Posts Tagged With: florida

Bainbridge, Georgia

Jim says:

Yesterday I drove about 125 miles to Bainbridge, Georgia. I tried to stay on lesser used roads. Along the way I passed into the Eastern Time Zone.

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Florida Highway 167
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Georgia Highway 97

I’m parked at a small and apparently seldom used American Legion Post.

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American Legion Post #502 in Bainbridge, Georgia.

Downsides: Small parking lot required me to unhook Bronco, turn around the motorhome and rehook. Post is closed tonight…no one to mix and mingle with. Temperature reached 87 in the late afternoon.

Upsides: Large shade trees with a gentle breeze. Hassle-free and free parking. i continue towards South Carolina again today.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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I’ve Come To The End…

Jim says:

of my eastward bound travels across the southern portion of the United States.

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Since leaving California on November 30, I driven about 3,200 miles in 143 days. That averages out to a very leisurely pace of 22.3 miles per day!

Yesterday I arrived in Panama City Beach, just west of Panama City, Florida where I spent the night at VFW Post #10555.

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VFW Post #10555 in Panama City Beach, Florida

Today I’ll turn northeast and head in the general direction of my next planned scheduled stop to visit friends in Summerton, South Carolina. That’s about 400 miles and I expect to make it there in 3-4 days. I’m in no particular hurry!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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I thought I had a pesky problem solved…

Jim says:

Another thing I love about full-time RVing is that there are generally few problems in life and those tend to be small problems. This story is about a small problem that has been pestering me since we acquired the new motorhome.

Most Class A (the big square ones like ours) motorhome are built on a truck chassis. Our motorhome is on a Workhorse Chassis with 19.5″ dual rear wheels. Checking and adding air to the tires can be somewhat of a pain. On our motorhome I installed a valve stem extension for the inside wheel and it works fine. I’ve tried a number of items on the outside wheel to no avail. Even a Camping World Service Manager told me he had nothing that would fix my problem.

Right now the only way I can add air to the outside wheel is to use an angled chuck. I’ve good a real good quality 12 volt air pump, but it does not have an angled air chuck. The hole on the outside wheel is too small to attach my air pump.

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The too small hole.

The day before yesterday I was on the phone with a Goodyear Tire Store and they told me they had all kinds of angled valve stems that would fix my problem.

Yesterday I went to the Goodyear Tire Store and the angled valve stem looked like it would work. They would only charge me $28.50 to do both wheels, plus tax…and no charge if they didn’t work. I was ecstatic! Camping World gets $54.50 for one-half hour of labor!

They took a wheel off the motorhome, removed the tire from the steel wheel and…Oh, No!…the hole on the steel wheel was too large for the angled valve stem. I was crushed! From the time I arrived until I departed…two hours had slipped away…and good to their word…there was no charge. That was good…but I’ve still got my pesky problem!

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This angle valve wouldn’t work because the hole on the steel wheel was too large.

In other news…
As pretty as the day before yesterday was at the Gulf Island National Seashore…when you are near the beach there are very small gnats. I ran into them along the gulf shore in Mississippi also. They’re so small they can fit through the openings of the motorhome window screens. There were dozens of them and they bite like alligators. Fortunately they have a very short life span and they are also very dumb. They like camping out on the dining room window…so they made easy targets for my fast-moving thumb. I squished about 100 of them. I now have no more gnats in the motorhome! The gnats were a rather pesky problem that I did manage to fix!

So I decided to move on and ended up only about 25 miles down the road in Destin, Florida. After finishing with the Goodyear Tire Dealer I wasn’t in the mood to drive further. So I spent last night in American Legion Post there in Destin. I’m such a lucky guy…I get to meet so many nice people. At the American Legion bar, I met Gary and Connie from upper Wisconsin…married 43 years and still happy together. Thanks Gary and Connie for the great conversations.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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Gulf Islands National Seashore

Jim says:

Yesterday I arrived at the Gulf Islands National Seashore about 25 miles East of Pensacola, Florida. I was in the middle of a seven mile stretch with no housing or commercial developments of any kind.

I’m glad it was an overcast day with a temperature at 69 degrees. When the sun is shining, the sugar-white sand is blinding. Along with the cloud cover, there was a gentle breeze with only the sound of seagulls and the small waves washing up on to the shore. Since it was a Monday…the place was deserted. I had it to myself.

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My current location as seen by Google Earth.
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Looking East.
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Looking South.
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Looking West.

I sat on the beach in my folding chair most of the day reading an Elmer Kelton western novel. It was most peaceful and relaxing. Who knows…I just may never leave here!

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A good place to sit and read.

Unfortunately…Some workers came by late in the afternoon…since there were no signs saying no overnight no parking…I asked…they didn’t know and made a cell phone call to inquire and were told no parking allowed overnight. I normally do not ask…but I didn’t want a Ranger coming by at midnight telling me I had to move. So I moved Easterly for about four miles until I left the park boundaries. I found a nice quiet side street that I had previously scouted and spent the night there.

Here’s the official government website link…
http://www.nps.gov/guis/index.htm

All original material Copyright � Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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The Friendliest VFW Post In Florida…

Jim says:

I’ve done and seen many a thing in my years on the road. One of these things is that I’ve spent a night or two at a VFW, American Legion, Moose, Eagles and Elks, etc…

I usually find these places on Google Earth. All I do is identify the location of where I desire to stay and then ask it to show me the locations of the local clubs. Then Google Earth allows me to zoom in and see the size of their parking lot and if there’s enough room to park an RV.

They number in the thousands and one or more of the clubs can usually be found in the area where I desire to spend the night with my RV. Some have specific RV spaces with electricity available, but most do not. Usually I’m just looking for a mostly flat, safe place in the corner of a parking lot. Then inside I can usually enjoy good drink, food and companionship at a moderate price. Some places request a donation for an overnight stay, most do not.

It’s also an excellent place to get referrals for a local mechanic, etc.. I normally stay only one night, but recently because of waiting on the repair of a vital electrical component for my RV, I spent 13 nights at the American Legion Post #240 in Pensacola, Florida.

Most of these places serve as a social gathering place for persons of similar ilks where everyone pretty much knows everyone. In these places, the members are supposed to be “brothers, if you will. Since I’m usually “just passing through”, it’s interesting how a strange face is received by the local membership.

The first part of the process usually is the showing of a paid-up/current membership card which entitles you to visit the facility. Some places never ask to see it and take my word I’m who I say I am and others have a sign on the door saying only current members may enter.

Since I’m not a local member, I usually cannot use the membership card reader that automatically opens the entrance door. A doorbell is normally nearby that notifies the bartender that a non-local member desires entry. Once the bartender presses the buzzer, the door lock clicks open and entry is made…AND EVERY FACE IN THE PLACE IS LOOKING TO SEE WHO JUST RUNG THE DOORBELL!

Once they see who’s there, most go back to their in-process conversations. I proceed to the bar, and find an empty seat. I usually tell the bartender who I am…name and post location affiliation along the line of…:”Hi, I’m Jim Jaillet, a visiting VFW member from Post #7968 in Apache Junction, Arizona”. I then hand over my membership card for approval, then place my order. A chat with the next sit-ee or two usually develops. That is pretty much what happens at most locations. Sometime the next sit-ees show no indication of desire for conversation, and that’s okay with me. Usually they appear to be in some kind of deep thought, so I leave them alone.

Once in a while, the opposite happens…
Yesterday I had the good fortune to stop at the friendliest VFW (Veterans Of Foreign Wars) Post in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Once through the door, pretty near everyone was shouting at me…”Welcome to the friendliest VFW Post in Florida!” Here even though a stranger, you are truly welcomed as a “brother”. Everyone comes over says hello, shakes your hand, introduces themselves and expresses a welcome. That’s pretty much what happened yesterday. The kinda-sorta leader of this most friendly group was a guy by the name of Mike McDonald, also known as Frogman because he is an ex-Navy SEAL…a long time ago they were called frogmen. He also happens to be the Commander-elect of this local post and assumes his office this July. Mike made sure I met most of the better-than 50 people that came in during the day.

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Mike McDonald is the third person from the left of photo.
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Post 4407 looking North.
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The sign does not say it all. They should add “The Friendliest VFW Post In Florida!”
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Post 4407 looking South.

We spent the afternoon (four hours worth) drinking beer, eating hot dogs and waited for the NASCAR Race on TV which never happened because of rain. Most listened to the stories I told of my many years on the road with interest.

All in all, a most enjoyable day. Thank you VFW Post #4407 for making a wayward brother feel at home. You are most certainly the friendliest VFW Post in Florida…and maybe the entire United States!

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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Above And Beyond The Call Of Duty…

Jim says:

In yesterday’s Blog entry I ranted and raved about the U.S. Postal Service. and it was well deserved.

When I went to the Pensacola Post Office on Friday in search of my package and it wasn’t there…Sandy (who would be the only employee working there on Saturday), volunteered to call me if it came in. She did call and it did come in. Hallelujah!

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Sandy – A service orientated postal employee.

The Priority Mail package that took five days from St. Louis, Missouri to Pensacola, Florida, a distance of 734 miles. I think it must have traveled by Mule-Express!

Back to the motorhome…time to install this puppy dog. Its function is to take the 20 volts created by the solar panel and reduce it to 14.1 volts so the coach batteries do not boil. Once the batteries are fully charged it shuts off the current flow. When I use the batteries for a function like watching TV, the controller once again allows the current to flow into the batteries until they reach full charge.

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Not a very complicated device…just have to be sure to get the wires in the right connection.

It took about one-half hour to install properly. The reason it malfunctioned was because the original installer did not properly secure the wires to something stable. While bouncing down the road the wires jiggled around and broke the connector off of the circuit board. I’ve got the wires secured now and hopefully I’ll not have to deal with this issue again.

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Installation complete…functioning properly.

Sandy retires in one year, two months and two weeks and wants to go RVing! Happy Trails, Sandy!

Thanks, Sandy for going out of your way to assist me!

Thanks to American Legion Post #240 in Pensacola, Florida for allowing me to park in their lot for the last 13 days while I took care of this matter.

I’ll be back on the road again soon.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.panamaorbust.com

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