Friday, March 7, 2014

RV Shakedown Trip to Ft. Lauderdale - Cousin Scott

(Sunrise, FL) Hi 67  Lo 61 -- Two days ago on Wednesday we headed out for a planned "shakedown" trip to visit friends in the Ft. Lauderdale area. Jim and Judy were scheduled to leave for their summer travels while we were gone, so we sadly said farewell to them with hugs all around. We hope to see them in Oregon this summer, where they'll be workamping for a few months.

After Jim played shuffleboard Wednesday morning we did our final preparations for the 150-mile move south. I held my breath and closed my eyes and pressed the slide switches. Both slides came in OK. The first of the "big three" processes done. Next was the Bigfoot levelers. They went up just fine. Two down. The last was hitching up, and that went very smoothly. Everything was checked off on our checklist and we were ready to roll.

We've often joked that we hope our tires and levelers don't develop roots from being stationary so long. Well, when we pulled up the board from under one of the levelers (with some difficulty), this is what we saw.  (Click pictures to enlarge)

The grass was so attached to the board that it pulled up roots from the ground. So it DOES happen. :)

We pulled out a little after noon. The weather was great and the traffic was light. The new car is more comfortable than our last one, smoother and quieter. It’s going to be really nice to drive it out west this summer. Central south Florida is mostly brush, cow pastures, and sugar cane fields.



Most of all, the land is flat, flat, flat! After they harvest the sugar cane they burn off the fields, and we could see the smoke in the distance.

The last 20 miles or so was through the Everglades Wildlife Management Area. Nothing but sawgrass. After a little over three hours and we arrived at Markham Park, one of the parks in the Broward County Park System.

The park is huge, and includes a shooting range and model airplane field. Most of the RV loops have back-in sites, but we managed to reserve a site in the only loop with pullthroughs. It's a paved pad with 50-amp electric, water, and sewer.

We have lots of room between sites.

The canal right behind us has a dyke, and marks the eastern edge of the Everglades. We didn't see any alligators (yet).

Every site has a picnic table and BBQ grill.

Other views around us.



The interesting thing about our location is, although the Everglades is right out our back window, just east of us is the city of Sunrise, just one of the hundreds of towns in the crowded, traffic-congested greater Miami/Ft. Lauderdale metropolitan area. Jim grew up in this area, in the town of Margate about 15 miles from here. He's just amazed at how much the area has grown.

Yesterday (Thursday), we headed to downtown Ft. Lauderdale to an appointment with Scott, who is both our financial adviser and Jim’s cousin. There was a huge band of thunderstorms on the way from the west, and the whole area was under a severe thunderstorm warning. We made it to the parking deck just before the front came through. Scott's office is on the 15th story of an office building, and we enjoyed the views from the large windows of the conference room.


It wasn't long before the hard rains came, which reduced the visibility to almost nothing.

After our meeting most of the severe weather had passed, but it was still raining lightly as we headed back to the park to make sure the RV was ok. Jim had proactively laid the satellite dish on its side before we left, to make sure it didn't blow over and get damaged. (It took him a little longer than usual to set it up when we arrived because we changed from DISH to DirecTV, and he's still getting used to the new set up procedure.) After he re-set up the dish and we checked everything out (all was fine), we headed back to Ft. Lauderdale to Scott's house to spend the evening with him and his lovely wife Jennifer.

Jen and Scott

They took us to dinner at a wonderful little restaurant right on the water at a local marina. We had a great time. Jim and Scott shared family stories, with lots of laughs all around. Scott and Jen, thanks for welcoming us into your home, and thanks for dinner. We'll see you next year!

Come back in three days to see what else we get into this weekend.


Gypsy said...

I never thought about the grass attaching to boards, and found the picture very interesting. The park you are in looks so spacious. I hope you enjoy your time there.

KarenInTheWoods Karen Pfundtner said...

Yup.. a rolling stone should gather NO moss... gotta keep those wheels rolling?

Sounds like you had a great time...

Karen and Steve
(Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard