In a bit of a last minute decision, we decided to attend the Florida State rally of the Winnebago Club in Sarasota, FL. This was to be a leisurely trip of three days to arrive on the first day of the rally. In the past, most of the time the first events do not occur until the late afternoon of the first day. So our first stop was to be just 100 miles from home at the Three Rivers State Park. This is another small park we wanted to visit in our quest to visit every Florida State Park. We picked a site on the water where the three rivers met and enjoyed the scenery. We were going to take a hike along the river, but lots of rain before our arrival and the ranger's comment about the likelihood of the abundant Water Moccasin population being out along the sunny parts of the trail to warm up, put an end to that idea.
At the end of the day, we started to consider exactly where we might stop the next evening with something interesting to do. At the same time, we were reading the material about the rally. Suddenly we realized that this rally began early on the start date and that we really should get there the next day. So our leisurely start ended with the need to drive 400 miles the next day to arrive at the rally.
The rally proved to be a lot of fun and a bit of a reunion from the Canadian caravan we were on last summer. Three couples who were on that two month journey were also at Sarasota. It was great to see them again. There were around 250 RV's at the rally. The only sour note was when we tried to leave on Sunday. The Motorhome would not start and it appeared to be an electrical failure. I called our road service-Coach Net and answered all of his questions. He said right off that the Sprinter had an issue with Mercedes putting a too small fuse in the starter system. He led me to the right fuse box and the right fuse number to find that indeed the fuse was bad. Luckily I carry spares and we were ready to go within a half hour. This is the third time in ten years I had to call them and each time they saved the day.
After the rally, we had made an appointment for work to be done at Lazydays just outside of Tampa. The hurtle was to find a camping spot for two nights in south Florida during the snowbird season. At first it seemed impossible, but my ace campground hunter finally found one spot in a campground in Bradenton. We decided to take the scenic route from Sarasota north by traveling on Longboat Key and Bradenton Beach. Our first stop was at Armands Circle. Then we came across a county park with beaches, a flea market and a place to park the RV, so we just had to stop there for lunch.
When we arrived at the Bradenton campground, it was still a work in progress and expensive, but we had little ( make that no) choice. Almost all of the sites were basic and not very well laid out. We had a site that was very steep and we discovered days later that our exhaust pipe for the generator actually got caught in the dirt and jammed the pipe back several inches as we backed in. As we walked around the campground, we began to wonder how some of these rigs were going to exit their sites in the cramped surroundings without forcing the occupants of the sites across the way to move. I doubt we will be back to this campground again. The large 5th wheel next to us looked like the foliage was going to engulf him. He even had his tires on one side wedged in lava rocks.