Proverbs 16:9

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

Psalm 4:4
Stand in awe; commune with your own heart, and be still.

Friday, December 29, 2017

2017, Where did it go?

I did make it to New Orleans in early October for a get-together with my LA and TX friends. I stopped along the way to enjoy the Gulf beaches and some National historic sites.
Fort Pickens National Seashore
New Orleans in no particular order: St. Louis Cathedral
You can't visit New Orleans without having beignets at cafe du Monde.
Pink Flamingos doing what we do best.
And yes it rained some of the time. Streetcar in the French Quarter.
The rain didn't stop our fun though.
More French Quarter scenes...
French Market
 I left early because I needed to evacuate another hurricane...headed toward New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. So back home to Dowling Park where I tried my hand at planting a butterfly garden.
And raising caterpillars. 
There was hiking to do on the many trails. 
Birdie came to buy my car and play awhile. We kayaked. 
Of course, when I'm with Birdie, we'll go birding too. This was with the Audubon Society at Alligator Lake.
Drew Bridge, an historic railroad swing bridge on the Suwannee River. 
I found out I can stack 3 kayaks in my RV, even if I can only seat two passengers. My new friend Shirley didn't seem to mind taking the floor.
More paddling with friends on the Suwannee River. 
A visit from Carol. It's nice to have a handy RV park for all my RVing friends.
 There was a trip to Skidaway Island State Park in Georgia to spend Thanksgiving with Jennifer and family.
Hunting for shark's teeth on Tybee Island Beach.
Back in Dowling Park there was a lot going on in preparation for Christmas. There was a decorated golf cart parade... 
Many special events and I missed some of them with my coming and going. 
Festive decorations and lights everywhere. 

I spent a week in Ocala for doctor appointments, but had time for lunch with friends.
My brother and sister-in-law, Roy and Tiny came to visit. 
More walks along the river.
I traveled to Hillsborough River State Park near Zephyrhills to spend Christmas with family. There were hiking trails there too.
All the family that was able to gather at Heather's. 
We went to Church Street Christmas in Dade City to see the lights and enjoy the music. 

And I kayaked the Hillsborough River.
Now I am back home at Advent Christian Village. I have grown to love the place and the people here. 
There were a lot of changes for me in 2017. I look forward to whatever God has in his will for me in 2018. Stay tuned... 

Friday, September 22, 2017

New RV and Evacuating Hurricane Irma

Lots of changes for me this year. When I left my sister's in MA, I returned to my new home in Dowling Park, FL in order to trade in my RV for a new, smaller, Roadtrek. There were several reasons for doing this, but one was to be able to keep it by my home and not have to store it when in Florida. "Pearl" is only 19' long and fits in any normal-sized parking space.
I also wanted to be able to bring my kayak with me without having to tow a car to carry it on. The open aisle in the new Roadtrek will allow me to slide it right in and secure it between the beds.
With the refrigerator up high and the bathroom in the front, I can still access all the areas when the kayak is inside. Of course at campgrounds, I will take it out and secure it in my site.
I love the magnetic screen door I ordered for the side door.
Here are some other inside pics: The roomy refrigerator and pot drawer beneath.
Storage under the sink and two-burner cooktop.
A pull-out pantry.
The front bathroom doors opposite the sliding door.
Wet bath 
Just a few days after the purchase it was apparent that Hurricane Irma was coming our way. The mobile home park was soon to be under mandatory evacuation. So I quickly stowed my loose outside stuff and loaded up the new RV to evacuate.
I left before the crowds did, and did not use the Interstate evacuation routes, so it was smooth going.
Thistle was my trusty co-pilot.
Even the little bit of I-10 I traveled was easy at 8 a.m.
Very little traffic through GA to AL on US 84.
Even the two-lane highways were easy traveling, and I was loving how the new Roadtrek handled.
My destination was a campground on the Natchez Trace in TN. This is one of my favorite routes.
There are many places to pull off and go for a short hike, or view an historical site.
Thistle and I were ready to stretch our legs along Sweetwater Branch.
Thistle had to taste it.
After that short respite we were on our way again.
We were meeting my sister-in-law, Carol, at Meriwether Lewis National Park campground. I got there first and set up in a nice paved pull-through site with a little bit of sunlight for my solar panels...which performed perfectly while I was there. Notice where I put the kayak. No water to paddle here, but it is out of the way.
Carol, who evacuated her mobile home in NC, arrived later and set up in the site next to me. They are very spacious sites.
It was pleasantly cool, and Thistle and I enjoyed many of the hiking trails while here. This is a portion of the Old Trace.
Grinder's Stand is where Meriwether Lewis stopped for the night while traveling up the Trace and died mysteriously on October 11, 1809. He was buried in the adjacent cemetery. A monument was placed in his memory some time later.
The old Natchez Trace.
Another inside picture of my RV. The front seats swivel around and a small table fits between them. There is also a place for a table between the beds in back.
After the storm passed and I heard power was restored to my home in Florida, I set out in that direction....back down the Trace.
Where traffic was heavy with deer and turkeys...
I reached my first 1000 miles on that trip.
I stopped for a night at a nice Corps of Engineers Park near Montgomery, AL.
I was tempted to stay and kayak here, but the need to get home was stronger.
I was very fortunate that there was no damage to my mobile home. The big tree limb you see here was removed from my neighbor's roof. As far as I know that is the only structural damage that occurred in the village, but several large trees were lost, and branches were everywhere.
The cleanup continues, but things are getting back to normal. I am now off on a planned trip along the Gulf Coast to New Orleans. More on that in a future blog post, and I still have several to catch up on from this summer.