We are safe!

Hey, Krystle here!

We went to bed last night not knowing what to expect with the hurricane, as the predictions kept changing.  I awoke many times through the night to the sound of rain and wind, but nothing was too extreme.  We left the windows uncovered out the front of the RV so we could see the water, and the wind was blowing the water but the palm trees and other structures around us were fine including the RV. Boom, our plan of moving toward the gulf was correct! We updated family and friends we were all safe, so all is well. 

We were pleasantly suprised when we woke up for the day to see that it was not raining just some gusty winds.  We hung out in the RV and listened to the new Balance and Composure album (any thoughts guys?) and tracked the hurricane.


It is much less humid out than the previous days, so its a comfortable 80 degrees.  We took Tilly for a swim in the river and threw the stick for her in the current and she did an awesome job – shes a strong swimmer!  She also carried around a coconut 🙂



Right now this is our current situation:

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Heading to Florida

We left this past Sunday night (the 2nd of October).  We loaded the RV Sunday afternoon and got on the road.  So, the PA Turnpike in the Allentown area is absolutely horrible.  If you are driving a big vehicle like we are, make sure everything is secure.  Everything should be secured anyway, but take extra precaution.  We got out of PA and headed south down 95 towards Baltimore and DC.  The roads around Baltimore and DC suck.

  

Yeah honestly, not so welcoming. Bumpy… Bumpy… Bumpy.  We called it a night when we go into the DC area and pulled into a Wal-Mart to bunk up for the night.

Monday morning we started back up again and continued our drive south.  We got out of the DC area and onto the nice roads of the south!  On our drive south we sang some good tunes, made stops every 300 miles to stretch our legs, stretch our paws (that’s right, our paws, Tilly and Oliver are joining us on this trip!) and get some air.  Getting closer to the border of North and South Carolina you start to see the “On the Border” billboards every couple miles.  So we had to make a pit stop to check it out.  I (Adam) had been there plenty of times, back in my band days and touring around the country all the time, it was a frequent pit stop.  My wife Krystle hadn’t seen the sights of “SOUTH OF THE BORDER”.  We visited the Mexican themed store, nothing much but chinsy trinkets.  We spent a total of about 20-30 mins there.

Panda, panda

Pug shirts

We got back into the RV and headed south again. Tilly took over as co-captain and Krystle lost her seat.

Dakota at south of the border/ghost town

TYBEE ISLAND, GA

We are on our way to Florida for the FBMA (FLORIDA BUILDERS & MATERIALS ASSOCIATION) yearly conference and trade show.  We left the DC area on Monday morning, heading south we stopped to check out some local scenery off of 95.

Our plan was to get to Savannah for the night.  We had never been to Savannah, why not check it out?  Anyway, we drove through downtown in the rig, which wasn’t easy due to the road works going on.  Keep in mind Dakota is currently pulling a 16ft trailer that has an extended tongue.

Why an extended tongue?  Well, when towing trailers behind RV’s of any size, you have to account for jack knifing, the bigger boxed build of RV’s and its turning radius with the bigger area being exposed clipping the trailer.  Most trailer manufactures have extended tongue options.  Keep this in mind if you are buying a trailer for your RV.

So we got through Savannah and headed east out to Tybee Island.  We found this little island on our GOOD SAM app.  What a useful App.  It shows you were all the campgrounds are located in the state, has reviews and ratings, direct links to reservations and all the campgrounds contact information.

We pulled into Rivers End RV Park around 7/ 7:30 and got all hooked up.  Rivers End RV Park is a very nice RV Park, plenty of spots, nice amenities, friendly staff and full hook ups.  Unloaded the motorcycle out of the trailer and went for a ride down to the beach front area and scored some pizza at Lighthouse Pizza.


The next morning (Tuesday) we went for a walk down on the beach.  It was really blowing hard, the surf was wild and they started to board up the government and state buildings.

Mathew was on his way.


We hung out on the island for a little bit, leaving around 11 am.  Headed south again.  Orlando bound.

Hurricane Mathew

Pulled into our campground in the south western area of Orlando.  Actually closer to Kissimmee.  Staying at the Tropical Palms RV Resort.  Pretty nice spot!  Couple miles from Disney and the attractions.  Hooked up the Dakota, got the motorcycle out of the trailer and headed out for some Sushi!

Tropical palms Tilly

Wednesday morning we checked the forecast… the forecast wasn’t good.  We decided to this morning to head out to Loews, Trader Joe’s and Wal-Mart for supplies, just in case.  Some things you should always have in-case of an emergency….

WATER- 1 gallon per person.

FLASHLIGHTS- at least 1 per person

BATTERIES- enough to power flash lights for up to 8 days.

CANNED FOOD- Soups, veggies etc.  Canned foods can lost a long time with out refrigeration and can be heated up over campfires or in microwaves.

GAS- if you have a generator, fill up your gas source for the generator and get some extra!

GLOW STICKS- Help light up the night or for use to notify emergency crews of your wear about.

FIRST-AID KIT- Always have a First-Aid kit handy.(luckily Krystle is a nurse and I’m an EMT)

We stocked up our RV and stored a couple extra gallons of water in the trailer and an extra 5 gallons of gas in the trailer. (the trailer is vented, do not store gas in unvented areas)

Trader Joe’s yaaaaas

The rest of the afternoon we prepared an evacuation route.  You never know what hurricanes can do when it comes to their path, they can alter at anytime. ALWAYS have an evacuation plan. Hit up FOREVER YOUNG CROSSFIT for a work out and to talk to the locals and get their opinions on the storm.

Forecasters were saying 30-50mph sustained winds for early Friday morning and tampering off in the mid to late afternoon on Friday.  We know Dakota can handle these winds, when stationary.  We know that we would have to bring the awning in, probably slide the slide outs in, and put away our BBQ, Chairs and outdoor rug.  No big deal, we got this.


Wednesday night came and went.

Thursday morning started like most mornings.  Had our morning coffee in Dakota and turned on the news.  Well… the news…. the forecasters were saying Mathew was definitely turning more north west then they had expected.  Now Orange County was under Hurricane Watch and winds were predicted to be 70mph + sustained.  OK, TIME TO LEAVE.

Time to put the evacuation plan into effect.

WEST COAST here we come.  no no no not the west coast of the USA, west coast of Florida.  Tampa/Tarpon Springs area.  We called some RV camps as soon as 9 am hit!  My second call was to Hickory Pines RV Resort in Tarpon Springs.  BOOYAH!  we were in luck!  They are located north of Tampa in Tarpon Springs on the Anclote River.


We headed west.  We made a pit stop at Camping World in the Tampa area to make sure our propane was topped up and at a Flying J to top up our fuel level.  PS- get the FLYING J/ Pilot app on your phone, you can save $.03 per gallon when you refuel at either gas station!  (gotta love saving money on fuel)

Arriving at our location  was  easy, easy roads in, just a lot of traffic lights.  We got hooked up, then moved to a better spot on the river.  There were manatees playing in the water and jumping mullet all over!  Beautiful birds flying around and fishing. Tilly got to finally go swimming being that is her #1 favorite thing to do!

Beach at the RV park
View across the river

We had to unattach the trailer however.  The county doesn’t allow trailers to be attached to RV’s at campgrounds in this area, no problem, we put her in the storage area for now.  All hooked up in our new spot on the river again… ahhhhh relaxing.  We continued to watch the storm and then headed over to Miss Vicki’s, a local watering hole on the river about a half mile walk from our camp ground.


Miss Vicki’s has some great Buffalo Shrimp by the way.


The sky was really starting to cloud up and the winds were picking up.  We started to get the occasional rain too.

The news tonight was really bad.  Like, really bad.  Pretty much saying if you are on the east coast of Florida, still at home.. you are an idiot. We felt good to not be lumped into the “idiot” category hahahaha.  Anyway, we put the awning in and secured anything outside that we had.
Here we are, Friday morning.  Woken up to some rain in the night… a little wind, nothing serious though.  Looks like the storm went from a Cat 4 to a Cat 3 overnight.  We are safe and outside currently enjoying some carrots, the occasional sunshine and nice temps with the dogs!

Looks like Daytona is currently getting slammed…. We will keep you posted.