a little. I hit one low hanging vine or tree branch going under a big tree at about thirty miles an hour. It sounded terrible, but I don’t see any indications of damage.

Site 48 at the East Bank Campground on Lake Seminole.

I arrived at the campground a little after 3PM. By four I was setup and staying dry inside as another rain storm passed through. It sounds like tomorrow will be another rainy day, before the pattern returns to a normal summer one. One or two storms late in the day is better than many storms at anytime during the day.

Last Day in Jennings Florida

Tuesday June 22nd 2021

The string of rainy days continued. This morning was the worst of the rainy days so far. Around 8AM the rain began. It was moderate to heavy until early afternoon. There were even a few thunderstorms in the mix. There was a severe thunderstorm watch for the area and a flash flood watch remains in place for just north of here. Rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast for the next two days, but it is not supposed to be as bad.

Blossom of the day.

As the rain was letting up I drove north to the Walmart in Valdosta Georgia. It is about twenty miles away. The store was moderately busy to go with the moderate level of confusion I felt trying to find the stuff I needed. I think this Walmart has already been through the nation wide store refurbishment Walmart announced a year or so ago. The layout was subtly different, there was a lot of new signage and all the refrigerator cases had a new kind of door I’ve never encountered before. I still managed to find everything I was looking for.

This puddle covered the entire road with about three inches of water when I drove through it an hour or two earlier.

By the time I got back to the RV park it had completely stopped raining. I was able to take a walk around the pond. The puddles that were completely covering the road with several inches of rain had retreated enough to walk without getting my feet wet. The resident ducks were still hiding under the bushes, but the regular Egret visitor was back searching for lunch in the tall grass along the bank of the pond.

Tomorrow I’m moving on another 130 miles west. I’ll be staying for two weeks including the Forth of July holiday weekend at the East Bank Corp of Engineers campground on Lake Seminole. I was at this campground last September when it flooded out for a couple of days during Hurricane Sally. Hopefully I won’t have a similar experience this time around.

Weather Obsessed

Monday June 21st 2021

The first full day of summer was more like a spring or fall day. The temperature was only in the low eighties, because the sun never made an appearance. The day started cloudy, but rapidly turned to rain as the morning progressed. A light to moderate rain fell until after 6PM. There was only about an hour during the afternoon that I had to close the windows. The TV weather talkers seem to be calling for a similar weather pattern for the next few days. There is a lot of moisture in the air that Tropical Storm Claudette stirred up as it passed through to the west over the weekend.

View of the rain out the window of my RV home.

Last year on the first day of summer I was in Winslow Arizona. The temperature was just under 100 degrees and I was complaining about the wind. In the last few days it has been over 100 degrees in that area. Reading my blog entries you’d think I was 100 percent obsessed with the weather. I’m probably only about fifty percent weather obsessed. That is too much, but is probably a result of the lifestyle. Living in an RV you always know if it is raining or blowing hard. The sounds on the roof and awnings are loud. Even a very light rain can be heard inside. Also, unless the blinds are closed the rain is in sight all the time. Getting outside my 200 plus square foot RV home is important for exercise, but not in the rain.

Lots of puddles this evening.

I spent the day reading, surfing the internet and watching TV. Tomorrow I’ll probably stock up on food before moving on Wednesday. My next stop is a much greater distance to the nearest Walmart.