Our new Airstream Land Yacht on its way home from the Florida West Coast.
Starting a new chapter... From sailboat to powercat to outboard cruiser - to Travel Trailer.
Last fall, after we sold our New Hampshire lakeside camp, Nancy
bought us a couple of National Park Lifetime Senior Passes - during
their special $10 offer. She thought we should check out some of the
places we've never seen across the US and Canada. And what better
way to do this than in an Airstream? Since we already had an able tow
vehicle (which we use for Acadia Belle), a trailer made more sense
than a motor home.
Click on photos to view larger image...
We found this 2016 leftover at a good price - a 27-footer with forward queen bed.
Starting on January 1st 2018 we managed to get a two-day reservation
at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, FL. The
last time I was there was in 1973 - 44 years ago - in a little Shasta motor
home with my six and eight-year-old children (who now have 16-year-old
kids of their own.) I'm happy to report that place looks much as I
remebered it, despite the damage from Hurricane Irma last fall.
Maiden voyage... Our first night out - at Myakka River State Park near Sarasota, FL
Our second outing... To the Franklin Lock Campground - directly on the Caloosahatchee River.
Everyone smiling in this selfie in the Park. We saw deer and alligators here.
Hiking with Addie on one of the Myakka River State Park trails.
Nancy signed us up with the Wally Byam Airstream Club (WBCCI)
and they sent us our official number. I graduated from high school
in 1962 and Nancy in 1967, so it's a very appropriate number!
Santa's inflatable Airstream at the North Pole RV Center.
A beatiful campsite. We've passed by here many times by boat,
but never stopped for the night.
Addie enjoying an early morning panoramic view of the Caloosahatchee River.
A possible design for our new "Trailer Card". We've always
had cards for our boats, not sure if people do this with RV's?
We were lucky to find a parking space for the trailer in the
Nettles Island Marina parking lot - directly behind our house.
At a Service Plaza on the Florida Tpk. - headed for Key Largo.
Note that our entire rig is just about the same length as one of
these semi trailers. I'm guessing that trailer behind us is 48
feet long - the max length permitted in Florida.
Our campsite at Pennekamp State Park. Much as I remembered it from 44 years ago, except the
foliage is a bit sparser due to the effects of Hurricane Irma.
The main attraction at Pennekamp is Molasses Reef, the giant coral reef just offshore. Many
snorkel and SCUBA tours are available, but for the slightly less adventurous, there's the Glass
Bottom Boat. We opted for this trip and ended up with a group of Amish tourists from Indiana.
For many, it was their fist visit to Florida, and for some their first boat adventure.
Even though it was a gray day, the color of the water was gorgeous.
Amish women looking at the reef below the glass bottom boat.
The Snack Bar Menu on the glass bottom boat.
(I doubt that Seasick pills would do much good
once you're out there feeling queasy.)
We, including Addie, enjoyed hiking Pennekamp's well-marked trails.
This is Nancy's kind of hike!
In the late afternoon, we drove down the Keys as far as Islamorada where we witnessed this
sunset from a marina we remembered form a visit in Sno' Dog about five years ago.
(We even photographed the sunset from this exact position, see: 13-February-Pg1.html)
We noticed that damage from Hurricane Irma increased as we headed south. I gather some
of the lower Keys are still devastated.
As we left Key Largo to head north we ran into the first of the strong
north winds that went on to chill Florida for the next five days.
This was the temperature outside our window the next morning
after our return to Jensen Beach.
My Christmas present from Nancy was waiting on our doorstep
when we got home. It's aluminum just like our Airstream - I'm
sure it will adorn our campsite on our next outing.
Another fun mini-trip in our new Airstream... We took advantage of a rare
opportunity to book a spot at Pennekamp Park. According to their (Reserve
America) website, the next availability for a 2-night stay is April 25!
We plan to check out some of the local Florida State Parks where we can get a
senior resident discount allowing us overnight stays for under $20 per night.