Last Minute Preparations
So excited about heading out on my big adventure! Making last minute preparations for being away from home for an extended time like scheduling auto pay for bills, ensuring I have my meds for at least 90 days, having the van checked out mechanically, adding the extra battery for the solar system, changing my phone carrier, and making a few reservations. In addition, I also had the crossbars replaced on the rails on top of the van, did some more research about carrying a firearm (handgun) while traveling (especially to Canada-hint: you don’t!), getting the house ready to be essentially vacated for a month or 2, which included a garage sale to clear out the junk. I also decided to sew in the magnets on my window screens and make some custom fitted screens for the front windows. This involved me standing outside in the sun sewing the screens around the windows to ensure a snug fit. Super HOT! The weird looking magnet is from inside a computer and they are very strong.
The Kayak got a real test drive at the springs. Everyone had a good time taking it for a test down the run of the spring. Even saw some turtles.
Unfortunately, I forget the rudder again so it was a bit challenging to steer. I took a run solo and there definitely needs to be some weight in the front but over all it was fun and comfortable. Easy to inflate, deflate and carry. A large bag was used to carry the kayak, paddle and pump on the cargo hitch. After it dried I managed to fold it and fit it into a large duffle bag for travel. Even some of the accessories fit like the life vest and waterproof bags.
I have lived in Florida all my life and I have traveled quite a lot but not camping. I am following posts on some of the camping FB groups and I became a little more wary of camping in bear country. So, I did some research and even attended an Outdoor Expo in a nearby city. They talked about black bear, which is what we have around here and that they have a keen sense of smell and are very curious. Even things like toothpaste and fragrant soap can attract them… YIKES! I was shocked to learn that even CANNED food is something they can smell WHAT THE?! Now I am thinking of all the items I have that are fragrant. So, trying not to freak out too much I just am going to try to be prepared and heed warnings. I purchased bear spray, and air horn and a bear bell….yes a BEAR BELL. Bear spray is basically pepper spray that shoots 15-20 feet and the bell is so you make noise and don’s surprise the bears.
The bell even has a magnet to silence the clacker so you don’t sound like rudolf when you’re walking through town.
Something else that came up to think about is the cleanliness of the solar panel on the van. I had never really thought about it. It was suggested that just a thin layer of dust could effect the performance of the panel so I posed this question to a couple of groups and I received quite a variety of answers from they never clean their panels to every week and how it doesn’t effect the performance to it effects it a great deal. My conclusion from this is to pay attention to cleanliness of the panel and wipe it down it there is debris on it. I figured it won’s hurt and may even help.
Everyone has been saying “lets get together” and I say “Anytime, I am open” and it down’t happen. So. I decided to have a Bon Voyage party to see folks before I left. Just a potluck and pool party. Friends and family visiting.
Retirement and Family
It has been about 2 months since I retired and it sure seems like i have a lot to do in these last few days. Some exciting family events have occurs like the birth of my grandson (grandchild #2), my second son proposed to his girlfriend and she graduated with her masters degree in science. Very happy for them all.
Delayed a Day
It took longer to get ready than I thought and I had some last minute things to do but I finally left 8/30 about 1200. First stop is Oconee National forest in Eatonton GA. Soooo excited!!
I have a bit of a cold so that’s a bit of a bummer. 🤧
Next posts who’ll be the real deal!!