I am enjoying myself in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I got lucky with my campground once again. Not right at the beach this time, but super quiet. It is only a short 5 mile drive to the beach.
Sweet Home Alabama
There are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. So here are just a couple of fun photos from Florida and Alabama. Hopefully, I will have some time soon to write more. I am off to New Orleans in a day or so.
This is for real, Perdido Key
Interesting business location
It's the South all right, FL
It's the South all right, FL
Empty beach, Alabama. Sand as fine as sugar!
Does anyone out there have experience with photos in WordPress. I have little control over the placement and for some reason some borders around the images are larger than the image itself, as seen in the above beach shot.
P.S. One month on the road, little over 3,000 miles driven and almost 300 gallons of gas bought. Yup, I get between 10 and 12 miles to the gallon. Sad state of affairs.
Just a quick note. Made it to Carrabelle Beach at the Florida panhandle. The Sunset Isle campground is brand new, nice and quiet. Bring buck spray, the marsh is close by and little flies are numerous.
Don’t think anything can beat the Keaton Beach location anytime soon.
My camping spot in Keaton Beach
View from my bedroom
I am back on the road again. Left Miami on Thursday slowly making my way northward. I stayed away from the big interstate highways and made my way up through the center of Florida. Passed through the Big Cypress National Preserve, just north of the Everglades, where I stopped at the Clyde Butcher photo gallery. Beautiful black and white photos of the Everglades. I skipped the Everglades after hearing a report that vultures had been eating the rubber and plastic on visitors cars. One should bring a car cover… there has been no explanation for their behavior.
On my drive I saw at least half a dozen alligators sunbathing just on the other side of the canal along the road, pretty cool. Further north I hit “orange county”. Orange groves to the left and right. The smell of the orange blossoms was permeating the air. I drive with my windows down.
I stayed at a very nice and quiet campground in Cypress Gardens. It took me a long time to drive the 200+ miles. I had to get used to driving with the camper on again. I could rename this road trip to “America at 55” that’s the speed I usually drive.
Along the way I passed through a lot of new developments, gated communities with look alike houses sitting on top of each other, WHY? I got a pleasant break when I turned onto a county road where the orange groves were replaced by pastures and oak trees covered with Spanish moss. A really beautiful stretch of road was just outside of Floral City. Big oak trees to the left and right forming a canopy over the road. It felt more like the South than Florida.
The highlight of the day was my campground. I had no idea what to expect when I picked this location. I basically chose it because it was reachable within a days drive. I had no idea that I would be standing with my camper directly at the Gulf of Mexico! I am not kidding, the truck is two feet from the beach. Look for yourself. The first photo was taken from the roof of my camper, just after I arrived.
Paradise - Keaton Beach, FL
Paradise - sunset over the Gulf of Mexico
For this one I had to walk 20 yards along the beach.
I will continue along the coast and eventually, I will end up in Pensacola to visit a friend.
Time for dinner. Yummy fresh Florida tomato with something.
Home, sweet home. I spend the entire day at home taking care of regular household chores and a little work. The camper and JD (the truck) got a good cleaning as well. I continue to figure out how things work. I had some water dripping out of the rear of the camper, very strange since there are no holding tanks. Turns out that the water intake was dripping water into a small storage compartment that was not properly sealed and the water found its way to the rear of the camper. Good thing I had some silicone to seal the gap. The dripping stopped, hurrah. I have a new campground neighbor who also has a truck camper and he gave me some good tips, e.g. my camper legs were too high, putting too much stress on the jacks. Lowering the legs has also reduced the movement inside the camper.
I can’t make up my mind when to move on towards New Orleans. At this point I think it will be Thursday. Given that I only moved twice in my entire life it is kind of weird that I am suppose to move every couple of days now.
Camper and truck at campground
My "office" and dining "room"
Bathroom with skylight
Storage by the bed
Bed to the front door
Rear of the camper with my blog address
A little tour of my home. Can anyone give me some tips on inserting photos into the blog? Every time I insert photos they never end up where they are suppose to be or they jumble the whole blog. The photos are only 187 x 250 pixels. Thanks.
The last days of a tennis tournament feel always a little sad to me. On the one hand you are happy that you go back to a regular work schedule on the other hand you have to say good bye to your fellow photographers and people you met during the tournament. Often you don’t even get a chance to say good bye. This year it also means for me that this will be the last time for a while that I get to hang out with friends. I will stay in Miami a little longer and then make my way up to New Orleans. This freedom to just decide to stay longer feels strange, I have to get used to that.
Here are some photos from the tournament.
Ah, finally the weather is warming up, no rain just blue sky. I took advantage of the beautiful morning and went to the beach for an hour before the matches started.
empty beach on Key Biscayne
more empty beach
The palm trees I was lying under, sorry.
Just something to remember when you travel with a camper. Make sure you know the capacity of your holding tanks. Otherwise you will be standing in the shower wondering why the water does not drain. I had not realized that my gray water holding tank was full. So when I came home late last night from the tennis I had the pleasure of standing in the shower with more water than desired. Thank God it was not a clogged drain. So this morning I just hooked up to the sewer system at the campground and all is well.
Beautiful day in Key Biscayne.
Not all is sunny in sunny Florida. We lived through a 4 hour rain delay yesterday. Which in a way was great because it gave me time to fix the blog header.
Spend most of the day inside working. However, I managed to catch the end of the Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Shuai Peng match. Here is the result. FYI, Kuznetsova won.
I don’t know if you saw the movie “Up In The Air” with George Clooney. I saw it a couple of days ago. When Clooney’s character gave his motivational speech about what to put into your pack back and how everything and everyone you put into it weighs you down, I had to think about the choices I had to make before I went on this trip. I moved from a 300 sq. ft. apartment into a roughly 100 sq. ft. camper. The bed takes up about half the space. I left a lot of personal belongings behind, the nick nacks we collect or receive from friends. We usually don’t pay these little things much attention, they are dust collectors. However, these little things are the things that make a house or a camper a home.
I don’t need a reminder what my parents look like or that I am traveling the lower 48 states on my own, I know that. But it is nice to remember that people cared enough to give you these keepsakes. So, as I continue to make my home, I will think of the people who are in my life, even if they are hundreds of miles away.
Check out www.nancydraws.com for more great illustrations.
Now a bit about traveling. Wednesday, I arrived in Key Biscayne, Florida. I am here to photograph the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament. I am really looking forward to staying put for a while. The drive down to Florida was much more strenuous then I thought it would be. I am glad I have cruise control. Never used it before, but it sure takes the pressure off my right foot. Accelerating is hard work. Steering also takes more strength since I have to deal with the wind. I am a big fan of the right lane. I took I-95 from South Carolina to Miami. Here the speed limit is 70 mph, but I stuck to max. 60 mph. It will just take longer for me to get places. I am not really in a rush.
Having a home base hopefully, will give me some time to work on the design of this blog, I am really not crazy about the blue header.
Get ready for some tennis photos instead of landscapes.
Oh yeah, if anyone knows of someone who would like to help sponsor this trip, please let me know. There is plenty of advertising space available on the camper. Gas is eating me alive; 10 to 11 miles to the gallon @ $2.75 a gallon. So far I drove 1,700 miles, you do the math. I am just waiting for the credit card bill 🙂