Colder and Wetter


super storm patriciaLast year this time we were in New Orleans and the ‘big deal’ was celebrating the end of hurricane season on October 31st.  A year later and Hurricane Patricia, the storm that broke the classification scale for hurricanes is bearing down on Mexico and Texas.  Times they are a changing.

We have family living in Houston and Galveston. I can’t say that we are going into the weekend without concerns.  As I write this on Saturday morning Galveston is in the eye of the heaviest U.S. rain forecast for the weekend and they are looking at 15” of rain in a couple days.  To me, that is SCARY in capital letters.  After all (in duration) the rain we saw last year I wanted this winter to be drier, and hopefully warmer.

Well, we’re thinking that we’re going to take a calculated risk.  Even though I’m still waiting on the Forest Service for some answers, I feel comfortable saying that we’re looking to spend the Winter in North Central Florida.  And if you look at the NOAA forecast maps you’ll see that we probably won’t be drier or above normally warm! 3 month prec probability3 month temp probability

I suppose some folks might hear these tentative plans and think  we’re crazy;  don’t we pay any attention to what we’ve said out loud?

Well, I guess consistency is over-rated!  And temperature isn’t our only consideration.

2015 Route
it looks like we’ll end the year with about 6800 miles on the coach odometer
70 degree map
How to stay in 70º temperatures every day of the year.

I saw a map recently.  The idea is to spend every day at  70º.  And you could do it with a 9,000 mile route around the US.  Not many miles for some RV’ers.  But more than what we do in a year.  So far in 2015 we have gone from Brownsville TX to Oregon, and back to Wisconsin.  That’s about 5400 miles.   If we add 1400 miles from Milwaukee to North Central Florida we’re still sitting at 6800 miles — so roughly 2/3’s of the mileage it might have taken to stay in 70º all year long. We aren’t that organized!  But, it’s doable if you want to pursue the dream.

Peg & I, though, are looking for a variety of experiences.  Warmth is part of the formula,  but as I’ve explained, being useful is also part.  And staying healthy.  And having fun.  Having fun is definitely a big part of the formula!  So, even if we get rained on, and even if Florida has cooler than normal temps I think that’s where we’ll end up this winter so long as the terms of our volunteer gig hold. If I sound leery about this gig it’s because I am the age I am, and all the stories I’ve been told in life have not been true. Sometimes you get a feeling in a conversation that just leaves you unsettled.  Maybe I’m reacting to a new employee’s unfamiliarity with their job,  maybe they weren’t being 100% transparent.  I’d like to know before we drive 1400 miles.  But there’s nothing to keep us there if we find the situation was mis-represented — so there are always options.  We’ve never spent an entire Winter in Florida — so this will be an interesting experience for us. And an exciting one.  We’re pumped at the idea.  And we can always do Arizona next year…. Maybe…

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

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17 Comments

    1. Well, you see, that’s the thing. Not an RV park. Because we’ll be volunteering for the USFS we’ll be staying at one of their locations (supposedly Juniper-Springs), but what I can find online does not indicate that there’s a site there LONG ENOUGH for us. So I’m waiting on clarification. Perhaps there’s something we don’t know about; perhaps the young lassie who spoke with us on the phone doesn’t know her own facility. So, being patient… while pondering the situation. 🙂

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      1. I call all forests park,,,National Park, State Park and even RV park would fit. 😀

        That would be very nice and it is very close to us. Their natural pool looks very inviting. I have been dying to swim but the alligator population in Florida has made it unthinkable.

        Do the parks put you up in any space or do you have to be in a selected volunteer space. The reason I ask is I found a link for the campground that allows you to search for sites based on specific need, including length. Here is the link. I don’t know if this will help.

        http://www.recreation.gov/camping/juniper-springs-rec-area/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=74036

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      2. Normally volunteers go into a volunteer village or a space specifically designated for volunteers (apart from the population or among the population) as we usually get other amenities the paying public may not — but this place sounds a bit different. The volunteer sites at the 2 USFS run campgrounds are PRIMITIVE which we aren’t interested in. They said we would be working at a work center but staying at Juniper-Springs which is concessionaire run, and then the young woman said we would be hosting there — which is not in the job description. She had to ask someone else about the site and someone hollered across the room (we heard in the background) that it’s a full hookup site — so there’s just a little uncertainty there.

        There’s a separate link by the concessionaire http://www.juniper-springs.com but again it’s not talking about volunteers, just their recreation facilities.

        I hope some time this week I’ll be able to have a conversation with the same person who initially responded to our inquiry. I have a couple Emails in to her but she may not have been working at the end of last week or may not have seen them. I know how busy our boss at the Siuslaw was, so this may simply be a normal time lag for USFS responses. But I don’t care to spend a few hundred on fuel to reach FL and then find we have been hoodwinked. Patience, Peter. Patience.

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  1. Peter, that is just a little south of where we spent last winter. We drove through the Ocala National Forest a few times. Beautiful area, you should love it. We are headed to the southern tip of Texas to a National Wildlife Refuge for our winter gig this year. We’ll be leaving Iowa in a week or so. Hopefully after all of the Hurricanes.

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    1. Bob — we are exchanging places it would seem. Which refuge? Laguna Atascosa? that’s really the one on the ‘tip’ of texas but there ARE several others. You should have a great time. Last winter was so wet the water got in the way but it’s a wonderful area and people there LOVE snowbirds! Have fun.

      If no complications on our last appointment we’ll leave here 11/5 — we might cross paths some place.

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      1. We’ll be south and west of Laguna Atascosa. Mowing roads for the Lower Rio Grand NWR complex along the border. Volunteer village is near Alamo, TX. It would be nice if we could cross paths again. We will be in Georgia for the month of March, so maybe then.

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      2. I saw a listing for Lower Rio Grand NWR but didn’t pay much attention to it.

        There was also another gig for a sort of road patrol but wasn’t sure about that one. Would keep a person right in the crossover zone a little too much of the time to suit me.

        We probably won’t be leaving Ocala before mid April so depending on where you are and our actual work schedule we might just have a chance to cross paths.

        How’s the new house coming. I haven’t seen many posts from you.

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      3. Peter, it has been a busy summer here. The contents of our old house are now in a 40 ft shipping container at the new house. Our daughter and her family are still living in the new house while they are looking for an acreage that they like. I have been doing some work on the Jeep and our van, and put some new windows in the new house and some other improvements. Lots of little projects left while we are here in town. We have a buyer for the old house and it is scheduled to close at the end of November. We are getting the itch to hit the road again, plan on leaving Nov 2 with a possible stop in Desmoines to see the kids there. I hope to sit down and catch up the blog soon! The road patrol job was filled when I called, but they wanted me for the mowing job.

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      4. Glad to hear you’re getting things sorted. Funny you mentioned the 40 foot container. Part of me would like to build a house out of containers. I can see a 3 container home quite nicely in my brain! Oh well, that might be one project I leave for someone else.

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  2. We too have been keeping an eye on the weather. We’ve decided to stay in AZ most of the winter but will return for our usual rendezvous with friends in Rockport Texas for January. Hopefully we won’t need floats on the RV 😉

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    1. Maybe you’ll luck out and miss the rain and have a great time. I’m not quite ready for a repeat of last year. May not be different in Fl but the scenery will be; and we’re hoping if next September goes better maybe we’ll make it to AZ after all. 🙂 Have Fun.

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      1. Ah, September in AZ? Just be aware of elevation on where you choose to travel or you may find yourself baking in Phoenix (Yes, speaking from experience LOL). Always here to offer suggestions 🙂

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      2. What I meant was we’ll be in MKE for the month of September and start heading South around 10/1 or later — so I could be December before we actually got to AZ.

        So much for personal shorthand. I sometimes confuse people more than I clarify things!

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