Summerton, South Carolina

Day 365

     It has now been one year of traveling in the Sphinx. Do we like it? Was it worth the investment? What were the highlights? What problems did we have? With all of the above, did we make the right decision?

     Never being more than 40 feet apart was a major concern when we started this adventure. As it turns out we get along great, which is probably the reason we’ve been married for 35 years, we both love me.

     Taking into consideration the cost of the Sphinx, campground fees, attraction and admission costs, restaurants, and diesel fuel, it is costing us less on a per day basis than staying in our home. (We figure groceries equal out.)

     Seeing the Country, learning (or re-learning) history, seeing wonderful sights, tasting local cuisine (today we had shrimp that we bought right off the shrimp boat), and meeting a wide range of people, has made this a fantastic journey.

     Taking your house, with all your possessions, and shaking them up like a cocktail has given us challenges (my wife’s term), that we did not anticipate. At lot has to do with the poor quality control in the RV industry (and we have what is considered a high-end RV with good quality control). We have overcome these challenges (from the hydraulics not working to a shattered window caused by the roughness of I-55 in Louisiana). It is all part of the adventure.

    There is no doubt in our minds that we made the right decision. We are having the time of our lives. 

     Therefore, we will be continuing our 5 year journey. We chose five years as our initial target to justify the cost of a new RV over a used one. There is nothing to prevent us going longer, as long as our health holds out. 

     I will continue writing this blog so you may follow our travels. I hope you find them entertaining. Please leave comments in that section at the end of each blog, making sure you check the box that says notify you when I respond to your comment. 

Technical Stuff:

Townsend, Georgia to Summerton, South Carolina 158.1 miles

3 hours 12 minutes

11.9 MPG

Diesel: $2.69

 

Disney World, Florida

Day 355

     We will be staying a week at Disney World, Florida. No battles were fought here, and most people know it’s history. Therefore, I will not be writing any blogs for the next seven days. However, stay tuned for the further adventures of Steven and Barbara.

Technical Stuff:

St. Augustine, Florida to Disney World, Florida: 125.7 miles

2 hours 56 minutes

12.3 MPG

Diesel: $ 2.39

 

Castillo de San Marcos, Florida

Day 352

     When you think of St. Augustine, the first image that comes to mind is the Castillo de San Marcos. 

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     There has been a Spanish fort on this site from the time of the settlement of St. Augustine. Nine wooden forts to be exact, up to 1672. At that time, the city was plundered, sacked, and burned to the ground by the pirate Robert Searless. The Governor then order this brick fort to be built, construction began on October 2, 1672. Since that time the fort has never been taken by force. 

     This is now North America’s oldest masonry fortification. 

     TIDBIT OF INFORMATION: How many colonies did England have in what is now known as the United States?    

     Wrong! There were 15 colonies. When England gained control of Florida from Spain at the end of the seven years war, in 1764, she divided Florida into 2 colonies to better govern this mass territory. In order to inhabit this new and untamed land, settlers were offered land and goods. At the time of the Revolution, these new colonist were very happy with England, and her rule, and would have no part of the Convention in Philadelphia planning a Revolution. 

     With the British losing the Revolution, Florida was returned to Spain for her support in the war, and the 2 colonies were dissolved. 

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Fountain of Youth, Florida

Day 351

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     The area around St. Augustine has numerous peacocks. You have all seen peacocks.

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     You might have even seen one with it’s full plumage

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     But, have you ever seen the Mother of All Peacocks?

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     How about this?

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     Tidbit of Information: Nineteen year old Juan Ponce De Leon was a sailor and part of the ship’s crew on Columbus’s second voyage to the new world in 1493. 

     In 1513 Ponce De Leon came back to Florida searching for the Fountain of Youth. He did not find it. I don’t know why, it was clearly marked:

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     Actually, I thought it was a fountain like you see in the parks. I forgot, this is 1513.

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    I told Barbara not to drink so much of that water

 

 

Saint Augustine Lighthouse, Florida

Day 350

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     What? Back to lighthouses? Yep, I enjoy them. This one is a little different from the rest. First, it has a much wider staircase. Second, it is being used as a research facility. 

     The lighthouse was first lit on October 15, 1874, and is the city’s oldest still standing brick structure.  

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     We climbed the 219 stairs to get a view from the top. 

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     During the closing days of the Revolutionary War, there were many British loyalist in Charleston, South Carolina. On January 1, 1782, sixteen ships left with these loyalists and their possessions for the British Colony of East Florida. The ships were caught in a storm and sank off the coast of St. Augustine. One of those ships was discovered and an expedition, with headquarters in this lighthouse, began recovery efforts.  

     The most interesting artifact found was this rare carronade cannon made in 1780. The second oldest existing one in the world.

Day 350 St Augistine lighthouse Fl 2551_Fotor     It was brought up and cleaned here at the lighthouse:

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Pirates in Florida

Day 349

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     Pirates were common in the St. Augustine area of Florida since the Spanish occupation. It was a goldmine for merchant ships, ripe for plunder, as well as St. Augustine itself.

     The pirate museum in St. Augustine claims to have more authentic artifacts of pirates than any other museum, including this original Jolly Roger from 1850:

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   And Pirate Thomas Tew’s treasure chest.

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     Our host through the museum was none other than Captain Morgan, himself.

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     He pointed out that the Jolly Roger was a warning to ships under pirate attack to surrender quickly or die. The black flag was raised first, indicating that good quarter (merry) will be shown if no resistance was met. A red flag indicted no mercy and death to the party under attack.

     Each pirate had his own flag. The most popular was that of Calico Jack, and the one we most associate with pirates.

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     Although pirates kept their plunder in chests, none were buried. The spoils were divided evenly among the crew or placed on the readly available black market. There was no reason to bury the plunder.