2021 is behind us.
We upped it by 2 for a total of 24 trips.
And as you can see, we made it a little further. Since August in a new Class A RV. Now on to 2022 and let the good times roll.
January 14, 2022, to January 19, 2022
We are starting 2022 by going to New Orleans. We stayed at the Bayou Segnette State Park. Driving there took us straight through New Orleans and we were greeted by Ceasars Superdome. Even though it was nice and sunny, I was immediately reminded of the gray and dirt of Gary, IN. Damage from Hurricane Ida is still visible. And a drive through the French Quarter while pretty cool, can be a little depressing. I for sure was not prepared for the parking situation. They charge you an arm and a leg for parking. Lokai once again caught everyone’s attention while walking through the French Quarter. Charlene finally tried some local (sea) food. Maybe there is hope. We drove across Lake Ponchatrain and enjoyed some sunny hours on the other side. We have to come back to visit some of the cemeteries and a tour of the swamps. On our way back we stopped at the Tampa RV show. I have never seen this place this busy. And we stopped by on a Thursday. Crazy. Char now has 3 rigs on the shortlist.
January 28, 2022, to January 30, 2022
How to describe this trip? Cold, cramped campground, beautiful sunset on the lake.
We have to come back when it’s warmer. The area around Eustis, Mount Dora is just beautiful. Charlene roamed a big fleamarket on Saturday. And she met some Youtubers that we follow at the campground. Thank God the campground was part of Thousand Trails. I know there are people that like this kind of place. Not us. Did I mention that it was cold?
Istokpoga Canal, FL
February 11, 2022, to February 13, 2022
Our first real dry camping experience. Istokpoga Canal Campground is part of the SWFL Water Management District. You can camp for free, but you need a permit/reservation. The canal is perfect for kayaking even though you can’t get directly to the lake. The fire pits and picnic tables were of better quality than most paid campgrounds we have been to. We did learn that we need better batteries and more solar panels and that there are only a few days during January/February in Florida cool enough to stay in an RV without using the A/C. But the generator worked just fine. I think it’s safe to say that we will do more boondocking in the future. The people we met were great too. We even had dinner with one of the neighbors. We will be on the lookout for junior.
Florence Marina State Park, GA
February 25, 2022, to March 02, 2022
Our first trip with our new 2022 Ford Maverick Hybrid. We went to stay at Florence Marina State Park to explore Providence Canyon, State Park. Georgia’s mini version of the Grand Canyon. Still impressive though. Pretty much man-made due to farming mistakes done in the early 1800s. Charlene wore herself out by exploring the outer rim and Lokai and I went down the canyon and hiked it twice over the week. The shorter trail is just 2 1/2 miles long and on the easy side. I think we should make it a mission to find and visit all the mini canyons in the USA. There seem to be quite a few. Location wise this place is in the middle of nowhere. The next grocery store was 35 minutes away. A trip for the memory book.
March 11, 2022, to March 13, 2022
Cypress Glen Campground at Silver Lake, FL
What is with the weather this year? It got way too cold and windy on Saturday to go kayaking. We still enjoyed a little hiking and some good food. It went down to 33F during the night to Sunday morning. Hopefully the last cold spell.
March 25, 2022, to March 27, 2022
Withlacoochee River Park
Nice little campground in the woods near Dade City. It was slightly overcrowded with caterpillars. Some moth. They were everywhere. Could this be our last trip as part-timers? Will see I guess.
April 13, 2022, to April 27, 2022
Riverside RV Park
Well, yes we are full-timing it now. The house is sold. We are moving on.
And with that, we finished our first 2 weeks as full-timers. We stayed close by at Riverside. The commute to work was only 10 more minutes. The RV is a little cluttered from all the extra stuff. We are slowly but steadily working on getting that sorted out. Getting pretty good at it.
April 27, 2022, to May 08, 2022
Torrey Oaks RV Resort
63 miles one-way trip to work. I think we will get something closer to work before buying into a resort this far away. It’s quiet and laid-back here for sure. Maybe a little too quiet for Charlene’s taste. At least that was her initial thought. She has warmed up to the place and now wants to come back. Unfortunately, there is nothing available. Oh well, the local Walmart doesn’t even carry the dog food Lokai usually eats. One thing Is for sure though. From now on we will leave Florida before the love bugs come out. They are annoying. Some of the best Mexican Street Food nearby. Something to keep in mind. 🙂
May 08, 2022, to May 11, 2022
Highlands Hammock State Park
Just a little relaxing stopover before meeting up with my parents. Saw some deer.
May 11, 2022, to May 25, 2022
Ramblers Rest, Venice, FL
Two weeks at Ramblers Rest are behind us. After setting up and unloading the truck in record time I headed to Fort Myers to pick up my parents from the airport. They will be staying with us for the next 6 weeks. The first two weeks went well. They both enjoy just hanging out. Might have gotten my Dad into e-bikes. He was riding that thing every day. Warm Mineral Springs was on the agenda and we drove to Myakka River State Park. While we didn’t get to see things that required hiking, my parents got a glimpse of the “real” Florida. But it’s time to move on.
May 25, 2022, to June 03, 2022
Horseshoe Cove, Bradenton, FL
This is going to be a quiet one.
And it was. The main reason I booked this “resort” was the island they are advertising. A little piece of nature in the Braden River. Well, thanks to neglect, it was closed off. It was the perfect place though for Memorial Day weekend. As I mentioned, quiet. And conveniently close to work. My parents enjoyed it though. They took advantage of the pool and the hot top. They also rented a golf cart. Everyone made it. No accidents. Some interesting neighbors. Now let’s have a wet weekend.
June 03, 2022, to June 05, 2022
Long Point Park
Wet arrival. Wet until Saturday afternoon. Chased the storm. We still had a good time. Went mudding on the jungle trail on Saturday and waved goodbye to the storm from the Atlantic beach.
June 05, 2022, to June 19, 2022
Gulf View RV Resort, Punta Gorda, FL
If someone would have told me 25 years ago that I would be camping here, I would have called them crazy. Well, here we are. This place was old back then and it is even older now. And it shows. Still kind of nice though. Plenty of opportunities to go kayaking and do other things. Plenty of entertainment was provided too. Punta Gorda PD frequently stopped by to look for one of the residents. He was finally arrested after 3 days of visits. Petty theft at Publix. When we left I managed to drive over and kill the water connection. I left them with a nice fountain. Cool feature. 🙂
June 19, 2022, to June 25, 2022
Riverside RV Park
My parents last week in Florida. And they loved Riverside. Char wasn’t doing too good, but it was manageable. After my parents left, we packed it up and left for Georgia.
June 25, 2022, to June 30, 2022
Don Carter State Park, GA
Low humidity. Nice. 🙂 Somehow I managed to accidentally book the only site in the park that had a good view of the Starlink satellites. Connectivity was secured. There is a beach at this park. With sand. I shouldn’t make fun of that. Deer came and visited the site. We saw deer every day. We did a few close-by trips to small markets for peaches, meat, and farm-fresh chicken. Delicious.
June 30, 2022, to July 01, 2022
CJ Orchards, Rutledge, GA
This was our first stay with a Harvest Host. I am glad we finally had the opportunity. The owners and the staff were very nice. We stocked up with all kinds of goodies. And Charlene learned about some veggies she had never seen before. We watched deer and some robbins fell in love with our red truck. The perfect place to unwind.
July 01, 2022, to July 05, 2022
Twin Oaks RV Park, GA
Nice little park right next to I75 close to Bucc-ee’s. Took it easy and just loaded up with pecans. Those with garlic are addictive.
July 05, 2022, to July 07, 2022
Three Flags Thousand Trails, FL
Nothing special here. We just stopped to have Charlene’s favorite sandwich from Hardee’s and to load up at Russell Stover. And uploading we did. 🙂 Time to go back to Riverside.
July 07, 2022, to July 21, 2022
Back at Riverside
Not much to say here. Us returning speaks for itself. This time we got a spot in the brand new section. Nice big spaces and no obstacles for Starlink. Met up with some friends who stayed over the weekend. We will be back soon.
July 21, 2022, to July 29, 2022
Myakka River State Park
Another visit to this beautiful park. I think Char would prefer if there was a pool, but you can’t just beat nature. She finally got to see some deer. They seem to hide from her. I could get used to a 20-minute drive to work.
July 29, 2022, to August 12, 2022
Winter Quarters Bradenton
Not much to talk about on this one. Conveniently located, unspectacular with some great front desk staff. We have a new travel companion. Her name is Cloie. As cute as she is, we hope that Charlene’s sister will be able to take her back rather sooner than later. Until then, she will travel with us.
August 12, 2022, to August 18, 2022
Stone Mountain, GA
We went to Georgia again to have our sleeper couch replaced with recliners. Expensive but well worth it. We took our travel a little easy this time with one stop at the Camping World Campground near Valdosta on our way up and two stops coming back. On the way back we stayed for a night at Carroll’s Sausage and Meats. Georgia has some pretty good steaks.
August 18, 2022, to August 23, 2022
Myakka River State Park, FL
If this place had a pool, it would be perfect according to Charlene. 🙂
August 23, 2022, to August 27, 2022
Ramblers Rest, Venice, FL
Not much to say about the stay. Ran into an electrical issue at the first site they had for us. Moved and didn’t get flooded. As nice as this campground is, the $20 for Thousand Trail Members is not justified in my opinion. Char was happy that I got her a Golf Cart so she could go to the pool while I was at work. Friday we saw Dr. Keegan for the last time. Hopefully, we get to meet up with him when we travel the east coast.
August 27, 2022, to September 01, 2022
Myakka River State Park, FL
Back at Myakka River State Park. No pot of gold unfortunately but we made new friends. We hope to see them again when we are back here next time. Our stays are overlapping.
September 01, 2022, to September 05, 2022
Lake Manatee State Park, FL
Short pitstop before going to Riverside again. Nice, dated campground in the woods with good cell phone coverage and beautiful nature around. Right next to a race track. You can hear the cars all weekend. Not a bad thing if you ask me. Once again I am surprised that our RV can run on 30 amp service. Not complaining. Char wasn’t doing too good Sunday.
September 05, 2022, to September 19, 2022
And we were at Riverside again. It turned out to be a family meetup. A nice change. We also got the base plate and braking system installed in the truck. We are flat towing now. The tow dolly found a new home in Cape Coral. Just like the kayaks. We had the RV washed. Looked good again until the lawn crew came through. You can bet I had a word with the owner. He did make sure it was cleaned up again. I have the feeling the next time we are there, I will show them how to mow around RVs. They seem to enjoy blowing grass clippings all over. Can you tell I was pissed? 🙂
September 19, 2022, to September 26, 2022
Myakka River State Park
Not much to report on this one other than the visit was cut short by hurricane Ian. On Monday they knocked on our door and told us that we had to be out by 1 pm. Of course, I had to be at work. We made it out at 12:56 and went to Riverside. Keeping an eye on the storm.
September 27, 2022, to October 01, 2022
Escaping the Hurricane
Well, that was an interesting couple of days. Tuesday night around 10:30 we left Riverside RV Resort in Arcadia for Miami Everglades RV Resort. The wind was picking up and it was raining. We took the scenic route and stopped in Clewiston at the Walmart. There were about 20 other RVs there already. We left there around 3:30 in the morning. We drove to the Casino on the corner of US41 and 997. We stayed there until noon. We have our 2022 Entegra Vision XL 36A now for a little over a year and it handles pretty well. I was surprised and impressed by how well “Max” did under these conditions. No white knuckling or anything. It was as relaxing as always. There were only 2 or 3 times when I could feel the wind a little. Whatever Entegra did to the suspension, works. While at Miami Everglades RV Resort, we watched the hurricane do its thing. Thursday morning I stocked up at Sam’s and Walmart and we headed back to North Port. I had to be back to work at the jail on Friday.
We filled up with gas down there. I kinda knew it was the only chance and I was right. There were a few gas stations open, but they were too small for us.
When we arrived at Riverside, we were greeted by a destroyed RV park. RVs turned over, debris everywhere. They must have been underwater at some point because I found dead eel all over the parking lot. We stopped at our old house and I took some pictures of our neighbor’s house. They are from New York and got out before Ian moved in. There was some damage in our old neighborhood. The water almost came up all the way to the houses. Closer to the canal, streets were still flooded. So, where do we go? I had talked to work already throughout the day and we ended up going to STC. That’s a college in Sarasota. Come to find out that because nobody showed up, they closed the shelter. Not that we were planning on staying in the building anyway. We ended up talking to the gentleman in charge and he allowed us to camp out in the parking lot. So we ended up at the corner of the parking lot where everything started at my current job. The Criminal Justice Academy. We spent 2 nights there. Ron, if you ever read this, we owe you. Friday I managed to find us a spot at a campground in Ruskin. And we moved there Saturday evening. We will be staying there until the day after my retirement October 20.