October 21, 2015 – Wildwood, Florida

Another day at the shop.  As he said he would, Mechanic Kevin arrived around 0700 to take Sao into the shop for more work. We went tot he customer lounge and watched some RV news.  That got old quickly and we decided to take a walk around the property. Of course, we stopped by Sao on the way out to see how Kevin was doing. The had the instrument panel pulled off the dash and was testing diodes.

 

b01 Kevin Checking Diodes

I went around to get a better look.  The problem that he was addressing was the “low air pressure” alarm.  The warning light and beeping have been going on regularly since we left the Smokies at the end of June. A couple days it has beeped non-stop and nearly drove me mad. The boost air pressure gauge is supposed to read 60 psi, but normal has been 30 psi.  The last few days of driving, the gauge had gone down to 5 and 10 psi. Kevin was also going to change the air dryer filters.

b02 Kevin Behind Dashboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The yellow things at the top left are the two-way radios that JR Smullen gave us.  Thanks again JR; we use them all the time.

Here is Sao sitting in the oil change bay.  We got the lube, oil, and filter changes for the engine and the generator.

b03 Sao in Oil Change Bay

Then we headed out for our walk. I noticed (not for the first time) that many of the service bays also have a motorhome sitting outside and they are being worked on.

b04 Back of Alliance Garage

Here is something we have never seen before.  Apparently that motorhome is having trouble with its propane gas system.  There is a hose running from the propane tank to tower and they are burning off the propane from the tank. It was burning hard too. We could hear it.

b05 Burning Off Propane

This large Live Oak is next to the employee parking lot. Live oaks with Spanish Moss hanging on them are one of the great charms of the south.

b06 Live Oak Behind Employee Parking Lot

We noticed that we have a new hub cap.  We don’t know where we lost the old one; we have been on so many rough roads this summer, it could be anywhere. The hub cap is just the shiny clean part in the center.

b07 New Hub Cap

Here is another large Live Oak out in front of the Alliance Coach building.

b08 Live Oak in Front of Alliance

These small Morning Glories are growing along the side of the road.

b09 Small Morning Glories

Of course, I had to go take a look at the lawn-mowing tractor parked in a field.  I realized that I look at tractors a lot when I recognized the Massey Furgeson symbol on the front. One of my fantasy jobs would be driving a large lawn mower.

b10 Tractor

We came around to the back of the garage to see that Sao had been moved from the oil-change bay to the wash-and-wax port. Two men were hard at work with extra-long-handled brushes and a large bucket of suds.

b11 Washing Sao

We stood and watched them for a while. One fellow was cleaning the wheels as they both worked their way around Sao together.

b12 Washing Sao Wheel

They got to the front and I realized that one of them was pressure-washing right above the other, but the other guy never got wet.

b13 Washing Sao Front

Wash job done, Sao is sparkling clean. Believe me, we had a lot of dirt we dragged in from all across the country.

b14 Shiny Clean Sao

One guy started wiping Sao dry while the other one came behind him waxing. We went to lunch at that point.

b15 Wiping and Waxing Sao

We spent most of the afternoon in the customer waiting room/lounge.  Andy studied the Alliance Coach catalog and I continued reading Macho Metaphysics by our friend, Bob Elkins.

b16 Alliance Waiting Room

Kevin has already finished some jobs:

Found and repaired a leak in the rear port slide out.  This is where I had musty, mildewed clothes last winter.

Found the problem and fixed the rear heat pump/air conditioning unit.  Fortunately, that turned out to be a simple sensor replacement.

He fixed the entry steps, which had come loose and were sinking when we stepped on them.

He took apart the light fixtures in the bedroom and over the kitchen sink. He is going to change them to LED lights.

He checked our LP gas system for leaks.  We didn’t have a problem, but Andy wants it checked.  After we lost our friend Bob in a gas fire, we are a bit sensitive about it.

Kevin looked at our rear-view camera system, but can’t figure out why it doesn’t work half the time.  We got a new monitor two years ago and a new camera last year.  We still have the problem.  I think the problem in the wire between them, but Will Burke says that would cost too much to fix.

We always have a list when we come to Alliance. My darling friend Sue Meyer asked me to include what work we are getting done.  They have a motorhome too.  All this probably makes her queasy. But Mac can probably fix most of this stuff himself.

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October 11, 2015 – Alligator Lake Park, Lake City, Florida

We had a wonderful walk today.  One of the nicest ever. Alligator Lake Park is a county park right in Lake City. It is part of the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail. We chose the three-mile Montgomery Trail, which is on a dike around and through the lake.  The lake had been diked and drained in the 1950s for agriculture.

I have tried to keep my photos in the order taken. I took about 235 pictures today, so this is just a small sample of the park experience. This is the beginning of the trail, just past the trail head sign.

b01 Beginning of Montgomery Trail

This is my first glimpse of the water from the trail.  It looks like Monet took the picture.  The photo did not turn our weird, that is exactly how it looks.

b02 Water Scene

As the trail rounded a curve, it became a grassy lawn. It was grassy most of the three miles.

b03 Path on Dike

There was water on both sides, but it took me a while to realize that we were walking on a dike. My turtle picture did not turn out too sharp.  A lot of the pictures were a bit fuzzy today.  I think the camera had trouble focusing, because the background was always so busy. I am a snapshooter and don’t mess with the camera settings, but I really should learn to use the manual focus. He is a big guy.

b04 Turtle

This is a snowy egret, a bit out of focus as well.

b05

It was a pretty day, but mostly cloudy. Here, we wee approaching a bridge.

b06 Bridge

The landscape was full of these tiny Morning Glories.  They were only about and inch or two across.

b07 Tiny Morning Glories

Here are a couple views of the open water/marsh.

b08 Lake View

I think I took this one from that bridge.

b09 Lake from Bridge

Butterflies were everywhere, fluttering all around us. This one is a Gulf Fritillary.

b10 Orange and Black Butterfly

We got a laugh out of this Tiger Swallowtail inside a blossom.

b11 Butterfly in Flower

I don’t think I have seen one of these before.  Google Images tells me it is a Cloudless Sulphur.

b12 Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly

Zebra Wings always flitter around so fast that I have a hard time getting a picture of one. This one cooperated for me. I had never noticed the red dots along the body on the underside of the wing before.

b13 Zebra Wing Butterfly

I thought this was a moth, but found it with Google Images.  It is a Buckeye Butterfly.  I suppose it is from Ohio.

b14 Buckeye Butterfly

Here is another Snowy Egret standing on a clump of grass out in the water.

b15 Snowy Egret

 

We are a long way from the Everglades, so I was surprised to see Anhingas here.  This is a female.  You can tell by the brown neck and head; males are all black and with white marking on the back.

b16 Anhinga Female

I liked this little island of small cypress trees.  Notice all the water lillies in front of them.

b17 Cypress Trees and Water Lillies

We were walking along and minding our own business when suddenly this huge Great Blue Heron flapped and squawked out of the tree next to us.  It landed just a few yards away, up to its belly in the water.  I said we were just as startled my the heron as it was by us.  Andy thought that knowledge would be of little comfort to the heron.

b18 Startled Great Blue Heron

There were thousands of water lillies on the lake, but I did not get a single picture in sharp focus.  This may be one of the best.

b18 Water Lillies

We came across another Great Blue Heron a bit farther along.  This one was not bothered by us. I just love those red thighs.

b19 Great Blue Heron

Here is another snap of the trail.

b20 Trail

We came to a second bridge.

b21 Arched Bridge

Here is an Ibis sitting in a cypress tree.

b22 Ibis in Cypress Tree

A bit past that bridge, we saw a genuine swamp on the right side.

b23 Swamp

It is beautiful, in a swampy kind of way.

b24 Swamp 2

One more Snowy Egret with the yellow feet showing.

b25 Snowy Egret

After the swamp, we left the water’s edge and walked through a bit of marshy forest.  Before long, we got back to the playground and pavilion where we had parked the car.  The parking lot was full and there were several picnics in progress.  The playground was covered in children. There is also a large, screened in pavilion.

b26 Screened Pavilion

Despite the name of Alligator Lake, we did not see a single alligator today.