A Seasoning For Every Activity

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” – Eccles. 3:1

David and I have not posted on our blog for quite some time now. For us, it’s been a “season” of repairs, family and reunions.

Eating Outside on the Alafia River

We have been on the road exploring and crisscrossing our beautiful country for more than five years. From time to time, we have had to make repairs to both the RV and the truck. Fortunately, David has been able to repair the majority of things that have broken. Over the past few months, however, we have had to make some major repairs to both the truck and rig and getting those repaired or replaced have taken up a significant amount of our time and energy.

The day before we were planning on leaving Oklahoma, the “check engine” light came on and, after some diagnostics, the mechanic said that we needed a new catalytic converter. While that was not good news, the worst news was that the part was currently unavailable due to “supply chain issues.” We were told that it might take two months to acquire one. Fortunately, it only took 10 days to fix our truck. After some unexpected delays, we were back on the road again.

Gardens in Wilmington

After a visit with Celia’s mom in NC, we made our way to the Tampa, FL area where we were going to spend the winter months this year. No sooner had we arrived and parked the rig when smoke started billowing out from under the hood of the truck. This time is was a radiator hose that had failed and but it was a quick repair. We were so thankful that this did not happen while we were towing the Bighorn.

Replacing a valve only to have another part break a week later

Once in Florida, we started having issues with our RV and these were not resolved quickly. Our furnace broke, our refrigerator died, our toilet failed, and our coffeemaker stopped working. David was able to order parts and fix the toilet and the coffeemaker but the furnace and the fridge repairs dragged on for months. The fact that our furnace was not operational was not too inconvenient since we were in sunny Florida where the weather was warm. The fridge, on the other hand, was another matter. We were without our RV fridge for over two months. We purchased a small dorm-sized one which got us through. Seems like everything waited to break until we got to Florida so in that sense the timing was not so bad.

We were very thankful to find a great mobile tech who worked with our insurance company to secure a new refrigerator and the parts for the furnace. Also, our friendly neighbors here in the campground were a godsend. They helped us remove the broken fridge and hoisted the new one into the RV so that it could be installed. We could not have done this without their assistance.

To add a bit more excitement to our winter stay in Florida, one of the campers who was departing ran into our RV and damaged the side and the front cap. We had to deal with another insurance company to get the money to repair the damages to our rig. The insurance company was very attentive and prompt so that was good.

By the beginning of March, all of the repairs were finished and we feel like we can finally get back on the road. While having to repair and replace things on our rig was frustrating, we feel blessed that all of this happened when we had not planned on traveling and we were also near family during this process. We have enjoyed our time with family and friends here in Florida.

We celebrated both Thanksgiving and Christmas with family in Tampa. While together, we had a wonderful time and revisited some our favorite places.

Lettuce Lake Conservation Park, a 240-acre preserve along the Hillsborough River, is a great place to experience some of Florida’s wildlife without getting too close. The park offers many trails and also a boardwalk through the cypress hammocks and out over the wetlands. You often see alligators, turtles, and lots of aquatic birds. There is also an observation tower that looks out over the river. Even though it was a bit cool for Florida, we had a fun time there.

Another interesting place to visit is the Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach. Located south of Tampa, this facility is open from November 1st– April 15th. When the weather turns cool, hundreds of manatees enter Tampa Bay in search of warmer water which they find near the Big Bend Power Station. This area is a sanctuary for these plant-eating, “gentle giants.” It was a cool day when we visited so we saw many, many manatees. The young ones were particularly cute and fun to watch.

These past few months seem to have flown by and we will be leaving Florida soon. Our travel plans include heading north, visiting New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island this summer. Before we leave here though, we have a few more places that we want to see. So many places, so little time…

5 thoughts on “A Seasoning For Every Activity

  1. Sounds like you have had quite a time! Glad you were able to get everything resolved, though. Pat, Eric, and I were in Florida for part of a week (also visited the Biloxi area) and had a good time looking for wildlife. We had particularly good luck at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, where we saw feral pigs, roseate spoonbills and many other aquatic birds, alligators, etc. We also spent a couple of nights in Jacksonville where I lived from first through seventh grades. I enjoyed the nostalgia but imagine that that part of the trip was not quite as exciting as some of the other places we visited for Pat and Eric. Your upcoming trip to Canada sounds wonderful–I have always wanted to visit that part of the world (I’d like to see the tides go in and out at the Bay of Fundy) but have never gotten north of Maine on the eastern coast of North America.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like a great trip. I am sure that visiting Jacksonville was a lot of fun for you. We are looking forward to seeing the Bay of Fundy. We knew so little about the Maritimes until we started doing some research and now especially excited to visit. Currently we have neighbors from Nova Scotia and it has been fun talking to them about their home.


  2. Sorry to hear about all your issues, but happy you got it all worked out!
    Bill and I have Nova Scotia and that whole area on our bucket list, so I’m excited to read about your experiences!

    Liked by 1 person

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