Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sunshine What

Thunder, lightning, chance of tornadoes, followed by torrential rains, then the cold. If Florida doesn't straighten up soon, the tourist board is going to have to do something drastic. Who nicknamed this the Sunshine State?

Back in October, I was headed from New Hampshire to Florida. Let's see, I left Rye Beach, NH on October 17th.  On November 7th, I crossed into Florida.
October 2010

I guess that means it only took me 21 days to do a 1,359 mile trip. An average of 65 miles per day. According to my log book though, I drove 1 mile shy of 2,000 miles. That works out to 95 miles per day. Probably the only reason I did such high mileage per day, was because I had a 2 legged friend with me, who helped drive some for the first 11 days, when we did 1132 miles together. Wow, that works out to 103 miles per day average. We were really trucking along. 

I dropped him off at the Charlotte, North Carolina airport. That left me 535 miles to go to Orlando, Florida, but somehow I drove 867 miles getting there.
Cyprus Trees and Spanish Moss along the Edisto River at
Colleton State Park in South Carolina

Sure I have a beautiful Atlas now, that my friends bought me. But I get sidetracked by sheer beauty. Some of those miles were because I don't have any alternate transportation, so I was using my mini-motorhome to drive around and see some friends in the Greater Greenville area of South Carolina. 

I burned up a lot of miles, running around town trying to fix my rear brake lights and turn signals. That turned out to be quite the ordeal. I finally found the part I needed, where I least expected it. 

Filled with maps, history and suggestions for places to stop, the Edisto River Companion is an essential guide for those interested in experiencing one of the best of South Carolina's rivers.

Finally I got on the road again from Greenville, South Carolina on November 2nd. My log indicates I drove 97 miles just running around the Greenville area, most of it looking for RV parts. 

On November 7th, I clearly remember hitting the Florida state line. I had left a campground, well actually an RV Park,  on the edge of  Georgia near the Florida state line,  that seemed rather nice.  I was so tired, I was thinking of spending a second night there.  But the first night,  around 3 or 4 am, the dog and I were rudely awakened by someone banging on my motorhome!
I was parked here, at the end of the row, 
when someone came knocking loudly on my RV around 3-4am

I have no idea what that was about. 

But I armed myself with various weapons I won't describe for security reasons, turned on all the outside and inside lights and waited to see what happened next. I didn't pull up any shades, because I didn't want to reveal that I might be all alone with a tiny dog. The puppy was barking ferociously, clearly quite angry he had been awakened from his warm cozy bed in the wee hours of the night. This doggy sleeps a solid 10-12 hours per night.  Apparently, he can be rather cranky when his sleep is senselessly disturbed. 

Whoever or whatever it was, went away I guess. I was ready to pounce on my steering wheel horn, letting it blare and wake up the entire RV Park if need be.  They had parked me in the furthest spot, close to the highway but at the opposite end from the owners' home.

RV Camping in State Parks
I figured if I laid down on the horn, that might scare them away and draw a crowd, though I am sure my neighbors would not be amused to be awakened at such an odd hour by such unruly means. But I also suspect, they wouldn't like to think that someone was snooping around the RV park at night, checking to see if any campers or RV's were empty for perhaps nefarious purposes. 

So the next morning, even though I was dead tired, I packed up the motorhome, heading for the final leg of my southern journey.  Just the day before, a married woman, traveling with her husband and sad little dog, had asked me if I was scared to be on the road alone. I said well, no. I had run around the sea on boats alone,  spent much of my life traveling, working playing alone, not my choice, but hey, I know I'm an odd duck, and maybe potential suitors think me too wild for their tame life.  

When I finally got on the road, right at noon, it was gray and overcast. I planned to make it all the way to Orlando, if I felt up to it. But if not, I would stop somewhere along the way.  I was miffed about the interruption in the night. It had left me wide awake. So I was moving at reduced speed, in spite of the coffee.

The problem with drinking coffee and driving alone, is that I often need to make pit stops.  Coffee is something you rent, not buy.  Of course the doggy is thrilled, because even if I just pull over to use my own restroom, I always take him out for a walk, before we move along again. He of course loves any opportunity to go investigating new spots, leaving traces of his DNA behind. 

Incredibly, the very minute I crossed into Florida, the sunshine came out in full force. I burst out laughing. I was finally in the Sunshine State!  I put on some rock and roll to keep me awake, the sunshine gave me the energy to make it into Orlando the same day. 

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1 comment:

  1. I also get sidetracked by beauty. My Tom Tom hates me. :)


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