The Distance: 855 miles, way less than our huge September route, but a solid amount of movement as we explored The Panhandle, Central Florida, and part of the Southern Gulf Coast. In 2018 we are up to 9,141 miles.
Zig Zagging our way across the state.
The Places: We entered Florida on the 1st of the month and stayed five days at Topsail Hill State Park where Dad and Marcia are work camping. It was our first stay at this excellent state park, but the red tide was strong during the latter half of our stop. From there we headed east to Tyndall Air Force Base’s Family Camp, planning on a three day visit, but had to evacuate a day early as Hurricane Micheal came straight for us. We fled east to Gainesville, staying with Cousin Robb and family for four days before backtracking a short bit to stay at yet another new Florida park, Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park for a full week.
At Topsail before the red tide became a bit too much to enjoy the beach.
We began our Central Florida rounds with a move to Grand Lake RV Resort near Ocala in order to be positioned for the annual McIntosh Festival at which we had recently been accepted as vendors. After that it was back to one of our favorites in the region, Trimble Park near Mount Dora for five days. Unable to extend our time there, we went to our go to weekend spot for this area, Lake Monroe County Park. We closed the month with a run south east to Venice to visit Rose’s mom, Gloria, and other family members.
The dog costume parade at the Lake Mary Market.
October saw us in public campgrounds and with family for the majority of our days: 18 days in public parks (12 state, 6 county) and in the homes of family for 8. We stayed at a military park for 2 days and a private resort for 3. We had full hook ups for 10 days, partial (electric and water) for 13, and the aforementioned house living for 8.
The Budget: Despite a few very successful market days, we ended up 65% over budget, almost the exact amount of our big repair and upgrade bill from Mr Mobile RV. That also puts us over budget for the year for the first time, and by an amount that will be very difficult to claw back with only two months left. Normally I think we could do it with a bit of an austerity plan and more aggressive market participation, but the remainder of 2018 includes a full month at one of our most expensive parks, and there is a major holiday coming up as well. Yes, Winter Solstice is spendy for everyone, I’m sure. Ah well, we will get as close as we can.
We have done A LOT more geocaching ever since being re-inspired about the hobby by Stepmom Marcia back in September.
The Drama and the Improvements: As reported here, we did some major work at the very end of this month. We originally planned on just replacing the main awning fabric, fixing an awing strut, and doing some roof seam calking. But our front A/C failed and the guy I trust to do honest work recommended we not just nurse our 11 year old roof along with seam filling, but rather reseal the whole thing. Which we did, it looks fantastic, appears to be easier to keep clean, is reported to be helpful in climate control, and comes with a renewable warranty. So yes, we think we made the right decision, but it did cost us!