We’re hearing a different patter on our fiberglass rooftop today. Sleet! We’re only an hour north of Tampa and it’s sleeting!
The other day, it was 59 degrees in Key West — a record low temperature for that location. Pity the vacationers seeking fun in the sun! We arrived in Florida in early December and except for a few days above 60 degrees, it has been cold, but at least sunny.
The last few nights, the temperature has plunged to the low 20s. The frost has zapped elephant ears and sundry other subtropical plants. It’s taking its toll on the fruit trees, too. (Fruit trees have been one of the unique benefits of staying here at Sumter Oaks RV Park in Bushnell, Florida. The grounds have orange, tangerine and grapefruit trees. Their fruit starts ripening in January and everyone is welcome to pick fruit for their own delightful consumption!)
During the freezing weather, campers with hookups have had to disconnect their water hoses from the onsite taps and use water from their RV tanks (just like we do while dry camping).
We’ve encountered wacky weather throughout our journey. A cold front hit Kentucky in late September. Locals said the autumn chill was a couple of weeks early. Then it started to rain…and rain…and rain some more. Kentucky blue grass turned into mud bogs. The water accumulated so fast and made such deep puddles that I bought a pair of knee-high rubber boots to keep my feet dry.
In the Smokies, a sheet of ice slid off the slide-out awning when we pulled it in. It snowed when we crossed Newfound Gap. The fall color peaked about a week before we got to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and rain kept pummeling down. When the sun promised to come out, we dropped everything we were doing and scurried to the parkway to get photos. There were intermittent warm, sunny days – and we treasured them all the more. My favorite was at Huntington Beach State Park. On that day, our dog Sonha met the ocean for the first time.
Rain And More Rain
Rain fell torrentially during our day in Charleston, South Carolina. I had looked forward to leisurely strolling the historic city, rich with Southern charm and tradition. But it was too cold and wet to do more than dash from corner to corner. We did the best we could: a city tour in a heated minibus followed by cold-to-the-bone browsing through the Old Market and warming up with tasty oyster stew at a downtown tavern.
Cloudy skies and rain were our constant companions in Savannah, Georgia during our five days there. Even so, we walked the entire square-mile historic district several times, admiring the stately homes. Even under gray skies, the city was enchanting. And we had some of our happiest experiences there: watching dolphins leap in the Savannah River and searching the squares for Forest Gump’s bench with a delightful young couple from Charleston. The sun finally came out on the day we departed, Thanksgiving. Before we left, we walked to each of our favorite squares in the historic district to see them under sunshine and clear skies.
Winter Clothes Colorado-style
I can count the times it’s been warm enough to comfortably wear a short-sleeve top during the past month here in Florida – 3! That hasn’t stopped us from going to the beach when we’re near one. We just wear everything we own. Well, almost everything.
When we were deciding which clothes to take in the RV and which to gift, sell or toss, it seemed silly to bring long underwear. But, thank goodness, we did. During the past week, we’ve even been wearing the Polar fleece shirts and pants we bought years ago for a winter visit to Yellowstone National Park. We thought we might need them on a chilly summer night in the Rockies, but we never thought we’d wear them in Florida!
Mother Nature has been constantly reminding us who’s boss. She’s a powerful force. And I, for one, respect her!