Home Sick

I’m really in a melancholy mood today.

It feels like it’s been years since we left our home in Alaska.  It’s starting to fade.  I’ve been looking at pictures of my view and house to just make sure that it is real and not just a dream that is fading.  We’ve finished the inside of the house we are renovating down here in Florida and now I have been working on the outside.  I’m pressure washing the outside of the house and giving it some curb appeal with plants and red mulch.  It’s looking good!  We even have sale pending on the house and property.  First showing of the house and we had an offer.

All that’s left is to paint the stairs and decks, finish up the pressure washing of the house, painting or final siding the rental house, and, of course, packing up the trailer and doing the finishing touches to the sleeping quarters in the trailer.  I really miss home.  I miss my friends.  I miss my bed.  We will be leaving on April 11 or 12th and high tailing it back home.  We think we can drive about 600 miles a day while we are in the lower 48.  Once in Canada, depending on road conditions, we will try to do the same.  I’m thinking we can make it home in 8-9 days.  I can’t wait.  I am champing at the bit to get home.

We will be shooting footage and blogging our way back home.  So stay tuned and maybe we will see you on the road.

Way Down Upon the Suwannee River

This past Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 my best friend Tammy and I went kayaking on the Suwannee River.  It was just what I needed.  Talk about a morale booster!

We started off at the big blue bring in Luraville which there isn’t much there except a little general store that reminds me of Fritz Creek General Store.  Only difference is Luraville store doesn’t have a post office, liquor, and pizza.  So, anyway you have to cross this bridge to the other side where the boat ramp is.  Dad back us up into the boat ramp, unloaded our kayaks and we were ready for our adventure on the river.

We shove off and first stop is Telford Springs.  One of my favorite springs to visit.  Also, that’s where a tradition was born.  Bloody Mary’s at Telford.  It’s a really beautiful spring with a natural cave and bridge.  You can swim through the cave if you want, but it’s better when the river is down.

We drank our bloody mary’s and then we were off to our next stop.

We stopped a various springs including Peacock Springs where we had lunch, Running Springs where we were able to kayak into with some great difficulty but we did it.  It wouldn’t have been possible without the river being up.  We had some fun, ate some more snacks and then road out of the spring by way of current and maneuvering.  As, we went down the river enjoying the beautiful 85 degree weather in February we decided that we should take a gander at Bath Tub Springs.  Tammy always said there were a massive amount of snakes there.  I’ve never seen any there so I was positive that it would be okay.  We tied up our boats and proceed to walk to the spring.  This spring is not completely accessible by water and you must walk to it by trail.

I was telling Tammy that everything looked safe and we could proceed on the trail.  As we got closer to the spring Tammy was worried, I wasn’t.  As soon as I said that it was all clear, the biggest water moccasin I have ever seen high tailed it into the spring right in front of me.  It scared me so bad I screamed and I think I peed a little.  The thing was 2 or 3 inches diameters round.  It was wider than a garden hose.  The darn thing had to be 4 or 5 feet long!

As I screamed, Tammy screamed, and we were high tailing ourselves back to our boats, not before rinsing myself off though.  Tammy kept watch for the big bad snake so I could finish what the snake made me do.  LOL

Number on reason to live in Alaska.  NO SNAKES!!!!

So, we left Bath Tub alive and continued down the river.  Low and be hold, ALLIGATORS!

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The first one we saw we floated by a little to fast for me to get a picture of him.  He was sitting in the most uncomfortable way.  Face in the water, butt in air, tail on the other side dangling down.  It was funny.  Then I saw this guy posing for me.  It turned out to be a great picture.  Then I almost had a gator in my boat.  I wanted to go through a series of boulders and I surprised the gator so much it jumped into the water.  It got air.  If I was any closer we would be kissing.  We’ve never seen gators this far up the river before.  We usually see them on the islands in the middle of the river further down.

Any who, we started talking about Convict Springs and how great their burgers are.  So, we decided to stop.  The name convict comes from the exact thing it was used for.  It was used to cool down the convicts on hot days during the chain gang times.  The name stuck.    Since then, it has become a back woods resort with river campsites, RV sites, swimming pools, food service and ice cream.  They only serve food on the weekends of course and we didn’t know that at the time.  So, we packed it in and headed home.  It was just getting dark when we made it and pulled our kayaks up to Tammy’s property.

It was a fun and adventurous day.  I am so glad I was able to do some paddling.  I hope I can do it again before I leave for home.

Will it Ever End

Today is Feb. 24, 2018.  The house in Florida has been a real pain.  It a pretty big house and I just now finished the floors.  Today I am doing laundry something that we have put off for a while.  Home feels farther and father away as each day progresses.  Time ticks by and Alaska seems father and farther away.  I am homesick.

It doesn’t matter that I have kayaked the Suwannee River this past week and it was absolutely beautiful.  I enjoyed it with my best friend Tammy.  We even encountered a large water moccasin that scared us to death as it shot off the bank of Bath Tub springs while we were walking around.  Another reason I miss Alaska.  There are no snakes.

I don’t miss the hot muggy weather of Florida or even the South at that matter.  I want to go home to the snow and cold.  Stoke the stove and have amazing views with amazing friends that I love to learn new things from.  I have realized that my heart is in Alaska and not on the Suwannee River.  It’s a fun place to visit but I am done living here.

I miss the clean crisp air, my views, my friends, my lifestyle.  I have been gone too long in my opinion.  I can’t wait to leave and get back on the road.  I will miss my friends in Florida, but I think we probably have had enough of each other.  LOL!

So now, Dad and I need to work double time to get out of here.  There’s not much more that needs to be done to the house,  Just install trim, pressure wash house, paint decks, touch up paint throughout house and paint trim, clean up yard, fell some more trees, create some curb appeal and DONE!  Then, we have to paint one of my rental houses as well.

Then, we can high tail it out of Florida!  Must go North!

As, we get closer and closer to bug out time.  I will start blogging everyday again.  You will be here for every bit of the road to home.

Counting Down to Home

Hi guys, I am sitting here at my best friends house doing laundry and thinking about home.

So let me catch you up.  I have two rooms to floor and a bathroom to finish.  I am working on a room a day and a half.  I have to prepare the room by pulling up old staples or hammering them down before I can roll the foam out and start laying the flooring.  It’s been trial and error and lots of frustration, but I am almost done and the flooring looks incredible.

Three days ago, I noticed that I was getting some sort of rash on my neck.  No, I haven’t been rolling in any kind of poisonous plants.  It’s a mystery.  It’s itchy, burns, and tingles.  No, it’s not shingles because it’s on both sides of my neck and I’ve had shingles before.  It’s time to go to the doctor.  I have been eating Benadryl and using a steroid cream but nothing seems to work.  It’s driving me nuts!

We have finished the kitchen and working on timing the rest of the house as I put down the flooring.

Dad and I both want to go home and have set a deadline to start back home this month.

We can’t wait.  Home sickness has set in heavy.  ALASKA WE MISS YOU!

I will continue to keep in touch and update you on whats going on.  Have a great Sunday!

Please visit my GoFundMe page to help me set up a Glamping business!

<https://www.gofundme.com/fcglamcamp&gt;

Let Me Go Home!

Quoting The Beach Boys Sloop John B sons, I sing this to you Florida and the house we are renovation, “I wanna go home, why don’t you let me go home? Yea yea.  I feel so broke up, I wanna go home.”

How I would love to hoist of John B’s sails and get the “Sam Elliot” out of here!  Dad and I are both home sick, missing our beds, and the lifestyle of living in Alaska.  I feel like we missed a lot while we’ve been in the lower 48’s.  I missed the 7.9 earthquake.  I felt so powerless that I couldn’t be there to make sure the house would be okay.  Our oil stove sprung a leak in the quake and had to have it repaired.  Thankfully I have some really awesome friends/neighbors that were able to let the guy in to do the repairs.  All my friends made it through with no damage.  Thank goodness.

Meanwhile, back in Florida.  I am painstakingly installing tongue and grove laminate flooring throughout the entire house. I never liked lament, it’s slick, the dogs slide on it, we two humans slide on it.  I’m afraid my old schnauzer might dislocate a hip on it, but that’s what rugs are for.  Anyway, I hate it and will never do it again.  Being on all fours installing this crap has taken its toll on my back.  My only real breaks are when I need to do laundry and dishes, showers, and sleeping.  I want this house finished ASAP!!

If you know anyone wanting to buy a lovely manufactured home newly renovated with 2 acres in Florida that’s close to the Suwannee River and springs.  Let me know.  LOL!

We both have put blood, sweat and tears into this project.  Okay, enough complaining.  I vented and feel better.

Dad and I have been wanting to create a luxury campsite “Glamping” if you will.  We have decided since we don’t have enough to do already this spring we need to break ground.  I’m talking about teepees and wall tents set up like hotel rooms.  Each will be on its own private deck, with beds, cooking stove, mini fridge, fire pit with grill and much more.  I have enough room on my land to do it.  It’s always been my dream and I really want to make it a reality.  I’ve started a GoFundMe page to see if I could get financial help.  I am a hard worker, as you know by my blogs, I want to make this dream happen.  Anyone who donates $150 or more will get a 4 day 5 night stay at the Fritz Creek Glam Camp.  You may make reservations anytime.  The days must be consecutive.  It would be great if you could donate, but if you can’t please share with someone that can.  <https://www.gofundme.com/fcglamcamp&gt;

So.  Here’s a few videos I have put together earlier this month.

Meanwhile Back in Florida…

We’ve been busy trying to cut up some tree limbs that are the size of trees to be able to get into the house we are trying to finish renovating.  We had some chainsaw problems.  Dad got one started but then after an hour it threw the rods in the engine, basically it’s a parts saw now.  Mine, we it just wouldn’t start.  So, we took it to the chainsaw place in town to see if they could fix it.  It took about 3 or 4 days to get to it and fix it.  Seems there is some sort of issue that really can’t be fixed but they were able to finagle it to start.  So my little Poulan will start, but if I were to turn it off while it was hot it may not start back until it cools off.  Fabulous!  Dad decided to bite the bullet and buy a Stiel chainsaw.  The dealer fixed it up that it was ready to go with no problems.  Well, that’s what we though.  The darn thing was cutting great and then it just stopped running.  I don;t know anyone that has the kind of trouble with chainsaws as much as us.

My chainsaw is working and was able to really get some cutting done.  I can’t wait to fell some dead trees on the property back home in Homer.  I’m getting lots of practice using my chainsaw here in Florida.  It’s all up to me and my chainsaw to finish what we started.

Today we are going to tear out the master bathroom, finish installing a new window, and few other things before we can get to the flooring.  The faster we get this done, the faster we can get home!

 

Not Much To Do and Yet So Much

Since I have been here in Florida there really hasn’t been much to do until Dad rolled up on Friday.  I’ve got to see all my friends and catch up with them.  I have run errands and started selling off stuff that we don’t need.  I said good bye to my dune buggy, trailer and small camper.  I feel like a weight has been lifted.  It feels great!

Tomorrow, Dad is getting a replacement window for the house we are trying to finish renovating and I am going to do more errands as well in town,  then we will install the new a/c unit and window.  This will take the humidity out of the new flooring so it can be installed after Christmas.  I love staying with my friend Tammy, but there is something to be said about missing your own bed.  I miss my own bed and my home.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Florida.  I love my friends.  I don’t miss the hot sticky weather.  I am eager to finish my own home and start preparing for spring.  I love growing veg, raising chickens and now I can’t wait to start fishing for halibut and learning to hunt in Alaska!  Home is calling.

It’s funny.  I am so used to waking up, stoking the fire, having coffee and then working on the house.  We’ve lived a tough homesteader life there for about 3 or 4 months.  I’m now living in a friends house using air conditioning, having unlimited amount of water.  It’s crazy.  I had to force myself to flush toilet paper.  We don’t flush toilet paper down our toilets.  We brown paper sack it and then throw it into the wood stove.  I’ve had to relearn to be more civilized.  LOL!  Of course neither Dad or I packed the right clothes for Florida.  We’ve been buying  whatever we need from the Walmart in town.

We took the dogs to the vet for needed shots, check ups, and nail trimming.  Everyone is healthy and vaccinated.  Taco has made a new friend at Tammy’s.  Her name is Irma and Tammy calls her “The Terrorist” the kitten.

IMG_3771

I have to give my neighbor Tiana for saying our butts this week.  She has been checking in on our home and jumped to our rescue when we forgot all of our keys back in Alaska.  Thank you for mailing us our keys!!!!  You’re my hero!

And a special thanks to Tammy for giving us a place to stay and being my bestie while we finish this renovation we left unfinished to move to Alaska.

Many thanks to all of you.

For dinner I made nachos and we are downing it with a vodka 7.

I am still hoping to go kayaking on the Suwannee River soon.

Bob’s Version: Florida Bound Day 12

Day 12 Friday 12/15/2017

I got up a late and didn’t get away from the Jemison, AL truck parking area until almost 9:00. There was a Burger King about 40 feet from my truck. Their window sign advertised $1.99 biscuits and gravy. That was the reason for the later than usual start. I’m usually on the road in an hour or less.

This is the downhill slide to O’Brien. FL. The map app said it was 5 hours 41 minutes but but the actual driving time was closer to seven hours. I-10 was packed solid with people going slower than the posted speed limit of 70 mph. I was run off the road and onto the paved shoulder by an idiot in a van. Also, had another idiot pass me and the suddenly slam on his brakes. I braked so hard that just about everything in the trailer slide forward and poor little Suzy slid out of my lap into the floor. Bless her baby heart she was sound asleep and then thrown violently onto the floor and under the dash. Fortunately, the only injury to her was her pride.

The temperature was 61 degrees in the afternoon in the Florida panhandle. A substantial difference from two days ago in Winnipeg’s -3 degrees. I started shedding clothing as the temp rose. By the time, I got to O’Brien I was sweating and running with the windows down.

Finished the 3619 mile trip at 4:00 in the afternoon. Several people asked me why I would do such a thing. The only answer is that I can come up with is the same as the answer to “Why climb Mt. Everest?” This was a bucket list kind of trip, if I still had a bucket list.

Bob’s Version: Florida Bound Day 11

Day 11 Thursday 12/14/2017  The usual.

Feed the dogs walk the dogs and feed Spike 20 gallons of diesel. Got up at 6:40 but didn’t get on the road until 8:00.

Got through Memphis no problem except I missed my turn. That wasn’t the worst of it as there was a slightly longer route. The problem was fuel. I tried to get into three different places but the truck/trailer combo was too long. Finished up my self imposed detour and got on I-22 to Birmingham. After having wasted almost an hour on the detour and fueling fiasco, I found a real truck stop. A good thing too. I had only about 80 miles of fuel left and B’ham was over 90 miles away.

Had Summer try to contact my cousin to no avail.  When I got to Birmingham, I called my high school buddy, Melvin. He lived between B’ham and Montgomery. I told him that I’d be along at about 6:00 for our first meeting since 1963. When I got to his house he and his wife were very gracious. They offered me dinner and shelter for the evening but I declined. I declined because she would have been cooking only for me and because I traveling with two dogs. They have a very nice pet free home that in which I didn’t want any accidents occurring. Also, I was anxious to get on the road tomorrow as early as possible. I’m about 6-7 hours from my destination and I want to sleep in a bed that isn’t on the floor tomorrow night.

Returned to I-65 and drove down to the Jemison exit and got off the highway. There were several trucks parked in a vacant lot next to the Burger King. They have gravy and biscuits for $1.99. I know what I’m having for breakfast.

Dinner consisted of a sandwich topped with several slices of chicken breast topped with Vidalia onion and pepper jack cheese. Dessert was several ginger snaps.