03/11/19 Kissimmee Preserve, FL.

DAY #142

Looks like all the star gazers have left the park. This past weekend hasn’t been that great for looking at the sky. Seeing the equipment some of these folks were toting around showed they’re pretty serious about the science.

Something terrible happened yesterday. I don’t know if I can even talk about it, much less deal with it. I went out to change the flow of LP from one tank to the other (one tank was empty), and then restart the hot water heater. When I tried to do so, it failed to come on. Now I have a trailer with no hot water, oh my god, how do I deal with this?

Enough with the drama queen routine, just wanted to draw you into the story.

I’m not sure what’s wrong, it was working just fine. I tried to diagnose the problem, but with my limited understanding of how it works, that didn’t go too far. One thing I was able to check, was it getting LP? Yes, it was. Now, I needed to get a bit creative to get it fixed (it should be under warranty) and stay on schedule. I’ve arranged to bring it in to Camping World in St. Augustine, FL. on March 22. It’s a little wiggle off course to my next campground and I’m hoping (fingers crossed) that it’s a simple fix, and I can be on my way the same day. If I can get out of there by 4:00 pm, I’ll make it to the next site before sundown.

Worst case scenario; Need to order parts or delay in getting OK for warranty work. It’s anxiety inducing not knowing how it’s going to work out, and that I have little to no control over events. Initially, when the heater wouldn’t come on, I got the feeling of disappointment that was quickly turning to anger, and other dark thoughts. I rode the bad thoughts out, and focused not on what/why it happened, but rather, how to get it fixed without causing a delay?

Another test and bigger than most. I’m feeling good, even with a busted hot water heater.

Florida land for sale. Roads & Electric optional.

03/10/19 Kissimmee Preserve, FL.

DAY #141

Today, I did something I’ve never done before. I drove to Port St. Lucie, FL, (I guess two things) where I attended my first major league spring training baseball game. I paid $35.00 via Stubhub and got my ticket online. It was quick and easy. I did think it was kind of pricey, given it’s a spring training game, but the seating was decent and I would be close to the field. The overall deciding factor; I really wanted to go.

The New York Mets train in Port St. Lucie, and play at ‘First Data’ Field. It looks to be a fairly new stadium that holds up to 7000 people. It’s located in a new area of development and only a couple miles off I-95. Getting into the parking lot and stadium went smoothly, and the walk to the stadium was a short one. Oh yea, parking was $10.00 (nickle and dime you). One thing I immediately noticed was the intimacy of the place. Something you lose at the major league stadiums.

Walking to my seat, I took in the sights. Stadium personal galore to help you find your seat, bathrooms that you could use and not miss half the game waiting in line, concession prices that didn’t leave you penniless, $4.75 for a hot dog (Nathan’s), and $4.50 for a soda.

Finding my seat, I was happy with the view it afforded. I passed the time waiting for the game to start by watching the players loosen up on the field, and eavesdropping on the fans conversations about baseball in general, and the Mets in particular, all in the vernacular of heavy New York accents. (Here I go again with the stereotyping). I was definitely on the Mets fans side of the field.

On the other side of the field were the fans of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Mets opponent for this game. Growing up, like most boys in my generation, I was into major league baseball, so much so that at one point, I could name every player on every team in the major leagues. That intensity faded over the years to where today, I’m lucky to name a handful of players (or even my own name). Both, the Mets and Cardinals have always been two of my favorite teams. I thought, what better way to step back towards the game than by seeing these two teams play.

It was a hot one, got up to 87 degrees and when the sun was out, it felt like it. Thankfully, it was a partly cloudy day and when the sun went behind a cloud, you could really feel the difference, it provided for a nice respite. The seats were comfortable, my butt made it through the entire game without going numb.


The game proceeded right along and ended up being an entertaining game (especially if you’re a Mets fan). It had a little of everything. There were strikeouts and double plays. A Double, triple, and home runs (by both teams). In the end, it was the Mets victorious over the Cardinals by a score of 9 to 1.

Post game

Leaving after the game was as uneventful as coming there was. Took about 15 minutes to get on the freeway and heading towards Vero Beach, FL.

Vero Beach, is just north of Fort Pierce, with Port St. Lucie, being just south of Fort Pierce. Running along all three of these city’s is Hutchinson Island, which was my destination. I was disappointing with the northern part of the island. It started out with the ubiquitous hire rise condo’s and developments, and ebbed away into high price single family homes, like in the 3-4 million dollar range. Their was only one park that I came across on the entire northern end of the island where you could see the Atlantic. With walls closing in the community’s on one side of the road, and vegetation covering the high end homes on the other side, it made for kind of a blah ride.

Couple views of the Atlantic.

Leaving the island and heading back to the campground brought me through downtown Vero Beach. It shows Vero Beach’s history in its style and colors. Simple 50’s commercial architecture bathed in pastel colors. It looked clean and felt safe. It was really quiet, but then it was Sunday, late afternoon. From downtown, continued east through the city. With the lack of palm trees (but a whole lot of other kind of trees), and its general layout, it gave me a feeling of being in a Midwestern town.

Once back on the road and hitting the pastures, I knew I was back in Florida. On the way back to the campground I experienced another first in my life, I saw an alligator on the shoulder as road kill. It’s always so sad to see all the poor little critters killed by vehicles.

My first spring training game was a success, it was a good day.

03/09/19 Kissimmee Preserve, FL.

DAY #140

I’m afraid I’ve taken a turn for the worse, I did even less today than yesterday.

The biggest accomplishment was using a fair amount of elbow grease along with bug & tar remover to get the dried on/air blasted bugs off the front of the truck. I had such momentum going, I did the windows on the truck as well, and then, I faded fast.

The weather continues to be warm and humid, and makes a great backdrop for just hanging out. This week, I’m not feeling guilty about doing so little. I’m super comfortable being here, there’s just not that much to do in as far as activities and/or excursions. There are some trails that could be walked, that’s a work in progress for me, and while progress is painfully slow, I still believe.

Just being here is enough for me today.

03/08/19 Kissimmee Preserve, FL.

DAY #139

Another lazy day in the Preserve. Stayed up late last night, and slept in late this morning. Damn, I can’t seem to shake this dreaded donothingitis. (OK, I think we’ve just about played that line out).

The weather has been nice. Each day it’s gotten a little warmer, and with no rain. It is somewhat of a mini bummer that the humidity is rising along with the temps..

This is turning out to be one very laid back relaxing campground for me. I’ve like being tucked back into the trees. I’ve seen deer a couple of times, and there’s turkeys that come around. I like how they scratch the ground looking for food. Add to that the squirrels, crows, and buzzards, and it ends up being quite an enjoyable place to just hang.

I did head into Okeechobee late in the afternoon to wash the truck. It’s been awhile since it’s been cleaned and with all the dirt roads I’ve been on since last wash, it needed it. Coming back from the town, Wow, when you get into the park at night and turn the lights off in the truck, it is so dark, I can see why people come here to explore the night sky.

03/07/19 Kissimmee Preserve, FL.

DAY #138

Yesterday started by finishing up a few chores, and then it was off to check out a slice of Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

Finished up the laundry (sheets/comforter) that I started yesterday, stopped at the local CVS to pick up my prescription refill, and then followed google as it led me to the distant shores of Ft. Pierce, on the Atlantic. Actually, the coast is only about an hours drive through a backdrop of rural Florida in all its diversity.

Made it to Fort Pierce and the first thing I did was to mail a letter at the local post office. I had to get out of the truck and go inside the building to mail the letter (the injustice of it). It’s the first Post Office I’ve been to where they didn’t have a mailbox outside that you could utilize from the comfort of your own vehicle.

Driving around the city, my thoughts were; this is an older, mature city, that even in the best of times had modest expectations of itself. It mirrors a lot of city’s across America, what with it’s inner city’s neglected, abandoned, and having seen brighter days. No longer desirable to the “Haves” and claimed as their own (by default) by the “Have Not’s.”

Even though it may have seen better days, it was still interesting to drive through and get a look see. The streets are narrower, the houses smaller, and the ambiance a bit edgier. Even in its present condition, it offers it with color and character. Its kind of like seeing the ghetto from an ‘Old Florida’ state of mind.

From there it was off to check out the Atlantic Ocean.

Hutchinson Island across the harbor from Fort Pierce.
The sand is more of a tan, rather then the white on the Gulf side.
The difference is like day and night.

Leaving the mainland brings you onto Hutchinson Island. From the island, you get the views of the ocean, and also the bay between the island and mainland. It’s a long island, I decided to check out the southern half of it. Starting out, you notice immediately the hi-rise condos and general development on the island.

I was surprised to see as I drove along, the number of state and county (you go through two county’s) parks. It was great to see so much land set aside for the public, and the chance to remain in its natural state. It was unexpected to see on the southern part of the island a fair amount of undeveloped land, much of it for sale. I’m thinking that if you wanted ocean front, here’s your chance but you’re going to pay beau-coup bucks. Having reached the end of the island on its southern end, I crossed back over to the mainland and headed north, driving back along the bay.

The roadway heading back along the inner side of the harbor was just the opposite from the island. Instead of wide, straight, open roads flanked by new development, it became one of narrow, winding, tree shaded roads running through mature neighborhoods of upper middle class homes. It was interesting to see when getting closer to Fort Pierce, the homes slowly giving way to long established trailer courts for snow birds, along with ever more modest housing.

It was nice that on the bay side of the road, except for a few areas, the land wasn’t deep enough to build on, so it gave nice views of the bay.

The road brought me back into Fort Pierce and from there, back to the campground. I enjoyed the day, seeing a part of Florida I’d only read about, and now having gotten the chance to experience in real life. Memory’s were made today, good memory’s.