This weekend finds us at Hanna Park in Jacksonville, FL. This park is a hidden gem that is run by the City of Jacksonville. This city park is in the northeast corner of the city and only about a 30 minute drive from our house. The park has some of the best true camping sites, allowing open fires in the grills provided, in a fully natural setting. The park includes a campground, fishing lake, picnic grounds with playground and full access to a wonderful beach. It is a favorite with the locals and reportedly a favorite surfing location as well.
We are staying in Site #12 this trip. It is a unique pull-through that is not really very deep, but very wide, providing a fantastic view out the dinette window. The site is anything but level or convenient. To unhook the trailer the ML is half-way into the road and we needed to place two sets of boards under the wheels to get level. However, once settled in, this site is fantastic. Having the extra room on the side of the lot really gives an “in the woods” type of feel to the site.
Not many people are here this weekend. It was really strange as we took our evening walk yesterday to walk down loops that did not have a single camper in any site. In the past we have always enjoyed the feeling of family busy-ness as we take in the sounds of the area. This week, with the exception a church youth group that was having a blast at the pavilion across from the campground entrance, it has been completely quite. It is a really relaxing weekend.
My project for this weekend is to upgrade my wi-fi router setup, after our experience at North Beach where I could not make a connection across the campground. I found a used LinkSys router that is dd-wrt capable with removable antennas. I installed the dd-wrt software and after a little struggle, managed to get it configured to repeat the hotspot on my iPhone. This will allow us to either repeat a campground wi-fi or configure for repeating the LTE cellular on the iPhone without having to change any settings on any other device.
I also procured an 8db gain antenna with 25 feet of low-loss coax and intend to find a way to provide a portable mast to get it 15+ feet into the air. This should make a significant difference. My next project for this setup is to make a water resistant enclosure to keep the router dry. Normally I just stick it in the wheel well of the trailer and it seems to work. I think I need to do something better than that for the long term.
The Cobb is busy cooking a 4 – 1/2 lb. boneless rib roast! Expecting company, I purchased a larger roast than it turns out we really need. Oh well, the leftovers will hopefully be good. This is truly “Glamping” at its finest when we have prime rib at the campsite!
The Butcher at Publix went out of his way to give me a great roast to work with this weekend. 4 – 1/2 pounds all nicely tied together and trimmed ready to go. I have set the Cobb up for roasting and have seasoned it with our secret beef rub along with filling the moat with wine flavoring and adding applewood for smoke. It smells fantastic as it is cooking. It has been on for about an hour and probably has two more hours to go. I am really looking forward to seeing how it comes out.
Well anyway, Jeannie and I are both remarking that we are really enjoying this weekend. The weeks are so busy and stressful that we need the chance to get away sometimes. The weather is perfect, 84 degrees in the shade, the grill is going, the music is playing and all seems right with the world. I think we are on to something here.