A Great Blue Heron overlooks its domain in Titusville, FL.

     After 6 months, we are finally out of "the compound" and back on the road again.  Our time in the gated resort known as The Great Outdoors (a.k.a. "the compound" or "TGO") can best be defined as medical.  We had medical appointments virtually every week, including one week were we had 6 appointments.  Not to mention 3 surgeries and 4 emergency rooms adventures.  At this point all seems a lot better and improving enough to get our travels underway.
This was super scary!  At 4 o'clock one morning this 5th wheel caught on fire 7 sites away from our rig. 
It burned to the ground in a couple of minutes with flames rising over 100 feet into the air. 
Fortunately, all 6 residents escaped without harm.  Yikes!!!

This is the launch of Space X's super heavy rocket on February 6, 2018.
The rocket was the most powerful in the world by a factor of 2.
It featured 2 reusable booster stages which we watched return to the launch area several
minutes after the rocket disappeared from our sight.  It was on this rocket that Elon Musk
sent his cherry red Tesla Roadster into space.  We viewed the launch from 3 or 4 miles
away, along with approximately 200,000 other spectators.

We almost parked next to this guy.  If you look closely under
the car I'm sure you will notice the surprise awaiting sombody's
return to the car.  Fortunately, the park's rangers removed the gator
before any problem occurred. 

     As highlighted in my previous post the most exciting event was the birth of our first granddaughter, Darynn Rae Ransom.  Mother (Acacia), father (Adam) and baby are all doing great and we are trying to make time to see them as much as possible while still traveling.
Darynn Rae at 3 months.

     So what did we do during our time in The Great Outdoors when we weren't touring Florida's medical community.  Nancy spent most of her time trying to get herself better, so her activities were rather limited.  I discovered Pickleball and played almost every day until I tore a muscle, ended up in the emergency room and then sat on my butt for 6 weeks entertaining Nancy.  I could tell that Nancy really enjoyed those 6 weeks.  (She went shopping a lot!)
Carol and Paul Ferensak joined us for a couple of days this winter.

Dave and Kathy Scranton along with Bernie and Dodo Rosling
were more of our fun visitors this winter.

Dodo, Nancy and Kathy having a great time waiting for
our table at Outriggers Restaurant in New Smyrna, FL.

     We also had the opportunity to spend a month in St. Augustine, FL where we ended up camping next to good friends Glenn and Sharon Washburn.  Glenn and I were work friends and we really enjoy getting together on-the-road.  Glenn and Sharon were so enamored with St. Augustine that they actually purchased a house there as a home base when they are not traveling.  We spent a lot of time visiting the local establishments with this friendly couple.  We can't wait to see them again.
A sunset view from our favorite Friday night hang-out--
the Conch House in St. Augustine.

Glenn and Sharon at the Conch House.

The ocean is stirring up a frothy mix at Anastasia
State Park in St. Augustine.

     Although we managed to fill our time with some great stuff while in TGO and the Titusville area, when we finally escaped to Jonathan Dickinson State Park for a couple of weeks we felt that we really could get back on-the-road.  Jonathan Dickinson is located just north of Jupiter, Florida and offered a great location to visit some great towns and ocean locations.  The area between Jensen Beach and Jupiter, known as the Treasure Coast, enticed us as a great location for a future home.  The area is chock full of fun restaurants, great music, proximity to the ocean, interesting towns, and an active art community.
Guanabanas Restaurant in Jupiter, FL was one of our favorites.
The diners look like they are buried in a jungle.

     For me the best thing was that Jonathan Dickinson featured one of the best mountain biking experiences in the state.  There are almost 10 miles of single track through sand dunes.  A local bike club is responsible for maintaining the trails and they have added several man-made obstacles which makes the entire place a great challenge.  In fact, I ended up taking a face plant into a lovely sand dune which had me flossing sand out of my teeth for the next several days.
This red-bellied woodpecker was a daily visitor to our site in TGO.

The Roseate Spoonbill is one of our favorite Florida birds.

A wood stork soaring over its rookery.

     We spent one night in Jupiter at an oceanfront park watching The Boss Project, a Bruce Springsteen tribute band.  What a great evening sitting under the stars, with a couple of thousand of our geriatric friends, taking in some great tunes.

The Boss Project.
Nancy sat directly behind this guy for the entire concert.
What a view!  Yuck!!!
My question is--why didn't Nancy move???!!!!

     We really enjoyed visiting to Stuart, Florida which is frequently ranked as one of the best small towns in the USA and certainly lives up to its reputation.  It has a cute downtown on the water with heaps of stuff to do.  There is a heavy art emphasis and some excellent musicians frequent the local scene.  We spent one day touring an art festival, strolling on the riverwalk, and dining with a fantastic band at a waterfront restaurant.
The Nouveaux Honkies playing at the Pelican Cafe
in Stuart, FL.  Very cool band...very cool cafe directly on the water.

Jensen Beach, FL 

     One of our favorite campgrounds was a Corp of Engineers park located just outside of Stuart.  Our site was right on the water.  This park featured a lock on the Okeechobee Waterway which allowed commercial and pleasure boats to traverse the state from east to west through Lake Okeechobee.  It was fun watching the locks at work floating boats up-stream and down-stream.
2 boats waiting for the lock to drain before proceeding down the
Okeechobee Waterway at St. Lucie South COE campground in
Stuart, FL.

     After a great time in the Treasure Coast we headed back to "the compound" for some final doctor visits before our march to the north for the summer.  This year it looks like we are heading up the spine of the Appalachians and into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan before heading to Connecticut in August.

                     A video of a conversation I had with Sandhill Cranes in TGO.

The Bottomless Blonde Ale was a great beer brewed by Playalinda
Brewing Company in Titusville, FL.  It is so popular that Disney serves it at
its Florida properties.  As legend has it, a few Disney patrons
objected to the name and forced the brewery to change the beer's name
to Playalinda Blonde Ale.  Although it still tastes the same, I'm
in favor of Bottomless.


  1. I don't know what I like better: the butt crack, the sandhill cranes, or the bottomless blonde, but it's a good bet I'd eliminate the first two.

  2. Great blog, you're a gifted writer and I enjoy reading about you both.

    We will be houseless the end of August and will be at R&R again labor day weekend as we hit the road. We bought an RV lot in Arcadia FL where we will be for the winter.

    It would be wonderful to see you both in Aug!

    Vince & Louise

  3. Sounds like a busy winter. Hope all the medical issues are done. Hope to see you on the road.

  4. Glad to see you are back and both on the mend!

  5. For a "medical leave" you sure were full of fun and excitement. I'm very happy to hear that you are both on the mend and hitting the road. Love to you both and please- keep your pants on and cracks covered, close your mouth when you face plant in the sand and stop scaring the cranes!


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