St. Augustine Beach Campsite – Notice the item leaning against the tree. Our Rock Guard.
How does our rock guard fit into this post? This ordinary piece of equipment played a part in changing the course of our 2018 tour. Before I explain, let me expose first, for the sake of chronology, events along the way that marked our journey this year as one to remember like one might recall a roller coaster ride.
We left Arizona after incurring a huge unexpected expense we thought would be paid for by our extended warranty. It was not. An uncomfortable beginning.
Fort Stockton, Texas, was enjoyable except for driving to an emergency room for Steve during the night after a fall an hour before dark. We found the hospital, he was thoroughly examined and dismissed, and we made it back to our campsite without a mishap. No changes in plans were necessary at this point. Steve was sore but able to drive.
We continued to San Antonio, stayed a month, during which time Steve had Mohs surgery to remove a small cancer on his face. Successful. Very good. We met with friends in San Antonio. We did the River Walk there and saw the Alamo. We met them again in Austin, where we found The Broken Spoke, a nightclub with country music and dancing. We went dancing twice. All was well. No changes in sight.
Next we traveled north to Dallas to visit family and friends. As Steve was driving the Jeep we encountered a huge spiked metal apparatus on the highway. Steve had no way to avoid it. He hit it as did three other drivers. Two new tires on our Jeep were shredded by this object. The other three drivers’ vehicles were also towed to Discount Tires where we all bought new tires. Alas! Very expensive. But all was well. No change.
Proceeding on our planned route Steve drove the motorhome south on Interstate 20 through Louisiana, stopping three times, including a stop in New Orleans. By this time we were more tired than interested in having fun. We rested in our New Orleans campground. Still no changes considered.
Next stop was Pensacola, Florida. There we had an accident in the Jeep. No one was injured, but damage to both vehicles was extensive. Thank God, Steve was able to disengage the other driver’s fender from our bumper so he could drive the Jeep. We left Pensacola according to plans since our insurance company was willing to let us have our Jeep repaired at our stop in Winter Garden, Florida, an area where my family resides. Still no changes.
On our way into Winter Garden driving on the Florida Turnpike a piece of retread tire appeared in the road in front of us. Steve could have avoided it until a car from another lane switched into our lane, hit the piece of tire, and tossed it directly in our path. As we passed over it we felt a thump from beneath. Steve checked under the coach as soon as we arrived in our Winter Garden campsite. Our generator exhaust pipe was missing. Troubles seemed to multiply.
We placed the Jeep in a shop for repairs. We were invited to spend a few days together with my family members in a beach house at Anna Maria Island on the west coast. Fun, fun, fun! After Anna Maria Island, we returned to Winter Garden and placed our motorhome in a service center for repair of the generator exhaust pipe. Both of these ongoing repairs threatened our ability to get to Steve’s son in South Carolina on time. His son had reserved his vacation for the week we would be there. It became obvious we would not be leaving on the day we planned. The Jeep repairs were not finished, nor was the exhaust pipe job completed. Now changes had to be made. We shortened our stay in St. Augustine Beach.
As seen in the photo above, our rock guard was leaning against a tree in plain view, yet we left St. Augustine Beach without it. Three days later we noticed the rock guard was missing and phoned St. Augustine Beach KOA. (We didn’t disconnect the Jeep from the tow bar for three days, thus we didn’t notice the rock guard was missing.) The owner said he would be glad to hold our rock guard until we could return to pick it up. Now we had a dilemma requiring another schedule change.
We arrived on time to visit Steve’s son and other family members. A great time was had by all, including two days at Myrtle Beach with Steve’s daughter and son-in-law. Before leaving South Carolina we would need to make some major changes in destinations. Steve gave the situation his undivided attention and came up with an extraordinary revision to our 2018 tour.
We canceled our one-month stay in Savannah, Georgia. Beside giving us time to return to St. Augustine, it saved us a chunk of cash. Yes, we were charged a fee for canceling our reservation, but we saved a good amount. We returned to St. Augustine Beach, picked up our rock guard, and had trouble with our house batteries while we were there, another large expense we would soon incur. We spent one day working on the house batteries. The very next day we heard that Hurricane Florence was headed to the Atlantic side of Florida. St. Augustine Beach is an island off the coast of Florida, and it was on the edge of the forecast cone at that time.
We left the island but not before making one more astounding change in our plans. We were booked in Panama City Beach, Florida, at the Emerald Coast RV Resort on October 11-24. We canceled this expensive two-week reservation. Again, we paid a fee for canceling, but the amount we saved was significant. Not only did we save money and get needed rest in our winter campground, we missed having to run from Hurricane Michael. This storm made landfall in Panama City Beach on October 10, the day before we would have arrived. We had no clue about that when we changed our plans. We believe the Lord was watching out for us as He always does.
September 9 we arrived in Clermont, Florida, at Rolling Ridge RV Resort 53 days early for our winter destination, welcomed by the owner of the lot we had rented before we left Arizona. This is a beautiful park with rolling hills as its name implies. The people here are friendly. There are many social events, more and better than any others we have encountered. The scheduled events are emailed to all residents so everyone knows and is invited. We will be here at least until the end of April, 2019, living life one day at a time, thankful for the grace of God and His bountiful provision. As for our troubles, we believe as the Bible says in Romans 8:28 – All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. We look forward to a winter season with our family and our many new friends in Rolling Ridge RV Resort.