Little Manatee River State Park

It started raining last night. I was awakened this morning by the distinct sound of a drip. Drip, drip, drip. It sounds as if its inside the RV, but I've looked all around and can find nothing. When I stand near the front door, it sounds as if its outside. Hopefully that is the case, and we aren't in for some nasty surprise sometime this morning.

It was a short drive to Little Manatee River State Park yesterday.

Once we'd checked in and started making our way to the campground, we noticed signs informing us we were visiting "the real Florida." If you want to see what the real Florida looks like, then feast your eyes.

You might notice right away the absence of billboards, tall buildings, and Mickey Mouse ears. There's plenty of soft sand, however, and it made for a bit of a fiasco as we pulled into our campsite. There are no pictures of this. As I tell you the story using just my words, you'll begin to see that taking pictures would not have endeared me to the Resident Engineer.

The first problem was the sign post designating Site 16. We were in Site 15 across the road, but Site 16's post was situated in such a way that it made backing into our site impossible without bumping said post. Back and forth went the rig, but try as we might, we could not negotiate that tight turn. Finally, I stood right next to the post (me, being easier to see), and then realized it was quite wobbly in its hole. I simply lifted it out of the hole and tossed it off to the side. (Claps hands together. Problem solved.) We could always put it back when we were finished.

With much backing and forthing, we (actually, he) got the RV situated and hooked up. I was busy doing my things inside...carefully opening cupboard doors, opening the slides, doling out kitty treats...and I always expect a bit of a lurch when the RV and the truck uncouple. This time, however, the expected "lurch" felt more akin to something measured using the Rickter scale. I'm putting it at about a 7.6.

Out of the trailer I flew like a flash...
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
(Still have Christmas in my head.)

And what to my wondering eyes should appear?

Mike, smiling sheepishly, head in hands, trying to decide his next move. It seems when the RV and truck uncoupled, the RV rolled backward about a foot. It was up on some leveling blocks, and Mike hadn't installed the accompanying wheel chocks to prevent rolling. Ordinarily, this wouldn't have mattered, but being on soft sand added a degree of instability that turned this into a problem. The front of the RV was now resting on the truck's bed rails. Mike's most immediate concern was whether the truck was damaged. As it turns out, it wasn't.

So...no harm done really, except to our nerves. He used his portable jack to jack the trailer up so that it could be hitched up again, and then leveled the trailer once again. Then, with the necessary wheel chocks firmly in place, he uncoupled the RV from the truck and life proceeded in its usual fashion. Only...in all that maneuvering, he'd run over the hole where Site 16's post was supposed to be and the hole was gone. Not a problem. We could dig a new hole. (By "we," I mean "he.") But first...lunch.

We were starving by this time. I'd had a yen for egg salad and I'd made some up that morning. All I needed to do was slap it on the bread and lunch was served. While we were eating, the campground host was making his rounds. We watched him stop at the site across the road (the infamous Site 16) and begin fixing the post. Mike went out to meet him and offered to dig the hole, but the campground host couldn't have been less bothered. "We do this all the time," he stated emphatically. Okay. We suspected as much when the post was so easy to remove from its hole, even by a 63-year-old woman. Apparently, no harm done to anything or anyone.

Disaster attempted, and averted. Moving on.

* * * * *

As you might imagine, we were both a little shaken by this sequence of events, even though nothing really happened except a little inconvenience. Mike drank a beer with his lunch and then took a nap. I embarked on a stitching marathon, filling in almost the whole of my hoop. This piece is moving along at a record pace. It's about 2/3 finished now.

After I moved my hoop, I stitched in the one bit of color going onto this block...the burgundy heart.

Sadie buried herself in the covers.

Smitty likes to express himself in closer proximity.

And all is well at the Three Cats Ranch Traveling RV this morning.

With the rain, we'll probably visit the aquarium today. It's an indoor activity, and so it seems like a good way to spend the day. On the other hand, we might decide on a chill day. We only need one day of sight-seeing at this stop, and we've scheduled two. It feels like a luxury.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Robin Klein said...

Many manatees are also in a small town called Crystal River. If you brought warm suits you can swim with them. For such a tiny town they have a quilt shop that carries the most manatee fabrics ever! Homosassa State park had all of Florida wildlife. I do not know how active they are in winter. They are both along the Gulf coast. There is no rain for tomorrow but temps will drop. Call TECO manatee watch station to see if there are mammals to see. I have heard they built a large exhibit/education building that'friends say is good. Enjoy cold soggy FL today. :) There is a major quilt shop in Dunedin called Rainbow's End. It is the largest in FL. (they say). Keep having fun and making memories.

piecefulwendy said...

Oh my gosh, I'm giggling as I read your post. I'm sure you two weren't giggling much, but at least there were smiles (and beer). And after all that, you stitched that little heart just so perfectly! I hope you enjoy your day at the aquarium!

Anne Kirby said...

Can't add to what Wendy said, as long as there are naps and beer, vacation will proceed apace. Kitties get extra naps, no beer. Carry on!!

gpc said...

Glad you survived your adventure with nothing more than hearts a'flutter. Robin is so very right about Crystal River, and there used to be places where you could rent the heavier wet suits. Well worth jumping in since manatees are far more interesting under the water than from above. Then again, so many adventures, so little time. It's all good.

Dorothy Finley said...

You guys crack me up with all of your adventures :-)

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I hope you are out of the snow/cold zone. As soon as they mentioned Florida, I thought of you.

heartsease54 said...

Sounds like you both started the year off with a little excitement. I sure hope that is the worst that happens on the next leg of your tour. I can certainly understand why no pictures were taken, things could have gone downhill (see what I did there?) even to a greater degree. Hope the aquarium lives up to all expectations.

crazy quilter said...

Wow that was exciting, if not a bit scary! Glad it all worked out fine and the truck and Rv and you and Mike are all ok except for maybe some frazzled nerves. Glad you had that nice egg salad all ready . Your stitching is coming along wonderful , I think you might have another finish for 2018 before you get back home. Safe travels!

kc said...

Oh my gosh, I had to laugh...not AT you, right along WITH you. I don't know ANYone (including US) that towed a 5th wheel that hasn't dropped it on the truck at some point. Not a soul. So, welcome to that populous club!! Glad it was no more serious than 1 beer's worth. Our story began with "chock both sides." Yes, chocking & blocking was MY job, you see, and so, I did. And once that task was complete, I got in the driver's seat to await the signal to pull the truck out from under the trailer. (Driver being the one to raise and lower the trailer appropriately and to level.) I no more got that truck moving, and Driver's arm removed from the wall of the bed, when we heard (and felt, as you've noticed) the biggest CHUNK ever.

So, apparently, "chock both sides" meant both sides of ONE TIRE. I had taken it to mean both sides of the TRAILER. And when I did that, obviously, I didn't have enough chocks to go on both sides of all wheels, so I very judiciously placed them where I thought it appropriate. Obviously, I'm not very good at physics, and the gravel gave way, and the trailer rolled slightly. Downhill. Onto the bed of the truck. Right exactly where the arm was just resting. Talk about lucky. The old joke of being busy as a one-armed paper-hanger hit a little too close to home for the next month or so! Yup, that's why we carry jacks, right!?

Soooo, yes, you can still swim with the manatees in Crystal River; there are several charters that will rent you suits and take you right out to them. You can walk around the boardwalk at Three Sisters Springs, or you can just jump right into the bay on your own. Or you can canoe or kayak. The water is always 72, but even that's too cold for me!

Ellie Schiller Wildlife Park in Homosassa Springs is one of the most active parks in the entire state (Weeki Wachi often ties for first place with them). The state has deemed the river headsprings a protected area for the manatees, and they've built a bridge over the river, where people can congregate and watch them come and go for hours. (Once you pay the entrance fee of $13, the highest in the system. Again, Weeki Wachee ties for that honor as well) The animals are currently hunkering down, as we've been experiencing some chilly temps for days now, including a hard freeze last night. But, the days warm up some, so there's still some activity. Enough to make you feel better about paying the steep entrance fee. I was hoping the "resident" ospreys were back, but their nest sustained heavy damage from Irma, and we haven't seen any activity there yet. Well, as of last week, anyway. Crossing fingers for an imminent return.

But, regarding the signpost...and speaking from State Park camphost experience, I wonder why they didn't just move the signpost or edit the site 15 specs to reflect a shorter rig?? Either option would prevent further beer-inducing or post-hole-digging experiences.

Regarding the local quilt shops, NEITHER quilt shop is available any longer though :( One left last April, the other left Dec. Both are still open in Ocala, and both are neither well stocked nor overly friendly. If I want fabric, I try to get to Trenton or Cedar Key, where I will be warmly welcomed and have a great variety from which to select my yardage.

And your stitching is coming along beautifully!! When we camp,I hardly ever have time to stitch, unless it's knitting as we drive along, so kudos to you for keeping at it!

Lots to see & do. :) Safe travels!

QuiltGranma said...

So GLAD that no damage was done when your personal earthquake happened! That could have been jarring! (giggle!) And no kitties escaped when you flew out the door! How is their PTSD from that? Do they normally ride in the trailer when it is moving? Or in crates in the truck back seat?

Kate said...

Glad all was well with both the RV and the truck. Those little moments of panic are no fun. Glad you had some pretty stitching to calm your nerves afterwards.

Brown Family said...

RV'ing can be roughing it when you have to remove posts to park and jack up the house to get level!

quiltzyx said...

Well THAT was quite an adventure! Glad none of you or the truck or trailer sustained any damages. Whew!
The stitchery is looking good, as usual.

Extra pets to smitty & Sadie too. :)

Lyndsey said...

Phew I had to come this far back before I could definitely remember reading the post. Now to read forwards. The way you wrote about your almost disaster had me giggling (or it could be the wine).