Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Neapolitan Neoplan

We are at the Rock Creek RV "Resort" in Naples, Florida (map).

I put that term in quotes because, while they are certainly charging resort rates, at $50 per night plus tax, the place is just half a notch above "trailer park" on our scale. The vast majority of the spaces are rented seasonally, and clearly many are on long-term leases, with the predictable consequence that the place is filling up with decrepit single-wides and travel trailers that have not been moved in most of a decade. While many units are well-kept, and there is something of a community block-party atmosphere, it's definitely not our cup of tea. It does not help that we are not here for the party, or that we are, bar none, the youngest people here by a full generation.

We're here because we are visiting friends who are staying at a hotel downtown while they are waiting for their boat to be splashed, and this was the closest RV park, at just about two miles, making for an easy scooter ride. Naples, being something of a resort destination, has outlawed parking virtually everywhere, and there is no Elks lodge in town, leaving us no choice but to stay in a commercial park. Apparently, half a C-note is the going rate here in-season.

We arrived yesterday afternoon, after a pleasant drive down "alligator alley." We got something of a late start from Fort Lauderdale, as the coolant hose replacement took a good five hours at Atlantic Ford. We ended up putting the old coolant back in, but I insisted on testing it, and they managed to soak me for $35 for a package of five test strips. Bah. A bottle of ten strips was just $15 at the Detroit dealer next door, where I went to buy the SCA package, as the molybdate was reading low for the nitrite levels. I decided not to have them do any of the other things on my quick checklist, such as sample the oil (I also bought a test kit next door, and will pull the sample myself in the next few days).

We had a nice dinner with our friends Martin and Steph last night, and will have one last meal with them this evening after our 7pm-9pm Red Cross class, which Louise is teaching and I am auditing. Tomorrow we will start our journey north to DC for the inauguration. The detour here to Naples has used up our buffer of Florida warmth, and we will pretty much have to slog to DC on the freeway, with the exception of one stretch of US17 between Fort Myers and Orlando to bypass the Tampa/St. Pete metropolis. We should be somewhere between Orlando and Jacksonville tomorrow night, near Savannah Friday night, and near the NC/SC state line Saturday, after which we will go into stealth mode until after the inauguration.

I know I promised here a report on our trawler charter, and I still intend to get to that, but my available time for blogging has been limited for the past few days. Stay tuned. And again a big thanks to our Fort Lauderdale hosts Steve and Harriet, and their neighbors Frank and Harriet who watched the pets while we were cruising -- we had a great time staying with you, and look forward to connecting someplace on the road.


  1. Freeway! I can't believe what I'm reading. ;-)

    Sometimes you just bite the bullet and get where you have to be.

    Hope you have a great time at the bash.


  2. Hi,

    Sorry we missed you. We live in Naples and read your blog all the time.
    There is an Elks Lodge in Naples on Radio Rd, but no RV parking. However, I have seen RV's parking overnight in the Wall-Mart on Immokalee Rd just west Exit 111 for I-75. There is also a Sam's Club about a mile west of the Wall-Mart. I have also seen RV's parking in the Lowe's parking lot off Airport Rd at Naples Blvd. This is about 2-3 miles south of Immokalee Rd.

    Hopefully you will come back this way and we can meet you! Safe travels!


  3. I've been following your travels for about a year after meeting Bob Lewis. We live in Seattle and are out on our first multi month adventure in our motorhome.
    We did the trawler thing a couple of years ago and ended up buying a new 42' Grand Banks. If you're interested in our experience, maybe we can compare notes after you get back from the inauguration.

  4. A friend of mine has a Neoplan with his church in Florida. Could you give me an idea where one could get a Neoplan service in the Florida area.


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