Sixty Miles to Go Twenty Five

Monday January 9th 2023

This morning began cool in the mid fifties. It warmed up quickly as I worked inside and outside to prepare for my travel day. By the time I pulled out of the RV resort at 10:50AM it was warm enough that I had ditched my sweat shirt. The temperature topped out in the low seventies.

My travel day was only a short distance, but needed to take more than two hours. To make that happen, I ended up traveling sixty plus miles to travel twenty five. My plan was to travel north on Interstate 75 about ten miles north of my intended exit to a rest area and wait until 1PM. Unfortunately, all of the suitable parking places were full. Strike One. I could see empty spaces across the highway at the southbound rest area, so I continued north about a mile to the next exit and reversed course to the southbound rest area. All of the empty spots I had identified from the other side of the highway were gone. Strike two. I returned south on the Interstate and reversed course again at the next exit which so happens to be my ultimate destination exit. When I return north to the rest area my timing was right and I found a spot. An hour and a half later I repeated the cycle back to the proper exit about ten miles south.

I arrived at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park about 1:20PM. The ranger at the check in station chastised me for arriving before the 3PM check in time. I didn’t care as long as she let me into the park. Which she did with the admonition that the site my still be occupied or dirty. It wasn’t. The previous occupant departed before the 1PM checkout time and the park hosts had time to do their cleanup thing.

Site 37 at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park south of Gainesville Florida.

With the exception of the extra miles to find a way to kill time, the trip was uneventful. I didn’t see any signs of the fuel leak that kept me sidelined for an extra two weeks. I’ll continue to monitor the issue, but I think my level of trepidation before my next travel day will be a little less.

I’ll be at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park for two weeks. I missed this State Park in my winter rotation last year. Not a lot has changed in the campground. I’ll check out the rest of the park in the days to come. I can already see that the water level is a little higher than I remember. The sunset across the lake was very pretty, but I didn’t get a picture. That is another thing for another day.

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