Friday December 28th 2018
Today was a travel day to Wimauma FL home of the Little Manatee River State Park. It is located off of US301 between Bradenton and Tampa. I took my time getting ready to travel this morning and this time it worked. By the time I was ready to leave it was 12:15. Other times my attempt to slow roll the departure has resulted in an early departure.
The first event of the travel day was filling the gas tank. It always seems to be a bit of an adventure getting gas in the motorhome. Today I had to wait for two cars to get out the way before I could reach the pumps. Drivers of cars just don’t understand the issues driving a big RV in the narrow spaces of a gas station. Just as I was starting my turn into the last line of pumps a car came in from the other direction and blocked my path. There were plenty of other pumps he could have used, but not my big rig. He was followed shortly by another car while I had to sit in the middle of the area perpendicular to the pumps waiting for them to finish pumping. It wasn’t malicious or rude behavior on the other guys part. They just don’t understand the issues driving a big vehicle.
Back on the highway after filling the tank, I saw another instance of unaware driving. I was in stop and go traffic for a few miles through a construction zone. To maintain a safe stopping distance I have to leave extra space between my RV and the car ahead. Impatient lane switching drivers see that as a great space to jump into. They don’t understand the risk they are taking if I had to stop hard before I re-established the space between vehicles. Big motorhomes don’t stop as fast as a passenger car.
With all the traffic, I arrived at the Little Manatee River State Park around 1:45PM. The campground is deep within the park. I had to drive over three miles on a narrow winding road after checking in at the ranger station. Traffic wasn’t heavy, but I still managed to have a couple of pickup trucks waiting to get by as I disconnected the towed car and backed into my site. They only had a couple of minutes to wait, but I have to force myself to take my time and be careful. My mirrors and backup camera only go so far. I have to get out and walk around the RV more than once to be sure I’m not going to hit anything. Today I had the added concern of the low hanging Spanish Moss on the trees above my campsite. I’m going to have to get up on the roof and remove some moss caught on my satellite dish.
It was warm and very humid this afternoon. I worked up a good sweat getting setup. The temperature is above normal in the low eighties for the next few days. After I got setup and cooled down, I took a hike down to the river and built up a sweat again.