Countdown Friday (Part 2)

Sunday (Day 3)

Today is another busy day.  While taking the girls for their early morning walk, Mike comes by on his bike, asking when I am heading out, and tells me a storm system is coming through. The wind is going to be crazy for the next few days, he is strongly encouraging me to wait until it passes.

Wind.  Hmmm.  I don’t need much coaxing to keep me here at Secret Spot anyway, but now wind is a legitimate excuse to stay.  Not to mention the wicked storms still blazing through the south.

“How windy?”

“Real windy.” 

Time to email my friend in Gainesville and let him know I will be delayed for our lunch visit as I’m passing through.  I have to air out the truck from the Yard Guard spray stink anyway, and go fill up the gas tank before hooking up.

The morning is spent rinsing off the coolers and the doormats, putting away things I don’t need to have out anymore, taking apart my fancy lights and decorations and tying down the dog fence to the floor of the toy hauler.  After that, I’m torn between wanting to walk on the beach one last time, and making quick last visits to the dwindling campers at the park.  At least no one is leaving today with the wind already picking up.  I take Buddy to the beach for some serious bumper fetching in the water.  This may be our last time walking through the palm trees down the path to the sandy beach.  We stop to talk to several people on the way there, and back. 

By mid-afternoon Boy Scout Buddy arrives to help me with the winterization of my Toy Hauler. Finally, I’m doing something productive.  What a production this is!  Blowing out the water lines is a process that takes about an hour or more. It is getting windy.  Cold, too. We check all around and make sure there is no moisture coming from any orifice on the Toy Hauler. Then, begin pouring antifreeze back into the lines to protect them from cracking in the cold.  Once again we review the hot water steps, but for some reason it’s just not making sense. But in a matter of hours, my rig is ready to be Minnesota bound, and I am back to bottled water.  I thank him for his much needed help!

Mental note to self; now it appears I need an air compressor, too.

Still have to hook up the trailer to the truck, the storm front is moving in, and the day is almost over. And what time is it?  Happy time, perhaps?

It’s clear I won’t get everything done today.  Relax.  Tomorrow is another day.


Monday (Day 4)

Today is not such a busy day. The wind has picked up considerably.  Mike is right, I shouldn’t leave. Storms seem to be all around us, but not actually hitting us.  Who wants to be tugging a trailer in 25 mile per hour wind?  A good day to stay here, stay inside and work on the blog. I’ll leave tomorrow for sure.  I take Buddy with me as I walk up to the office and pay for another day. 

On the way back I stop and visit with Lois and Buddy.  They are planning to leave the first week of April.  The rest of our neighbors will all leave in the next few days as well.  It’s almost a mass exodus. 

I spend the remainder of the day with final preparations to leave.  I back the trailer up and hook up everything, raise the levelers and make sure everything is put away except the plug to power. I walk around and around the truck and trailer.  Yeah, I’m nervous about leaving. All I need to do is unplug the electric, lower the antenna and plug into the truck to go.   Then I work on organizing my maps, instructions, and send an email off to let Mark and Eric at Riverside know of the change in plans and my estimated arrival time to Peru Indiana.

I email off a copy of my planned route home with names, numbers and information every step of the way to Lois. 

‘If I am not back home by a week from Friday, call the cops.’

The wind is blowing so hard the trailer rocks as I head over to their place for drinks and goodbyes. 


It’s clear everything is now done and ready to go.  Relax.  Tomorrow will be departure day.



Tuesday (Day 5)

First thing in the morning I wake to see the wind is still gusting hard.  I’m not going anywhere.  I visit with Boy Scout Buddy over at the bathrooms and tell him.  They will be gone to the Elk club tomorrow morning until 10:30, but we’ll do happy hour later today and get some quality visit time in.

Another sunny, windy day.  I try to lay out—dumb idea.   I fuss around with clothes, and paperwork and reorganizing some of the cupboards. I check on weather on the route, and it all still looks good heading north.  I talk to my neighbor and email her my route plan as well.  I cook up some leftovers, and think about the amazing time I’ve had here in Secret Spot Park. Action, adventure, community, friendship, it’s been the best time I’ve had in a long time.  If I didn’t have to go home to take care of taxes or go turkey hunting, would I even leave now?   The kids are all 3 sacked out on the floor, just like home.  Heck, this is home.  We established a home on wheels. My “real” home seems like such a distant memory. I daydream about what my next adventure may look like.  I hope it is right here again.

About 4:00 there’s a tap on my door.  Lois and Buddy!  What time is it?  Oh yeah, I’ll be right over!  Maybe this is my last visit with Boy Scout Buddy, Lois Lane, and Senior Cosmos, their randy little pooch?

It’s clear there’s a pattern forming here.  Relax.  Maybe tomorrow will be departure day?



Wednesday (Day6)

I wake up at 4:00, then at 5:00 and again at 6:00, finally giving up and getting up.

Do I really have to leave?  I just don’t want to.  I’ve been saying for five days that “today I am going to leave”…..and here I still am.  The wind has died down.  The forecast sounds great all the way home. I’m out of excuses. The thought of leaving is painful like a breakup.  It seems I’ve had a love affair with this park for months.

Me and the kids go for one last walk down the campground road and back as the sun starts to rise.  Not many campers are left.  Everyone tries to get out of here by the first of April for sure.  After that, only the locals show up, and that isn’t very often.  The blazing heat and infestation of biting insects is just too much to enjoy camping.  I wonder how the raccoons do?

I am going to miss this park, and this wonderful staff.  Can I name everyone? Let’s see, Tyler, Rob, Bob, Chris, Joel, Dicky, Paul, my two favorite Sams, Don “I didn’t see a new Ford truck”, and of course Sir Jason.  Is that everyone?  I stop and talk to the folks from Kentucky.  They are up early to go into town. They are waiting on a short sale to go through, and then they will move to their new permanent home. Hmmm, I know something about how those go… Kyle, the state trooper who waited over 6 months for his short sale to go through, living in a trailer here at Secret Spot.

On the way back down the road, Mike and Carole from Wisconsin drive up and we say our goodbyes again, exchanging numbers. They will be leaving soon too.  I load Buddy into the back of the truck, the girls up front, and get ready to leave.  George and Dot drive up, and we exchange emails and hugs.  Jason drives up and we say our goodbyes.  I remind him I’m his next camp host….and then Lois and Boy Scout Buddy return for the hardest, teariest goodbye of all.

Be Careful!  Call us! You’ll do just fine. Wide turns!  See you in New Hampshire in September! 


So ends my adventure in Secret Spot Park

At 11:00 am Wednesday March 27th, we slowly pull out of Simmons Park and head north to Gainesville.  Ok so, yeah I am crying.  Just a little, though.  It’s all good!


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I’m an “Oily Yogi” ready to inspire you to reach for limitless possibilities.

With a lifetime of experience in the outdoors, one of my biggest joys is to share my passion for adventure with others. After spending decades in suits and buildings, I found a way to combine the office and the outdoors in a way that optimizes positive results. There is a clearly defined correlation between nature, sensory contact, and high impact performance.

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