The temperature peaked right around the average for this time of year. It was just under 90 degrees this afternoon. I think there were more clouds in the sky than forecast which kept the temperature down a little from the low nineties forecast. The good news is it didn’t rain.
The sounds of the campground really caught my attention today. I wrote about the sounds of the trains in a previous blog. It is possible to hear their approach as the whistles sound at each road crossing and then listen as the sounds fade as the train moves away. There are also a lot of other well defined sounds at this campground.
In the evening into the night the sounds from the retaining pond take over. A continuous symphony of noise from the what I think are frogs and other amphibian life entertains. It goes on for a few minutes then abruptly stops. A minute or so later it gradually begins again. One brave voice is quickly joined by others until the symphony resumes.
When morning arrives it is the birds turn to entertain. The whistling and chirping has a more melodious sound than the night time entertainment. Some of the birds are really produce an impressive tune. Other birds just put out a single note or two which is replied to by other birds and it repeats over and over. Is it pure communications or a courting tune? Only the birds know for sure.
Later in the day the sounds of the campground are dominated by the human element. Most of the people have retreated indoors. To stay comfortable they crank up their air conditioners. The AC compressors and fans make up the afternoon sound. When I’m out walking I get accustomed to hearing them, but you really notice the quiet when they cycle off.
It was another nice weather day. The breeze was out of the northeast keeping the temperature below the normal high for the day. Despite almost full sunshine all day the temperature only reached the low to mid eighties. The normal high is around ninety degrees.
Today began earlier than expected. One of the weekend visitors to the campground that hung on into Monday decided that six thirty in the morning was the appropriate time to leave. Unfortuneately for me they were on the site behind me and my windows were open. The bangs and boops associated with hooking up combined with the less than quiet conversation woke me up far before I intended. For no good reason it messed up my entire day. I just never seemed to get into a normal gruve all day.
After spending the weekend ignoring the daily chores, today was a catch up day. I cleaned out the sink of dirty dishes and generally picked up around my RV home. I need to do a load of laundry, but I didn’t get to that task. After my mid morning walk that extended into the strip mall next door today, I just wasn’t in the mood for chores anymore. This morning’s lost sleep turned into a half hour nap this afternoon and a general lack of focus for the rest of the day.
The weather I expected yesterday happened today. It remained mostly cloudy and dull all day. Around noon a brief shower developed to wet things down a bit. The rain lasted ten to fifteen minutes, but the darkness and threat lasted about an hour. It was followed by the only appearance of the sun all day. Within another hour the storm clouds were back to threaten rain. On a positive note, the clouds and wind kept the temperature in the high seventies.
About half of Friday’s weekend arrivals left today. I expect the other half will leave tomorrow. The people that leave their rigs here during the week cover up things, turn over chairs and generally pick up before leaving late in the afternoon. I think there are about ten sites occupied by people with that behavior. Other sites are occupied by temporary workers in the area. They leave before I get up every morning and return in the evening. Everybody else in the regular sites doesn’t fit one of my patterns of behavior, but they are obviously here because they want to be.
Around the perimeter of this park are park model RVs. These are best described as small one bedroom manufactured homes. I think the majority are lived in full time by retires. They have extensive landscaping and show pride of ownership. The others are probably snowbird homes. Several have golf carts covered and bungee corded to protect them from the elements, but no other vehicle. It looks like an “I’m not home” give away to me. The bottom line is there is a real change in atmosphere and energy level in the park when it transitions from weekend to weekday mode and back.
I spent another relaxing day reading, watching TV and walking around the park. I am disappointed that the retention pond at the back of the pack isn’t attracting or keeping around many birds. I have only seen a few during my stay so far.
It was a cloudy morning that didn’t bode well for the rest of the day. The hour by hour weather forecast called for thunderstorms in the afternoon. By afternoon the sky was blue and there wasn’t a rain storm in sight. Today’s thunderstorms were all south of here. The temperature peaked in the low to mid eighties.
This wasn’t a particularly blog entry worthy day. I didn’t do much other than walk around the RV park a few times. Most of my time was spent reading and chasing random pieces of information on the internet. The park is busy this weekend, but nothing like the holiday weekend. The biggest impact of the additional residents I feel is the slow down of the campground WiFi. During the week it has acceptable speed. On the weekend nights it is close to unusable. Uploading the pictures for this blog entry was a very slow process. I was about ready to switch to cellular data, but the transfer finished before I powered that option up. By noon tomorrow everything will be back to weekday levels. Checkout time is 11AM.
Yesterday was definitely the best weather day of the week. Today was OK, but it represented a retreat from the peak conditions achieved on Thursday. There was more cloud cover and a little more heat today. The temperature peaked in the mid eighties. The TV weather forecasters are happy. The tropical system in the gulf became the first named tropical storm of the hurricane season, but it is moving south away from Florida as they expected. There is no need to react … Yet.
Instead of waking up to the sound of lawn mowers this morning it was a pressure washer. I was awake and up, but today was rec hall cleaning day. About mid morning one of the park staff started up a gas powered pressure washer to give the building a rinse. The building is about two sites away, but I don’t have a direct view. The noise was loud enough and odd enough that I had to check out its origin. I was a bit disappointed that the strange noise was just and ordinary pressure washer.
This afternoon people were busy arriving for the weekend. The park staff was very busy escorting each new arrival to their sites. In most parks I really appreciate the escort. It allows me to concentrate on driving through the cramped campground roads rather than trying to find my site. The escort is also helpful with directions when I have to back into the site. This campground really doesn’t need the escort as much as others. The sites are well organized with good signage and most are pull thru sites. Still, the park staff knows the tricks and often routes people to their sites via less obvious, but easier routes. Thinking back, I don’t ever recall not being able to find my site in a campground. I have gotten out and walked around a bit to scope out the area and find my site a time or two. A couple of wide open flat parking lot type campgrounds out west come to mind.
It is hard to believe that June has arrived. Florida weather forecasters are talking about the start of hurricane season and the potential of the first named tropical system of the year forming in the Gulf of Mexico. I am very weather aware to the point of obsessed, so I can’t really crank my level of awareness up for hurricane season. My bottom line is if one is coming, I’m going. This is a period of weather change that makes the forecasts inconsistent. Yesterday the forecast for today was for lots of rain. It was easily supposed to be the worst weather day of the week. It turned into the best weather day of the week. The sun dominated the battle with the fluffy clouds and a nice north wind kept the temperature under control. It peaked in the low eighties.
This was mowing day in the campground. It is my least favorite day. The big commercial lawn mowers are very noisy machines. The operators wear hearing protection but people like me that are only a few feet away get subject to the whole decibel level. Today wasn’t as bad as some. They didn’t start until after 9AM and in was only the lawn mowers. They didn’t come around with the equally noisy string trimmers and leaf blowers.
Landscape work seemed to be contagious today. A tree service was working on trimming the trees along the power lines in the area. They seemed to be doing a good job disrupting traffic with big bucket trucks and producing piles of tree limbs waiting to be chipped. Leaving the campground was a challenge while the tree trimmers were near the entrance.
The sun never really shined today. It was overcast all day, but the forecast did not call for any rain. They were wrong. Late in the afternoon it suddenly began to rain. For about ten minutes it rained hard. Once it ended conditions went back to the same overcast conditions. The current forecast has rain returning during the night and continuing most of Thursday. I’ll believe when it happens. The weather models are still all over place as they guess about the potential tropical system forming in the Gulf of Mexico.
I got a slow start to the day. Last night I laid awake in bed by choice. I was listening to the sound of trains passing through the area. The community of Starke is on the main north south rail corridor through Florida. The campground sits on the west side of US 301. On the east side of the route is the mail rail line. In the other direction from the campground another rail line slants off to the southwest. At night I enjoy listening to the rumble of approaching trains followed by train whistles getting louder as the engine approaches each crossing. After the engine passes the sound of the whistles gets quieter and quieter, but it can still be heard for several miles. During the day I don’t always hear the trains, but at night there are several every hour.
Train noises don’t really bother me. I know what they are and can tune them out as needed. Campgrounds are often near train tracks and quiet night environments also allow distant train noises to sound very close. More often than not, I can here trains in the distance at night. I’ve stayed in campgrounds where my site backs up to the tracks. That takes a few trains before I get used to it, but I did. Watching TV was a problem, but watching the train instead was fun.
The campground has more occupants tonight. I suspect they are travelers here for a night or two, but they may be the start of next weekends visitors. Either way, they are a little more active than the people here for longer periods of time. They all seem to stay inside with the AC running, or are gone all day possible at work. I am probably somewhere in between in behavior. Sitting outside in the shade is part of my routine.
The weather began as a clone of Monday, but more clouds moved in as the day progressed. The temperature peaked in the upper eighties, before the wind associated with nearby thunderstorms pushed it lower. As I’m writing this blog entry there is a good chance of a thunderstorm. In general the weather is on a downward curve. A potential tropical system is trying to form in the Gulf of Mexico. The current forecast has it most likely moving across the Florida peninsular as an ordinary low pressure system. That still means a lot of rain is likely, but not as much wind and really severe storms.
I commented in yesterday’s blog that I didn’t think all of the weekend crowd departed as expected. This morning they fixed that problem. By noon the park was back to an occupancy level below the level it was at on Thursday when I arrived. If it is a normal weekend or a three day weekend, it seems like many people add that extra day. Back during my working life I often included Friday in my weekend plans, but I thought it was important to start the week on Monday with everyone else. Different strokes for different folks I guess.
Today began with the sound of backup alarms on big dump trucks followed by the sound of banging tailgates after the material was dumped out. They were delivering materials to the landscape supply business on the far side of the campground. Over the course of an hour several trucks made deliveries. Later in the day I got a few chores done around my RV home today. There always seems to be something that needs to be done. For exercise today I made two different loops of the campground and a loop around the strip mall next door.
The humidity was up a little today and the breeze was down a little. The result was a warmer high temperature for the day. It peaked in the mid to upper eighties under a mostly sunny sky.
I got to sleep in this morning. The dogs that woke me up the last couple of mornings from the neighboring site departed yesterday, but most of the people hung on until the 11AM checkout time. As expected there were a lot of departures today. This evening the park still had more occupants than it did on Thursday when I arrived. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues tomorrow night. Since most of the schools in Florida ended last week it is possible that some summer vacation stays are starting.
This wasn’t a day with any interesting blog content. I did get to watch the NASCAR race from Charlotte NC that was postponed yesterday. Unlike the races I watched yesterday I actually recognize the names of most of the drivers in this racing series. The six hundred mile race that began a little after 3PM ended just before 9PM with one stop for rain. Similar to the Indy 500, the opening ceremonies were focused on remembering and honoring those who served and gave their lives for American freedom.
The trend of decreasing cloud cover and increasing sunshine continued for the third day. There was still a significant breeze out of the north and low humidity. The higher amount of sunshine allowed the temperature to climb a little higher, but it still didn’t cross the eighty degree mark.
My day began earlier than I wanted thanks to the big dogs at the site behind mine. They were up in the six o’clock hour to do their thing which seem to include a lot of barking to announce their presence. I went back to sleep, but woke easily whenever anyone spoke loudly in the area. That’s what I get for sleeping with the windows open.
My main focus today was watching the various races on TV. It started with the rainy mess that was the Monaco Grand Prix. I don’t know the drivers, but enjoy watching them navigate through the tight streets of Monaco. The big race of the day was the Indy 500. I am familiar with more of the drivers, but don’t have any particular “horse” in the race. The opening ceremony with the memorial day tributes and the iconic singing of Back Home Again in Indiana was as much a draw as the actual race. Toward the end of the race it got into a real crash fest with three red flag stops while they cleaned up the track. It was a good finish. The third race of the day was going to be the NASCAR race from Charlotte NC, but it got rained out until tomorrow.
Around the campground today there were fewer organized campground activities. The only one of significance was an evening campfire with Smores. I walked by as they were getting setup. Once again today there were many private parties at some of the sites. A lot of people were having their own corn hole tournaments and I saw one ladder ball toss setup. The dedication required to bring all the gear for these activities on a weekend outing is impressive.