Nov 062012

Yesterday started out bad, but it ended very well, so I guess it was a good day after all. But man, that bad part sucked!

When we parked at Seasons in the Sun RV Resort a few days ago, I parked about one inch too close to the campground’s power pedestal, which meant I couldn’t fully open my electrical bay door. But I didn’t realize that until I was parked and leveled up. Yesterday, when we were getting ready to leave, I was trying to feed the heavy 50 amp power cord through the access hole in the bottom of the bay with one hand and holding the door open with the other, and the darned door slammed shut, pinching my thumb at the first joint. Ouch! I couldn’t decide which to do first, scream or wet my pants! Nothing was broken, but it hurt like hell.

Back inside the motorhome with that painful interlude out of the way, I tried to turn on the small Acer netbook computer that I use to run my Silverleaf engine monitor program and it wouldn’t boot up. At first I thought something was wrong with the computer, but then realized that I was only getting 90 volts out of my electrical outlets running off the inverter. Since we had been plugged into 50 amp for four days, I don’t know if the problem is in the inverter or the house batteries. Where is Greg White when I need him?

We left the campground at 10:30 and headed south on Interstate 95, which was one long construction zone after another for the next 92 miles. We stopped near Fort Pierce to top off our fuel tank because I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to get diesel in the Keys. Then we got on the Florida Turnpike and followed it south and around the Miami metropolitan area. There was a lot of traffic, but we moved right along.

Since we don’t have a SunPass, I expected to pay cash at the numerous toll booths, but as it turns out, Florida doesn’t accept cash. Instead they photograph your license plate and send you a bill, plus a $2.50 administrative fee. I have no idea what the total bill will be, but it won’t be cheap. Now I know why a friend told me he goes out of his way to avoid the turnpike tolls.

Eventually we got onto U.S. Highway 1, the Overseas Highway, and took it onto the Keys, a chain of small islands that stretch over 100 miles to Key West. For most of the way, the highway is a two lane road, with an occasional passing lane.

US 1

US 1 two lane

We were surprised on our first visit to the Keys a few years ago, to discover that even though we were on islands, there were not a lot of views of the water for the first 50 miles or so. Most of the way the road was lined by trees, or else long lines of business and tacky tourist traps.

US 1 four

US 1 three

And boat shops. Lots and lots of boat shops. I think the boats outnumber the people down here. If I lived in Florida I’d have a boat or two myself, in addition to our Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks.

Boat yard

Boat yard 2

But occasionally we did get a pretty view like this.


Or of wide expanses of water and occasional small islands.

Water view

And, of course, bridges. Lots and lots of bridges. Most were short and low and didn’t bother me. But a couple were longer and higher.

bridge 2


Terry calls this my “driving over the bridge look.” Don’t I look like I’m having fun?

NIck on bridge

This GPS screen shot shows all of the water around us.


We didn’t know how far we’d travel, but we made good time and didn’t feel like stopping, so we kept on rolling, and 320 miles after we started, we stopped for the night at Jolly Roger, a Passport America campground on Marathon Key. I don’t think we’ve ever received a more friendly welcome anywhere. Debbie came out to greet us, then led us to our pull-through 50 amp full hookup site. The campground is right on the water, and if we didn’t already have reservations another 25 miles down the road, I’d stay right here.

Once we were parked and hooked up, we jumped in the Explorer and drove another 10 miles down the road to Keys Fisheries, a wonderful seafood restaurant and fish market we discovered when we were in this area the last time.

In addition to delicious food, they have a school of huge tarpon who hang out at the waterside restaurant, and you can feed them raw fish while you wait for yours to be cooked. As the sky darkened and we enjoyed our dinner at an open air table, with Jimmy Buffet music playing in the background, I looked over at my pretty lady and decided that yeah, it was a good day after all.

Thought For The Day – Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes.

Check Out Nick’s E-Books In Our E-Book Store

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  13 Responses to “A Bad Start That Ended Well”

  1. Careful Nick, I lost the end of my left index finger the same way last year. The struts failed on a cold day and caught me at the very top of the bay door in a scissor action.

  2. Re: Today’s Thought For The Day — looks like Mother Nature is working on that.

  3. Oops, not a good choice for your “thought for the day”. Kind of insensitive. IMHO

  4. I thought you were headed to “South” Florida but according to the picture on your GPS you must be going “North” with the Gulf on the left!!

  5. That same thing haoppened to me once!

  6. Make sure you check out Pigeon Key – be a great story for your paper. Also try the Castaway and the Wooden Spoon both on Marathon Key. Great place to visit – We might spend a winter there ourselves one of these days.

  7. Rick and Sandy, that was a poor choice of thought for the day, and I obviously was not connecting one with the other. I have changed it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  8. sorry about your finger, hope Terry gave it a get better kiss, it always made my kids owies feel better. Last person we knew who had a bin fall on him ended up with 13 staples in his head. be safe

  9. Hope your finger is feeling better today and thanks for the name of the park you stayed in. We plan on being down that way in February so maybe I’ll make some reservations now. Stay safe!!

  10. At least you didn’t hit your head moving the wrong way when you hurt your hand so you are not as much of a klutz as I am. We quickly learned to get a Sunpass when we spent last winter in southern Florida and I think it paid for itself. We got the fancy suction cup version so we could move it between the car and motorhome.

  11. Seems Greg has a problem that even he can not fix. At least you are still going down the road.

  12. Good luck on the toll charges. We had a similar experience going around part of Denver a couple of years ago going from I-70 to I-25. There was no toll booth and if you didn’t have their toll pass they just took a picture of your vehicle plates. We received a bill about a month later and charges were just over $25. Guess if they don’t have to look you eye to eye they don’t feel bad about charging you a high fee. We haven’t used that toll road since.

  13. Make sure you have breakfast at Blue Heaven in Key West. It is our favorite place for breakfast. You sit outside under sails stretched between trees with chickens running around under your feet. Their breakfasts are served with the best banana bread I have ever tasted.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.