Pensacola Lighthouse, Florida

Day 985

     I haven’t blogged about lighthouses in a while. The Pensacola Lighthouse was built in 1859, and is located on the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida.

     At 191 feet we climbed 177 steps to get to the top.

     Tidbit of Information: Who says lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place? The Pensacola Lighthouse was zapped in 1874 and then struck again the following year. Nature took another swipe at the lighthouse on August 31, 1886, when a rare earthquake shook the tower.

     The top of the tower offers stunning views of Pensacola Pass (where Pensacola Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico).

The Blue Angels, Pensacola, Florida

Day 984

     What comes to mind when you say “Pensacola, Florida”? The Blue Angels flight exhibition team of course.

     We went to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola to watch the Blue Angels.

     At the end of World War II, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, had a vision to create a flight exhibition team in order to raise the public’s interest in naval aviation and boost Navy morale. Nimitz ordered the establishment of the Navy Flight Exhibition Team on April 24, 1946.

     The team of top pilots performed its first flight demonstration on June 15, 1946. The team was introduced as the “Blue Angels” at the Omaha, Nebraska air show in July of the same year.

     The first of 26 Blue Angel pilot fatalities occurred 106 days after their first demonstration, on September 29, 1946, when Pilot Lt. j.g. Ross Robinson failed to recover from a dive while performing a maneuver at the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida.

     The Angels use the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, which has been their plane of choice since 1986. Each plane costs 21 million dollars. 

Pensacola, Florida, Reunion

Day 981

     We are back in Pensacola, Florida (see Day 819), for Barbara’s family reunion. We drove the Sphinx here and just parked it in the driveway, as we joined 21 other people in this beach house that sleeps 30.

     This is a view of the Sphinx you haven’t seen before

     A walk over the dunes to the Gulf of Mexico, and into the Gulf we went. 

     Water nice and warm.

Technical Stuff: Mobile, Alabama to Pensacola, Fl.: 85.8 miles

3 hours 52 minutes

9.6 MPG

Diesel $2.60

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