RV Park Exodus

Tuesday September 8th 2020

Today began earlier than I wanted. An older diesel pusher motorhome parked on the site beside mine last night just before dark. Just before seven this morning they started the loud diesel engine on the motorhome. They ran it for a few minutes then shut it down. The brief quiet was broken by the sound of doors slamming and other loud banging. A little later the loud diesel started up again. They ran the motor for about fifteen minutes before they pulled out of the site. I was wide awake and out of bed before 7:30AM.

Gazebo home of two egrets

This was another big departure day from the RV park. Most of the weekenders left yesterday, but a few stayed until today. When combined with the overnight residents, there was a steady stream of departures this morning. By checkout time there were only six rigs left in this part of the campground and two of those were long term park hosts. I expected to see more people arrived late in the day for an overnight stop, but it didn’t happen. There are only six RVs in this area of the park tonight.

One of the scattered showers in the forecast found the RV park this noon. It happened while I was out, so I only know about the storm from the aftermath. When I got back to my RV home from a grocery run, there were small branches on the roadway and lots of big puddles. Just getting into my front door required tip toeing through standing water. It was almost sunny when I left and when I returned. Sometime during the two and a half hours I was away it must have really poured.

I stocked up on groceries today, because I don’t know where I’ll find supplies at my next stop. Tomorrow is a travel day. I’m moving about 120 miles west on the Florida Georgia state line. It’s one of those days where the travel time is much shorter than the gap between check out here and check in at the new place. I’ll be looking for rest areas and other easy parking areas to kill time during the trip.

Does Labor Day Mean Summer is Over?

Monday September 7th 2020

Today’s weather was very similar to Sunday. Thunderstorms were in the forecast for late in the day. Instead of rain the sun broke through the clouds when the thunderstorms were expected to arrive. This area didn’t get the scattered thunderstorms. They are in the forecast again for tomorrow.

Since today is Labor Day summer must be over. Growing up and living most of my life in the northeast that thought was deeply entrenched. School always started right after the holiday and the temperature started to drop a little everyday. In other parts of the country it isn’t as cut and dry. School starts as early as the first week in August and the temperature doesn’t start to drop for another several weeks.

I’ve managed to experience a form of fall every year I’ve been on the road except 2016. I was in this area that year dodging hurricanes and sweating in the heat. In 2017 I was in Utah and Northern Arizona where altitude substituted for latitude to produce a fall like experience. The following year of 2018, I was back in New York and New England for a real fall experience like I experienced every year of my life through 2015. Last year I started to experience fall right after Labor Day in Oregon and out ran the weather heading south to Las Vegas. Fall caught up with me in Las Vegas after a couple of weeks.

I don’t expect to experience anything identifiable as fall this year. Before the temperature starts to change in northern Florida, my plans have me located in the Florida Keys. The tropics begin only a couple of degrees of latitude south. It’s not going to get very cool until I’m back in central Florida in December. Next year I’ll have to find some form of fall.

Another Lazy Sunday

Sunday September 6th 2020

The weather was in transition today. The day started cloudy and ended with thunderstorms. A little bit of blue sky was visible during the day, but the sun never managed to cast any shadows. Clouds and thunderstorms are in the center of the forecast for most of the week.

This duck might win a beauty contest with a turkey.
Egret heading for dinner.

Other than a less than exciting drive north into Georgia, most of my day was spent reading and watching TV. It was a lazy day.

Tiny blossom of the day.

Visiting My Avian Neighbors

Saturday September 5th 2020

Today was the hottest day of the week. The temperature reached the upper nineties with enough humidity to have a reported heat index of 106. It really wasn’t as uncomfortable as other days I’ve experienced this summer. The difference is all in my head. I spent most of the day inside my RV home enjoying the AC.

Hiding from the sun under a bridge.
“Follow me. I know where the good plants are located.”

The time I spent outside was on walks around the pond checking out the birds and swatting at the swarming bugs. There are several different kinds of bugs ranging from tiny to dragon fly size. None of them seem to be inclined to bite, but the little ones want to land on you and crawl around. It’s the worst when I stop moving to take a picture of the birds. There are bench seats all around the pond, but sitting for more than thirty seconds isn’t practical.

Watching the world for threats.
Time to leave.

A few of last nights campers departed this morning, but even more arrived this afternoon to replace them. The people staying for the weekend seem to out number the travelers, but not by many. Last year I was in Corvallis Oregon for the labor day weekend and the year before I was on the side of Lake Ontario in New York state. Both of those campgrounds were further from the interstate highway. They were full for the holiday weekend. The attraction in Corvallis was a college football game and Lake Ontario was the attraction in New York state. This park doesn’t have similar draws, at least not this year.

It’s wing drying time.

Campground Musings

Friday September 4th 2020

Mother Nature added a couple more degrees to today’s high temperature, but according to the TV weather talkers it was a little less humid. It was still hot with a high temperature above the mid nineties.

Blossom of the day.

After another slow start to the day, I finally got in the car for a little exploring of the area. I drove around a lot, but only stopped once. I needed to buy gas to facilitate my exploring. Even in a pandemic the price of gas goes up for holiday weekends. My route of exploration crossed the Swanee River several times, but never in a location with a place to stop and explore. A little research after I got home identified where I should have gone to explore the river. Maybe another day while I’m here.

Someone’s looking at me. I have to fly away.
Maybe it’s safer here.

When I got back to the campground it was starting to fill up again. There seem to be two parts to the campground. A long term area toward the back and the shorter term area with about forty sites I’m staying in. That area has been close to full every night I’ve been here and near empty by eleven every morning until today. This morning the sites right around me stayed occupied. I’m guessing they’re here for the weekend. Tonight the area is near full again. How many more will be staying for the weekend remains to be seen.

Home in the gazebo.

Once again today I took a couple of walks around the campground pond for exercise. I saw the same two egrets and five ducks that I’ve seen every day. The ducks I understand. They live here. Why the two egrets hang around is more difficult to understand. They are clearly very wild. If they even catch you looking at them they fly away to the other side of the pond, but once you move on they return. The pond doesn’t look like it has much to offer, but I’m not an egret. Who knows what they see in the murky pond.

An Inside Chores Day

Thursday September 3rd 2020

The temperature climbed another couple of degrees into the mid 90s. In all other respects, it was a clone of Wednesday. It was a hot and humid stay in the AC kind of day.

The evening duck parade.

I kept finding things to do inside my RV home today. It was well after noon before I ventured out. A walk around the pond in the center of the campground resulted in lots of sweat followed by a retreat into the AC until supper time. I’m really wimping out to the weather. The daytime conditions really are not much different than the weather I’ve been experiencing since the beginning of August. The difference is somewhere in the last week or so I started running the AC around the clock. Earlier in the summer I only ran the AC late in the day until bed time. The overnight conditions were fine with the windows open and the fans blowing. Once I committed to the AC I became addicted to it. It’s going to take a cold front to break the addiction. Maybe next week.

The mental list of inside chores is getting shorter. I got the floor swept and some of it washed today. The layers of desert dust from early this summer are starting to disappear. I need to take the bigger throw rugs outside before I can finish the job. It is a very fine dust that was hiding until the humidity started to make mud.

The campground is filling up tonight. For the first time since I arrived I have neighbors on both sides. I don’t know if they are here for the weekend or only the night. If they don’t leave in the morning, I’ll assume they’re here for the weekend.

Getting Familiar with My Surroundings

Wednesday September 2nd 2020

Today’s weather was a clone of Tuesday. The high temperature was in the low 90s and it was very humid. Unlike yesterday, I didn’t have to pack and unpack today. After finishing some of the camp setup tasks this morning, I relaxed most of the day.

I took a couple of walks around the RV park getting familiar with the lay of the land and the local wildlife. The pictures in this blog entry are some of the things I saw on my walks.

Gazebo beside the central pond.
Looking down the length of the pond.
Egret on the bridge watching one in the water.
One of the resident ducks.

Travel Day to Jennings FL

Tuesday September 1st 2020

It was humid again today. The difference was sunshine. While there were a few scattered thunderstorms in the area, it was bright sunshine where I was. The temperature reached the mid 90s. It was not a comfortable day.

By the time I finished the outside travel preparation tasks this morning I was drenched in sweat. I sat in the driver’s seat of the motorhome letting the dash air conditioner cool me off for a few minutes before departing just before the 11AM checkout time. Traffic wasn’t bad allowing me to make good time on the 135 mile trip. The only problem was I didn’t need to make good time. I ended up stopping at both rest areas along the way to kill fifteen to twenty minutes at each stop. It was about 1:30PM when I arrived at Jennings KOA Holiday in Jennings FL. The RV park is along side Interstate 75 not far from the Georgia boarder. Other than the road noise which I expected the park is much nicer than I anticipated. It will be a good place to stay until after the holiday weekend.

Site 22 at the Jennings KOA Holiday

Getting setup in the midday sun was even more sweat inducing than the packing this morning. I still have the usual day after arrival tasks to complete in the morning, but I got inside with the air conditioning going as quickly as I could. Travel days are always tiring and today was worse than normal. I should sleep well tonight.

Last Day in the St Augustine Area

Monday August 31st 2020

Today began as a cloudy day and got worse before it got better. Starting just before noon a line of storms started to pass through the area. They dumped a lot of water in a short period of time. By 3PM the sun was starting to burn through the clouds. It was sunny and dry before nightfall.

Blossom of the day

Tomorrow I’m moving on, so today I had a few errands to accomplish. First up was a visit to my mail service to pick up my accumulated mail. The packet of mail included my new registrations for the motorhome and car. I’d completed the transaction by internet and mail earlier in the month, but I needed the paperwork and sticker for the plate. I know have the proof that the vehicles legally registered. It is always easier to stop at the mail service to pick up the accumulated mail when I’m in the area. Finding post offices that accept General Delivery or another place to receive a package can be a challenge.

The second stop of the day was a Walmart. I needed to buy a new sewer hose. My current hose has developed a small leak in the middle of the fifteen foot “stinky slinky”. It seems like they only last a couple of years before something like a bird puts a hole in the plastic or the UV from the sun makes it brittle enough to break. I bought a cheaper lower grade hose this time around. I’m going to try to make the punctured hose into two smaller hoses.

I took the opportunity to stock up on groceries while at Walmart. This store was well stocked. It even had paper goods and cleaning supplies. There were a few gaps on the shelves, but nowhere near as many as I’ve seen at other Walmarts. They were also actively cleaning areas of the store. I saw four different teams cleaning displays, other cases and the floor in several areas of the store.

In the morning I’m packing up and moving inland. My next stop is for the period through the holiday weekend. I’m not sure of the quality of the campground or the things to do in the area, but it had openings over the holiday weekend. The reviews online were OK. I’m never sure how much to believe when reading reviews.

A Very Lazy Day

Sunday August 30th 2020

The day began with a few brief showers before the sun tried to find a hole in the clouds. By mid afternoon the clouds won the battle. As evening approached a tropical downpour passed through the area filling the drainage ditches.

Sun trying to find a break in the clouds over the St. Johns river.

My activity level mirrored the weather. During the morning showers I was inside reading, watching TV and surfing the internet. While the sun was trying to break through the clouds, I took a drive across the St. Johns river and north toward Jacksonville. Once it became apparent that heavy weather was moving in I headed back to my RV home. I beat the worst of the weather home.

In general it was a very lazy day.