Saturday October 23rd 2021
A weak cold front passed through the area last night. It didn’t drop any rain, but it managed to reduce Friday’s humidity. Today’s sky was bright blue without any clouds. The high temperature reached the low to mid eighties with a gentle breeze that made it very comfortable out of the direct sunlight.
I spent the day getting settled in for my extended stay here in the Jacksonville area. I do a couple of additional things when setting up for a longer stay. For example, I put covers on the wheels to protect the tires from extended direct UV exposure. I also get an additional chair or two out of the basement storage bins to make the outside area look a little more livable.
Yesterday I got a question on why I’m staying in one place longer than normal in this area. I think it deserves a paragraph or two of discussion. It has been sixteen months since I stayed in one place longer than two weeks. That is the second longest run without a pause on the Rambling Road Trip. Between February of of 2018 and October of 2019, I completed a longer period of continuous travel. During the winter of 2015-2016 I spent four months in one place in central Florida. During the winter of 2016-2017 I spent a month at one place in Florida and a month at one place in Arizona. The months of November 2017 through January 2018 were spent at one place in Las Vegas Nevada. The winter of 2018-2019 followed the two weeks here, two weeks there model in Florida. The winter of 2019-2020 was back in Las Vegas for four months. Shortly after starting my 2020 touring the pandemic hit and I went into “hibernation” for the months of April and May in the Arizona desert. I’ve been following the two weeks or less model since leaving there at the end of May 2020.
The places I like to stay are mostly public campgrounds. Most state and federal parks have a two week limit. You can usually return after a period of time somewhere else, but you must vacate the park. Two weeks isn’t long enough to get some things accomplished. If you need to do something that requires an appointment, like car service, it becomes tricky. Once you arrive in an area and find a suitable place, it is often impossible to get an appointment before your two weeks is up. Trying to plan ahead in unfamiliar areas has its own set of challenges and uncertainties.
Most people who are traveling full time in an RV, develop a set of go to locations that they frequent for longer stops. Often it is in their old home town area, other times it is near family and some, like me, just pick an area. My old home region is New England and I wouldn’t want to be there in the winter. In the summer there is still lots of country to see. Northeast Florida is my choice on the east coast. Las Vegas seems to have become my choice in the west, but for entirely different reasons. Northeast Florida is near my mail service and thus my domicile. Things are easier to do around here and I’ve developed some familiarity with the area. In past years, when I’ve been on the east coast, even though I didn’t stay at one place in the area I often spent several successive one and two week stays in the area. This year it was more convenient (and cheaper) to stay at one place for a little over a month. It won’t be all errands and tasks while I’m here. There are some nice parks along the St Johns River and the Atlantic ocean is only a little ways away.