Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

Tropical hammocks are unique hardwood, broad-leafed evergreen forests that are only found in South Florida and the Keys. No, this is not a tropical hammock. This is the kind of shenanigans that happen in the Mish each morning when the kids wake up.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

Our little 25-foot trailer is starting to feel smaller and smaller everyday. Now with Luka on the verge of crawling, it is just a matter of time before we completely outgrow this space.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

For now, we are doing our best to keep us from busting through the seams of the Mish.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

I noticed this morning that our battery voltage is way low. I mean it is on the verge of being completely depleted. That isn’t unusual if we have been boondocking for a couple of days in either overcast skies or shaded campsites. But we are here in the sunny Florida Keys. On top of that, we are plugged into shore power! I am not happy about seeing another problem but I just like a normal house, things will break and will need to be repaired.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

I started trying to narrow down the problem by first checking the fuse box and breakers. Then I started trying to narrow down the symptom by seeing what is getting power and what isn’t. It appears that the entire AC circuit is feeding into the converter and all of the 12-volt lights are working fine. The inverter seems to be providing power too but since it draws from the battery directly, it was making the voltage go down steadily lower.

I eventually narrowed it down to the battery charger. Everything seems to be working fine with the exception of the battery not getting charged. Another peculiar thing I noticed is that the negative terminal on the fuse box seems to be a little charred. Never a good sign. I called a mobile RV guy to come by our site tomorrow to check it out so we will get down to the bottom of it tomorrow when he gets here. I hope we don’t have to get a new converter/charger, but if we do, it wouldn’t be half bad as the factory unit leaves a lot to be desired. I would gladly upgrade to a 3 or 4 stage charger that will do a much better job maintaining our batteries.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

A lot of people wonder how we get our mail while we travel. For those of you who travel extensively, you might already be familiar with the concept of general delivery. That is getting your mail forwarded to a local US Post Office under your name, care of General Delivery. They will keep it at the post office waiting for you to come get it. It works, most of the time.

We have been expecting  a letter and a package to come to the Long Key post office but when we stopped by today, the desk clerk was out. This is the kind of stuff you see in little towns. Even postal workers operate like a mom and pop shop. When they need to run out for an errand, they just stick a hand written sign in the window, lock up and take off.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

We now have an hour to hang out before trying the post office again so we went back to Long Key State Park to do a bit of exploring.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

On the opposite site of the RV sites, there are a handful of tent only campsites that are along a boardwalk. The boardwalk is built over the mangroves in the tropical hammocks of the key. We did the same walk here last time and we found these sites pretty fascinating. Each one is in a little gazebo of its own. Instead of setting their tents on the ground, there are stainless steel rings bolted through the bottom of the board walk for the campers to secure their tent to. It looks like a nice area to be but I suspect there are more bugs here than by us.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

Like this spiney-backed orb-weaver hanging out on a web along the path. He has some nasty looking spikes on his shell and can reach up to over an inch in size. As scary as it looks, they are mostly harmless to humans.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

At the end of the trail we got to the beach that we remember playing in last time. I don’t know if it just the time of the year but it seems to have a lot more washed up seaweed on the beach than last time.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

Along with the washed up seaweed, there was also a lot of trash that has washed up.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

Along with the seaweed, spiders and tropical hardwood forest, there are also these breadfruit trees that are everywhere along the path. These things look really cool and dangerous but the spikes are actually soft to the touch. These trees are able to grow in coral sands which make the keys a pretty ideal environment for them. These trees produce a milky substance that have been in the past harvested as caulking for boats.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

After our little walk through the hammock, we checked back on our package again and we were glad to see that the kids got a package with Christmas goodies from their Nona and Dida.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

There is nothing like a Christmas care package that puts a smile on these little faces.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

Check out these reindeer head bands. You can’t see it in the photo but their red noses light up and blink.

Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

The girls shared their headbands with Luka too but I suspect he is probably more into that case of Dos Equis behind him. The box! Not the beer! What do you think he is? Some kinda alcoholic?

over and out,
dan

One Response to Day 140: A walk through the tropical hammock.

  1. Nate September 18, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    You are absolutely correct the bugs in the area where the platform shelters are. We camped out here in 2008 and the no-see-ums were TERRIBLE! Absolutely could not be outside after dark.

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