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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Back in The Keys

~Thursday, March 9, 2023~

Day 999 (Travel Day)

We weren’t quite expecting that one…..last night a pack of coyotes decided to pay us a visit around 2:00 a.m. Well, maybe not right AT our campsite, but certainly very close. It even riled Sadie up from her peaceful slumber. As their sounds became more faint, it was evident they weren’t there to see us. While trying to get back to sleep after all the excitement I heard the recognizable sound of a battery going dead. Yep….again. Hmmm….that’s strange as we were at 80% power soon after dinner and hadn’t run anything high powered the rest of the evening. We’re praying our 2 upgraded lithium batteries aren’t losing their umph since they are supposed to have a lifespan of about 10 years (regular batteries lose their juice anywhere between 2 and 5 years). Come on BattleBorn batteries!!

With no power and the generator and cords buried in the truck, we decided to use the truck power to bring in the slides instead. Once we hit the road in full sun, the solar power took care of revving up everything else, i.e. fridge, water pump, etc.

It’s rare that campgrounds, let alone free ones, offer dump station facilities, as in the case of Dupuis. We can’t even remember the last time we had to find facilities elsewhere. For that, we are grateful for the convenience. I’m telling you, it’s the little things.

Back south we go, heading to the Florida Keys. We’ve been looking forward to being in this part of Florida for so long, what’s another 200 miles anyway? Man, what a range of locations we’ve experienced in the past 6 months from being in the most northerly state over the summer to the most southerly spot in the winter, all of which included towing. In fact, I felt like we were back on the frost heave laden roads of Alaska by how wavy the road was as we passed Lake Okeechobee. Thankfully it didn’t last long. We even got a glimpse of the Port Mayaca Lock (one of 5) for the 730 square-mile lake. Interesting fact….did you know that the average depth for Lake Okeechobee is only 9 feet and is the third largest lake in the Southeastern U.S.? Impressive!

Once again, the drive was full of road construction, especially Turnpike 821 South, making for some very stressful driving for Jeff. We later found out that it’s one of the most dangerous highways in Florida, with close to 1.5 million users per day. Sadly, we witnessed a result of its danger with a roadside fatality. Drivers beware!

It’s amazing that even a few hundred mile difference in Florida can result in a much different landscape. As we turn our direction more south, we move from swamps, marshes and tall

grasses to coconuts, palm trees and turquoise water. And when in The Keys, it’s all about location, not so much the campsite. About an hour from our arrival in Marathon, FL (Grassy Key in the Florida Keys), we received a text from our RV park, Jolly Roger, that they just had a water main break, and were issuing a precautionary boil water notice through Saturday.

Adding to our bad water mojo as of late, our new water filtration system can’t come soon enough. At least we had enough water pressure to fill our fresh water tank, but it appears laundry duties will have to wait a few more days. Speaking of laundry, how is it that we have a most convenient location (maybe 10 steps if that), right across from our campsite? The campsite might be snug, but it really is nice to be on the end unit of our loop. Instead of 2 people on

either side of us, we only have 1, and we don’t have to look at someone else’s plumbing crap. Woo hoo!! We even have a slight view of the ocean from our small patio area. For The Keys, at $110/night, this place is a steal!! Everyone is very friendly and neighborly, and Sadie’s even enjoyed meeting a few other friends as well.

While I went to fetch a few groceries at the local Publix, Jeff stayed back with Sadie catching the sunset and getting more

familiar with the grounds overall. This place has everything you’d need…..a pedestrian walkway right on the water, a tiki island complete with tiki huts and lounge chairs, a swimming/snorkeling area, a dog park, laundry, showers and a pool. Why go anywhere else? Though I wish my discoveries at the store were as exciting, at least I was able to report back that there was definitely no water to be had on the store shelves. So La Croix sparkling water it is! I guess it was a sign that the stores were out by the time I got there. When I returned from the store, the water was back in full swing. Yep, a few days of waiting for good news happened in just a few hours.

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