Day 839: Fishing and Soccer with Rick and Chasitie

Last night was chilly overnighting next to Rick’s house:

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B is pretending to be one of the ants in “Them”.  We’ve never seen it, but this is how Bubbie and Zayde describe it:

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B and A waiting to go fishing:

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Down at the pond:

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Like most times we fish, it was fishing, not catching:

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Trish got in on the action:

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Even Rick was skunked:

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B and Foxy:

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M did a little target shooting with Rick’s BB gun:

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M and Rick check out animal tracks on a nature trail next to Rick’s house:

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We played soccer towards evening:

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At night we had a campfire:

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B painted a fish onto E’s bedroom wall:

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We had a great day with Rick and Chasitie!  We will head out tomorrow.

Day 838: Go West (Quickly), Young Man

We’re on something of a schedule, as we have to visit several yeshiva high schools before the end of their enrollment periods, which end in just a couple months, so we decided to forego roaming the rest of Florida for now.  We had already explored parts of Florida on our 2012 trip, so it’s not a total loss.

We headed west from Jacksonville, stopping for lunch at a rest stop where M and I repositioned his motorcycle in the bed of the pickup: 

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We continued west to arrive at Rick’s house, where we spent time visiting with Rick and Chasitie.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 837: Fort Caroline NM, Fort Matanzas NM, Castillo de San Marcos NM

We had a nice Shabbos at the Chabad in Jacksonville, Florida.  This morning, we first visited Fort Caroline National Memorial, which happens to be surrounded by Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve:

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Fort Caroline was built by the French in the 1560s.  After an unsuccessful attempt by the French to destroy the Spanish Castillo de San Marcos, the Spanish attacked Fort Caroline in 1565, killing every soldier at the fort despite French surrender.  Three years later, in 1568, the French returned, capturing Fort Caroline back from Spanish control, killing hundreds of Spanish troops.  The French then abandoned Fort Caroline before the inevitable Spanish reprisals.

The park includes a replica Indian dwelling:

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The recreated Fort Caroline:

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We returned to the visitor center:

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This timeline shows who controlled this region, from France in the 1560s to the US in modern times:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

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Our next stop was Fort Matanzas National Monument:

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Fort Matanzas was built in response to Oglethorpe’s unsuccessful attempt to take forces from Fort Frederica (which we visited on Wednesday) to assault Castillo de San Marcos.  The Spanish realized that the British could sail past the Castillo and then sail up Matanzas Inlet to attack the town of St. Augustine from behind.  To prevent this, the Spanish built Fort Matanzas near the mouth of Matanzas Inlet:

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Across the river, we could see Fort Matanzas in the distance:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

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The kids did an additional optional project in the Junior Ranger books, for which they earned a Master Junior Ranger patch:

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We headed down to the beach:

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This fellow was playing with his windboarding wing:

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Our last stop of the day was St. Augustine, America’s oldest continuously inhabited town, and the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, the Spanish fort we’ve heard about at Fort Frederica, Fort Caroline, and Fort Matanzas:

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The Spanish troops fire the great guns:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger books and received their badges:

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As at Fort Matanzas, the kids did extra projects in the book, earning the Master Junior Ranger patch:

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We drove back to the RV, and will be staying here at the Chabad of Jacksonville for one more night.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 835: Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve

This morning the parts to repair the truck’s DEF system arrived here at Bennett Dodge Ram.  After the repair was done, I was given the mass of solidified DEF that was blocking the injection nozzle:

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Thankfully, the replacement part has been redesigned by Dodge to avoid a repeat of this issue.  Also, it turns out that the emission subsystem has its own 96 month / 80,000 mile warranty, so we’re completely covered.

We headed south, crossing into Florida, then exiting onto this very kosher road:

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Our goal was to visit Kingsley Plantation, a unit of Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.  Sadly, there was no signage to indicate that there was no way we were getting a 62 foot long, 13’ 6” high vehicle through this mess:

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After a quarter mile or so, we managed to turn around and head back to the main road, where we left the RV in the local marina parking lot.  We then drove back towards Kingsley Plantation.

Kingsley is the oldest standing plantation in Florida.  Kingsley himself married a freed slave, but was afraid that his unmarried children would be enslaved after his death, so he moved his family to the Dominican Republic to escape the same slavery laws that made his plantation so successful:

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Most of the buildings here were made out of Tabby, a concrete that uses oyster shells as one of its ingredients:

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The kids competed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

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We headed south, crossing this bridge:

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We continued on to the Chabad in Jacksonville, where we will be spending Shabbos:

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Good Shabbos from Jacksonville, Florida!  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 834: Cumberland Island NS, Overnighting at a Car Dealership

Today we left Walmart and drove to the town of Saint Marys, Georgia, home of the visitor center for Cumberland Island National Seashore:

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The kids worked quite a bit with the ranger to complete their Junior Ranger workbooks and receive their badges:

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The truck’s check engine light came on, so we stopped at Bennett Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Kingsland, Georgia to have the ODB2 codes read.  Turns out we have error code P020EE, which indicates a serious failure in the DEF system.  Unfortunately, we are at 37,000 miles, just outside of the truck’s 36 month / 36,000 mile warranty.  Thankfully, there’s something called Dealer Goodwill, through which a dealer can, at their discretion, get Dodge to largely pay for a repair if the vehicle is less than 2 years and 20,000 miles outside of warranty, with a coverage ceiling of $2000 for the repair.  The dealer is opting to “goodwill” this repair, as this failure is well known and common for this model and year of truck, so instead of paying $2000ish to replace most of the DEF system, we will only have to pay $200.

Since the parts won’t be here until tomorrow, we asked if we could overnight on-site.  We were pointed to this location in the lot:

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Trish realized she needs to put the brakes on her new hobby, crocheting, before things get even more out of hand:

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Goodnight from Bennett Chrysler Dodge Jeep in Kingsland, Georgia:

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See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.