12-16 Feb 2015; Family, Friends, Olustee Battle

A lot has happened since our last post, so I am going to stay away from the verbal bloatage and pontification and let the photos of the past few days do the majority of the talking! I wrote last time that we were planning to meet some friends at the Stephen Foster State Park on Friday, the 13th, so Terri and I figured it would be best to take a drive down on Thursday to check it out first. We are sure glad we did. The park is really nice, and the RV park is nice as well, but in talking to the Park Ranger we found out the real happenings for the weekend were taking place near Lake City where they were having the 39th annual Olustee Battle Festival and Reenactment. Wow…what a show!!

Here is a bit about the Civil War Battle, then we will head into the pictures of the week. From the Battle of Olustee Program: “The 39th Reenactment of the Battle of Olustee is a living history commemoration of Florida’s largest Civil War battle. It has been 151 years since the Union and Confederate soldiers met on the battlefield. On Feb 20, 1864 more than 10,000 cavalry, infantry and artillery troops fought in a pine forest near Ocean Pond. Three US Colored Troop regiments took part in the battle, including the now famous 54th Massachusetts. The battle ended at dusk when Union troops retreated in defeat and 2,807 men lay dead,  wounded or missing (say what??) Just fourteen months later the war ended with the surrender of the Confederate Army.”  The battle site was acquired by the State of Florida in 1909, becoming Florida’s first State Park.

Here is a montage of the week:

Window shade fix time again.  This one is removed and Terri is working on it.

Window shade fix time again. This one is removed and Terri is working on it.  This is in front of the desk, so needed something to keep people from staring at my ugly mug while I’m on the computer.

Terri working her magic.  She has this down pat now.  We only have four more to do.  The strings break on these things and it is a bear to re-string them.

Terri working her magic. She has this down pat now. We only have four more to do. The strings break on these things and it is a bear to re-string them.  Don’t tell anyone, but she is wearing the art shirt my mom made for me when I was in 1st grade.  Where does she find and store this stuff????

After we checked out the state park and found out about the battle, we headed back for a three mile hike on Thursday night.  Nice trails...lot's of snakes...

After we checked out the state park and found out about the battle, we headed back for a three-mile hike on Thursday night here at the camp ground. Nice trails…lot’s of snakes…the scenery would make for a good horror movie:)

On Friday morning Terri and I left early to check out the battlefield at Olustee. There were no re-enactments on Friday, but most of the actors were there and it was fun to talk with them and really learn more of the history of the Civil War. It was also the day that the grade school kids in the area were here on field trips.  That made it even better, because I was able to listen to them ask the questions I wouldn’t ask…priceless!!  I talked to some re-enactors that came all the way from England.

Here is on of the re-enactor's.  This is a medical set-up, and this guy said his collection is worth over $30,000.

Here is one of the re-enactor’s. This is a medical set-up, and this guy said his collection is worth over $30,000.

The monument at the battlefield.

The monument at the battlefield.

We had planned to meet Trase and Shonna around lunch time in Lake City and check out the festival in town. While we were on the way, my sister from Michigan called and said they had just left Savannah, GA and were wondering if we could get together somewhere. They were on the way to my parents in Leesburg for a visit, so it worked out perfect as they came over on I-10 and cut down to Lake City. So…we were able to spend the afternoon with Vicki, John, Trase and Shonna! What a great time!! The last time we saw John and Vicki was in September when I was picking Terri and Toby up from the O’hare airport…a chance meeting that time for sure.

Trase and Shonna were waiting when we arrived. I guess the lights were too bright for Trase's eyes:)

Trase and Shonna were waiting when we arrived. I guess the lights were too bright for Trase’s eyes:)

Terri, John and my sister Vicki.

Terri, John and my sister Vicki.

While we were in Lake City, we decided that on Saturday we would run down to Bronson to spend some more time with Trase, Shonna and the rest of the Travers Clan. We got to get in on some sausage making, followed by a crawdad boil at Chip’s house. The food as always was fantastic, but the company was even better!

Trase working his "left-right" magic on the sausage stuffer.

Trase working his “left-right” magic on the sausage stuffer.

Now that's some good eats!!

Now that’s some good eats!!

Another shot of the tasty l'il critters.

Another shot of the tasty l’il critters.

The night was capped off by a great time around the fire.  We have had some great times around that fire ring.

The night was capped off by a great time around the fire. We have had some great times around that fire ring.

On Sunday Terri and I were up early and headed back to the battlefield. We spent a lot of time in the morning talking to the re-enactors. What a blast that was…if you ever get a chance, and if you are the slightest bit interested in the history of this great Nation…you have to check this battle out next year. Spend three days to take it all in.

The Confederate Provost Marshall's.  These guys are all retired Law Enforcement or Park Service Rangers and spend their now retired time going from battle to battle.

The Confederate Provost Marshall’s. These guys are all retired Law Enforcement or Park Service Rangers and spend their now retired time going from battle to battle.  They were a blast to talk to.

At 1330 hours, the battle began!  There must have been lost to 2,000 re-enactors.  They had cannons, pyro, working muskets, calvary...you name it.  Very authentic.  This is the Union advancing after coming into contact with Confederate Skirmishers.

At 1330 hours, the battle began! There must have been close to 2,000 re-enactors. They had cannons, pyro, working muskets, cavalry…you name it. Very authentic. This is the Union advancing after coming into contact with Confederate Skirmishers.

The Union made a lot of mistakes that day, and it cost them dearly.  They had no idea the numbers they were facing, and the Confederates just plain beat the pants off of them with their strategy.

The Union made a lot of mistakes that day, and it cost them dearly. They had no idea the numbers they were facing, and the Confederates just plain beat the pants off of them with their strategy.

This is an experience we shall not soon forget.  We plan to see how many more of these we can hit during our travels.

This is an experience we shall not soon forget. We plan to see how many more of these we can hit during our travels.  The reenactment lasted over an hour.

I have several video shots of the battle, but I cannot get them to upload. If any of you are interested, let me know and I will send them to you.

Today was a kind of recovery and “fix-it” day.  I had some work to do in the morning, and Terri is working on getting our Jack Knife sofa bed to the point that someone may actually be able to sleep on it.  After that, we spent some time trying to determine why our water pump switches still don’t want to work correctly.  I called one of the technicians I know to try to figure out where the 10AMP latching controller is.  He gave me some ideas, but we didn’t locate it.  They have it well hidden in this Coach, that’s for sure.  Terri did a lot of search and destroy about the issue on Google, and found out that some systems have a 4 second delay built-in.  We tried using that method, and it seems to work somewhat, in that we do not need to run back a forth between switches to get the pump to shut off any longer.  We will stay in the hunt.

There is a Camping World near us, and we stopped by to pick of a few necessities…a new water filter and wrench, a new Oxygenics Shower Head for our shower which I installed tonight, a new step for outside the front door, and a few other trinkets.  The Oxygenics is supposed to provide an awesome shower with the typically low water pressure you find in most RVs and/or RV parks.

Here is the front of my new water pump.  The latching controller is supposed to be near it or one of the switches...ummm...nope!

Here is the front of my new water pump. The latching controller is supposed to be near it or one of the switches…ummm…nope!

The dreaded water filter canister, which is located is the MOST unfriendly place.  I have to lay sideways and a little bit upside down (if that makes sense) just to get to it.  I bought a new wrench today to get this sucker off.  We are both wondering if the reason that our new pump cycles so much is because of a bad filter.  We just replaced it in Nov, so it shouldn't be bad, but we inadvertently (Dumb Ron) drained the fresh water tank all the way down a few weeks ago, and it may be a bit...clogged??  We will find out tomorrow.

The dreaded water filter canister, which is located is the MOST unfriendly place. I have to lay sideways and a little bit upside down (if that makes sense) just to get to it. I bought a new wrench today to get this sucker off. We are both wondering if the reason that our new pump cycles so much is because of a bad filter. We just replaced it in Nov, so it shouldn’t be bad, but we inadvertently (Dumb Ron) drained the fresh water tank all the way down a few weeks ago, and it may be a bit…clogged?? We will find out tomorrow.

Well, that is about it for now.  Tomorrow we will make some fixes and explore a bit more around here, and later in the day we will start packing up, as we are making a move on Wednesday.  We have reservations at the NAS Pensacola Blue Angel Recreation Area from the 18th through the 25th, or maybe longer if we like it.  A lot of folks on the forums I am on related I wouldn’t be able to get in this time of year, but it was not a problem…at least on the phone.  We even got the new area called Battleship Row which is all new concrete pads, full hook-ups and right on Perdido Bay.  We are looking forward to it.  It is about a 250 mile drive, so we will leave a bit earlier so we can take our time and get there in plenty of time to get all set up before night fall.  We are supposed to have rain storms here tonight with wind, so the awning is stowed.  We will see how good of a job we did fixing the leak on the fridge grill tonight me thinks.  The BBQ grill will be good though, as we picked up a new grill cover today.

As always, we hope you are Happy, Healthy and living your dreams!

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