INTJohn’s Winter ‘23-‘24 Van Livin

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Survived the almost tropical storm that hit South Florida last weekend. I think the ocean side may have had the worst of it vs where I’m at but even then was very windy & a lot of rain here.
I think that storm must be what someone on FB was referring to. I just joined a group for seniors who tent camp and someone posted that they were camping in Florida in two Gazelles. One a tent and the other a screen room. They said the tent held up great, but the screen room failed miserably. They were camping in, or near, the Everglades.

From your post it sounds like they weren't exaggerating about the storm and probably few screen rooms would have held up well.

I know you don't tent camp, just glad you verified the weather because I'm considering buying a Gazelle. Thx.
 
6 Jan ‘24
Somewhere on Marathon Key, Fla

Awoke this morn just before 6 am and about 5 minutes later heard the unmistakable loud sound of a vehicle collision on US 1 maybe 200 hundred yards from my spot.

Damn! I thought, gotta get moving so I don’t get caught in the inevitable traffic backup that always occurs in The Keys following US 1 accidents.

Poured coffee and escaped just as the police arrived on scene. Yep, you’re not in The Keys unless you’re hearing sirens……..

jonny boi headin to the beach
 
18 Jan ‘24 Somewhere in the Florida Keys

Left the mainland and returned to The Keys on 2 Jan. Drive to Key Largo from Naples was uneventful.
Have spent much of the last 2 weeks bouncing between Long Key to the east and Big Pine Key to the west.
Weather has been mostly decent tho nights have been warm & humid; daytime has generally been windy causing some decent size breakers that have made the water to murky. Trying to snorkel is like trying to look thru skim milk.

12 Jan thru the 15th my daughter & son n law visited with me and that was very enjoyable. It was my daughters first time in the Keys so she was very much all about it. She’s already talking of a much longer future stay.

2maro is forecast to finally have calm winds and with a 9am low tide I’m planning on a full morning of snorkeling……..

Original plan was to stay in the Keys till end of January but I might move that departure date up a week or so. Will depend on the winds here in the Keys and nighttime temps on the mainland.

jonny boi livin the dream😎🤙
 
31 Jan ‘24 Somewhere near Dunedin, Fla

Left the Keys 10 days ago and headed to North Naples/Bonita Springs area where I chilled mostly at Lovers Key State Park area; couple other spots.
IMG_2375.jpeg
Woke up 1 morning to deer 🦌 in the backyard.

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Above; an osprey musta liked my music as well as my periodic conch horn blasting as it sat on that limb above me chirping away all afternoon.

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And this 5 foot long iguana 🦎 who is probably the baddest reptile in the park. 😂

Left that area this morning and headed to north Clearwater; Dunedin/Palm Harbor area where I’ll b chillin till Karma says it’s time to go.

Dunedin Causeway; Honeymoon & Caldesi Islands. Yep;
What’s not to like?🤙
jonny boi livin the dream😎
 
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11 Feb. ‘24 Sebastian Inlet State Park

Left Honeymoon Island area this past Tuesday, 6 Feb headed East to Vero Beach/Fort Pierce area on the Atlantic Coast; yes, got bored.

Will beach hop northward over the next several days to Ormond Beach which is north of Daytona where this Friday, 16 Feb will point myself westward once again heading to Dunnellon, west of Ocala and hang out the weekend with an old war buddy & his wife.

Thaz tha plan🤙
jonny boi still drivin & livin😎
 
15 Feb ‘24 Somewhere near Ormond Beach Fla

………in other news today:
While exploring in the mostly vegetation covered dunes at Avalon State Park I came face to face with the largest free ranging snake 🐍 I've encountered since my time in SE Asia 50 years ago.

This frikkin thing was all of 8' long and a good 2” maybe 3ish" in diameter and I'm 1000% sure that it was not anymore enthralled to see me as I was it.

Snake startled and not knowing anything as to what kind of snake it was other than it was really long; I was awed by its sheer length & upraised blackish head; didn’t know if it was poisonous and it sure went into “I’m a badass cobra” 🐍mode.

We stared at each other for 10 seconds max. About 6’ apart each of us wondering who is going to make the first move. I moved to my left and it moved to my right and we both hastily parted ways. 😎🤙
I can't speak for the snake but it took me some 100 yards or so of walking down the beach for my fight or flight adrenaline infusion to subside.

Returning to the van I immediately began the google search for info re aforementioned snake and VOILA! This is it:
https://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/snakes/coachwhip.shtml

Says these things live in coastal dunes and can exceed 8 feet in length and I can personally attest to both those facts.

But does it taste like chicken?
jonny boi just sayin
 
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15 Feb ‘24 Somewhere near Ormond Beach Fla

………in other news today:
While exploring in the mostly vegetation covered dunes at Avalon State Park I came face to face with the largest free ranging snake 🐍 I've encountered since my time in SE Asia 50 years ago.

This frikkin thing was all of 8' long and a good 2” maybe 3ish" in diameter and I'm 1000% sure that it was not anymore enthralled to see me as I was it.

Snake startled and not knowing anything as to what kind of snake it was other than it was really long; I was awed by its sheer length & upraised blackish head; didn’t know if it was poisonous and it sure went into “I’m a badass cobra” 🐍mode.

We stared at each other for 10 seconds max. About 6’ apart each of us wondering who is going to make the first move. I moved to my left and it moved to my right and we both hastily parted ways. 😎🤙
I can't speak for the snake but it took me some 100 yards or so of walking down the beach for my fight or flight adrenaline infusion to subside.

Returning to the van I immediately began the google search for info re aforementioned snake and VOILA! This is it:
https://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/snakes/coachwhip.shtml

Says these things live in coastal dunes and can exceed 8 feet in length and I can personally attest to both those facts.

But does it taste like chicken?
jonny boi just sayin
Now I don't even want to visit Florida:(
 
21 Feb ‘23 Somewhere near Ormond Beach, Fla

Spent 4 days near Dunnellon, west of Ocala, at friend’s house. Had my own suite. A HOT shower in a real shower room; Sleeping in a king size bed; damn forgot what that was all about. 😂

And Food! Ok, I bought 16” meat lovers pizza & a 16 pc KFC bucket and my buddy made blueberry pancake & eggs breakfasts and homemade cherry cobbler! R U Kidding?!

How’s Life get better than blueberry pancakes & cherry cobbler?! Nope, it just don’t.
One evening his wife grilled a huge Texas steak with the trimmins. Life’s just tooo goood!

Damn! I might never leave!

Weather sukt tho; cold hard rain for over 2 days straight meant lotsa indoor time so we spent a lot of time playing cards & chewin the fat and I was able to sort my seashells and get them bleach cleaned.

Also; did some routine stuff on the van. Oil & filter change, washer fluid, tire pressures, etc. then I left and drove back to Ormond on the Ocean coast.

They said I could stay as long as I wanted but it was time for jonny boi to head on down the road.
Better to leave peeps wishin you would stay then stayin and have them wishin you would leave. 😂Have always treated girl friends the same way.😎

vagabon jon is movin on🤙
 
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Better start walking off some of that food! Lol!!! Yesterday was at one of my son’s fancy birthday dinner, had a piece of a white chocolate topped raspberry bun cake. Who would have thought they make something so delicious! I’ll be walking today for sure!
 
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