January 1 2021 – January 15, 2021 Most Recent Posts
Oscar Scherer State Park, Alafia and Continuing Slide Troubles
Osprey, Florida Decorations and Postal Problems
For those of you hoping my slide problem has been fixed by now after over a month, as of today January 28, 2021, in short, NO. I still have no slides, no jacks. Luckily my site is fairly level and I can use a couple of blocks. But that wasn’t my only problem in the first half of January. Murphy clearly has it in for me.
I was moving to Oscar Scherer and at this point thought I needed a full shop rather than just a mobile tech. The closest one was a shop in Port Charlotte. I stopped before going to the campground.
There I found myself in the hands of the unscrupulous Mr Mobile RV, who is now not mobile, so be sure never to use them.
Bill, the owner and head honcho, took my motor off of the RV and took it apart. Then he told me a new hydraulic motor would be between $700 and $900 from his supplier and that HWH (the hydraulics manufacturer) only sold to suppliers and never to shops or individuals. That was the only clue I needed since David and I have bought parts directly from HWH for years. I told him this and he got angry and told me to go get the part then and come back. I took the chance to get out of there with no charge but he has my motor in pieces which turned out to be a real problem in ordering a new one. But ultimately with the help of the RV tech who worked on this at Alafia, I was able to get the part number and order it.
I got to Oscar and backed into my site feeling pretty discouraged. If David were here, this would be fixed by now.
I don’t watch much TV but thought I’d better check it out and make sure everything worked for the Inauguration and so I could watch the nightly news to make sure nothing outrageous happened in the days left of the trump mess. And of course, something did.
When I tried to put the antenna up, the handle came off in my hand. One cannot drive a motor home with the antenna up but it’s a number of days before I leave so I have time to figure this out. I was able to use a pair of pliers to get it all the way up. Next day I asked my on line Brave buddies and they said order a new handle. Piece of cake to put in. Hmmmm
But I did, the handle came, I asked the GREAT GOOGLE what to do now. With a wonderful YouTube video from a WOMAN RVtech, I found that the handle was easily replaceable just like I’d been told. I installed it, got up on the roof and lubricated the antenna and it works better than it ever has. YEA ME! If only I could fix the slides.
I got the handle fixed just in time to see the attack on the Capitol Building. Needless to say, like I hope everyone else, I was horrified. Who wasn’t paying attention to the 2017 Charlottesville Domestic Terrorist attack and Trump’s response then? If that man is not impeached this time to make absolutely sure he can never run for office anywhere again, I may just give up on my country and especially on any thing remotely resembling Republican patriotism. This isn’t about a man or a party, it’s about our country and democracy, about truth for a change and justice. We cannot just let him walk away from this or those who perpetrated it either. Ok, that’s it back to days following.
Next fun thing was that a fraud charge showed up on my credit card which I had to cancel and have them send me a new one. Thank goodness I was here long enough to get it. But then, being full time, I have most of my bills for the farm to autopay on that card as well as my internet and phone and …… So I had to change all of those which took most of a whole afternoon. Is Murphy ever going to leave me alone?
In the good news department, the gifts I sent to Carrie and her family arrived 24 days after I sent them so we had a gift opening Skype session over the week-end.
Other good news is that I found a reputable RV Mobile Tech Brian of Suncoast Mobile RV who came out and with his guys, put the motor and its solenoid in but before they could do that Brian discovered I’d have to order this little thing no bigger than the end of my finger. I forget what it’s called but Brian discovered Bill took it off and kept it. $58 for part and shipping. That’s bad news.
They came back but even with all 3 pieces, still no slides. HWH says they will send another motor but that can’t be it since Brian tested this motor before putting it in and it worked fine. So I wait some more and pay for yet another service call to have the second motor put in. That happens but nothing is different. Another call to HWH. Now they think there isn’t enough power coming from the battery to the motor so I’ll need a new power cable since the battery tests fine. Obviously like Brian said, the first motor wasn’t bad. Does anyone know what’s going on here? I know the bills are mounting.
The next day, I’m going to out for a hike and when I walk around Ruby I see that her rear passenger tire is totally flat. SO I called around to service nearby and only Firestone was open. SO I got out my compressor, inflated the tire and prayed it would make it the 10 miles to them. They were swamped but found a hole that appeared to be from a nail but no nail. The whole ordeal took 4.5 hours from discovered to being back at Winnona.
Can there be any more bad news? Oh, I order a supplement I take, Glucosamine Sulfate, and Amazon sent a glass bottle in a lightly padded bag. When it got here, this is what it looked like. The tablets were in the bottom of the bag mingled in with the broken glass.
Is it just me or does it seem to you that I’m leading the opposite of a charmed life?
In between all these horrors, I hiked. The hikes would relax me, help me feel more optimistic and then immediately something else would go wrong. It was like a cycle. But I’ll end on the up beat note. Here is what I saw on my hikes.
I hike every day. Oscar Scherer has a series of trails that range from half a mile to 5 miles and most of them can be strung together to give about 20 miles of hiking if you want to do that. I enjoy the trail that runs along South Creek from the campground to the boat dock and picnic area and then to the ranger station and beyond.
It’s a lovely easy trail that is partially handicapped accessible and runs right along the water.
There are several water overlooks along the trail. Look who I met up with at one of them. Are they fantastic or what??
The park rents kayaks and canoes. I suppose the lucky one that is right on the dock belongs to the park. Usually I bring my kayak down here and lock it up so I can go out as often as I want but this time I was too busy waiting for help with the slides to be able to go out on the water unfortunately. Hope there will be a next time.
Other days I hike over to Hidden Lake under puffy cotton clouds.
The trail to Hidden Lake goes right under a rail road tressel. The abandoned rail bed has been turned into the Legacy Bike Trail which runs from the park to Venice and the beaches. It also runs North though I haven’t been that way. Ultimately it will go between Sarasota and Venice. I don’t like to kayak or bike on week-ends. Too many people for me so I was not able to do any biking here either because on work days I was waiting for calls or visits from RV techs. My various troubles have taken over my life.
At the lake there were a few birds and one gator nearly every time I went.
Not a very good picture of the candy corn bill of the Moorhen.
Better of the Little Blue Heron with his green legs.
Tri colored heron.
On the way back I saw this beautiful hawk.
Another day, another trail and this red bellied woodpecker.
Oscar Scherer is known for its groups of the endangered Florida Scrub Jay. Luckily there are 3 groups in the park which really is maintained with prescribed burns to maximize their habitat. The only time I was able to see them was at dusk when the lighting was terrible so I’ve had to lighten these pictures in order show their beautiful color.
While I wasn’t able to kayak or bike for fear of getting to far from Mobile Techs, I did do a lot of hiking and multiple times went to see the newly hatched eagle chicks.
That little ball of white fluff in front of mom just at the top edge of the nest is the new chick.
Mom left, I guess he wonders why.
This is what much of the Scrub Jay habitat looks like. On this day there were no Jays since the hawk was hanging around.
A couple of days later, the eagle chick has grown.
The third bird of prey I saw up in the sky – the Osprey.
Late one afternoon, I did go over to Siesta Key Beach for the drumming down the sun. But it wasn’t on the beach, they had it up by the bath house so I didn’t hang around up there.
Birds were numerous – mostly gulls and terns.
I thought the heavy clouds would push the sun down.
While I haven’t biked or kayaked here, I have done a lot of reading and would recommend these books in this order Caste a very important book I believe everyone should read in order to understand what is going on in this country today by Elizabeth Wilkerson, The Midnight Library a fantastic time travel about reliving sections of your life book by Matt Haig, The Vanishing Half compelling story about the lives of twin sisters, one of whom passes for white by Brit Bennett.
On those happy notes I’ll leave you with this piece of yard art from, one of my neighbors. Pooh looking very fine as he turns his head back and forth.
So yay for the fixed antenna and tire :-))) I can't even imagine slides and jacks at the same time though, miserable and frustrating!! I'm glad you at least have a Brian to work through it all with you, someone you can trust. Ours is in the shop for minor (we hope) fixes and fingers crossed that gets us through our 2021 travels. Your hikes are wonderful with all the great birds. I always love the jays you share. Awesome to see the eagle baby. The GOP Senators continue to disappoint and disgust us with their lack of accountability for a president's actions that threatened their own lives and the democratic process. Alas, it's a relief to see all Joe has already done to save our battered and bruised country. Hang in there my friend.ReplyDelete
I do hope your repairs are minor Jodee. I am worn out with this.Delete
Oh, Sherry, I can't believe your breakdowns and repairs continue to haunt you. Hiking definitely is a great stress reducer. So glad you were able to find a trustworthy tech. Once everything gets straightened out I hope that is it for the rest of the year!ReplyDelete
I can't believe it either Gayle. Thanks for commiserating. I love your idea that IF it ever gets fixed that will be it for all of 2021.Delete
Phooey for all the things that are broken and yea! for the hikes which look green, lovely and peaceful and the birds. You got a great picture of the hawk and the eagle. Isn't nature amazing? The baby eagle grows so quickly. It's like the calf I took pictures of who was only 2 weeks old and was running around, eating grain and following his mother. Enjoyed the woodpecker and the scrub jay too. xxxoooReplyDelete
Nature is definitely amazing Pam. I'm lucky to be so close to such nice hikes and birds.Delete
You are definitely due for some good luck! Maybe time to buy a lottery ticket:)ReplyDelete
I think I might need to actually have some good luck before I try the lottery ticket. :-)Delete
Sorry for the continuing troubles...I think this has been a terrible year for many people. Hope you get the slides and jacks fixed so you can be free to enjoy the places you go. I think you did a wonderful job on the antenna and finding joy where & when you can at each campground. Baby eagle chicks...how cool😲 The big positive is that we have stay HEALTHY!!!!ReplyDelete
I was hoping 2021 was going to be much better than 2020. So far, not so much. The eagle chicks are fantastic!Delete
It was great reading the last half of your post. So many beautiful birds, hikes, and skies. Glad you have that at least. Not fun having all those other troubles. sheesh. Not sure if this is relevant, but we threw money and parts at our HWH jacks for years, and finally a tech figured out it was the motherboard. After a replacement board for 800 bucks, the jacks have worked perfectly ever since. No clue if there is such a thing as a motherboard for your slide however. Sigh. Good job on the antenna. Mo just had to do that with ours as well! And tires? always something I guess. Take care and stay safe.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing your HWH experience Sue. I'll ask about the motherboard although the techs know more or less about hydraulics. I think the antenna is about the limit of my fix it abilities.Delete
I feel so bad for all the problems you are having, and yes, about 99% of RV techs will take advantage of a solo woman. I didn't last very long at solo RVing because it just wasn't worth all the trouble it was causing me. I got out my tent and camping supplies and enjoyed several leisurely automobile trips on the Blue Ridge parkway and through the Shenandoah. I even did a couple of cross-country trips on the back roads. Have you considered trading your rig in for a much smaller van-sized RV? I'm sorry I didn't do that when I had the chance. You will be constantly paying for service on your RV but it will never be trouble free because they want to keep you coming back. Also, RV's have so many things to go wrong.ReplyDelete
Winnona is a 2004 Gypsy and even with all the add ons we've done, I couldn't get enough for her to buy anything else. Glad to hear from you.Delete
I know what you are saying, but as it is you are going to keep putting good money after bad. My 5th wheel was a 2004; I traded it in for a truck camper - I had the truck and the camper just hooked into the bed of the truck. I think I made one cross country trip in that, and decided I just wasn't cut out for solo in an rv; for one thing, unless you are extremely handy with mechanical things, you have to find a repair shop and trust that the guys running it won't take you for every penny they can get. I still traveled cross country once or twice a year for a while, setting up my tent in a secluded campground - not one of the big ones with constant in and out traffic. I'm glad for all the experiences I had but also glad it's over with. I found the nicest way to travel, after the RVing days were over, was to drive the state routes through all the little towns, and stay at the small "mom and pop" motels. You might think that would be too expensive, but after all your problems with the RV, you might find you spend about the same amount of money either way. You and David, and now you solo, have probably gotten your money's worth out of Winona, and you have some wonderful memories. You might want to keep her for shorter trips to the Blue Ridge, Shenandoah, Smoky Mtns, whatever, as well as to the Carolina coast since you like the ocean. But since you have to pay to have everything done that needs fixing, it might be better to stay closer to home. I really empathize with you because I remember being taken advantage of whenever I needed anything done on my rig. They spot a female solo from miles away and don't hesitate to take advantage. There comes a time when we have to decide to quit knocking our heads against a stone wall. I wish you the best.Delete
I,m thinking if the motor is good,then more than likely the ground wire is bad or corroded.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your suggestion Yankeeflyer. I'll suggest that.Delete
I'm so sorry for all of the troubles you've recently had. I hope they'll soon be fixed so that you can get back to all of the hiking, biking, and kayaking that you love without having to spend so much time waiting around for repairs. :-(ReplyDelete
Meanwhile, I'm glad you've been getting out in nature to clear your mind and calm your spirit. And the birds! That eagle baby is wonderful!
We're heartened by all that our new president has done to help move our country in the right direction, and also appalled by the cowardice and complicity of those in our government who clearly don't give a sh*t about our democracy. I'm an optimist, but these are very disturbing times.
Yes Laurel, very disturbing times and my own personal trials add to the angst I feel. Thank goodness for being in the parks so close to the natural world.Delete
The herons particularly stand out.ReplyDelete
Great to see you here again William. Herons are so interesting to watch.Delete
You rock as the antenna queen. I love the photos and keep up your hikes. I think everything will shake out - I hope soon - and you'll be catching a good groove. Would love for you to meet me out west...ReplyDelete
Thank you Brenda. I'm happy to accept the title. Good to hear from my only solo RV friend. Thanks for commenting.Delete
Sherry, you deserve a break for sure. I’m sending good wishes your way.ReplyDelete
I think you are right Patty and appreciate your letting me know about your good wishes.Delete
Well done figuring out the antenna! High five! So many issues...sheesh...I really hope when resolved, they stop coming...at least for awhile! Really great pictures from your hikes and gotta love that Pooh. I love you.ReplyDelete
Hi Sweetheart! I knew you'd be one who would comment about Pooh. It was such fun to walk by him especially at night when he was lit up.Delete
I’m sorry about your troubles but the “Yea Me” comment made me laugh out loud when I read about you fixing your antenna. I am so not mechanically inclined and if I somehow figure out how to fix something, it seems that I always say “Yea Me!” also.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comment Cindy. Great to know we are birds of a feather. Hope we will both have a lot more occasions to say Yea Me!Delete
You Tube is a wonderful place to find out how to fix things. Good for you for trying yourself to fix the antenna. The ongoing slide drama is going on too long! I sure hope you get it fixed soon, for your sanity :)ReplyDelete
You are so right Laurie that this is going on way too long and it is such a drama. I've actually looked at You Tube for advice on the problem(s) but they are WAY over my head.Delete
Sorry for all your misfortunes. That's the trouble with just about everything. Mechanical stuff breaks (inevitably) and living stuff malfunctions in an endless cycle. Such is life! Glad you got your antenna and tire fixed and that you still got some hiking in. Especially love the pictures of the eagles and hawks. Majestic birds... We've had mild weather here in Texas and I fear an unbearable summer ahead...ReplyDelete
Thanks Roger. I'm really missing David's know how here. Maybe you can find somewhere else to be for the summer.Delete
I carry a spare antenna handle in my parts stock just in case. Of course, if you have the part, the original will never break. ;c)ReplyDelete
I hope that the slide issue will be fixed once and for all when you get the right tech to fix it. FWIW, I always run the engine when extending/retracting my slides and extending the jacks. I was told that when I bought the Journey that running the engine ensures proper voltage to the slide motor. Knock on wood, I've never had any problems following that advice.
The pictures of the eagle chick are so COOL! What a great find in your hikes. I just love eagles and to see that little fluff ball made my day.
I'm with you Paul. I always run the engine when doing either jacks or slides. Glad you've never had hydraulic troubles. That has seemed to be the major problem we've had with Winnona. If I don't find the right Tech soon it will have to wait until I get more money to throw at it.Delete
If I can fix anything on my own I feel accomplished, as should you. Hard to believe the slides are still not fixed. Such a fiasco, and such patience on your part. Glad you are somewhere pretty where you can at least get out for walks.ReplyDelete
Yes Gaelyn it is hard for me to believe too. The problem that will never go away.Delete
You're doing an amazing job. I think I would have given up by now. At least you managed to get in a few hikes to be able to keep calm and serene.ReplyDelete
Hey Lynne, Good to see you here. I'm not known for my patience but in this case I literally have no choice. But I do love being in the parks with hikes and kayaking right outside my door.Delete
You are really having a hard time of it at the moment. Things must surely improve soon. Great news on fixing the antenna, not so much on the slides and the jacks. As for Trump, I could not believe my eyes when I saw the pictures on the news. It seemed so incredible. As usual, I loved the pictures of the birds, especially the eagle chick. A pheasant has taken up residence in my garden. There is a mirror on the wall by a pond and he has fallen in love with his reflection. I have to laugh when I see him strutting about in front of it, admiring himself!Delete
It does seem as if you have more than your fair share of adversity!!!! One step at a time.... and your hikes and birds are wonderful :)ReplyDelete
Oh Sherry...I am so sorry for all of these troubles. I have been thinking about David so much and reading this makes me miss him more. He really could fix anything. You, however, did fix the antenna, so hurray for you! Not everyone would have taken that on. This park is one of my favorites if the ones you visit and I appreciate your willingness to share it with us. Take care of yourself. I hope the slides are now fixed!ReplyDelete