Monthly Archives: February 2012

TRAVELOG: The fabled Coral Castle, meh Monkey Jungle and a Buggy ride through the Swamp

I often frustrate myself with my own internal paradoxes. I am a very social creature, but at the same time am also very fond of being alone.  There have been many times where I’ve wished that I’ve had somebody riding with me on this trip to share the experience directly with somebody that I cared about – and yet, I’m happy that I’m doing this alone. There’s a great deal that I’m learning about myself – what I want, what I need, what I can keep and what I can let go of. This is my walkabout; my time of internal searching and learning, and yet I’m also running around the country taking pictures of enormous man made lobster sculptures and other bizarre tourist trap type things. It’s a fairly bizarre combination of experiences, but hey – it works. I’ve planned things fairly minimally, so the rest is somewhat chaotic, keeping me on my toes and therefore keeping me from getting bored and disappointed…

[more here]

I did do a bit of running around today (yay, Coral Castle!), but haven’t yet gotten around to writing the trip report. I’ll get pics and words up about it later.

I did, however, go ahead and pick up a small, inexpensive 5,000 BTU home/window air conditioner today. The LOWES staff assured me that I would be able to use it in a room without having to actually put it in a window, but I’m dubious. It does come on, and does cool the van, but it also blows out hot air through the back venty thing (that’s a technical term, son), which I figured it would do, and wonder why the sales staff didn’t think it wouldn’t do. I’ve got it on the floor, tilted, and have plastic under it for any condensation runoff – but because heat rises, my upper body stays warm and I have to put a blanket over my legs.
Ah, First World Problems.

I don’t plan on running it for hours at a time, so I’m wondering if the setup will be ok. Only time will tell, I guess. They did say I could return it if it didn’t work out for me…

It got up to 90 today.

I’m guessing that’d be about 5 or 10 degrees hotter in the van.

I’ve been drinking what seems like a metric ton of water, and putting ice on my head on and off throughout the hotter parts of the day. Grueling is the word of the day. If I didn’t have the box fan, I’d be completely screwed.

This weekend, I’m going to price portable AC units. Still, I’d rather be out here doing this than in a cubicle. :D Makes life interesting. The plan for this weekend is to hit the Coral Castle, take in a swamp tour and maybe find some more weird shenanigans to get up to via roadsideamerica.com. Meeting up with a Facebook friend in Miami tonight, and will likely stay at the same truck stop that I stayed at last friday night, then I’ll figure out where I’m going from there.

Ah, life. She is exciting, no?

TRAVELOG: A distinct lack of Mermaids, and – runnin’ around the Florida Keys

Shortly after work on Friday night, I packed up the truck (I have to shift things around so that they don’t slam or crash around the cabin while driving) and got on the road.
 
Mission: Mermaid Show…
 

Road Chronicles

Living out of the back of a van only gives you so many food options. At the moment, I’m on day three. Granted, I have a small cooler with grapes, carrots and lunchmeat in it, but I’m now finding myself on a different diet. Mostly fruit, beef jerky and veggies. I’m guessing I’m going to lose weight on this trip, which can’t hurt. :) I’m working my way through a gallon of water and plan on getting a little swimming done tonight. My goal for the rest of the week is not to have to drive the 45 minute into town to pick up supplies again until the weekend.

I wish I had a camera that could capture the amazing night skies out here. There’s something sublime about being able to sit back in a camping chair and just BE with the night.

This friday, I’m thinking of heading out to Miami to check out one of those ‘mermaid’ bars where they have ladies swimming around in a pool that’s reflected behind bubbles behind the bar. Apparently ‘the show’ starts at 6:30. I then want to head out to calle ocho to get me a Cuban Sammich. :) NOM.

Road Chronicles

It got pretty cold again last night – low 30′s. Little chilly getting started with work in the van this morning, but now it’s 45 outside and  just my feet are cold. :) The sun coming in through the window is heatin’ the van up nicely. The park really has some gorgeous features. I had a nice walk around this morning, and it was really cool to see the combination of palm trees mixed with other trees with spanish moss in them. I’m a huge fan of shaggy looking trees, and I’ve always loved tropical plants, so the combination of the two together is VERY happymaking :) Going to check out the eatery on the rez for lunch, I think.

Road Chronicles

I arrived at the RV resort in Florida almost an hour ago. I’ve gotten the power hookup completed and am now online in the van! :) It’s a really beautiful place and the nearest town is 45 minutes away. I think I will get a little writing done on a trip report, then maybe watch a movie before heading off to bed. :)

TRAVELOG: Destination: Southern Florida

Google states that that it’s a little over 22 hours to get from McKinney, TX to the RV park that I’m currently staying at in Florida. I figure it took me about somewhere between 26 to 30 hours. I left Friday afternoon and reached New Orleans somewhere around 2am friday night and stumbled into a hotel. After getting about 4 1/2 hours of sleep, I rolled out of bed at 7:30am and was back on the road by 8am…

[more here]

The current trip schedule as it stands…

I leave on February 10th to begin the 22+ hour trek to Clewiston, FL near Lake Okeechobee. I’m going to be there until March 9th, when I’ll be heading back to stay with my brother for two weeks before heading out to Albequerque, NM to housesit for a month. I’ll be arriving in Albequerque on the weekend of March 24/25 and then heading up to Denver Colorado to visit with the lovely S. John Ross and his awesome wife Sandra on the weekend of March 21/22. I’ll be hitting Starfest 2012 (April 20th-22nd) with them. 🙂 (http://www.starland.com/)

I will then be heading down from Denver to Flagstaff, AZ on the weekend of May 12/13, where I’ll be hooking up with my dear friend Pwincess, and we shall finally begin the frequently put off ‘Meat and Guns Tour’ through Arizona, maybe Utah, Las Vegas, Los Angeles – and then we’ll be driving up the coastal highway from there to her place up in Northern California. We’ve only got a little under two weeks on this, so it’s going to be interesting to see if we can hit all the places we both want to.

I will then be flying out to Baltimore for Balticon on the weekend of May 25-27. I may try to stay a couple days extra to see all my friends that I dearly miss since I left the DC/VA area back in October – but then it’s back to Northern California, and then the great trek through Portland, Seattle, etc begins.

A plan. I have it. :D