Marathon to Wildwood, Florida (376 miles)

We got underway about 0912 without too many screw-ups and none of them serious.  Well, when you haven’t moved for six months, you forget things.

When we took out the carpeting and put vinyl tile floors in the motorhome, the edge of the slide-out section wasn’t solid and the tiles broke at the edge.  So, we bought some pieces of wood, square dowels really, and put them under the edge of the slide-out to keep us from breaking the tiles.  This morning, I forgot to remove the sticks before sliding in the slide.  I couldn’t figure out why it was making so much noise.

As I pulled out of our site, I realized the awning was out.  I stopped the RV to go retract it.  It would not come in or go out.  You can’t very well drive up the turnpike with the awning out. After a minute or so of pushing the buttons, Andy realized that the switch will not work with the engine running.  I shut off the engine and the awning retracted. Too bad they didn’t put in a safety feature that would prevent me from driving with the awning out in the first place.

When we were connecting the car to the back of the motorhome, we realized we were missing one of the big, fat cotter pins that secures the car to the tow bar.  We must have left it on the ground when we disconnected the car last November.  Fortunately, we had one spare in the towing-gear bag.

The trip was uneventful, except for one incident.  Traffic was heavy, especially around Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach; pretty much all of the southeast Florida coast. But, it was moving at or above the speed limit. We were south of Orlando and just passing through a toll plaza when the traffic flow stopped. We were in that backup for nearly an hour when we passed the incident causing it.  A pickup truck, towing a U-Haul box rental trailer, was sitting on the shoulder.  An dog or cat crate was sitting on the shoulder behind the trailer.  I saw a young man sitting on the fender of the trailer with his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands. The pickup truck had been totally consumed by fire.  There was no paint left.  All the windows were gone.

Was he moving to a new job?  Was he moving back home or out making a brand new start? Were all his worldly possessions in that trailer?  Was the pet still alive or did it die in the fire?  Had he been driving alone or was someone else in that ambulance we saw heading southbound? I know his heart was broken and I have been thinking about him since passing that scene.

We got to Alliance Coach at 5:32.  Our service adviser, Will Burke, came out to greet us at the reception desk. We will talk about fixing the refrigerator in the morning.