Old Airplanes and Really Old Trees

Our earliest camp departure of the trip as we departed our KOA campground as the sun was coming up. We had finally managed to get a “same day” appointment with an RV repair center to check out our unwilling refrigerator. I95 will get you anywhere on the East Coast in a hurry if you’re willing to join the traffic fray. We arrived at Coastal RV Center just as the repair manager was opening his doors. Paul was as good as his word from yesterday in promising us to check out the problem “first thing in the morning”. He climbed in the driver’s seat himself (much to Cathy’s surprise!as she was still seated in the co-pilot seat) to wheel STella into the open repair bay. In about 10 minutes he had determined that my original analysis of faulty electrical control panel was in fact the problem. My “farmer senses” were already telling me the unlikeliness of having the part on hand for a 13 year old refrigerator. Bingo. It’s hard being right all the time. 🙂 Ordering today would get it here Monday. A palaver with Cathy of possible alternatives came up short of anything better. So, order the part, pay for it in advance, and reserve a repair bay slot for Monday p.m. To be continued.

A chance sighting of a “Warbirds Museum” on yesterday’s trip to the Kennedy Space Center fit right in with the unplanned nature of this “fill-in” day, so the GPS guidance guru was given its next mission. However, having skipped breakfast to get to our repair appointment, we were in a hungry state of mind when we noticed a very “neighborhood” style diner sitting very much alone at the edge of large strip mall parking lot. When we wheeled in and saw the local city police cars parked in the lot, we knew we were in the right place. Dixon’s Diner is the closest thing we’ve seen to Wellman’s own D.J’s Casual Cafe since we left home. The friendly Hellos from the waitresses as we entered and the Rooster motif decorations on the wall made us smile like school kids. An ample and excellent breakfast at really reasonable prices made it all the more perfect.

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The Warbirds Museum was a private collection of mostly still flyable planes of every vintage. We discovered early in the tour that the key to the whole thing is the incredible cadre of volunteer plane restorers that are the heart of the operation. Nearly every plane, including all those you will see here, have been donated to the museum. But when you see the pictures of what the planes looked like on their receipt at the museum, it’s hard to imagine the skill, work, sweat and ingenuity that turned them into the flyable perfection they are today. Several of the planes (including a Huey helicopter) are used to give flying tours, but none of those tours were available today.

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The Old and the New in Navy Aviation: The dive bomber that let us win the Battle of Midway and the show horse of the Navy’s Blue Angels for many years.
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The Viet Nam vets in our tour remembered the awesome power of this “fast flier”.

Getting ever closer to our furthest north destination in Florida, Saint Augustine, we left the Warbirds as they closed the gates behind us and headed for the planned camping spot in Tomaka State Park. The stark contrast to the built up nature of things along the ribbon on interstate to this place couldn’t be more dramatic. One of the largest live oak trees in America (and one of the oldest at 400 plus years) has a place of regal honor in the park. It is called the Fairchild Oak, and as yet, we don’t know for whom it is named. Always good to have something to look up for tomorrow!fairchild-oak-and-nature

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Sunrise on our home in the jungle.

The astute among you will have noted there is a day or two missing. The blog for those days has gone missing  😦   Will have to redo it later.

Always happy to have you all along. Keep those prayers coming. We haven’t been able to “bank” any of them as we keep using them up as you send them out!

2 thoughts on “Old Airplanes and Really Old Trees”

  1. So glad you’ve got an appt to get your repairs done Monday morning! It’s always something it seems but you and Cathy always manage regardless of what speed bumps of life are in your way! You’re an excellent team (but I’m sure you’ve come to that same conclusion about 40 years or more ago)! Love the blog and pictures!

    Will keep sending the prayers and good thoughts. At some point I’m sure you can bank them! Love you both!!!

    Like

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