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

Tallahassee, Florida

Day 821

     On February 19, 1819, Spanish minister, Do Luis de Onis, and U.S. Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, signed the Florida Purchase Treaty, in which Spain agrees to cede Florida to the United States. The Territory of Florida existed from March 30, 1822, until March 3, 1845, when it entered the United States as a slave State. 

     The founding of Tallahassee was largely a matter of convenience. In 1822, a territorial government was established, but the impracticalities of alternately meeting in St. Augustine and Pensacola, the two largest cities in the territory at the time (the Spaniards had built a road), led territorial governor William Pope Duval to appoint two commissioners to establish a more central meeting place. In October 1823, John Lee Williams of Pensacola and Dr. William Simmons of St. Augustine selected the former Indian settlement of Tallahassee, roughly midway between the two cities, as a suitable place. The name “Tallahassee” is a Muskogean Indian word meaning “old fields”, or “old town.” Tallahassee became the capital of Florida a year later in 1824. 

Technical Stuff:

Navarre, Florida to Tallahassee, Florida: 199.4 miles

3 hours 47 minutes

10.7 MPG

Diesel: $2.77

Pensacola, Florida

Day 819

     Pensacola, Florida, the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle, has a long and sordid history, as it was a highly desired sea port. Located on Pensacola Bay, it is protected by the barrier island of Santa Rosa, and connects to the Gulf of Mexico.  Since 1559, when Spanish Explorer Tristán de Luna founded a short-lived settlement here, 5 flags have claimed Pensacola as theirs: Spain, France, England, United States, and the Confederate States of America.

     First known  as “Panzacola” in 1686, after the Indian tribe living here, then anglicized.

     Pensacola was an interesting place to tour because of it’s long history. For example, this anchor, which was found in 1992 at the bottom of the bay, was from one of Tristán de Luna’s ships that sank in the hurricane of 1559. 

      This anchor is 459 years old, sat under water for 433 years, is made of iron, and displays this sign:

     That is a laugh.

     After all this time, I can’t believe a person’s fingerprints are going to destroy this relic. Nevertheless, some people don’t listen. 

     Many of the buildings and homes of the various periods are preserved in Pensacola. Over the last 3 years, we have been though many of these types of homes, but this item, from about 1805, has us stumped.

     Do you know what it is?

     The Christ Church, built in 1832, is the oldest brick church in Florida on it’s original foundation (somewhere is the oldest brick church not on it’s original foundation, the oldest wood church, etc. etc.).

     The church had an interesting stained glass depicting Jesus knocking on the bathroom door to see if the room is vacant.

     Another interesting thing we found was this mummified cat. In 1850 the cat became trapped inside the walls of a house under construction. It’s body was found in 1946 when the building was torn down. 

     Barbara window shops in a 1900 depiction of Pensacola. 

     She commanded the street car,

     but had to stop at the first traffic light in Pensacola, put up in 1926

     Anyone who lived in Pensacola is familiar with Trader Jon.

     There was an excellent exhibit on lumbering

     Do you remember the name of this type of saddle?

     Well, my staff and I have to get back to writing the blog.