Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, April 29, 2011

A gray cloudy day

Thursday, April 28th            in rainy Florida

Long high Toll Bridges over the water, long tunnels under the water, scenic Coastal Highways and Interstates. I took my coach on all of these routes. And throw in a washboard road to keep me alert.

I am surprised the driving and backing up are easier than what I thought it would be.  I am getting used to using the side mirrors, I really think that the driving course is the reason I feel better about driving the coach around. I keep repeating some of the phrases from the instructor to help me remember what to do.  I don't like being navigator and driver at the same time.  The GPS is a big help, but I sometimes have to pull over and look over notes or maps. The GPS doesn't show the whole picture,  just where you are and what your next move is.

Lazydays started me out with 7/8 tank of gas. I have been filling up when its at a half tank, this also gives me a chance to figure out where I am heading next.

I needed to get moving on my trek back to Illinois. I decided to stop in Carrabelle Beach, FL for lunch (in the coach) and then stop for the night at Panama City Beach.  I was following the route along the coast, it added extra miles, but I wanted to stop along the shore.

I have a NOAA weather band on the cab stereo, and it starting beeping and giving a warning when I was in Perry, FL.  I pulled over into a truck stop and parked and waited out the storm. High winds, lightning and hail were coming through the area.  There were dark, heavy clouds and wind but no rain or hail where I was. The cab radio has a switch to run it off the house batteries, so I kept it on the NOAA band. When I got the all clear, I continued on.  I did hit some rain along the way, but it was scattered.

There was hardly anyone on Carrabelle Beach, and I soon found out why. As I walked along the shore, I saw what appears to be remnants of the BP oil spill. Or its a very dirty beach.  A few people sat on the benches to feed the birds. One couple was sitting in lounge chairs on the sand, but no one else was there. There was a very packed RV park just across the road, too crowded for me.

I continued on to Panama City Beach, lots of motorcycles on the road. I found out that a bikers rally was going on near the campground I had chosen. Too many people, too crowded for me. Thousands of bikes and people everywhere, waiting in lines and walking around. Even the Walmart parking lot was crowded with RV's and trailers.

I found another campground in the next town. After a phone call, I was given directions and a site number and was told someone would meet me at the site. I found it down a road just off the highway, a nice wooded park. It advertised river and bay access, I didn't see any water, maybe it was beyond the trees. I pulled into the site and waited. It appeared that they had long term residents in some of the sites. No one came to meet me. The site next to mine had a pile of shoes and clothes (I'm thinking homeless person), no sign of a tent or camper in that sight.  I didn't like the looks of things and left. I pulled into a gas station to find another park in the next town.

I ended up at Geronimo RV Resort in Destin, FL on the Emerald Coast of Florida, a 2 block walk to the beaches.  It was a newer park, very clean, nice owners - but not the type of place I would usually want to park. It was basically a parking lot. I was going to walk to the beach after I got setup, but the wind picked up and it got cool out.  I sat down to read and research my route for the next day, and fell asleep until morning.  I woke up to 59* and decided against walking to the beach.

This area is too built up and too commercialized, where are the nice quiet beaches to walk along. I think I will have to stay with the lazy rivers and forget about the beaches.


  1. Sounds like you & the coach are having a fine time getting to know each other. Maybe one day you can head for the Southwest's wide open spaces where you won't have all that crowding, congestion & commercialism. Keep on truckin:))

  2. Panama City is crowded on a slow day, but it & Destin are usually noted for nice beaches. You should be heading north soon, are you going up through MS & TN and then into Il. Have a great trip it sounds like you are taking your time and being cautious with the new coach, Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  3. Glad to hear you excercised the right to move on if a placce doesn't seem comfortable. I've done that a few times and never regretted it.

    I hear you about the crowds. It's one of the reasons I volunteer at NWRs.

  4. Sounds like you are doing everything right. I'm sorry you're experiencing the crowds, that's not what we're looking for, is it? But isn't it fun getting to know your coach?

  5. Nice to see you moving along. You are discovering what some of us in the RV world have figured out. Sometimes it's just a parking lot, and those wide open beautiful park like spaces are few and far between. It's why we all read the blogs and try to figure out where we want to be next. It's hard to avoid the crowds all the time unless you are where no one else wants to be. It's true, the west is a lot more open than the east, but even so, it depends on where you are.

  6. When I first got my coach I began researching beaches that allowed rv camping very near or on the beach. I have yet to find a book that will give me that info. There are some books that are sold which will give you details of where beaches will allow parking but they are specific to a state. I want a book that reflects all coastal states and their beaches. So I thought about writing one myself. This is one of my themes that I will keep in mind in my travels.

    I have a favorite quote that says it all for me.

    The beach... makes pointless a rush to somewhere else and creates an overwhelming suspicion that there is nowhere else.

  7. All I think is that you are one courageous individual. Navigating and driving. RVing alone. What an adventure! I like your technology especially for telling you what's ahead weatherwise. Take care...

  8. You sound like you are doing well on finding where to stay. I would probably have just locked the door and gone to sleep rather than moving along.


Hi, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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It is the sandstorm that shape the stone statues of the Desert. It is the struggles of Life that form a person's character ~ Native American Proverb