A few days ago, I outlined the tentative schedule for our trip west, and most of the driving days were around 250 miles or less. I said that would set the pace for the trip. Slow and easy.
We we were awake by 7:30 yesterday morning (what’s up with that?), and it was raining hard. Not the best way to start a travel day. I turned on the TV, and the weather report said it was a fast moving front that would be by us in an hour or so. Okay, no problem, I’ll just crawl back under the covers. Oh darn, Miss Terry already made the bed. I’ll settle for checking my e-mail. We piddled around for a while, and the rain stopped within about 90 minutes.
The tech at Cummins Coach Care came over to top off our coolant level, since it needed just a bit after he replaced the heater core the day before, and then I pulled around to the propane station and topped off our tank. By the time I paid the bill and thanked the nice folks there for their good work, we hit the road about 10:30, headed west.
Soon after we started out, it began raining again, but since there wasn’t much traffic and the roads were good, we decided to drive through it. The rain was mostly light, though a few times it really came down hard for a few minutes, and twice lighting lit up our world. But about noon we were out of it and driving under cloudy skies that eventually turned nice and blue.
We took U.S. Highway 27 west out of Ocala, picked up U.S. 19 at Fanning Springs, and followed it north about 60 miles to Perry, and then turned west again on U.S. 98, skirting the edge of Apalachee Bay. Most of the route was through forests, and we even saw some signs for bear crossing. Bears in Florida? Yes, the state best known for gators and pink flamingos, also has a healthy population of black bears. I thought that was just a really hairy fat guy in a Speedo at the swimming pool. Who knew?
If we ever stop traveling, I’d love a house with a view of the water. But maybe not this close. Folks around here have to erect sea walls to keep their homes form washing away in the storms that sometimes hit this area.
I guess it makes sense that anyplace around the water is going to have a lot of boat docks, and we saw many of them on our drive.
Even some for commercial fishing boats.
And you just know that where there’s water, there are bridges.
Lots of bridges.
I don’t like bridges, but these were manageable; they were high but short, so I just closed my eyes, hung onto the steering wheel, and drove over the top. Terry took pictures to show me what they looked like later.
We passed through Carabelle, home of the World’s Smallest Police Station. It’s true, at one time the town cop just parked next to this phone booth, and if you needed him, you called. These days they have a real police station, but they kept the phone booth, as a reminder of simpler times.
We had originally planned to stop at Mexico Beach, a nice little touristy beach town, with pretty views and a nice beach, but we had crossed a time zone and picked up an hour, so it was still early. We decided to just keep driving.
And that’s what I did. I drove.
And drove, and drove, and before I knew it, it was getting dark and we were in Alabama. I don’t see well in the dark, and it was past time for us to get off the road. I turned the wheel over to Terry, and she drove the last 25 miles or so. We pulled into the Escapees Rainbow Plantation campground in Summerdale about 6:30 local time, and since the office was closed, I took a night registration slip and we backed into the last 50 amp full hookup site they had available. I don’t like arriving at a campground after dark, but using a flashlight, Terry got me backed into our site with no problem.
We broke three of our own rules yesterday – we drove in rain, we drove past dark, and we covered a little over 425 miles. Yeah, I know, save the lecture.
The good news is, we know some great seafood restaurants in this area, and since we arrived a day early, we get to go to one more!
Thought For The Day – I’m young at heart, but I’m considerably older in several other places.
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Been a long, long time since I did 450 miles. Be safe my friends.
If there is one thing we know about Nick, it is that he loves to drive. And drive.
I was hoping y’all would decide on the SKPs park. I saw a big rig come in last night after dark and I had my fingers Xd that it was y’all. Can’t wait to see ‘all.
We love the old Police Station. But where did they take their prisoners? To A REST STOP!!!! Get it? ARREST STOP!!
All that driving sounds like something we would do. And I must admit the bear signs here in Florida kind of surprised me too–bears on my porch in Montana, yes–but in Florida??
Hey Nick go to the pharmacy in Foley they have a soda fountain that is interesting to see and they make great soda’s. I love that area
I love the tiny police station – what a hoot!
Ok now, Nick,
you keeping talking about all these great restaurants, but I can’t find a list.
OHHHH, and I forgot, the sign shows some what of a strange looking bear, But I did see 1 in Ocala NF, and that’s about how they look.
Every time I read your blog I gain five pounds. Stop it or I’ll look like a bear in a Speedo! Well, I DO shave! 🙂
No lectures but I would like to share our own little mantra about our travels. Whenever anyone asks where, when, what route, or how long…. we always tell them “Our house is on wheels & our plans are written in jello”. That usually gets a chuckle from most people & knowing nods from fellow RVers. So happy travels with lots of jello on the way.
A must lunch at Tin Top Restaurant Bon Secur, the Cuban sandwich is terrific.
Agean Breeze, a small greek restaurant in Gulf Breeze, has the best greek food and appetizers.
Foley Coffee Shop for a great and inexpensive breakfast on Rte. 59 is great too!
Water on the left.
Land on the right.
Yep,your headed in the right direction at least!
The one and only time we did 400 plus miles,I had to take an extra day off to unwind!
Two places we really enjoyed eating at were the Shrimp Basket, in Foley and other locations, and of course Lamberts Cafe. We stopped at an ice cream place called Shakes, which is in Foley, just around the corner from the campground Anchors Aweigh. They had “concrete” shakes which were to very delicious! Have fun!
When we lived in Florida and were headed west we always stopped at the SKP resort in Alabama. Nice place and great people – it’s a no brainer! Only problem is, as you discovered, it’s a long day! People don’t think about how darn long Florida is. Have a little bbq for me!