Picked up bikes from Bob’s Bike Shop in Port Orange, Fl after taking taxi from our hotel in Daytona Beach. The people at Bob’s were very nice and did a great job getting our bike’s put back together for us. We started riding down Hwy. US 1 for the next 29 miles to our camping spot for the night (Crystal Lake RV Park). All and all the ride was not to bad the scenery was a little blah.
Tomorrow we will be getting on A1A (Atlantic Ave) so there should be more to see and we will be closer to the ocean. Tomorrow will be about a 41 mile ride to Cocoa Beach. The camp site is very nice and the tent area is a little spot in the middle of a bunch of pine trees. Hoping this makes the ground softer. There is not a lot of stuff around this area luckily there is a gas station with a little restaurant down the street.
Yesterday was another clearing house day but this time it was a trip to the Resource and Recovery Plant ( aka “the dump”) With just two more days to work before we head to Florida we wanted to get as much taken care of as we could before the trip because once we return from that, we’ll have about 5 days to get everything out and cleaned up a bit for the new owners. We also need to get Sadie’s things moved to her new place within that time frame as well so its becoming clear that we are running out of time very quickly! Ben had come for a visit the prior weekend and he drives a big pick up, and is a bit of a pack rat, so he loaded his truck up with more stuff and took most of it home with him. We were happy to see that it would get some use but we still had plenty to deal with. There were a few of those moments where we had a tough time just discarding something that we thought we had put so much effort in to looking for and picking out, but we’re finally starting to get over our weird attachment to our stuff. It’s very liberating to know that we will no longer be able to wander through the stores mindlessly tossing things into the cart that we THINK we need, but will soon sit abandoned in a cupboard somewhere only to come across it later and wonder what the heck we bought that thing for in the first place?? We loaded up the truck and took a trip to throw our stuff over the wall along with the rest of the city’s neglected purchases and I felt a little guilty as we contributed to the monstrous amounts of waste getting tossed aside each day filling our landfills. Knowing that we will no longer be able to do that quite as much was a little comforting at least. We did throw a couple things on the curb that were gone by the end of the day so at least a few things were saved, and others will get some use out of it. That huge old kitchen table had some great (and sometimes very STRANGE) family discussions around it so hopefully the woman that rescued it from the curb will create some great memories around it as well.
Plan A of our preparation was to start clearing out the house which obviously meant one thing: garage sale. If you’ve never had one of these, they are a LOT of work! We spent the majority of the week in the garage cleaning, tagging, displaying, and getting everything out for sale. Trying to decide what part of our life to keep, toss, donate, and sell was a bit overwhelming. Its one thing to get rid of the stuff we didn’t need anymore, its an entirely different feeling trying to get rid of almost ALL of it. “What am I supposed to do with Brooke’s Brownie vest with all the little patches and pins?” or “I can’t throw away Sams little baseball glove” went through our minds constantly. We had to keep reminding ourselves that all of this stuff didn’t fit into our new lifestyle any more, it all must go! They were just things and not having that old glove certainly didn’t alter the memories associated with it. We chose to have the sale Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. After rushing around Friday to place signs, we got back about 20 min before it was time to open the doors. We already had a line of cars waiting for us and yelling “Can we come in yet?” out of their car windows. We were not ready at ALL but let them come in anyway. These Ames garage salers are some savvy shoppers! One of our first sales was a gentleman who wanted to pay $20 for the extension ladder that had a whopping price tag of $30 on it. His entire plan of attack was to simply add another “Please” at the end of each offer. We couldn’t take it anymore so Jason caved and after about 17 “Please’s” the man got a $20 ladder! It was interesting watching people go through our stuff. Someone would come in and grab something and pay full price and be completely happy with that little part of our lives. Another would walk in and grab something and offer a little less than what was tagged which maybe meant “I like this part of your life, but just not very much.” Or the other one that would walk in and walk right out as if to say “I don’t really like any part of your lives at all” Obviously that is probably not what people are indirectly saying, but it was a little hard to not put a personal spin on things as people are sifting though and grabbing or tossing your stuff aside. Overall though, the weather was beautiful and the people were a lot of fun! We had a steady stream of people both days and did quite well so it was a success. We were able to put the proceeds of the sale towards the purchase of the big huge truck we needed to pull the camper. Most of our stuff found new homes and will get to become a part of another person’s life and we kind of liked that idea.
Ok it is getting close now. We fly out in just a few days. We will be flying in to Orlando/Sanford airport. We will be taking a shuttle (DoShuttle) to Daytona Beach where we will stay our first night in a hotel before we start biking down Florida’s A1A. We had our bikes shipped (FedEx Ground Business to Business) from our local bike shop Thiel Bicycle Company to Bob’s Bike Shop in Daytona Beach. We will pick our bikes up from Bob’s and start our ride from there. We have our trip planned out to take around 3 weeks. Total trip should be around 500 miles Daytona Beach to Key West. Daily rides will be between 30-40 miles with every 4th day as a rest day ( we are not in a hurry). Trip will consist of staying in hotels and public camp grounds (we have a small 2 person tent). Once we get to Key West we are hoping to stay a few day and then take a ferry from Key West to Fort Myers Beach. This is about a 3hr ferry ride. We will be flying home from Fort Myers and then it’s on to the next adventure. I will be updating as the trip gets underway.
This weekend we picked up our new 5th wheel. It is a 2002 Keystone Montana. I have to admit I was a little nervous. I have never pulled a 5th wheel or a trailer this big (32ft.). The RV was up at Twin Lakes just north of Rockwell City, IA.We spent Friday night in it and figured out how everything worked. First thing was the furnace. Temps that night got down to upper 30’s (to cold for early Sept.). I figured the furnace would have a pilot light just like the one in my house but finally found out it does not. Everything is electric including the hot water. This is very nice, turn on LP and adjust thermostat and that’s it. Next morning was the start of several new experiences: closing up the RV and getting it ready for travel, connect RV to truck, pulling RV, and dumping tanks (not as bad as I thought but don’t forget rubber cloves). Connecting RV to truck was pretty easy. I did watch several videos on YouTube, which helped a lot. Finally we were off on the road pulling this big RV. When we first started I was having a slight panic attack, but after about 10-15 minutes it was not too bad. The truck pulled well! It was a bit bouncy but I think this was just a rough road. We pulled it about 30-40 miles and dropped it off at Webster City RV to get serviced and will be picking it backup in Oct when we will be heading west.