Monday, December 31, 2007

07 Travel Review / 08 Outlook

December 31 marks 160 days (almost 14,000,000 seconds) on the road. In that time we have stayed in 32 places in 10 different states. The states are Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. We have traveled 3977 miles in the motor home and about 5000 miles in the CRV. We both agree that the experience has by far exceeded our expectations. We have seen many new places and things and have had the time to explore others more thoroughly than on previous visits. We have met many new people and have gotten to spend extended time with family and old friends. Many times we have been asked what the best thing has been and we really can't say because so much of what we have done has been wonderful. One thing that neither of us miss is the snow and cold. While in North Carolina for November Nanc put her shorts in the basement because it was so cool. Since we arrived in Florida it has been shorts weather almost every day. We have gone swimming several times and walk or ride our bikes often.
As 2008 begins we are at Southern Pines Resort in Frostproof, Florida until the 14th. Nanc's sister Judy and her husband Bill are here for the winter. When we leave here we are going to south Florida and the Keys. We will then slowly work our way up the west coast of Florida trying to stay in the warm weather. After leaving Florida we will be traveling along the gulf coast and across Texas to the southwest. Then we will head north to attend the Escapees Rally in Gillette, Wyoming at the beginning of July. We plan to return to Pennsylvania in the fall before heading south to warmer weather for the winter. The greatest thing about this lifestyle is that while we have plans they are not written in stone and if we decide to change we can very easily do that.
We hope that 2008 brings all of you health and prosperity.

Friday, December 28, 2007

More Wildlife in the Busch

Crested Caracara
Red Shouldered Hawk
Bald Eagle
Barred Owls Florida Panther
Eastern Diamondback Rattler

We went to the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter where they display many native Florida animals and rehabilitate others that have been injured. When possible, they release the injured animals back into the wild. They have a problem releasing the panthers because of the destruction of their habitat. It gave us a chance to see some animals up close that we would otherwise not have seen and, in many cases, are glad we have not met in the wild. They have panthers, bobcats, fox, snakes, crocodiles, alligators, and many different kinds of birds. One of our great surprises in Florida is the large variety of wildlife we have been able to see.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jupiter Lighthouse

Como's Home

We visited the Jupiter Lighthouse located at the inlet where the fresh water of the Loxahatchee and Indian Rivers mix with the salt water of the Atlantic. The lighthouse was designed by George Meade who later lead the Union in the battle of Gettysburg. The top offers a great view of the area including the draw bridges over the Inter-coastal Waterway, the beach and ocean, the many surrounding condos and buildings. One home that is easily seen is that of former Canonsburg resident Perry Como. Our tour guide told us the population of Jupiter has gone from 700 in 1950 to 50,000 now. At the base of the lighthouse is a large banyan tree. These trees put down roots from their branches and one tree can cover many acres if allowed to continue to grow.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dreaming of a Warm Christmas

We had a great Christmas Eve and Day with Jack and Mary Lou. The weather was great with temperatures near 80 which meant we could go to the pool and beach to enjoy our first Christmas in the warm weather. On Christmas Eve we went out to dinner and then went back to their condo for the evening. We called the Sharp's and got to talk to them as well as the Ridge's and the Jones'. We also called and talked to our families. Mary Lou cooked a dinner of linguine with clam sauce (our favorite) on Christmas Day. This being our first Christmas away it was great getting to spend it with friends. They were the perfect host and hostess.

Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Cattle Egret
Gopher Tortoise
Great Blue Heron

We are really enjoying our time at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. The wildlife has been fantastic. We took a tour six miles up the river aboard the Loxahatchee Queen to the camp of Trapper Nelson on whose land much of the park is located. Nelson lived here from the 1930's until his death in 1968. He ran a business called Trapper's Zoo and Jungle Garden where people visited to see the alligators, snakes and other local animals he had captured to sell and display. He was somewhat of a recluse and so there were many stories about how much money he had and what went on in the camp. To add to the lore there are still questions as to whether his death was murder or suicide. Also, when his cabin was being repaired by the park personnel in 1986 over 5000 coins were found hidden in the chimney.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


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Monday, December 24, 2007

Season's Greetings


As we prepare to spend our first Christmas on the road we want to wish happy holidays to all our family and friends. May the season and the new year bring you joy and happiness.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Jupiter is Out of this World

We are now near Jupiter, Florida at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. The park is only a few miles from our friends, Jack and Mary Lou, with whom we will be spending Christmas. They have been wonderful hosts and tour guides taking us to many sites in the area and just generally showing us around. We have gone out to dinner several times. It is nice to know for sure that the place will be good rather than the usual hit or miss tactic of dining out in a strange place. Their condo here is located directly across the road from the ocean and is really beautiful. We went to Loggerhead Park where a conservancy group nurses injured and ill turtles back to health. It was neat to be able to get this close to them. Several were ill from the red tide, a coral bloom that kills many ocean dwelling creatures. One had been caught in a fisherman's net and had lost a flipper. Another, Jonah, was found in a cooler where a fisherman was putting his catch. When he looked in the cooler one of the fish, which had eaten Jonah, had thrown him up. He has survived for two years and will be released into the wild when he is big enough. Nanc and Mary Lou attended the play, "The Boyfriend," one afternoon while Jack and I enjoyed some guy time together. We went to the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach to see how the other half lives. Henry Flagler, a founder of Standard Oil, is given credit for developing South Florida by building several hotels and a railroad all the way to Key West. The museum is his former winter home where he only stayed eight weeks a year. His private rail car (one of the first RVs) is on display. We walked along Worth Avenue exploring the shops (Tiffany's, Coach Cartier & many others). The street had something for everyone. We liked the area so much we looked at a real estate magazine and found a nice "little" ocean front 61,000 square foot home for only $123,000,000. We are looking for a few partners in this venture. Anyone interested??

Friday, December 14, 2007

OK in Okeechobee

We are now in South Florida at Lake Okeechobee, the second largest lake in the US. The lake, which is natural, has been totally surrounded with a high levee by the Army Corps of Engineers to control the flow of water throughout the area. On the top of the levee is a paved bike path that is over 100 miles long and goes completely around the lake. We are camped on one of many small canals that circle much of the lake. When the water is at normal levels boats can lock through the levee from the canals into the lake. Because of the drought the lake is much lower than normal so access is now limited. The wildlife continues to be unbelievable. We saw at least 25 alligators in one place. Some of them are quite huge and fortunately far away so the pictures don't do them justice. We also have seen a large variety of big birds including herons, egrets, storks, cranes and an eagle. The warm weather continues but we did have rain for much of the day today. This is the first time we have had an extended rain for a long time. Nanc had a full time RVers first yesterday when she had a campground haircut. Our neighbor, a retired hair stylist, cuts hair for people here so Nanc had hers done. When we leave here on Monday we will be staying near Jack and Mary Lou's in Jupiter and will be there through Christmas. We then will be spending two weeks with Nanc's sister Judy and her husband Bill in Frostproof (guess what the temperature won't be?) It will be great spending with friends and family. After that we are going to the Keys for a week. This nomad lifestyle is wonderful.