Friday, January 18, 2013

Back to Florida

After renting the big garage, I high tailed it to Nacogdoches, Texas, driving on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, so I could be at the Foretravel shop when it opened on Dec. 26th.  Well, even with the effort and hellacious tornado filled weather I had to drive thru in Lousiana, the coach was not ready.

I ended up sitting at Foretravel until after New Years, a few small things as well as the new Michelin tires I had purchased had not yet been installed.  Sigh....  10 days wasted again, just waiting.  Then, after having one of their 'service facilities' out in Oregon, and the factory repair center work on my slide noise 2x, the noise once again became evident after a day of driving.  I believe it is coming from the upper/forward slide pin mechanism...........a nasty metal to metal grinding sound.
                                  photos taken from inside... atop the slide while it is 'Retracted'.

Anyway, I drove to Ft. Pickens campground south of Pensacola for a brief visit with friends and hopefully, a rest.  My ex came out to visit the first evening, bringing a pizza and our little rat terrier Lady, to visit with my new pup-also a rat terrier- Pete.  They got along just great, after Lady lost her fear of  the big (15 lb.) Pete!

Ft. Pickens is really a nice spot to unwind if you enjoy a sandy environment and historical as well.  The Fort now there was built specifically for the Spanish American war of 1898, but forts have been on this strip of land since the earliest Spanish colonization of Florida.  The beach extends a mile or so west of the campground and lines the southern edge of the park for probably 15 miles along the Gulf of Mexico and beyond along the shores of Pensacola Beach, Navarre etc. moving East.  Both sides of the sandy spit is great for nature walks.  The bay side is my favorite.

While passing through Pensacola Beach, I noticed a Barth aluminum motorhome that has been restored.  It was on private property, so photos are from a distance.

The campground usually has room for more, so whether you have a 45'er or a tear drop trailer, there is space available.  Since it's a federal park, I received the discounted price of $10/night.  Great deal~!

A friend of mine from Vietnam days, Dave Barker(with ponytail) has a kayak business in Navarre, Fl. and was hosting an interesting visitor; Daniel Alvarez. Daniel(with shaved head) is an outdoors man to say the least.

  Having hiked many of our long US trails, including the Appalachian trail, he is now nearly completing an amazing Journey............and I have to capitalize that!
        Daniel (Octopus face) goofs around with a photo shoot as an octopus............Dave on the right.

Daniel is traveling by kayak from the Canadian border to the Dry Tortugas at the end of the Florida Keys.  I visited with them on his departure day, from the Navarre Marine Science Center, where he was explaining his adventure and answering questions for the teenagers involved in the center.  The teenagers, assist in training younger children in all things the concept of exploring America, it's history, it's environment, your life and your future, was very appealing.

For anyone wishing to follow the adventure:

Daniel and Dave prepare to launch their kayaks for a day of easting...  Dave paddled with Daniel to Fort Walton Beach, Florida..   but Daniel still had a long way to go, before getting to the Dry Tortugas/ and much of it 'Offshore'!

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