Here are the Blogs in the Florida Loop 2011
Thursday, 17 March 2011
The Florida Loop covers an almost 8 week loop around Florida in Jan-Mar 2011. The Florida portion begins at Fort Clinch State Park in Fernadina then heads south to Miami and Marathon in the Keys. In the interior we covered Lake Okechobee and Orlando. We took the Tamiami Trail across Florida and headed ...Read More...
Posted on 03/17/2011 2:13 AM by Bob Duthie
Thursday, 17 March 2011
53 days total
3,320 miles total
181 gal diesel
17.96 avg mpg
$593 fuel cost
$3.28 avg cost/gal
$3.10 $3.90 price range per gal
$0.182 avg diesel cost per mile
Filled up with propane once
Generator was only used for a couple of hours
Posted on 03/17/2011 1:55 AM by Bob Duthie
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
We arrived at the Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman just after it opened at 9:00AM. We had the whole place to ourselves. Our guide was a Calico cat that led us around the entire property. The Grotto is built into a steep gully and located at a Benedictine Abby and school just east of Cullman on US278. It ...Read More...
Posted on 03/16/2011 2:00 AM by Bob Duthie
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
We said goodbye to the beaches of Florida and drove 307 miles today to an RV Park near Hanceville, AL. All the way north we were tracking a vast storm moving east and found this RV Park just 11 minutes before the rain hit with a vengance. From Grayton Beach to Montgomery we were on 2 lane roads that ...Read More...
Posted on 03/15/2011 1:59 AM by Bob Duthie
Monday, 14 March 2011
I had some competition at the slide show last night with a very active poker game going on the picnic table. However, I did get some nice comments such as "It left me feeling I want to know more." Today we slept in with the time change and missed breakfast. We missed lunch as there wasn't supposed ...Read More...
Posted on 03/14/2011 3:06 AM by Bob Duthie
Sunday, 13 March 2011
We had another beautiful weather day with another pancake breakfast and a huge fish fry at lunch with entertainment. Jeff and Susie, Great Loop friends, that now have a 2011 View came over in the afternoon and watched pictures of the Salton Sea area. Both of us rode over (at different times) on the ...Read More...
Posted on 03/13/2011 12:20 AM by Bob Duthie
Saturday, 12 March 2011
The View/Navion Rally is now in full motion. We had breakfast pancakes, then a session on touring Alaska, followed by pot luck lunch and then the Coach Crawl. The Crawl lets everyone tour other rigs at specified times. It was a great learning session to see the modifications people have made. Our unit ...Read More...
Posted on 03/12/2011 4:16 AM by Bob Duthie
Friday, 11 March 2011
This morning Mavis was up early to go shelling after the big storm but pickings were pretty poor. The sand was blowing, the surf was up, and I measured the wind peaking at 24.3 mph with my wind gage. Grayton Beach State Park is the location of our annual View/Navion Rally. There about 48 View/Navions ...Read More...
Posted on 03/11/2011 3:33 AM by Bob Duthie
Thursday, 10 March 2011
The weather today was terrible. Winds on the Gulf were reported at 60 Knots. While it wasn't that bad here it was a day to stay inside. Internet service and power went off late in the day when the thunderstorms started. The storm went on for a good 6 hours....Read More...
Posted on 03/10/2011 4:57 PM by Bob Duthie
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
We stopped at the Moorings Marina at Carrabelle for breakfast.
This is the place we stayed at in 2003 before crossing the Gulf in the M/V Katy Leigh. There was one looper there from Peoria waiting for a good weather day to cross. The road to Apalachicola runs along the water.
At Apalachicola ...Read More...
Posted on 03/09/2011 2:34 AM by Bob Duthie
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
The main event today was to be Steinhatchee the other port used by Great Loopers that try to follow the coast. It turns out that Steinhatchee is almost the opposite of Cedar Key with friendly marinas and sheltered water on the river with the same name as the town. There is no downtown with antique and ...Read More...
Posted on 03/08/2011 2:55 AM by Bob Duthie
Monday, 7 March 2011
We drove 122 miles to Cedar Key. This is old Florida at its best; mangrove covered keys, interesting architecture, neat restaurants, and the Gulf. This is Key West on a small scale. What is missing is cruise ships (shallow water) and anywhere for cruising boaters to dock. The chart shows Cedar Cove ...Read More...
Posted on 03/07/2011 1:25 AM by Bob Duthie
Sunday, 6 March 2011
Doc cooked another great breakfast with scrambled eggs covered with cheese and toasted English muffins. We said goodbye and headed across the Skyway Bridge to the new Dali Museum in St Petersburg. The museum has only been open for a couple of months. We had seen the old museum 3 years ago but there ...Read More...
Posted on 03/06/2011 12:49 AM by Bob Duthie
Saturday, 5 March 2011
Doc learned how to cook in the military and does all the cooking at home. We have had several great meals by Doc and ate out once at a sea food place known only to the locals called Captain Brian's. It was very good and highly recommended. Later we went to Linger Lodge and reviewed the Road Kill ...Read More...
Posted on 03/05/2011 3:23 AM by Bob Duthie
Friday, 4 March 2011
Checking into Oscar Scherer State Park we found there were no sites available. It seems there is a big art show in Sarasota so everything is booked. We called our boating & RV friends Doc & Eileen in Bradenton and they said to come on over. Our timing was good as they are heading to Europe in a week ...Read More...
Posted on 03/04/2011 3:06 AM by Bob Duthie
Thursday, 3 March 2011
I always enjoy reading the rules for RV Parks. Gulf View is one of the tidiest and cleanest parks yet. But with many permanent "park homes" as they are called owners just can't resist. The rules say "No . . . excessive clutter will be permitted on sites . . . and residents wishing to enhance their sites ...Read More...
Posted on 03/03/2011 2:51 AM by Bob Duthie
Wednesday, 2 March 2011
It's false advertising. The lady at the front desk just laughed when I said I wanted a site with the Gulf View. However, the RV Park does have access to the Alligator Creek which leads to Charlotte Harbor which goes to the Gulf. As soon as we got to our site we we got lots of visitors. Barbara and Jim ...Read More...
Posted on 03/02/2011 2:01 AM by Bob Duthie
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
It was another relaxing day walking around the property and watching the manatees surfacing in the canals. Today I saw a tail but it was too fast to photograph. In the afternoon I stretched out in the boat and read while listening to music. Until Mavis came over with cell phone in hand for a conference ...Read More...
Posted on 03/01/2011 3:56 AM by Bob Duthie
Monday, 28 February 2011
This was a relaxing day at the condo. Hans and I walked around the property looking at boats and the manatees. Lunch was in Punta Gorda at Laishley Crab House overlooking the harbor. The huge crab was in the skylight at the entrance. I was surprised to see they had fried ice cream but it was a very ...Read More...
Posted on 02/28/2011 1:09 AM by Bob Duthie
Sunday, 27 February 2011
We had breakfast at one of the nicest restaurants yet. It is in Fort Myers and called First Watch The Daytime CafÃ©. Breakfast and lunch only are served. We were there at 8:30 and got one of the last tables. By 9:30 people were lined up out into the street. Menus, signage, and dÃ©cor are all very ...Read More...
Posted on 02/27/2011 4:55 AM by Bob Duthie
Saturday, 26 February 2011
Fred and Joanie have a home on one of the canals with a pool and lanai. The house has been in her family since 1968. The photos today are not very good as when I was showing off the camera to Fred I set the film speed to 3200. This is fine in the dark but not in bright sunlight. Even Picasa couldn't ...Read More...
Posted on 02/26/2011 3:08 AM by Bob Duthie
Friday, 25 February 2011
Did you know that Cape Coral has the 2nd highest rate of home foreclosures in the USA behind Las Vegas. 1 in 8 homes here have been foreclosed. This street side photo illustrates how bad it is when bus tours now take people around to see foreclosed homes. Tonight we are staying with friends Fred and ...Read More...
Posted on 02/25/2011 3:10 AM by Bob Duthie
Thursday, 24 February 2011
This was another beautiful day in Florida. The traffic jam from yesterday started all over again early this morning with cars trying to get to the beach. Apparently this is school break in Florida. Just across the waterfrom our campsite is an island where the brown pelicans roost. They wait for the ...Read More...
Posted on 02/24/2011 3:21 AM by Bob Duthie
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
We left Ed & Daisy in Marathon after taking a photo of their Datura fastuosa double purple or double purple devil's trumpet (all parts are poisonous) that was growing in the yard. Mavis got some seed pods so we may see one of these in our yard in Nashville. Our GPS took us across Florida on the Tamiami ...Read More...
Posted on 02/23/2011 4:02 AM by Bob Duthie
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
We decided to stay another day here and drive the 249 miles to Fort Myers tomorrow. We will skip a day in the Big Cypress Swamp. Ed took us a couple of miles east to us to the Dolphin Research Center. This is a non-profit started in the 50s that studies dolphins in large pens. There were two 4 month ...Read More...
Posted on 02/22/2011 3:04 AM by Bob Duthie
Monday, 21 February 2011
Ed and I spent the morning telling stories and impressing each other with our latest toys. Ed demonstrated Apple TV which wirelessly connects your computer to an HD TV. It lets you access Netflix, automatically creates slide shows with music, and shows your slides and videos on the TV in HD. We showed ...Read More...
Posted on 02/21/2011 4:09 AM by Bob Duthie
Sunday, 20 February 2011
We travelled 115 miles to Marathon, a city in the Florida Keys. We stopped for breakfast at the Bagel Emporium in Coral Gables and met with friends from Nashville. Tonight we are staying in the driveway of friends, Ed & Daisy in Marathon that have a motor home like ours (2007 View) and a 48 ft ...Read More...
Posted on 02/20/2011 2:31 AM by Bob Duthie
Saturday, 19 February 2011
I was up at 6:00AM to catch the bus and people mover for the boat show. Boating Writers International was having its annual meeting at 8:00AM. By 7:30 I was at the causeway to Miami Beach but gave up trying to get to the Convention Center by public transport and took a taxi arriving at 8:01AM. The ...Read More...
Posted on 02/19/2011 4:15 AM by Bob Duthie
Friday, 18 February 2011
I spent the day at the boat show and learning the Miami MetroMover a free automated people mover train system that loops around downtown Miami. Trying to get back to Key Biscayne I did the central loop 3 times before discovering the electronic sign which said which train goes where.
The boat show ...Read More...
Posted on 02/18/2011 4:01 AM by Bob Duthie
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Traffic was heavy on I-95 but we made it to Coconut Grove without incident.
This is where James Deering, VP of International Harvester built his Italian summer home, Vizcaya, in 1916.
The home is packed with European antiques of all kinds. The home is much like the Ringling Mansion in Sarasota. ...Read More...
Posted on 02/17/2011 2:30 AM by Bob Duthie
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Two nights ago the noise was from trucks on US 27, tonight it is gun fire. It's not a revolution but rather people practicing with their guns on the target range here at Markham Park in Sunrise. There are so many things to do in the park besides the campground. There is a dog park, a model boat park, ...Read More...
Posted on 02/16/2011 2:25 AM by Bob Duthie
Monday, 14 February 2011
US Hwy 27 runs from Tallahassee to Miami down the middle of Florida and around Lake Okeechobee. Little did we know that it ran about 50 ft from our campsite at the Palm Beach County's South Bay RV Park. The 4 lane road is used by trucks day and night. Needless to say it was nearly impossible to sleep ...Read More...
Posted on 02/14/2011 11:39 PM by Bob Duthie
Monday, 14 February 2011
We took our second tour of Lion Country and this time found I could get photos of the lions without the fence by shooting out the top of our side window. I also saw some flamingos that we missed yesterday. It was about 47 miles to Clewiston across the flattest land anywhere in the country. It was formerly ...Read More...
Posted on 02/14/2011 12:27 AM by Bob Duthie
Sunday, 13 February 2011
Another cold, rainy day in Florida until noon when it cleared up and the sun came out. I spent the time checking email and got an idea from one. For the past 4 years we have never named the Winnebago View. We can name it the R/V Katy Leigh to go along with the M/V Katy Leigh. After lunch it was time ...Read More...
Posted on 02/13/2011 2:34 AM by Bob Duthie
Saturday, 12 February 2011
Last night I had an email from a college classmate and FaceBook friend who lives in Jupiter. He had looked at FaceBook for the first time in 3 months and found my blog post. We talked on the phone but couldn't find a way to get together. I guess there is some use to FaceBook after all. Today was cold ...Read More...
Posted on 02/12/2011 2:23 AM by Bob Duthie
Friday, 11 February 2011
Today we learned we are in Hob (long o) and not Hobee as in Hobe Cat. Nashville friends Kent and Erin have a place in Jupiter and took us out for lunch at Taste in Hobe Sound. After lunch we visited their home in one of the beautiful gated communities here for golfers and boaters. Kent does a lot of ...Read More...
Posted on 02/11/2011 1:57 AM by Bob Duthie
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
Last night we had dinner with Looper friends Ron & Eva in their 5th wheel RV. It was very spacious. They had just finished a hammered dulcimer concert in Key West and are now heading back slowly to Tennessee. I took my GPS with me on the cruise yesterday and plotted our track on Google Earth. The cruise ...Read More...
Posted on 02/09/2011 10:21 PM by Bob Duthie
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Today we toured the Jonathan Dickinson State Park "coastal sand pine scrub" by bike, motorhome, and tour boat. I finally got the bike out of under the bunk bed and found the chain had come off the sprockets and got tangled up. It took an hour to straighten it all out and I went for a nice ride to the ...Read More...
Posted on 02/08/2011 10:26 PM by Bob Duthie
Monday, 7 February 2011
We stayed off I-95 and took the old roads to get to our campsite at Jonathon Dickinson State Park. It is an 11,500 acre park. The brochure says we are camped in a "coastal sand pine scrub, a biological community so rare it has been designated globally imperiled." I'll get some scrub photos tomorrow ...Read More...
Posted on 02/07/2011 9:21 PM by Bob Duthie
Sunday, 6 February 2011
Walking around the campsite we counted 6 other Winnebago View/Navions like ours out of 277 sites. We could have organized a rally with that many. Several were from Quebec. The rest of the day was spent reading, planning the next 2 weeks, and of course the Superbowl XLV. It was a good close game and ...Read More...
Posted on 02/06/2011 10:53 PM by Bob Duthie