Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ark Encounter

July 21 We left early to be at the Ark at the opening. Even then there was a line at 9:15. It moved quickly. From the parking lot we got on shuttle buses that took us to the Ark. The bus drops us off at the ark.

As a disclaimer: this is all natural history! No one alive today knows what really happened and we only have one written record of the story although many civilizations have some form of the same story. The things in the pictures are the conjecture of the Creation Museum as to what could have happened and how Noah might have cared for, fed and watered the animals. Science is used to explain how it all could have been done but we really don't know. 

 The entrance to the ark is through turn styles under the large vessel which sits up on concrete pillars. There is also a movie for patrons to watch as they wait. Then it's up this ramp to the ark itself.

The ends of the vessel are open so you can see the construction.

Water pots.

These fine ramps lead to all levels in the ark except the very top deck. There are elevators to get there and eventually a by reservation only restaurant will be up there. As we came off the ramps onto the second deck, we were greeted by a long line of people. There was a display that was very narrow and had lots to see and read in it. People were taking their time getting through it and because the space was narrow there was a bottle neck. This bottleneck seemed to persist at every place there were signs and displays funneling everyone into small areas. Plus there were people taking cell phone pics of every sign in the place. Seemed weird to me.
Yes, they have dinosaurs on the ark and Patrick wanted his picture taken with them.

Carpentry shop

Blacksmith shop

One of the quarters for the boys. They conjectured that they would have spent considerable time on their quarters because they lived there during the construction and for a considerable time after the flood.

possible gardens


After we toured the ark and the displays we took a stroll around the big boat. I wanted to look at the front and while we were gandering, one of the head guys walked up and asked if we were lost. I told him no that we were just looking at the boat and discussed the plans and changes that needed to be addressed as we saw them. Namely the choke points for the signs and displays. He agreed and said they were in meetings on how to fix those things. He said that they have had between 4000 and 6000 people per day going through the display in the few weeks that it has been open. There is a five year play to have a whole park set up from the Tower of Babel to a petting zoo to a zip lines. We'll have to come back in a few years and see the changes.
We went back to the campsite and Becky and the boys swam and I read and hung out at the camper with the animals.

July 22 we made the run home, dropped Garrett off at his house and then set back up at my Mom and Dad's. We must have drug the heat back with us because the heat index was over 107.

Moving North Again

July 18 We left our very tight camp at Indian Creek and made our way north. Back on the road and tired of driving already. Plus I miss the beach too. We're headed for home but I'm not looking forward to getting back. I'm going to have to deal with rental properties and maybe some evictions. After the tenants are gone (they haven't been paying rent) I'll need to do some work in the apartments to get them back into rental shape.
I say that I am not looking forward to working on them like I normal do because I have lost much of the range of motion in my left hip so I can no longer bend over. I developed heterotopic ossification in the hip and the femur has permanently attached itself to the hip socket. Yeah it sucks. I can't bend over to put on my shoe and sock but you guys don't want to hear me whine. Back to the show!
I decided to take a different way instead of I-75 around Tampa. Google maps gave me an alternate route and we enjoyed some back roads.
We got close to Ocala and dinner time. I was tired of driving and just wanted a break so when I spied the sign for Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing I knew it was a good place to stop. Garrett goes with his family to Norwalk, Ohio every year for the NHRA drags so I knew he would appreciate this as well. Patrick is always interested in looking at cars. Becky said she would stay in the truck and cook dinner.
We got there at 4 and the place closes at 5 so it would be a quick tour. We were done in under an hour. It was an interesting place to stop and see old drag cars. If you're into drag racing it's worth the stop if not I would keep on trucking.

A giant wall of carburetors and intakes

An engine that exploded.

This car was of interesting note because the engine was built by Lee Petty, Richard Petty's father. Who's Richard Petty? 7 Time NASCAR champion
 This statue is in front of the parking lot as you come up the drive from the road. It is a drag car standing on its back wheels like Don did during a race. The car did a flip in mid air and landed on its wheels and he drove away. Here's a YouTube video: Don Garlits Blow Over The statue is dedicated to men and women inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

I was down looking at the statue and Becky was finishing up dinner when a car pulled up beside the trailer and yelled that we were going to get locked in if we stayed any longer. We hustled into the truck. Becky brought dinner into the truck with her but it wasn't fully cooked yet. Fortunately it was pot of beans, rice and sausage. The guy closed the gate as we drove away.
We stopped at a gas station with a Florida Citrus stand. Becky finished supper and the boys hopped out. I stayed in the truck because it looked like it was blowing up a nasty storm.
After we ate, we decided to go over to the stand and see the baby gators they were advertising. As I was getting out of the truck, it started to rain. I closed the truck door but it didn't close all the way because the lift cord sagged and prevented it from closing. I opened the door, moved the cord and slammed the door. The door bounced back open and wouldn't latch. Now I was irritated, it was raining, the door wasn't closing and I didn't know what was wrong.
After some trouble shooting in the pouring rain. I discovered that the door latch had shut and hadn't opened properly. About this time Becky brought an umbrella over and I was able to push the latch back open with the key while holding the door handle out. Argle Bargle!
We found the boys in one of the orange stands but the wrong one so we had to hike over to another citrus stand and inside we found baby gators.
There were three of these little guys in an aquarium.
A stuffed thirteen footer. That'll fetch $500 at the buyers Troy. On the pole behind the gator is an albino boa constrictor.
 We settled the night at a Camping World of Valdosta, Georgia. They had a huge park behind the CW and the site were $22 a night for Good Sam members.

July 19 We left Valdosta for a run up I-75 and through the dreaded ATL. I stayed on 75 the whole way through and didn't have much of a problem. We ended the day at Becky's aunt and uncle's in Cleveland, TN.

July 20 was another road day up I-75. We stopped at Oak Creek Campground.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Tamiami Trail

July 17 Sunday
We're back on the move and headed towards Ohio. I don't think any of us are excited about it. Maybe Garrett because he's missing his family. Garrett wanted to see gators and we knew that we could see gators at the Big Cypress National Preserve. When we came through last year, Patrick counted 32 gators.

A bit of the Tamiami Trail.
 So after all the build up of telling about the 32 gators, we saw 2. Last time was during dry season and the water was very low. Now it was wet season and the gators were elsewhere.

The new rig in all it's glory. Love the acceleration and braking on it.
After our gator adventure we moved on up the road and came to rest at Indian Creek RV Park. It was a 55 and older park that was pretty much empty for the summer so the guy let us in and told the boys to behave themselves. We set up just in time to sit through a rain storm and then Becky announced BEACH DAY! Patrick groaned and Garrett was like, let's go!
We went down to Ft Myers beach parking and parked for free. Then we enjoyed having the beach mostly to ourselves until sunset when everyone turned out to see the day off.
I was in on two accounts. I have specialized equipment and Veteran's plates.

Beaching done, we had a bit of ice cream at the DQ by the pier. Then we strolled around the shops and was back at the beach to watch the sunset along with half the town.

The bridge to Sanibel Island is on fire!! No run people, run!