Leelanau County, MI to Melbourne Beach, FL – November 9, 2021 – Written by Jim
Our last few weeks in Michigan were exceptionally busy, as we not only were finishing up our 2021 projects on the cabin, but we also had to winterize the place. We were fortunate to have dry weather in the 60’s, but the nights grew steadily colder. We had no intention of repeating our winter of 2014/2015 in our RV in Michigan. See our ‘Cold Weather RVing’ tab above for more on that adventure. Time to pack up and roll south!
We had three major things to complete before the end of this year on the construction project. First was more for our peace of mind than anything; we wanted to finish assembling and installing the kitchen cabinets.
All of the upper cabinets are done, as is the pantry cabinet on the left. The base cabinets are assembled and in place; they just need doors, a rear wall on the island, and countertops. All of that gold you see in the photo is the morning sun streaming through the windows. There’s a lot of solar gain right there!
The second project we needed to get done was to finish encapsulating the crawl space. You may recall the dirt floor we have down there:
We had been running a dehumidifier constantly and the lowest we could get the humidity level was to 65%. Since total encapsulation is required by the building code, we figured we would be better off to get the 12-mil thick floor liner laid down before we left.
What a difference that made. Not only is it bright and clean, but the humidity level dropped to 42%. There is no need to run the dehumidifier anymore.
The last project was actually our last subcontracted job: the gutters.
Michigan Gutter out of Traverse City did the work for us. They were in and out within a few hours. When I commented on the one piece 54 foot length of the gutter on the far side of the house, the one installer told me that he held the company record for length: a one piece gutter that was a whopping 252 feet long! I’ll bet he had a lot of helpers that day. When the crew left, we were officially finished with subcontractors. Everything else from here on out will be completed by the two of us.
After blowing out the water lines and securing the place, we hooked up and headed south! We took a few weeks to get to Melbourne Beach, and managed a few highlights along the way.
One of those was a stop at Col. Harland Sanders’ original Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky. KFC has recently done a total renovation of this location, making it a combination museum/working restaurant. It wasn’t open yet…except for the drive through, but we could see through the windows. They did a nice job.
We even got to see the Colonel himself at Sanders Park in downtown Corbin. 🙂
Another interesting stop we made along the way was at Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. This is one of the few natural gaps in the Appalachian Mountains that has been used for thousand of years by animals and humans seeking passage east and west.
Here’s a panoramic of Diana coming up one side of the gap and going down the other side. There are two tunnels that pass below this area, an auto and a rail passage. Daniel Boone passed through the gap in the 1700’s and the area was heavily fortified during the Civil War. With the ruggedness of the terrain surrounding the trail, we were completely surprised at the fact that a US highway ran through here as recently as 1996. The US Highway Department and the National Park Service did a fantastic job of restoring and reforesting the trail!
The sign at the saddle of the gap reads: Salt seeking buffalo, Moccasin clad warriors, Dreaming Pioneer, Battling Civil War soldiers. Each was here in the Historic Cumberland Gap and now so are you. This is the Historic Cumberland Gap. Across from the sign is an offshoot trail that heads up to Tri-State Peak. We followed that trail to a small gazebo that covers a US Geological Survey marker.
Here’s Diana with her feet in three states simultaneously: Kentucky on the left, Tennessee on the right and Virginia behind her. Surprisingly, there are 62 places in the US where three (and only three) states meet. Of those, 35 are on dry land and 27 are in water.
The last highlight was a return to Savannah, GA and Fort Pulaski National Monument.
The engineering that went into this fort is remarkable, yet it was rendered obsolete by the Union Army’s introduction of the rifled cannon shell. More on that story can be found in our post from our first visit by clicking HERE.
We arrived at our winter home in Melbourne Beach on November 1.
We look forward to a winter full of spectacular sunrises, sunsets and (hopefully) a few rocket launches! Stay tuned for that. Until next time, safe and happy travels to all!