Odysseeing

Irma and the Big Pivot: Our Odyssey #3 Plans

Eclipsing with other RVers in Sparta, IL

“We plan, God laughs” – Yiddish proverb
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley” – Robert Burns

We’ve had a wonderful spring, summer and fall. After driving almost exactly 10,000 miles (wow!) on Odyssey #2, we were ready to enjoy the beauty of the Indiana Dunes and the creature comforts of a “stick house”. Among other things, we visited my brother in Maine and our families in the Chicago area, took a cruise to Bermuda, worked in the yard, did various photography things, read, cheered on the Cubbies, and generally just chilled. Yes, we are lucky.

Chillin’ in Maine

Maureen started a new gig volunteering with the National Park Service at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore visitor center. She’s “giving back”, and I’m very proud of her.

Snappy uniform!

We did hitch up Sempre Estate once to go see the solar eclipse in Southern Illinois. It was everything we heard it would be – truly stunning – and proved to us once again the value of having a house on wheels.

I also got one minor repair done. The slideout room had started to wear grooves on the bottom of the floor where the rollers run. This was a known problem, and total props to Lance for paying for the repair under warranty (they installed aluminum “runways” for the rollers to slide on), even though the trailer was more than a year out of warranty.

Groovy, not in a good way

And we were already looking forward to our next winter’s Odyssey. We had the best plans. Maureen was going to meet up with her old gang from the American College of Psychiatrists in Tampa, Florida in February 2018. And we had built a fabulous itinerary around this destination. It was going to be awesome:

  • A cruise with some our Xscapers buddies, departing Ft Lauderdale, with ports of call to St Martin, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas
  • A week with Mickey at the Fort Wilderness Park Campground in Orlando
  • Weeks in Fort Pierce and Pembroke Pines, FL
  • A month in Cudjoe Key at a full-hookup RV resort
  • Returning north through Naples to the aforementioned Tampa
  • A week in northern Florida and the “Emerald Coast” (Chamber of Commerce rebranding of the “Redneck Riviera”)
  • A week roaming the bourbon distilleries of Kentucky

We made these plans a year in advance, as Florida is notoriously tight on campground space during the winter, especially as compared to the Southwest. In Tucson last winter, we would set the alarm for 5:45 am (7:45 Eastern time), Maureen would get on the phone and I would get on my phone’s ReserveAmerica app, looking for sites that would become available that day in the 12 month booking window. I would browse for an available state park campsite. At 6 am I would press “Reserve”…and…get the message “No inventory is available.” Maureen had the same experience on the phone. There is such high demand for the few primo state parks in Florida that it is nearly impossible to book them.

After several days of this futility we gave up on state parks and found others that would work – mostly regional parks but also an RV park. We were set! It was gonna be great!

And then…Irma. Now we call our former itinerary the “Irma Highlights Tour.” It was almost as if the hurricane took a look at our plans and said “those look like nice places to go.”

After the cruise ports got wiped out (including especially Puerto Rico with Maria), we said, “that’s ok, the cruise ship will just go somewhere else.” And then Irma made landfall in the U.S. at…Cudjoe Key. A place we hadn’t even heard of until we made our plans (although we had driven through it once), was now a place of infamy. Looking at NOAA storm damage imagery a week later, we knew that we were going to have to make changes. We didn’t even bother trying to call Cudjoe Key to cancel for several weeks, and when we did, there was just a message saying “you will get a refund.” (someday, maybe)

We feel really bad for the people in the Caribbean and Florida who weathered this terrible storm. It’s a way of life down there, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier when it happens. It had been a long time since this area took a direct hit, yet one hurricane season seems to have more than evened out the averages. Our small inconvenience in having to change our plans pales in comparison to the hardship many thousands have had to deal with.

Taking a clear-eyed look at the situation, we decided that this year would not be the best year for us to go to Florida. We figured we would be in the way of the cleanup and rebuilding efforts, not to mention that it wouldn’t be the most comfortable experience. We’ll be going back to Florida, probably in two years when The College meets there again.

So one afternoon, two weeks after Irma, we pulled the plug, cancelled all the Florida reservations, and spent an afternoon booking up much the same itinerary as we’ve had the last two years. We were lucky that at that late date a few sites were still available. In many places the campgrounds we wanted were down to just a site or two. Later I read articles stating that many RVers are doing exactly what we did, shifting their plans west for the year. Normally in the Southwest there is a bit of flexibility around making plans, but the Great Irma Migration along with the continuing booming sales of RVs has changed that. I expect that for the foreseeable future, the days of “winging it” are over, except for those willing to risk getting shut out.

We’re headed on a beeline to the Dallas area, then west across the Permian Basin, through El Paso to Deming, NM, thence to the Tucson area for about a month, Phoenix area for a month, through Quartzsite, AZ to Joshua Tree, CA, reversing course in late February and retracing our steps back home. For more deets see the interactive map.

Odyssey #3 Route!

As a result, this year’s trip will be short on novelty – we’ve seen most of these places before. But they will be high on comfort, like an old shoe. We know the places we like and get to see them again. And even the old places will bring new experiences.

I have a few jobs to do around the house and the RV before we launch, but it’s amazing how quickly three seasons have flown by. After an October of September-like weather, the last two days have brought cold, soaking rains. The strong change of seasons in the Midwest is a not-too-subtle clue that it’s time to get moving. Whether it’s east or west doesn’t much matter to me, as long as it’s sunny and warm.

Leave a Reply

165 Comments on "Irma and the Big Pivot: Our Odyssey #3 Plans"

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Zan Lofgren
Guest
Zan Lofgren

Happy traveling.

Kath
Guest

I love this update and wish you the best and Happy Trails

trackback

Viagra 20mg http://rldta.com/

Seriously loads of superb info.

trackback

Generic cialis http://cialisvipsale.com/

You revealed it really well!

trackback

Viagra tablets australia http://viagravipsale.com/

Kudos. A lot of knowledge.

trackback

Low cost cialis 20mg http://cialisyoues.com/

Good material, Many thanks!

trackback

Cialis 5 mg funziona http://kawanboni.com/

You mentioned that fantastically.

trackback

Cialis 20 mg http://cialisvonline.com/

With thanks, I like this!

trackback

Viagra lowest price http://viagravonline.com/

You said it adequately.!

trackback

cialis kaufen http://cialisvus.com/

Wonderful facts. Kudos!

trackback

cialis for daily use http://cialisbuys.com/

With thanks, Excellent stuff.

trackback

cialis kaufen http://cialisonl.com/

This is nicely said! !

trackback

canadian cialis http://cialisees.com/

Good facts, Appreciate it!

trackback

write a essay for me http://gsgfsdgfdhjhjhj.com/

Regards, Terrific information.

trackback

cialis 20 mg best price http://cialisky.com/

You mentioned this wonderfully!

trackback

cialis uk http://cialisiv.com/

You actually revealed it effectively!

trackback

tadalafil 10 mg http://cialisonla.com/

Awesome information. Thanks!

trackback

Google

One of our visitors just lately advised the following website.

trackback

سکس خارجی

[…]although web sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they are essentially worth a go via, so possess a look[…]

trackback

FS19 mods

[…]usually posts some incredibly exciting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

trackback

farming simulator 2019 mods

[…]although internet sites we backlink to below are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they may be actually worth a go by means of, so possess a look[…]

trackback

Stepfamily Porn Online

[…]The information and facts talked about within the article are several of the most beneficial accessible […]

trackback

Stepfamily Porn Online

[…]The information and facts mentioned inside the post are a few of the top offered […]

trackback

Stepfamily Porn Online

[…]Here are a number of the web sites we recommend for our visitors[…]

trackback

Dolce and Gabbana

[…]Here is a superb Blog You may Come across Interesting that we Encourage You[…]

trackback

Jimmy Choo

[…]that will be the finish of this article. Right here you’ll discover some internet sites that we consider you will enjoy, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

trackback

Givenchy

[…]usually posts some quite interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]

trackback

adam and eve best vibrators

[…]Every as soon as in a even though we opt for blogs that we study. Listed below are the most recent web-sites that we opt for […]

trackback

price comparison website development

[…]the time to read or check out the content or web pages we’ve linked to beneath the[…]

trackback

6+ bedroom flats for sale in nigeria

[…]just beneath, are many totally not connected websites to ours, even so, they’re surely really worth going over[…]

trackback

speelgoed vergelijken

[…]one of our visitors recently suggested the following website[…]

trackback

Burberry parfum

[…]we came across a cool site that you just could delight in. Take a search in case you want[…]

trackback

W88 Thai

[…]we prefer to honor quite a few other web internet sites around the internet, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

trackback

داستان سکسی

[…]that is the finish of this report. Right here you’ll come across some websites that we consider you’ll enjoy, just click the hyperlinks over[…]

trackback

adult

[…]one of our guests not long ago advised the following website[…]

trackback

la poetica del fanciullino tesina

[…]Every once in a when we choose blogs that we study. Listed below would be the most recent sites that we pick […]

trackback

youtube to mp3

[…]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]

trackback

ww88

[…]always a major fan of linking to bloggers that I like but do not get quite a bit of link love from[…]

trackback

سکس ایرانی

[…]although web-sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we feel they’re truly worth a go by means of, so have a look[…]

trackback

China reflow oven

[…]here are some links to sites that we link to since we assume they are worth visiting[…]

trackback

male masturbators

[…]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]

trackback

male masturbators

[…]The details talked about inside the post are some of the top out there […]

trackback

USB Flash Drive

[…]check below, are some totally unrelated sites to ours, however, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

trackback

Reflow oven

[…]please stop by the sites we follow, like this a single, as it represents our picks through the web[…]

trackback

poza dlja anala

[…]we prefer to honor many other world wide web web sites on the internet, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Beneath are some webpages really worth checking out[…]

trackback

free laptop games download

[…]although internet websites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they may be basically worth a go by, so have a look[…]

trackback

app download for windows

[…]below you’ll come across the link to some web-sites that we consider you need to visit[…]

trackback

used lab test equipment

[…]The info mentioned inside the write-up are a few of the ideal available […]

trackback

Print waterproof pvc banners

[…]very handful of web sites that happen to become comprehensive beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly properly worth checking out[…]

trackback

Hidden Objects Games free download for pc

[…]the time to study or check out the material or internet sites we’ve linked to below the[…]