Friday, January 14, 2011

Moving to the country park

We left the Dupuis Management area yesterday with much regret.  It reminded me so much of being back on the farm, in the country, few people around and some horses passing by now and then.   But with the state of our propane in the tank (VERY little), it was obvious that we needed to go find some propane before it ran out.  When you're dry-camping (or boondocking), propane is an absolute necessity.  (It cools the food or warms it, your choice.)

We had two choices, either go to Indiantown and get a load of propane or head on down the road to Moore Haven and find some on the way.  We chose the later, as then we'd be in a position to visit Paradise Park on Friday and  sit in on the annual meeting   We missed our first propane option by not seeing it along the road.  At the second option, I called ahead and she informed me that it would be 2 hours or more since all of the technicians were out on service calls.   She did tell me of another option on down the road in Moore Haven, so we headed on to Moore Haven.  

In Moore Haven, we spotted a service station that had plenty of room for us to get into to fuel up the diesel, so in we went.   When we attempted to pump from the first pump, it was a no go.   No signs on the pump, but the nozzle was locked off.  So we went for the hose on the opposite side.  That worked and we promptly ran up a hundred dollar charge  (it was expected).  When I attempted to reload for the second hundred, it refused my card.  So a trip into the store.  To shorten a long story, eventually we got the fuel but only after we left the card with the clerk!   We were happy to leave.

Two blocks down the road, we found the propane service and pulled in.  All went well until I went in to ask about a sign I saw indicating that there was a C.O.E. Recreation Area north of the highway.   The station operator informed me that the direction I was pointing to was not north, but EAST.  He was emphatic with me that the highway out front ran north and south, not east and west.  I objected, but didn't argue.   He then gave me very confusing directions.   Eventually I got the picture of where he said it was.   We paid our bill and left.

We headed back on the highway and spotted the sign pointing to the "recreation area".  It said turn here, different from his directions.   We did and found the park.  (The sign looks like a C.O.E. sign, is labeled like a C.O.E sign except it did not have the signature C.O.E. Emblem on it which I didn't notice.)     The guard at the gate did not have a typical Ranger uniform on and when I asked if this was a C.O.E. park, she informed me that it was a private park.  I asked "How much?" and she said "$32 unless you're at Passport member when it is $16."   Since we're Passport America members, we said okay, we'd stay.  

The park sites are not well maintained, very poor gravel interior roads and in general, we were not impressed. But for 2 nights, we'll tolerate it.  The alternative was to truck on down the road 10 miles to another park that we knew was there, charged $16.99 a night for Passport members and would let us stay for 2 weeks but we had no idea what it was really like.   So we saved a buck!   Subsequently, I've learned that our 3 point hookup site only has electric that is usable; the sewer connection needs a 30 foot hose and the water connection has been stolen by the adjoining sites because the water main to those sites is not on.   Thankfully, we have enough left in our tank to hopefully get us by!

Today we went 45 miles west to the park where we actually own a lot (rented out now) for there annual meeting.  A friend was to vote via proxy for us, so our civic duty was covered.  I was interested in meeting so many friends that we haven't seen for 2 years.  All went well.  (I'll not bore you with the details of the meeting which took a lot of time because everyone has to get their two cents in.)

On the return to our motorhome,  we checked out the park that was our backup park.  Tomorrow, we move from here to there.    So it is a buck more expensive, but clean, well organized, and good asphalt roads.  Plus if I want to carry the computer to the club house, they have free high speed wifi.   (We have a Verizon data card, which gives us internet access, but certainly not high speed.)


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