Friday, December 19, 2008

Staying Flexible

We are at the Wal-Mart in DeLand, Florida (map).

We really enjoyed our stay in Flagler Beach, holding out until the last possible moment to leave today. We pulled up stakes right at the 1pm checkout, spent a few minutes at the dump station, and hit the road.

We did make a brief stop in Daytona Beach. We have some homework to do for our trawler class in two weeks, and we diverted to the West Marine at the yacht basin there to pick up a book and a couple of charts. Then we headed southwest on US-92 for DeLand.

We had the idea that we'd be going to the Elks lodge here, with 30 amp power and just a couple of blocks from downtown, where a search revealed several restaurants. So we made the left onto US-17, after passing a sign suggesting the truck route was straight ahead.

The first few blocks were no problem, but we could see ahead what looked like progressively lower oak trees, and we became nervous about making it all the way to the Elks. We abandoned the idea just as the street narrowed down, and headed for the truck route a block west, where we circled back here to the Wal-Mart. It's a fine stop, and there's a Chili's right across the street.

Now that I have our lives completely scheduled out to mid-February, we got word today from our representative's office in Washington asking if we were still interested in inauguration tickets. Hell yes! I'm guessing that they are just double-checking all the names, and we're still going to get tossed into a hat for some kind of drawing, but the very question caused us to rethink the schedule.

Inauguration day is 1/20, and we're now fully paid up, to the tune of eight bills, for Trawlerfest in Stuart starting 1/22. (We decided the inagural tickets were such a long shot, that we'd get on with our lives as if they were not going to happen.) It's a good sixteen driving hours from DC back to Stuart, so even if we managed to get on the road within a couple hours of the event, we'd never make our first seminars Thursday morning, and we'd have to do the kind of crazy driving that we hate, and reserve only for racing to disaster operations.

I think the tickets are still a long shot, but, if they come through, I will be calling the Trawlerfest people and pleading with them to let us transfer our full registration package to the San Diego event instead, which starts about a week after our flight from Hawaii gets back into Phoenix. Also, that will nix any visit to the keys, but at least we don't have any reservations or deposits there.

We'll still be doing the bus rally in Arcadia and our trawler school in Ft. Lauderdale, after which we would start heading back north toward DC. A slow roll up the coast through the relatively warmer southern states, followed by a surgical strike just ahead of the inaugural, followed by a quick retreat afterwards. After which, if the TrawlerFest folks agree to the change, we will make a more leisurely southwest sweep towards Phoenix, rather than returning to Florida.

Of course, if they hold us to our deposit and our chosen dates, we'll make a two-day run down I-95 right back to Stuart, hopefully arriving in time for the first round of evening festivities on Thursday, only having missed the first two seminar sessions.

Speaking of seminars, the organizers of the bus rally in Arcadia this month have scheduled me for two full slots, basically a whole day, to deliver a seminar on coach electrical systems. I'm working up the slides and graphics now. The morning session will basically be a lecture-format how-to covering a wide range of topics, with the afternoon session being a bring-your-own-problem question-and-answer format discussion. Louise was inspired to put something together as well, for the bus widows, on living full time in a small space.

Tomorrow we will be in Orlando. I have my fingers crossed that our secret boondocking spot is still available, and we'll stay there until our Fort Wilderness reservations Monday.


  1. sean

    what days are your seminars scheduled for at arcadia


  2. I don't know yet, Ned. I don't think Jack has it all nailed down yet. I just know he asked me if I would do the full day.

  3. Bryce AKA Busted KnuckleDec 21, 2008, 12:54:00 AM

    Hey Sean that's cool that ya get to do a couple seminars. If you get bored in Orlando drop me a line. There's a Setra there we have been thinking about, and if you'd like I would be willing to cover expenses and dinner for two if you'd be interested in having a look at it to see if it's worth us driving 870 miles to consider or not! BK


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