Before leaving Florida in March, 2005, we made our reservations for the same site number at Rock Crusher Canyon RV Resort for the winter of 2006. More details about this trip will be listed as the actual departure date gets near. For now it looks like we will stay at Rock Crusher for about 10 weeks, then 2 weeks at Top Sail before heading home in mid April.
|December 10, 2005 - Saturday
I certainly hope the weather over the past 2 weeks is not indicative of the weather yet to come this winter. We have had 3 snowstorms already....the first 2 only amounted to two inches of snow each but the storm yesterday was a different story. In a matter of just a few hours the storm deposited a total accumulation of 8 inches of snow before moving off to the northeast. The daily high temperatures barely exceed the freezing mark and the overnight lows are going down into the high teens.
Diana and I have been busy getting prepared for the Christmas Holiday. Already Diana has baked 31 dozen cookies....yes 31 dozen!!! I've been busy the past 2 weeks doing a wood working project for our youngest son Jeff. He is in the process of totally remodeling his kitchen and has asked me to build new doors for the kitchen cabinets. Just this afternoon I finished the last of 22 doors.
Both Diana and I are beginning to think about our departure for Florida next month. Around the 12th of January I'll remove the cover from the motorhome, install the 3 batteries and drive it to our house to be further prepared for the trip. If all goes well and the weather cooperates I would expect to begin our journey south around January 19th.
|December 29, 2005 - Thursday
The weather the first 2 weeks of this month was extremely harsh with daily high temps around 32 degrees and with some overnight lows in the single digits. But, the temps the past week have been higher than average with some days going into the low 50's. We would be pleased if this weather trend continues for at least the next few weeks until we get on the road heading south.
Yesterday we went to Perkins Restaurant for breakfast and decided to stop by the motorhome to do a general inspection. I also took the engine battery and installed it rather than waiting for the cold weather to return. In a matter of 20 minutes the battery was installed and I turned the ignition key. Much to my delight the engine started without any hesitation what so ever. It's always reassuring when the engine starts so nicely after not running since October. A quick inspection of the living quarters showed everything to be in AOK condition. No signs of any uninvited guests such as bugs or mice. Around January 12th I will remove the storage cover and bring the motorhome to our house so we can begin final preparations for a January 19th departure. Weather conditions will dictate an earlier or later departure. I'm hoping we can simply leave on the 19th with fair skies. Time will tell.
|January 8, 2006 -
We are really getting excited about our trip as we continue to prepare the house for our departure in about 11 days. It was ten years ago today that the Philadelphia area was slammed with a blizzard that dropped 31+ inches of snow on the ground. Fortunately the temperature for today is expected to reach 46 degrees and a balmy 54 degrees tomorrow. I just watched the weather forecast and based on the long term predictions we should manage to leave before any threat of snow. In fact, it looks like daily temperatures will continue to be above normal for the 10 day forecast.
Tomorrow we will take the cover off the motorhome and drive it home. Within the next few days we should have the motorhome loaded and ready to go.
|January 19, 2006 -
As I type this update we are at Sleepy Bear's Campground, Lumberton, North Carolina. This campground is small and is just a stones through off I 95. This year they added free WiFi service which is a nice treat. The sites are ample size for an overnight stay, all roads and sites are hard level surface and the $27 fee includes electric, water and sewer, however, cable TV is not available.
To get here we had to depart our home at 4:30 am this morning and drive 522 miles. This trip does have some challenges and the traffic around Washington DC is at the top of the list. Stop and go traffic on I 495 just before the junction with I 95 resulted in a time delay of nearly 90 minutes. However, the most important thing during this trip is to arrive safely and we met that criteria today. After negotiating I 95 we arrived here at 4:45 pm which makes for a long day. Thankfully the weather was perfect the entire drive....no rain or snow and temps ranging from 28 degrees when we left home to 62 degrees when we arrived at the campground.
|January 20, 2006 -
TGIF !!! I had to do WITHOUT the assistance of Diana as my co-pilot and navigator today. Last evening she began to feel ill and overnight she acquired all the symptoms of the flu. By day break she was quite ill but she didn't want us to delay our travel plans so I had to drive solo while she cared for her illness. I'll be glad to have Diana back in the co-pilot seat tomorrow....hopefully she will be feeling better.
Our start time today was 7:20 am and by 2:15 pm we pulled into Inland Harbor Campground, Darien, Georgia at Exit 49 off I 95. The fee was $22 for one night and that included full hook up plus cable TV. Wi-Fi service was not available. This campground is easy access off I 95 and the road noise is minimal. The sites are narrow but level, paved and long enough that I did not need to unhook the car from the motorhome. I would return to this campground again. Also, just one half mile down the road there is an Outlet Mall.
The weather the past 2 days has been a vast improvement over what we experienced last winter heading south to Florida. Today here in Georgia it was 72 degrees and partly sunny when we arrived. Just perfect. The weather for our drive tomorrow is likewise expected to be in the high 70's with no precipitation.
Rebecca, our Miniature Schnauzer, is still traveling with us even after celebrating her 15th birthday last week. Her hearing is not good but she lives to eat. It breaks my heart to think that this will more than likely be her last trip to Florida with us.
|January 21, 2006 -
My co-pilot and navigator, Diana, was back in her seat again after her one day absence due to a bout with the flu. She is still not 100 % but feeling much better.
We left the campground at 8:00 am and arrived at Rock Crusher Canton RV Resort by 2:00 pm after a casual 225 mile drive. The weather was warm enough that we had to run the air conditioning in the motorhome. For about 65 miles of the trip we took Route 301 through central Florida. The roadway was very good with little traffic.
I'm pleased to report the entire 3 day drive went well with no abnormalities....a safe 1012 miles. Gas for the trip totaled $260 with prices at Flying J running $2.15 and $2.19 per gallon which is about 25 cents cheaper than we were paying at home when we left.
|January 25, 2006 -
The cable guy was here late yesterday afternoon to install the internet cable modem. It was about 6:30 pm when I started to attach the wireless router when I began to not feel so well. It seemed like within a few minutes I went from feeling OK to having chill and my entire body ached. It was that quick the flu bug got me. Seems like the symptoms are the same that Diana had earlier in the week. Last night at this time I was feeling miserable but now I'm already feeling much improved. After a good nights rest I should be back to feeling like myself tomorrow.
January 30, 2006 - Monday
A slow soaking rain started after midnight and has continued to fall till about 30 minutes ago, 9 am. The sound of the rain tapping on the motorhome roof is quite soothing and contributes to a peaceful nights sleep. This is the first rainfall we have had since arriving in Florida over a week ago. The wet weather is welcomed since Florida has been quite dry and precipitation levels have been below average.
Looks like the rain showers are going to continue off and on during today so the group bike ride scheduled for 10:30 am this morning will certainly be cancelled. So far Diana and I have taken two bike rides....the first was along the barge cannel path for 11 miles and yesterday we biked the path from Inverness to Hernado for a total of 12 miles. Before we leave in March I hoping we can accumulate a total of 250 miles.
It has been awhile since I've added some pictures to the website so I placing a collection of pics that include our campsite here at Rock Crusher Canyon, some of our friends and the fruit stand along the bike path.
|February 3, 2006 -
A spooky low grumbling sound could be heard. I struggled to wake up from a deep sleep and glanced at the clock to see a display of 3:45 am. Again I heard the grumbling sound and this time it was louder. The noise continued for the next 30 minutes until finally a flash of lightning could be seen and the clouds let go with a down pour of rain. For the next 3 hours it was a terrible non stop combination of lightning, thunder and rain. We were scheduled for a Manatee Boat Tour today but thanks to the foul weather the tour has been rescheduled for next Monday.
It looks like this storm pattern will continue for the remainder of the day so we have decided to go to the movie to see Big Mama's House II later this afternoon. Once we arrived at the Crystal River Regal Theater we change our minds and instead we saw Good Night and Good Luck.....the story or Edward R. Murrow. We were disappointed with the movie and would only give it a "C".
Right now it is 7:00 PM and the rain is creating a relentless din on the motorhome roof. The thunder has continued through the entire day since 4:00 AM this morning and the weather forecast calls for storms to continue through the night and into the early hours of tomorrow. Over eight inches of rain have fallen just today and the weather station said nearly 20% of the total average year's precipitation has fallen within the past 12 hours.
|February 10, 2006 -
The days have been flying by and I have been procrastinating an update to the website. The storm activity from last week was an endless display of lightning, thunder and nearly 12 inches of rain over a 30 hour period. Thankfully the clouds have gone but a cold front has been dominate for the past few days. The overnight lows are dipping into the mid 30's and the highs only reaching the high 60's. The chilly air has stopped us from taking any long bike rides.
On Monday of this week we enjoyed a boat ride with a group of 30 people from Rock Crusher Canyon Campground. For $13 a person the trip took us up the Crystal River into Kings Bay where we were able to see Manatee swimming in the wild.
|February 15, 2006 -
Hooray!!! After a few days of unseasonably cold weather the temps today returned to a very pleasant 72 degrees and clear blue skies. The future weather forecast is calling for daily highs in the upper 70's to low 80's.
Today we finally could take a bike ride on the 10 mile bike path along the canal by Inglis. This was our first bike ride in nearly two weeks. I should mention that the bright warm sunshine brought out the black snakes. We encountered 2 snakes on the trail today. In fact, Diana was so surprised by the one snake that she nearly crashed into me to avoid running over the snake. I was shocked by how fast the snakes can move. The one snake bolted faster than I could run and swerved through the foliage, up the hillside and out of sight in blinding speed. Tomorrow we will bike ride the trail from Inverness to Hornando with about 20 other people from the camp ground.
I continue to procrastinate on posting some recent pictures....I'll do my best to take the time to upload a few current pictures.
|March 10, 2006 -
Gosh, it's hard to believe it has been over 3 weeks since I last made an update to this website. We have been busy every day with all sorts of activities ranging from bingo, movies, bike riding, game playing, dining out and simply visiting friends here in the campground.
We have been having so much fun that we haven't been able to get chores completed around the motorhome. So this morning I washed the car while Diana did some basic house cleaning. Then I removed and cleaned all the screens while Diana cleaned windows.
Again, the next few days are already scheduled for a picnic tomorrow, a civil war reenactment on Sunday and a bike ride on Monday. One of these days I'll get some more pictures posted.
|March 11, 2006
Hooray.....I finally did it....loaded some pics from sunny Florida. The weather today is quite warn and humid and the long range forecast calls for more of the same. We badly need some rain though.
Later this afternoon we are going to a picnic at Don & Carrie's site and along with 5 or 6 other couples. I'm certain there will be lots of food, fun, games and laughter.
|March 12, 2006
Today, along with our friends Don & Carrie, we attended the 2006 Nature Coast Civil War Reenactment. The event takes place in a large field north of Crystal River on Route 19. Admission was $4 per adult and the actual battle begins at 2:00 PM and continues for about sixty minutes. What a spectacular day.
The weather was perfect, partly sunny, 86 degrees and a nice 10 mph breeze. We often thought about attending the Gettysburg Reenactment but was always discouraged because of the 100,000 plus people that converge on Gettysburg. This was not the here today. The crowd here amounted to perhaps 3000 people so this allowed us to have front row seats. We sat in lawn chairs less than 100 feet from the canons so by the time the event concluded we had more than our share of smoke and dust from the explosions. We truly felt like we were part of the battle engagement.
We ended a perfect day by attending the Ice Cream Social at the clubhouse at the campground. We have enjoyed our stay here even more than the previous years.
|March 17, 2006 -
Friday & Happy Saint Patrick's Day
Our stay her at Rock Crusher Campground is beginning to wind down and in just 5 days we will be on the road heading northwest into the Florida Panhandle for a nine night stay at Topsail Hill Campground. We will leave early next Wednesday and I expect to arrive Topsail after a 325 mile, 8 hour drive. I just checked the oil and transmission fluid in the motorhome in anticipation of our trip.
Earlier this week Dick stopped by and offered to help do some repairs on the motorhome generator. I told him he didn't have to help because it was going to be a hot and dirty job. But, he truly wanted to help and he insisted to be involved. Thankfully he did help because I was about to approach the problem in a totally different manner that would have been much more difficult and time consuming. We both crawled under the motorhome and quickly discovered a missing bolt on the exhaust system. A short drive to Ace Hardware and we had the parts needed and was able to repair the loose exhaust connection. I started the generator and it never ran so quietly. I was delighted and very appreciative for the help that Dick gave. Dick and Barb are two very nice people and we enjoy our many conversations with them. In fact, on our way home we will be meeting Dick and Barb again at James Island Campground in Charleston, South Carolina.
Right now I'm sitting outside the motorhome and the weather is marvelous. The weather could not be more perfect.....about 78 degrees, sunny and a deep blue sky. Actually a good all day soaking rain would be good because it has not rained since early February or about 6 weeks. The foliage has become very dry and the campground has issued a ban on all campfires.
This afternoon we have reservations at Peck's Old Port Cove Restaurant along with 6 other couples. If you like seafood be sure to put this restaurant on your list of "must do" places to eat. Their grouper is the best you will ever eat, large portions and very reasonable prices. All items on the menu end in 93 cents because the restaurant is located on the Gulf of Mexico ...9.3 miles from Route 19 by traveling on Ostello Trail.
|March 18, 2006 -
Oh my, these final days here at RCC are racing by. Today we spent about 1 hour starting to pack up the motorhome in preparation for our Wednesday departure. The weather continues to be unbelievably beautiful...around 80 degrees, sunny and low humidity. Tomorrow we have a 10 mile roundtrip bike ride form Inveness to Hernado with a stop at Sabrina's Dinner for breakfast. Don, Carrie, John and Sherry will be joining. Then tomorrow evening a gang of us will be going to the Gulf around 5:00 pm for a cookout on the beach and then watch the sunset.
|March 19, 2006 -
The bike ride this morning was great and the cookout at the beach this eveing was even better. Both activities include good food and fantastic friendship with folks we have met during our stay here at Rock Crusher. I hope the pictures below fairly represent the pretty sunset and the fun we had with the group of folks.
|March 20, 2006 -
Today was the first day of Spring but it felt more like the first day of Summer with the temperature reaching into the mid 80's and the humidity at 70%. This morning we took a 14 mile bike trip along with the group from the campground and it took every bit of our energy and stamina to complete the ride. The 15 mph head wind couple with the hot weather made the ride an extra challenge today. By the time we returned from the ride it was almost 2:00 pm and I still had to wash the awnings and continue to pack our "stuff" in the motorhome basement. While I completed these chores Diana ran to the laundromat.
After a quick dinner we went to Don & Carrie's campsite to enjoy Don serenading us on his electric guitar. He is a very accomplished musician and we all truly enjoyed every note he played.
This will more than likely be my last update to the website for now since I will disconnect the Brighthouse high speed cable modem tomorrow. As soon as I return home I will publish a journal and pictures from our next two destinations, Topsail Hill Campground and James Island Campground.
The time here at Rock Crusher Canyon has passed very quickly. Diana & I thoroughly enjoyed our stay and we had a most wonderful time visiting with our friends here at the campground. We made our reservations for next year and look forward to the return in the Winter of 2007.
|March 21, 2006 -
It was 2 months ago today that we arrived at Rock Crusher Canyon Campground and tomorrow we depart for Topsail Hill Campground. This morning I finished packing the motorhome basement and gave the outside a quick washing. While I did these chores Diana ran to the laundromat and finished a few more loads of clothing.
We joined up with Don & Carrie and went to Crackers for a farewell luncheon. They are fulltimers and they also will be returning to Rock Crusher for the Winter of 2007 also. We spent the rest of the day walking around wishing all our RV friends a fond farewell and safe travels till we see them again. This is a day filled with a mix of emotions. It's sad to say farewell to our friends here but it's exciting to thing about getting back on the road heading to a new destination. We are also somewhat homesick knowing that we will be home to see our kids and grandkids in 21 days from now.
No doubt we will go to bed earlier than usual because we will be getting up at 6:15 am tomorrow with plans to be on the road by 7:00 am. The drive to Topsail Hill Campground is about 325 miles. The price of gas was $2.21 a gallon when we first arrived here but over the past few weeks has jumped to $2.65. It beginning to look like prices will approach the $3 level by this summer !!
To read about the remainder of our trip please click on the Topsail Hill button in the upper left corner of this page.