Run Nicky, Run!

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Oct 052016

Last year when I wrote in the blog that we were looking for a place to buy in Florida to serve as our winter base and fulltime home if we ever hang up the keys, somebody asked why we would want to live in a place where they have hurricanes. My reply was that everyplace has something, be it tornadoes, earthquakes, or whatever. But tornadoes and earthquakes can come out of nowhere. At least hurricanes have the courtesy to let you know well in advance that they may come calling.

We have been hanging out in the Daytona Beach area, and when the weatherman started talking about Hurricane Matthew possibly heading north, we began monitoring the situation very closely. At first it looked like it would stay out to sea and the most we might get would be some heavy rain. But Monday night they started saying that the storm’s course was changing and it might come up the coast. Terry and I had already decided that if it looked like that was going to happen, we were going to make a run for it and get out of Dodge. Or at least out of Daytona.

When we woke up yesterday morning, the news said the storm’s path had changed and they were announcing a hurricane warning for our area, with expectations that it would hit sometime late Thursday or Friday. That’s all we needed to know. I went to the office at the campground, told them we were leaving, and that we would return when things had stabilized. We had no intention of waiting until the last minute and being stuck in a massive traffic jam as everybody tried to evacuate at once.

While we were getting the motorhome ready to go, a gentleman came by and asked why we were leaving. I told him it was because I didn’t particularly want to ride out a hurricane in an RV. He told me he and his wife have a travel trailer, and that they are paid up until Wednesday of next week, so he was going to stay. I suggest that might not be a good idea, but his response was, “I paid for my site and I’m not leaving.” Well, good luck to you, then.

I thought he was the most unwise person I was going to hear from all day, but I was wrong. Somebody else sent me an email saying they were headed for the Keys because they had a two week reservation at Sunshine Key and did not want to lose their deposit. I’m thinking I’d rather lose a few bucks of a deposit than to lose my life, but that’s just me.

Terry and I were on the road shortly after noon and drove 280 miles west to a Passport America park in Quincy, about 20 miles west of Tallahassee. It’s nothing fancy, just pull through sites in a grassy field with full hookups, but we have good cell service and my satellite dish is working fine, so we can keep track of the weather. We plan to stay here until the coast is clear, then we’ll head back where we came from, assuming that there isn’t a lot of damage in the area and electrical power and water are not impacted.

In one of those small world occurrences that happen more often than you would think, while we were hooking up our utilities here in Quincy a fellow from a motorhome parked next to us came by walking his dog and we chatted for a few minutes. He was wearing a baseball cap indicating he was a retired Army First Sergeant and I thanked him for his service and we talked about the military for a moment or two. As it turns out his name is Jack Wheeldon and we were in the same unit back in the early 1970s when we were both NCOs stationed at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

After we were set up and had a little time to catch our breath, Jack and his wife Cindy came over for a visit and we talked about old times, compared notes on different guys we had served with, and talked about some of the crazy things that happened back in the day.

At that time, I ran the rifle range and I wasn’t on the main base every day. But one time when I did go in, my Springer Spaniel took it upon herself to take a dump right in the doorway of his office. He asked what I planned to do about that, and I said I planned to clean it up. His reply was, “Damned right you will” and then said something about wishing us “hillbillies” who spent our time on the rifle ranges would stay out of town. We had a good laugh recalling that incident. It was great to see Jack and Cindy and to renew acquaintances.

Before I close for the day, I want to wish my buddy Greg White a happy birthday. I wish we were there to share the day with you and Jan, but I’m sure you’ll managed to get into some mischief even without my assistance. I love you, brother.

Greg White

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  13 Responses to “Run Nicky, Run!”

  1. You are a wise man, Nick…getting out while you could, even if not needed!! We are a bit concerned about our kids in central NC…but usually you might loose power, but it rarely does much damage inland that far. So we hope they too make the best decisions!!

  2. Very wise decision you two have made. Once, there was a ” tropical storm” in the carolinas. At the time, we were in a mobile home, thinking all would be okay. That storm turned a little during the night and really changed things up, becoming worse.

    It was horrible to go through all night long, and the next day we were wiped out because of no sleep and all that stress. Just listening to the storm pounding us all night long and shaking the trailer was so frightening. NEVER AGAIN!

    We both agreed that even at the slightest hint of bad weather like that, we are outta there! We move on, have a nice peaceful rest, and a good time enjoying each other.

    Glad to know that you both did the right thing.

  3. Choosing to sit in a travel trailer in the path of a hurricane reminds me of the well known saying “you just can’t fix stupid”

  4. Glad you got out early. We stayed at that park last spring. Not a bad place.
    Our daughter and her family live in St. Augustine. I hope they leave town early as well.

  5. I seem to remember someone asking about parking an RV during a hurricane … I think the intention was to determine positioning based on the direction of the wind during the storm. I recall the answer being something along the lines of, ” During a hurricaine in Florida, the best way to park your RV is in Michigan.” Could that answer have been YOURS?

    Sensible fellow. Hope those folks who stay make out all right. We would have been right behind you!

  6. Happy Birthday Greg White!!!

  7. I sure miss my RVing days and all the friends that I met over almost 20 years. I would be back on the road in a heartbeat if I could find someone that I got along with to help with the drive and enjoy the ride. I like your thinking about the hurricane a lot of people will stay and ride it out so hope it isn’t as bad as it has been on the way up.

  8. We’re in the Ho Hum RV Park in Carrabelle out on the panhandle for the same reason your in Quincy, waiting to see what Matthew has in store for us. What’s the rush and what’s a few bucks compared to ?? Bob

  9. We have a granddaughter who lives in Jupiter along with her husband and our 4 month old great grandson, they are also enroute to the Panhandle tonight, they are going to Destin where our daughter lives. So, appears people are making the right decisions because this storm could wind up doing a lot of damage on the east coast of Florida. Best of luck to all you who are trying to stay out of Matthews path!

  10. Several yrs ago, we were in a camping group and were scheduled for a beautiful campground in Loveland, Co when we had a freak storm causing major flooding of the river right outside this park. It wiped out the park. Although the campground said they would refund our money, everyone of us turned them down and told them to keep it to help rebuild. I am glad to say they have rebuilt and continue to operate. So I believe in paying it forward.

  11. I am not surprised you moved quickly out of harm’s way. I suspect you also have full fuel and fresh water tanks and empty holding tanks to keep you through the storm. You will live to write about the upcoming mess. ((( HUGS)))

  12. We will give you a report after Matthew passes us. We are at TTO in Clermont. If you don’t get a reply soon, remember that we always had a great adventure in our travels. Roy & Jean

  13. Isn’t that why we live in a home on wheels? So we can go wherever it is more comfortable and safe?

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