Sunday Departures

Sunday July 31st 2022

Today’s weather was another repeat of the previous day. The temperature peaked in the low to mid nineties with a nice breeze and mid level humidity. There wasn’t any rain in the area. According to the TV weather talkers this is all thanks to dust from the Sahara Desert keeping the air dry. Thank you Africa.

It turned away just as I took the picture.

Because of the morning sun, I don’t open my drivers side curtains until late in the morning. This morning when I raised the curtains all of the sites in that direction were empty. The weekend was over and everybody departed by the 11AM checkout time. I knew people were leaving, but the extent of the departures in that area was a bit of a shock.

The departures started early this morning. A big diesel motorhome a few sites in the other direction cranked its motor before 8am. It ran at high idle for a few minutes which is very loud. Overall the motor was running for close to an hour before they departed. Everybody has their own sequence for getting ready to travel, but having the motor running for that long seems to be excessive. I think they also had the diesel generator on to power their two roof air conditioners while they loaded their golf cart on its trailer. Maybe the noise from the diesel motorhome kept me from hearing the silent departures on the other side of my RV home.

I was out driving around the area this afternoon. After filling up with gas for only $3.90 a gallon, I took a few local roads to get back toward the beach. Traffic was heavy and I had to stop in slow traffic waiting for a distant traffic light. Looking to my left I was looking right into the eyes of an odd creature. Its head was just above the top of a high fence. When it moved away a few moments later, I finally realized it was an ostrich. You don’t see those everyday.

A Non Beach Beach Day

Saturday July 30th 2022

The dry weather pattern continued today. The temperature peaked in the low nineties with a gentle breeze and only medium humidity. Once again the daily rain showers missed this area.

The afternoon sky.

I made the mistake of forgetting it was a weekend day. My travels today took me close to the ocean. Since it was Saturday everybody had a similar idea. Cars, many with boat trailers attached lined the sides of the road as I crossed the inter coastal waterway. There was nowhere to stop to enjoy the view. As I got closer to the beach the traffic started to back up and lots of pedestrians in beach clothes were everywhere. Once again there was nowhere to stop. I didn’t really want to “go to the beach”, but would have liked to stop for a few minutes. Instead I made a big loop and headed back toward my RV home.

The good news along the way was the price of gas. It is now twenty cents lower than it was the last time I bought gas two weeks ago. It went down another two or three cents in the last couple of days. The price of Regular Gas is now $3.95 or less per gallon. I need to fill my tank the next time I go out.

On the weekend this campground becomes a weekend destination for people that want to enjoy the location and attractions of historic St. Augustine. People show up in weekend warrior mode. They leave their site early in the morning to tour or play in the area and return in the afternoon to enjoy the campground. As is common, there are many people that are camping with people on other sites. As the evening approaches the gatherings start. For some families this is the last weekend of summer, because the kids start returning to school next week in some of the districts. I think this immediate area is the week after next.

A Low Activity Friday

Friday July 29th 2022

Today was a few degrees warmer than yesterday, but overall it was a very nice day. It was sunny almost all day with medium humidity and a light breeze. The temperature peaked in the low to mid nineties. The rain storms were elsewhere today.

I got a late start to the day. It was the middle of the afternoon before I finished all of my online reading and began the active part of my day. By that time new campers were arriving for the weekend. The park staff were leading RVs to their sites in a steady stream. It was difficult to navigate the narrow park roads against the flow of incoming traffic. I suspect the park will not be as full this weekend as last.

Low Tide Along the Matanzas River

Thursday July 28th 2022

Today’s temperature was a little warmer than Wednesday. It peaked in the low nineties with lower humidity. A couple of very brief showers wet down the area. For the most part today’s thunderstorms remained to the north over the Jacksonville area and inland in the middle of the peninsular. The trend for the next few days is increasing temperatures and humidity.

I found an access area to the inland bank of the Matanzas River this afternoon. The little park with a boat launch was accessed at the back of a residential area. It was necessary to navigate through the twenty to thirty year old homes at twenty five miles an hour. Speed seemed to be a real concern. There were two electronic speed measurement signs along my path.

It was low tide along the river. Mud flats were exposed providing additional access out into the river area for fishermen on foot. The boat launch seemed to be questionable at low tide. I was disappointed not to see any birds near the area of the park. A couple of egrets were flying along the water in the distance, but they were too far away to get a decent picture. I spent about a half hour sitting in the shade enjoying the breeze and the view.

The campground has started to fill up for the weekend. Returning into the park this afternoon I had to dodge around two arriving RVs at the entrance. The two rows of sites in front of me that were empty for the last two nights now have half a dozen RVs setup on the sites. It looks like it will be another busy weekend.

Hibiscus Pictures

Wednesday July 27th 2022

This area was right on the edge of the rain belt today. Throughout much of the day storms formed just to the west of here and moved north away from the area. An occasional brief shower wet things down, but many occurred with the sun still shining. The showers kept the temperature in the mid eighties, but the humidity was through the roof.

It was a slow day overall. I got a few maintenance tasks accomplished around my RV home. On one of my walks around the campground between showers I took a lot of closeup pictures of the Hibiscus plants complete with the moisture from the rain.

No Hike Today

Tuesday July 26th 2022

The day began hazy and cloud covered, but progressed to partly cloudy and then full sunshine. The temperature peaked in the low nineties with average humidity for this time of year. Once again today the rain was elsewhere in the state of Florida.

Today was lawn mowing day at the RV park. It seems like a more efficient activity here than at other places I have stayed. One or two guys did the whole park. I think they were part of the local staff. They started around 9AM and finished up mid afternoon. The loud noise was only around my RV home for a short period of time and everything looked neat and clean after.

During the cloudy part of the day I set out to explore a mixed use trail near the campground. I had to drive a couple of miles to the trail head. It turned out to be in a very open area with fields and low level vegetation. The nice shady tree covered path I expected was nowhere to be found. Since the sun was starting to make its presences known, I decided hiking on this trail would be better at another time. Also, it was probably better suited to biking.

My area of the campground is still quite empty tonight, but other areas of the park seem to be a little more occupied. Overall I think the park is about as full tonight as it was a week ago when I arrived. My guess is that the place will fill up as the weekend approaches.

Household Chores Monday

Monday July 25th 2022

This area dodged the afternoon rain showers once again today. It was a humid day with the high temperature in the low nineties. A nice breeze kept the outside comfort level tolerable.

I spent the day catching up on chores around my RV home. It wasn’t the plan for the day, but when I discovered a layer of dust, one thing lead to another and I spent most of the day cleaning and rearranging. Since I like to keep the windows open and fans blowing as much as possible, the dust accumulates quickly. It took a lot of damp cloth, mop and vacuum cleaner action even in the small space to get things back in order. My guess it has been more than a month since I did more than a cursory cleaning.

More of the weekend crowd departed the campground this morning. Another six RVs in view from my site left before the 11AM checkout this morning. Later in the day three RVs from California arrived to occupy some of the sites. I’m not sure they are traveling together since they arrived over the course of a couple of hours and are on widely scattered sites, but it would seem like a big coincidence.

Grocery Shopping Rant

Sunday July 24th 2022

It was sunny and humid with a high temperature in the low nineties which is pretty normal. The exception to the norm was the lack of rain. There were no afternoon thunderstorms.

Today’s animal picture

My main accomplishment for the day was restocking my food supply. This Walmart was a real challenge this afternoon. WARNING: I am about to get on my soapbox. First there were no carts available. I passed plenty in the parking lot, but I didn’t think to grab one outside. I had to wait for a departing customer to turn over their cart. There didn’t seem to be that many customers in the store. Perhaps they were all there earlier in the day.

Wildflower blossom of the day.

There were more Walmart employees in the aisles using their carts with blue bins to collect items for online orders than I usually see. These carts and people can be a real obstruction. The carts are slightly wider than regular carts and the employees seem to park them in the middle of the aisle while they wander around looking for some obscure item. Getting by them is one more challenge. The impression is fulfillment of online orders is more important than the business and convenience of in store customers.

When I reached the checkouts I saw another indicator that in store customers are not a priority. There was only one assisted checkout open. It had a line ten people deep. The self service checkout had a shorter line. I don’t like self service checkouts, but will use them in these situations. Today I had two items that the bar code wouldn’t scan. The first item I could laboriously enter the code manually, but the second the code was also unreadable. There was nobody around to assist. They didn’t get the few cents of profit from that item and at some point in time they will have to expend labor to restock the item. I just left it beside the register and finished checking out. One or more of the employees blocking the aisles for online orders should have been assigned to the checkouts. This ends today’s Walmart rant.

Walking around the campground this afternoon I found the place emptier than anytime since I arrived last Tuesday. Most of the weekend crowd had departed and others seemed to be getting ready to leave in the morning. A few new arrivals filled some of the vacant sites later in the afternoon.

Activity Rainout

Saturday July 23rd 2022

Today was a bit of a rain out activity wise. Based on the weather forecast I expected the daily rain to be late in the afternoon. A thunderstorm arrived shortly after noon. It was a very heavy storm and it stalled overhead. For about two hours it rained very hard. The roar on the roof of my RV home was so loud I put my noise canceling ear buds in and listen to podcasts on my phone. That set the mood for an afternoon of inactivity.

The only thing I have for tonight’s blog entry are a few pictures of Hibiscus blossoms I took on my walk around the campground after the rain. It was a very humid exercise in puddle avoidance.

Feelings of Camper Abandonment

Friday July 22nd 2022

There was a little bit of rain in the early afternoon, but for the most part it was a sunny day. With only a little breeze and medium humidity the low nineties temperature seemed much warmer.

The fountain in the retention pond could use a little more water pressure. It doesn’t have much height.

When I got up this morning I thought I missed an evacuation order. Two of my neighbors had already departed and while I was having breakfast five more RVs in the immediate area pulled out. This area of the RV park really looked empty. I could only assume that most of the sites were reserved by other people for the weekend. For the most part that seems to have proven true. Most but not all of the empty sites have new residents tonight.

There is also a small RV club of some sort enjoying a weekend in the park. Many of the RVs in one area of the park have similar signs with the name of the RV Club and the name of the occupant. There seem to be around ten RVs. Most of them seem to be from Georgia. So far I haven’t seen any indication of them gathering for group events, but I assume they will.

I ventured out of the campground this afternoon to checkout changes in the area. It turned into a lot of driving and not much seeing. I avoided the center of town, so I didn’t see any thing remarkable.