2016 Travels travel blog

Carpe at Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Florida 714 is narrow with low trees
A white knuckle drive...(dashcam image)

Entering Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Dashcam image

Mon, 09 May: Heading east to the ocean...

After spending the past two plus months at the Thousand Trails Peace River park in Wauchula Florida, Carpe Diem finally hit the road. Today's drive was 125 miles, mostly on Florida state routes. While most of the drive was relaxing one section had Sandi's hands "white-knuckled" for most of the forty miles.

We left Peace River at 0900 and drove a short distance south on US 17 to FL 66, which we took east toward Sebring. FL 66 is a nice state highway with wide lanes and an adequate shoulder. At US 27 the road becomes US 98, which we took east into Okeechobee, where we transitioned to FL 710.

A few miles south of Okeechobee we headed east on FL 714, which our trucker GPS assured us was a valid truck route (even tho our Rand McNally Trucker Atlas told us it was not). Almost immediately we knew we were in for a challenge as the road was very narrow with absolutely no shoulder, just a white line and a drop-off. We don't know how far the drop-off was as we never veered off the road. To make it even more fun the trees were not well trimmed and kept "tinking" at our CB and HAM radio antennae (the CB antenna is 14'3" above the road).

Sandi was at the helm and devoted 100% of her attention to keeping the coach between the lines and the mirrors intact when passing the many trucks. All worked out in the end and some forty miles later we hopped onto I 95 and took it south about fifteen miles to the Hobe Sound exit. Then east on FL 708 to US 1, and south to the Jonathan Dickinson State Park. We arrive at the park a bit B4 noon and were parked in our site by 1210. Today's drive was 125 miles with an overall fuel economy of 7.6 mpg.

We've been at Jonathan Dickinson before and had made reservations before we left on our cruise. Check in was uneventful and our site is a super long and very level gravel area. Once settled in we drove to Palm Beach Gardens for a "Costco Fix". Pizza at the food court was our #1 priority and then some serious victualling.

Back to the coach for R&R.

Wed, 11 May: A busy few days...

Yesterday, Tuesday, was a busy day for us. The main reason we drove to the Palm Beach area was to help the local medical establishment. We needed some follow up visits and we do have some medical relationships in the area.

First off was Sandi's visit to the eye doctor in Boyton Beach. Her checkup was OK as her eye pressures were down in both eyes and the doc sez all looks OK.

Then to Sam Club in West Palm Beach where we had Dinkum's headlights "restored". The plastic covers had yellowed with age and Sam's Club has a procedure where they clean them up, and guarantee their work for five years. We left the car with them and they did a great job. The covers look like new! We'll see if they can do the coach's covers at some time in the future.

Then Bob visited his GP in Palm Beach Gardens where he had a cursory exam and some lab blood drawn. Overall he came away with a good report.

Dinner was at the "Time To Eat" diner in Jupiter. It bills itself as an authentic Jersey-style diner, but the staff is too nice to pull it off. They do, however, follow the Jersey tradition of a huge menu and generous portions.

We ate there in '13 and returned for another good meal. Sandi's Ruben sandwich was way too huge for one meal, and Bob's Tuesday special brisket similarly over the top. "Two boxes to go please!"

This morning is an "at home" and this afternoon we'll park ourselves at the dermatologist's office hoping they can squeeze Sandi in. She has a "thing" growing on her left forearm that is beginning to annoy her.

Sun, 15 May: A busy rest-of-the-week.

Where has the time flown? We left off on Wednesday with Sandi's standby appointment with the dermatologist scheduled. Well, it turned out to be a "non-event". We arrive at the office a bit before our 1400 time, filled out some paperwork, and was immediately called into the examination room. The doctor arrived a few minutes after that, removed the growth, and we were back in the car by 1420. What service!

We drove down to West Palm Beach so Bob could visit an outlet store. Then a stop at Sam's Club to pick up some frozen food and cheeses, and we were back home by Happy Hour (yes, Happy Hour is always capitalized.)

Thursday was a stay at home day. No traffic.

Friday we ran some errands in the morning. Sandi got a call that the growth removed from her arm was benign. Always good news. Afternoon was laundry, which was easy and quick.

Saturday we got a call from Eileen and John Frerking, dear friends who live in nearby North Palm Beach. They'd just arrived home in their Airstream and we arranged to get together for dinner. We met at Harry and the Natives' in Hobe Sound, an "authentic' Florida-style restaurant. Dinner was great, but the company even better.

Following dinner we all returned to the coach and we gabbed till well after nine. These two fun folks are always a blast to be around, and this visit was no exception.

Which brings us to today. We slept in as the folks camping next door in two tents didn't seem to grasp the concept of "quiet time". Even with the air conditioning running their noise was annoying. Sandi finally used ear plugs to get to sleep. Thankfully, they packed up their tents and are gone (and good riddance!)

Tomorrow we'll hit the road and head north.

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