Sunday, August 24, 2014

Upper Limits - A "Star Wars" post [ie: out of sequence]

My glasses are so fogged up I can't see anything, not even the vague shape of our travel trailer that I know is right behind me. I know it's still there, I just can't make it out. 

I stepped out of our air-conditioned trailer to walk Taz, our 10 year old Golden Retriever, after a thunderous night of storms, and before I go ten feet, I am basically sightless as my glasses fog over as if they had been sprayed with paint. Even Taz, our normally nature-loving and free-spirited, four legged family member, can't wait to get back inside where civilization is meant to reside. It is only 8:25 am in the morning.

Even worse, by the time I sit down to write this, just a little after 12 noon, it is exactly 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside. We put our regular trailer thermometer on the table outside – in the shade, of course – and wait 20 minutes for the reading. We know it isn't broken because it soon drops back into the "fit for human habitation" range just a few minutes after I remount it on the trailer wall. If we were watching Star Trek, I'm not sure this campground would be on a class M planet.

We are in one of our favorite campgrounds, the Stephen Foster Cultural Center State Park just north of Lake City, Florida, just a few miles south of the Georgia/Florida border, uh, sorry, State Line. Today though, the massive, Spanish moss draped oaks can't salvage the visit. This isn't fun, no matter how you feel about camping or this beautiful campground.

Ilse and I just spent the last three weeks near Bishop, Georgia, camped at our daughter's house. Instead of heading cross country this year, we spent the hottest part of summer doing our best to help with balancing new jobs and product training by staying with them instead. We had a grand time with the family and of course our granddaughter, but when the time was right, we headed south, back to Florida, rather than heading north to the cooler mountains. We were going to spend some time up in the Georgia mountains just to avoid Florida in August, but we changed our forgetful and forgiving minds and decided to head home.

We spent three days earlier in the year at another of our favorite Florida campgrounds, Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine, with friends who were visiting the area for the first time. That was our only other camping trip this year - that explains the absence of my blogs - besides heading to Georgia. This year was the least time we had used the travel trailer since we picked it up, so we planned a three-day stop at another of our favorite parks at Wekiwa Springs on the way home from Georgia. We stopped at Stephen Foster before heading toward Orlando and Wekiwa, as a pleasant, casual spot we usually enjoy. We are to visit with friends while we are at Wekiwa, so our stop here is just for fun and a good dinner. No reason to rush, we were on vacation after all. I just hadn't counted on the incredible temperature.

Our first warning happened just after we first pulled in a little before 4:00pm yesterday afternoon. I dropped the landing gear and connected everything in record time as sweat poured off me. With water and electric power connected, we cranked up the air conditioner and we prepared to shower and fix dinner, but our air-conditioner kept popping the 30 amp circuit breaker, a first for us. We have never had a circuit breaker shut off on us before. Overload because of too much amperage being drawn.

"Click," and everything shuts down. We put the refrigerator on propane and shut off all electrical service except the A/C just to keep it running and our stripped down, encapsulated environment continues to allow us to live in a relatively comfortable state. We have friends who suffered through temperatures in the 120 degree range while they traveled out west last year, and ended up using 50 amp service – the electrical service plugs usually used by the big Class "A" and Fifth Wheel RV units - just to keep their A/C running. Now I understand why.

Ilse and I have already decided that suffering for fun isn't something we're prepared to do. Somehow, we just aren't into masochism as an entertainment venue. It now appears we should have extended our trip up north rather than head back two weeks early. Oh well, we're here now. Time for a glass of wine.

NEXT: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Love Bugs, and other Florida tidbits, at:

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