Wow has time flown by!! Recently, I got a phone call from our friend, Barb W. asking if we were OK. It had been so long since we had posted to this blog that she was worried we had driven off into a ditch somewhere! After the call, I realized it had been over 3 months since I had updated everyone on our whereabouts and adventures. Time to remedy that!!
Last I wrote, we were on our way to the Big Bend area of Florida to spend Labor Day with family and to get ready for our return to Barberville. We checked into the Ho Hum RV Park in Carrabelle and we were looking
forward to two weeks of just sitting on our butts and enjoying our front row view of the Gulf of Mexico. And the first couple of days we did just that! Carrabelle is not a vacation’s paradise if you want lots of activities and nightlife but it is perfect for fisherman and those that like quiet walks along the beach and into the state forest. We took a drive over to Apalachicola and out to St. George’s Island for walks and meals, we ventured out to Tate’s Hell State Park for a hike, and we drove up to Tallahassee to see my mom and sister, Cat. We also joined an evening nature hike given by the FSU Coastal & Marine Laboratory checking out what tiny creatures inhabit the coastal marshes and we spent a lovely day at Wakulla Springs State Park hiking and having lunch in the historic lodge. We watched dolphins frolic, fiddler crabs dance, pelican’s fish, checked out turtle nesting sites, and were tasty meals for the mosquitoes! We even spent some time doing mundane things like getting our flu shots, getting hair cuts, picking up prescriptions, etc. All in preparation to returning to the Settlement. The heat was a bit oppressive which did curtail some of our walks but all in all it started out to be a fine relaxing couple of weeks.
Alas, the best laid plans … as Jon puts it, man plans and God laughs … Hurricane Dorian had other plans for us. Though we were not going to be in her direct path in Carrabelle, early on, the predictions had it going in over Ft. Lauderdale. We had decided to take that hike into Tate’s Hell – BTW it was named for a guy that had gotten lost in the woods around Carrabelle and after a week came out and said “My name is Cabe Tate and I’ve just
come from Hell” then promptly died – and after being eaten alive by the mosquitoes, and almost getting lost in the swamp ourselves, we decided to skip the hike and cut our visit to Hell short. On the drive back to the RV we decided to check in with Jon’s sister, Chris and her partner, Inez (and their Jack Russel terrier named Shelly) who live in Ft. Lauderdale to see how their hurricane preparations were going. As it turned out they were planning to hunker down in place, so we offered to drive down to help them evacuate and bring them back up to Carrabelle until the hurricane had passed. After a quick shower to get the bug spray off, we hit the road at 3 pm and drove straight through arriving at their place at 11 pm. We got a few hours sleep then hit the road again and drove straight back to Northern Florida – total of 18 hrs of driving in one 24 hour period!
We got them safely tucked away in one of the better hotels in Carrabelle and then waited out the storm, which of course, decided to turn at the last minute and veered away from the lower coast of the state. We felt fortunate that we were able to help them and we did have a lovely visit for several days. Jon and Chris, who is a professional street photographer, took a day and went on a photo shoot around the area.
To pass the time while we were waiting for Dorian to make up her mind as to where she was going to go we rented a pontoon boat. We planned a day of cruising out to Dog Island, picnicking on the beach, and spending the day getting that perfect beach picture. Unfortunately, the first boat we were given had a problem with the throttle or gas line and we had to make a mayday call to the rental company to come and rescue us and bring us a new boat. After the switch, we set off again to head across the St. George Sound only to be hit by higher swells than expected and winds that were making progress difficult. Since it was a beautiful day we turned around and headed up the Carrabelle River for a bit so that Chris could continue shooting.
After 5 days of waiting and watching the hurricane’s path we were anxious to get on the road. We had checked in with our boss in Barberville and were happy to learn that there was only minor damage, branches down etc. but we had to wait till the evacuation order was lifted for Volusia County before we could head south. At 1 pm on the 4th it was lifted so we packed everyone up and headed out. We drove to Barberville and tucked the coach in at the Settlement. Got a few hours sleep, up early, then drove Chris, Inez, and Shelly to Ft. Lauderdale in the Jeep. We were in by noon so after we were sure their house was undamaged and they had their water and gas turned back on, Jon and I got in the car and headed back to Barberville. Again … over 12 hours of driving in 24! We were happy we were able to help out but boy was that a lot of time in vehicles!!
Rainbow showing our way home!
We ended up getting to Barberville a few days earlier than expected but it
gave us a chance to settle in, get the RV setup on our new site, clean it from top to bottom, get out all of our period attire, and get reacquainted with our Workamping colleagues.
Up next I’ll finish getting caught up on what we have done since our return.