We Are Home!

 Posted by at 12:36 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 042016

Well, actually we’re at the place that will soon be our new legal “home” at the Escapees Sumter Oaks RV park in Bushnell, Florida. But we have stayed here so many times over the years, and so many members of our Escapees extended family are here that it almost feels like coming home.

When we left the Elks lodge in Perry yesterday morning about 10 o’clock there was a heavy cloud cover and a stiff breeze blowing. For the first 20 miles or so it kind of bounced us around as we motored south on US Highway 19, but then the wind eased up a bit and the ride became much smoother.

According to the National Speed Trap Exchange website, both Perry and the small town of Chiefland, 65 miles south, are known to be, shall we say “overaggressive” in terms of how many traffic tickets they write on a monthly basis. And sure enough, going through both towns I saw several police cars right where the website said to expect them. I was careful to keep my speed two or three miles below the posted limit at all times.

At Chiefland we turned southeast on US Highway 27 Alternate and followed it for 48 miles to Ocala, where we picked up Interstate 75 and took it south another 58 miles through an endless construction zone. There was a lot of traffic and the road wasn’t very smooth for much of the distance.

We arrived at the Escapees campground about 1:15 PM and as we got out of the motorhome to unhook the Explorer from the tow bar our friend Wallace Lewis stopped to say hello and welcome us on his way out to run some errands. The office was closed for lunch, but by the time we got the tow bar unhooked and the cable stowed away they were back, and Wanda, Wallace’s wife, greeted us with hugs.

The campground is packed and I’m glad I called ahead to reserve a site. We ended up in a pull through 30 amp full hookup site and it was a little iffy getting my rooftop satellite TV dish to lock onto a signal due to a couple of trees right next to us, and I had to move back a foot or two to get a shot between them. But eventually the dish found the satellites and we were good to go.

About then blog readers Robert and Ann John came over to introduce themselves and we chatted for a few minutes. They are new to the fulltime lifestyle and we hope to get some time to visit with them while we’re here. Several other Escapees stopped by to say hello, but I’m afraid my memory isn’t as good as it should be, so I can’t give you everybody’s names.

One downside here, which we’ve experienced before at this campground and others in Florida is that there are a lot of ants. Some are just the pesky little critters that crawl around and get into everything, but there are also fire ants, and if you’ve never experienced them, make it a point not to. Those nasty little buggers like to bite, and if one of them ever latches onto you you’ll know why they call them fire ants.

By the time we had everything hooked up we were starving, so I called our buddy Al Hesselbart and asked him if he wanted to meet us at the Beef O’Bradys in Bushnell for dinner. Al was just wrapping up a jam session in nearby Webster and he said he would meet us there.

On our way out of the campground we saw Phil and Cynthia Devonshire sitting under their awning and stopped long enough for Phil to come over and chew the fat with us for a minute or two. I’m sure we’ll see more of them while we’re here

Al was waiting for us by the time we got to the restaurant and it was good to see our old friend again. And any time I’m talking about Al the emphasis is on old. Before he retired he was the historian of the RV Museum in Elkhart, Indiana and Al is the industry’s recognized expert when it comes to antique RVs. I think that’s because he’s been around so long that he was there when they were brand-new and just coming off the assembly line. We had a nice dinner and enjoyed catching up on what’s been going on since we last saw him a year ago.

After a quick stop at WalMart we came home and had a quiet evening relaxing after two days of being on the road. I’m not sure what’s on the agenda for today. We should have some mail waiting for us in Bushnell, and I want to stop at the county tax assessor’s office and ask a couple of questions in preparation for switching our legal domicile to here in Florida. And Miss Terry’s been talking about wanting to make some bread. But first we plan to sleep in. We have to make up for getting up early two days in a row.

It’s Thursday, and time to kick off a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Chesapeake 1880 by my friend Ken Rossignol, a tale of life in the Chesapeake Bay region as the industrial revolution changed the world forever. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.


Thought For The Day How can I trust you when you run away every time I untie you?

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Nick Russell

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

  5 Responses to “We Are Home!”

  1. Glad to see you made it home. Just a little side note: I read your blog yesterday about you stopping at the Perry Elk’s Lodge in Perry, Florida. Shortly after reading your blog I was reading a news story on the internet about a Bonnie and Clyde team on a crime spree and they had just robbed a McDonalds store and kidnapped several people in Perry, Florida. I have been to Florida numerous times and had never heard of Perry, Florida. I don’t know how big Perry is, but if you had known about the crime spree would you have still stayed there or would you have just said your prayers and gone to sleep?

  2. Joe, that was in Perry, Georgia, not Perry, Florida. And yes, I had read about them, and yes, I’d have still stayed there. Trust me, I’ve got more of anything they might have with them if they come knocking on my door, and have enough training and real world experience to know how to use it. And mine’s bigger, too! 🙂

  3. Nick is in Florida. It’s going to be 49 tonight in Titusville, FL.
    Is it a coincidence? I think NOT.

  4. Nick and Terri with the Zika virus being reported in Florida do you plan to stay or turn around and go back to Arizona or someplace safe? My husband and I booked January – March in Naples but we canceled them and are leaving for Texas tomorrow. It’s going to cost us 50% of what we paid for the season but we don’t care. I’d rather be alive and broke than dead and have money in my bank account. Friends here say we are overreacting. What’s your take on it?

  5. Roy and Jan,
    You have much more chance of dying in a traffic accident on your way to Texas than you do of being infected by Zika.

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