Ponchatoula, Louisiana

Day 851

     We are now back here for the 5th time (see Day 605). We really enjoy this campground, especially when it is snowing in Maryland. The problem is that we have seen all the sights in this area. I guess we will have to look for something further out. 

Technical Stuff: Holt, Florida to Ponchatoula, Louisiana: 234.3 miles

4 hours 52 minutes

11.9 MPG

Diesel: $2.75

Holt, Florida

Day 850

     Our last 1 night stopover before reaching Louisiana tomorrow. We are staying at River Edge Campground. Can you believe, it is on the edge of the Yellow River.

Technical Stuff: Madison, Florida to Holt, Florida: 217.0 miles

4 hours 8 minutes

10.0 MPG

Diesel: $2.70

Tampa RV Show, Florida

Day 845

     Attended the Florida RV SuperShow at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida. They advertise themselves as “the greatest RV show in the country, with over 450 vendor booths and more than 1550 RVs covering 26 acres”. 

     We are spending 4 days here with some of the couples from our Alaska Trip. 75,00 people are expected to attend. 

     There were marching bands:

      and performers though out the fairgrounds:

      Hopefully, Barbara won’t get roped into buying a new RV:

      We might consider this if we downsize:

      This mobile robot was very amusing,

but, when I caught his operator, he came up to me and said “I was trying to avoid you!”

      You have to watch out, some people will grow on you:

      How did they get her to pop out of his head?

Technical Stuff:  

Weight Station, Fl to Tampa Fairgrounds, Fl: 8.5 miles

35 minutes

7.1 MPG

Diesel: $2.81

Weigh Station, Interstate 4, Florida

Day 844

     We are spending the night at the Florida Department of Transportation weigh station located at mile marker 13, west bound Interstate 4, in Seffner, Florida.

     This is one of Florida’s newly renovated stations, with state of the art scales and utilizes laser technology. When a truck pulls in, it is scanned by 9 laser cameras that presents a 3 dimensional image on the controller’s computer screen.

     It gives the operator the height, width, length of the tractor and the trailer, as well as distance between axles. Along with the scale, that measures weight of the cab and separate weight of the trailer, it is like a cat scan of the truck.

     In talking with the station master, we learned quite a bit about truck weight and violations. For example, some trucks will be randomly selected to be fully inspected, including undercarriage.

     As the truck pulls onto the scale, it’s weight is compared to it’s dimensions and axles,

which determines if the truck is in compliance with the law.

     This truck is overweight on one axle. However, the driver can move that axle to distribute the weight more evenly, and therefore come into compliance.

     This truck has a length violation. To correct that, the driver can move the king-pin to make the length shorter.

     Tidbit of Information: Maximum truck length is 51 feet measured from the front of the cab to the center of the rear axle. By moving the kingpin forward, that moves the trailer closer to the cab, and therefore shortens that distance. Maximum height of tractor trailer is 13 feet 6 inches. The Sphinx is 13 feet 5 inches.

     We met 2 other rigs from our Alaska trip here, and will all be going together tomorrow to the Tampa RV Show.

Technical Stuff: Eustis, Florida to Weight Station, Florida: 98.5 miles

2 hours 8 minutes

10.5 MPG

Diesel: $2.81

Eustis, Florida

Day 841

     Although the U.S. opened up the area of Eustis, Florida, for homesteading in the 1850s, settlement was delayed by, among other things, the Civil War. Surveying was finally completed in 1875 and in 1876 A.S. Pendry homesteaded and set out a citrus grove. The town was named for General Abraham Eustis, born March 26, 1786 in Petersburg, Virginia. General Eustis was an Indian fighter during the Seminole Wars.

     We visited bridge playing friends from Maryland who have a summer estate home in neighboring Mt. Dora. From their lanai, where we ate lunch,

the sandhill cranes came up to watch us. 

On their small lake were ducks, 

and geckos were everywhere 

Technical Stuff: Woodbine, Georgia to Eustis, Florida: 176.8 miles

3 hours 31 minutes

10.3 MPG

Diesel: $2.96

Woodbine, Georgia

Day 839

     Woodbine is located in one of Georgia’s original counties, created when the state constitution was adopted in February 1777 and located in the very southeastern corner of the State, just 7 miles from the current Florida border. Records of the site where Woodbine is now located date back to 1765, when 4 men petitioned for and received fourteen hundred acres on the south side of the Great Satilla River.

     We are staying at a campground called Walk-A-Bout Camp & RV Park. We walked about, but nothing really to see.

     RV’ers stop here on their way to Florida and that warm sun. So, this sign seems out of place:

Technical Stuff:

Summerton, South Carolina to Woodbine, Georgia: 207.2 miles

3 hours 55 minutes

11.7 MPG

Diesel: $2.96

Lake Marion, South Carolina

Day 837

     We are camping on Lake Marion in Summerton, South Carolina. Lake Marion was created by the construction of the Santee Dam by damming, guess what river? Your right, the Santee River, there is no getting pass you guys. The dam was constructed in November, 1941 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Great Depression. 

     The lake is named after Francis Marion, a General in the American Revolutionary War. Supposedly, more places are named for Marion than any other Revolutionary War hero, other than George. 

     Directly next to us on Lake Marion is Santee National Wildlife Refuge, which we hiked. We heard neither birds, nor saw any any animals during our hike. Probably because of the Government Shutdown. 

     In this area, we expected to see wood ducks (named because they inhibit this woodland area, not because they are made of wood), but they must have been furloughed. 

Technical Stuff: 

Roanoke Rapids, NC to Lake Marion, South Carolina: 269.1 miles

4 hours 54 minutes

10.5 MPG

Diesel: $2.56

Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina

Day 836

     We are traveling South to Tampa, Florida, to attend The RV Super Rally. We stopped in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina for the night. One of the good things about the Government Shutdown, no traffic on the Washington Beltway. 

Technical Stuff:

Fallston, Maryland to Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina: 276.8 miles

5 hours 35 minutes

10.8 MPG

Diesel: $2.57