Monthly Archives: March 2013

3/19/13 Update from Patrick AFB

Sometimes things just work out right. I took the 3G Stepper out for a ride this evening. It was a little windy but otherwise very nice weather Рsunny and low 70s. On the way back I decided to use the exercise trail that runs along the Banana River. This brackish river is home to a multitude of sea life, including the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. I used the full, formal name just so nobody gets it confused with the delicious dolphin (mahi-mahi) that you get in restaurants. Just past the halfway point my phone rang with a call that I was half expecting Рthe billing department for the hospital where I had my knee surgery last summer. After hanging up, I continued on my ride and spotted a dolphin swimming very close in. I slowed down a little to see what he would do and the next time his dorsal fin broke the surface he was still behind me. I stopped completely and noticed a large moving shadow right next to the seawall. The dolphin was almost directly below me. Not knowing what else to do, I leaned over and slapped the seawall a few times. Well, Mr. Dolphin rolled over on his side and eyeballed me for a few seconds before continuing on his swim. How neat is that?

Entertainment at Patrick AFB

Well, the past week here has been entertaining, although not very happy for a couple of people. Late last week a 35 or 40 ft Class A pulled into the campground and proceeded to the office to register. After talking to the driver (husband) much later, he said he was following his wife’s instructions, which turned out to be a big mistake. Next to the new office is a large sandy field (for lack of a better word) that used to be the base firing range. They tore it down sometime in the last 2 yrs and haven’t done anything other than remove all the rubble.

Oops, I stand corrected. They did have a fabric fence around the area to keep the sand from blowing all over. That was removed when some office worker decided it would be a great idea for all overflow vehicles (mostly tow dollies and box trailers, but some trucks and cars) to park on this soft, sandy ground instead of a nearby paved parking lot. That decision was rescinded within 24 hrs as people tried to get into the new parking area and started sinking into the sand. The fabric fence was never put back into its original location. That turned out to be a big mistake as the Class A from the previous paragraph pulled in.

The wife suggested to the husband that they pull off the pavement so they wouldn’t block the road. Unfortunately, hubby followed this advice. After registering, they went back out to the RV and attempted to pull out, only to dig the rear wheels in, down to the axle. Even though a case could be made that it was the military’s fault and they probably had a suitable vehicle in the motor pool to pull him out, this poor guy had to use his emergency roadside service. So,¬†2 hrs later, the tow truck shows up. At this point, we find out how starved RVers are for entertainment. They (including me) started coming out of the woodwork to watch the festivities. There must have been 40 or 50 people just sitting in lawn chairs or on picnic tables. The tow truck driver did a very good job and had that RV out of the sand in about 20 minutes, with no further damage.

The following day was my turn to move again. Everything was going well since there were some empty spots in overflow so I didn’t have to wait for somebody else to move first. There was one moment, however, when my stomach did a few flips and my heart was racing. When I kicked the last wheel chock out from between my 5th wheel tires, the RV started rolling. Fortunately, it was already hitched to the truck so nothing dropped. It only rolled a couple of inches but I was already racing for the truck to jump in and stand on the brakes. The rest of the move was nowhere near as exciting.

Now fast forward a few days and I’m looking at the opposite row of overflow parking and see something that looks out of place. I mentioned in my last post that they put the power pedestals forward on some of the sites. Well, it was just a matter of time before somebody hit one. This pedestal was leaning over at a 45 degree angle, completely exposing the cement base that was probably meant to keep it in place. A little later I found the RV that caused that damage. It was another Class A and they hit the pedestal while pulling out of the spot. The tail swung out to make contact and you could see the gouge starting about 8 ft from the back of the RV. So, a couple of storage bay doors will need to be replaced and the rear cap will require some fiberglass work. It all brought back some sad memories of my accident in Nebraska when I pulled a similar stunt at a truck stop. The big difference here though is that this guy had a spotter available. I know that because I saw his wife spotting as he backed into his new site. Now, if only she had been spotting as he pulled out of the old spot, they wouldn’t have to get their RV repaired.