|Wed, 20 Dec: Our final road day...
Today is our last day on the road for this journey. We awoke early at the Live Oak Wal*Mart only to find it was still nite. The time change moved daybreak back an hour. So, we took our time puttering about with tea, breakfast, and getting things ready to travel.
Nevertheless, we did roll out of the parking lot at 0735 and headed toward I 10. There was a not inconsiderable amount of fog about, some patches heavier than others, but none so thick as to be dangerous. We spent our final 35 miles eastbound on I 10 toward its intersection with I 75. We'd been on I 10 since Casa Grande and it was mostly good to us. We'll miss our friend.
I 75, which comes down from the Canadian border at Sault Ste. Maria in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, was a busy, busy road. The amount of truck traffic on I 75 in Florida is incredible. In addition, there were many construction zones that reduced both the width and number of lanes to a "pay attention" margin. It was nowhere as much fun as I 10.
East of Tampa, at the town of Brandon, we left I 75 for FL 60 and headed east. The first few miles were pretty congested as we competed with city traffic in Brandon and its many lites. East of Brandon it became a quasi-rural dual lane highway with only a few lites and moderate traffic.
Nearing Bartow we again encountered a handful of stoplites and some traffic, but nothing too bad. In Bartow we picked up US 17 south toward Wauchula. A few small towns and we were quickly entering Wauchula's northern limits. We continued thru town to a Marathon truck stop where we pulled up to the diesel pumps about 1245.
We added 75 gallons of diesel to Carpe's tank, along with sufficient diesel fuel stabilizer to treat 100 gallons. Since we'll be putting the coach in storage right after the first of the year this is our last opportunity to properly add stabilizer (put in the stabilizer, then the fuel so it mixes well. Then drive for a few miles so all the fuel lines are full of stabilized fuel.)
From the fuel station we drove a half mile to the Thousand Trails Peace River park. They were expecting us and aimed us at a full service spot with a good view of the sky. It wasn't the most level place so we took out our lumber to get things even. Then lunch and settling in for a two week stay.
We'll remain here till early January when we move the coach and car to storage. They'll get a chance to hibernate while we're on a cruise. But, more about all that at a future time.
Today's run was 252 miles with an overall fuel economy of 8⅕ mpg. Other than the fog, which burned off by mid morning, the weather was pleasant.
Our drive from Casa Grande AZ to Wauchula FL was 2,209 miles in length and consumed 269.7 gallons of fuel for a trip fuel economy of 8⅛ mpg. Our longest day on the road was 284 miles (Anthony TX to Fort Stockton TX) and our shortest 147 miles (Lordsburg NM to Anthony TX). We took it easy and enjoyed pretty much every mile.