|Tue, 17 May: Carpes finally leave The Sunshine State.
We arrived in Florida late February and today we finally left the state with our vehicles. Obviously, we'd left the state aboard the cruise ship, but the two Carpes were taking an extended Florida holiday.
We left the Crystal Lake Campground at 0939 and were back on I 95 northbound in no time. Sandi headed us north thru some populated areas such as Daytona Beach and the Kennedy Space Center areas of Titusville et. al. At the southern part of Jacksonville we took the I 295 east bypass to miss the congestion of the central city. We also wanted to make a Costco stop, and Costco is just off the I 295 bypass.
We arrived at Costco and found parking in a nearby Toys-R-Us parking lot (thanks). First priority, lunch at the Food Court. Then some necessary victualling. Back to the coach, loaded the fridge, and back on the bypass in just under an hour. We like that...
Continuing north on I 295 we crossed the Dames Point Bridge (see pix). Dames Point is a cable-stayed six lane bridge that clears the shipping channel by 175 feet. It was opened in 1989 and is a beautiful structure.
We rejoined I 95 north of town and continued north to the Georgia border and then an additional seven miles where we exited the Interstate and drove a mile or two along local roads to the Walkabout RV park. The name is distinctly Australian, and sure enough the owner is from Melbourne. As Bob walked into the office to register the skies opened and a thunderstorm cell went thru.
The rain let up after fifteen minute or so and we got parked in a level grassy site right across from the office. Today's drive was 163 miles with an overall fuel economy just south of nine MPG.
We'll be here two nites.
Wed, 18 May: Train spotting on steroids...
It was a dark and stormy nite. It rained most of yesterday afternoon, evening, and into the overnite. At some point we lost power, which is not a problem as the fridge automatically switches to propane and all our lites are 12 volt. We only knew it had happened because the clock on the microwave was blinking.
The main reason we're here in southern Georgia is no coincidence. Our location is just twenty miles from the Folkston Funnel, a train buff's destination and paradise. Folkston is where the tracks from the west, north, and south all converge. There can be as many as five or more trains per hour.
We arrived a bit after ten and got a good parking space at the train viewing area that was built and is maintained by the town of Folkston. It has parking, a raised and covered pavilion, picnic tables, and a monitor on which the train radio can be heard.
We spent about two hours and saw five freight trains. The most remarkable was one that the engineer reported as being "15,300 feet long"! That's longer than three miles, and sure enough it took almost ten minutes to pass. Wow!
We grabbed lunch in town and are now back in the coach. It is in the low eighties outside, but the humidity is brutal. Showers and thunderstorms are a possibility for the balance of the day so we've already hooked up the car and watered the coach.
Tomorrow we continue north for a few days in South Carolina.