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Old 05-28-2008, 10:21 AM   #521
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I'll see what I can find. I'm pretty sure both of ours are in good shape and we don't plan to use them. I'll let ya know.

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Old 05-28-2008, 05:17 PM   #522
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Day after tomorrow

No, I'm not talking about the cheesy sci-fi ice age movie, but the day that we hook up to Bertha, and drag bag and baggage across the state to Saint Augustine for the weekend. We are planning on a full day of activity on Saturday, from dropping off Sophie at day care, to a visit to Marineland. I haven't been to Marineland since the mid 1960's, when I was among the priveledged to watch a trained dolphin nearly bite off the hand of the current Little Miss America. Hopefully this visit will be less traumatic for all concerned. We are also planning to go to the old city in St. Augustine, as well as Fort Matanzas. We may get done in time to spend an hour or so swimming in the Atlantic before dark, followed by grilled steaks and grilled veggies.
We'll probably both have just enough energy left for a shower and stagger off to bed... Return Sunday, it's too bad we couldn't make a 3 day weekend out of it, but our schedules didn't permit that. We'll take what we can get.
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Old 05-28-2008, 06:20 PM   #523
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Sounds like a good weekend. Have fun!
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:20 PM   #524
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We're back!

We have returned to our point of departure (we can't really say we are home, since we are towing it behind us). We got 9.8 mpg in a 25 mph headwind going out, and 10.5 mpg with a 20 mph tail wind returning. I decided it is time to replace the fresh water tank, so the trailer will be more stable towing with the extra 360 pounds of water under the floor. Look for this repair in a future installment or our missive.
When we got to the campground, I was concerned by the Jeff Foxworthy-esque directive to "turn off the paved road". Turning off the paved road was not the main cause of my concern, but rather the really rough, narrow, crooked, tree-hugged, low-overhead dirt track that lead to the campground. The path was just barely wider than the truck and Bertha. As boondocking places go, this wasn't so bad, but in a large-ish truck towing a long trailer, this was disquieting at best. Here are a couple of photos of the road in to the camping area:
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:23 PM   #525
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Palm fronds and tree branches scraped both sides of the truck, and the sides and roof of Bertha. Sophie decided it would be a good time to seek some attention from the driver...
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:29 PM   #526
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We got to the campground, and found to our chagrin, that the advertised 35' maximum length was for the entire combination, not just the trailer! Yikes!
After a brief evaluation of the site, I decided to attempt parking Betha in site #20. The access was bordered on either side by a good-sized tree, and a big tree was exactly where the truck would need to be when turning and backing. I dropped the WD and anti-sway gear in the road, and stationed Marie to watch the rear of Bertha, and yell only if I was about to hit something. Several "neighbors" came out to watch the festivities.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:35 PM   #527
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The anitclimactic climax, nothing happened. I slid Bertha into the campsite with about 6" on each side, and a whole inch and a half past the front bumper of the truck. The neighbors all mumbled, and shuffled back to their respective popups. "Nothing to see here, move along". Even though we really couldn't extend the awnings, we really didn't need them because the whole place was covered with trees.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:37 PM   #528
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We were not alone...

We haad a small Airstream motorhome as our nearest neighbor. They had the second-biggest rig in attendance, we were the largest, at least in length. They must have been some of those "Airstream snobs" we all hear about, we never saw them the entire time we were there...
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:42 PM   #529
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St. Augustine

We dropped Sophie off at a doogie day care, and headed off to the oldest city in North America for a day of sightseeing, and being tourists. The old drawbridge is undergoing a massive rebuilding, and its' temporary replacement is a concrete and steel lift bridge.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:44 PM   #530
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More photos of the old fort:
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:46 PM   #531
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Antique 'loo:

For those of you that have always wondered, "where did they go to the bathroom?", here are a couple of photos of the oldest bathrooms in North America:
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:49 PM   #532
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The "powder room"

The powder room is not what you would expect. It is a part of the ammunition room, and it was accessed through a tiny, 18" high door. Yes, I crawled through it to bring y'all these photos (the things I do to bring quality entertainment to the forums...):
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:52 PM   #533
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
...............we can't really say we are home, since we are towing it behind us).
There are advantages to a home with wheels, are there not?
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:53 PM   #534
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We then climbed to the top of the fort, and snapped a couple more top-level views:
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:58 PM   #535
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We then headed South on A1A, the beach road. Stopping for lunch at a place called the Sea Oat Caffe, I learned how to make Southern Sweet Tea, St.Augustine-style. Here's the recipe:
1-Take a 20 ounce tea glass
2-Fill 7/8 full of refined white sugar
3-Fill remainder with fresh-brewed tea
4-Stir well
5-Sweeten to taste...
I saw our server preparing the above, and changed my drink order to unsweetened...
We didn't actually witness anybody flying out of the restaraunt from the effects of a sweet-tea sugar buzz, but I did notice a couple of patrons vibrating in their chairs.
Weeeee..........
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:05 PM   #536
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Next we headed down to Fort Matanzas, a very small, but critical fortification in the days of galleons and pirates.
The fort was saved from literally falling apart a few decades ago. and was winched back together, steel beams reinforced the original masonry, and preserved for future historians. We got to ride a boat over to the fort (it's on a small island in the middle of the intercoastal waterway, and the only access is by boat:
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:07 PM   #537
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Some of the photos above were taken from the roof of the fort, which I had to climb a steep vertical ladder to acquire. Here's a photo of the ladder from the top down, and a shot of the backside of the fort. The outward bow is all that remains from the fort's nearly disatrous slide into oblivion, now hopefully arrested for generations:
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:18 PM   #538
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We ran out of time before getting to Marineland, but we enjoyed our outing immensely. We arrived back in town in time to pick up Sophie, and hauled her back to the campground.
After we got settled back in, I was outside grilling our steaks for dinner, when a park ranger stopped by. All he wanted was to know how the hell I got Bertha into our spot without destroying anything.
I have been asked if I was concerned that we would damage Bertha by dragging her into places like this (this is not the first time we've taken our trailer where others wouldn't dream).
My response is, as always, that these trailers are made for travel, and an occasional scratch or crease is part of the risk. To paraphrase John Paul Jones: It is a sturdy trailer, meant to go in adventure's way.
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:48 PM   #539
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^_^

Great Story, Guys!! Sorry but I seem to have missed any pictures of the two star tourists??? Sophie looks right at home. Wish we could have been there!

Thanks for all your climbing and crawling... I assume Marie was standing nearby with a heightened sense of awareness????

Phil & Edee
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Old 06-02-2008, 08:58 PM   #540
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Hi Terry and Marie,

Thanks for the virtual trip to one of my favorite places. The link I clicked on took me directly to post 537 and I immediately recognized Fort Matanzas. I remember that in the late 1980s, if you went east from the Bridge of the Lions in St Augustine till you got to the St john's river and turned south, there was a tiny campground near a boat ramp with free camping. There was a restroom with a shower, but I have never smelled such sulphur in the water.

I know where I want to go, back to St Augustine.
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