This winter, the Winter of 2020, is the first time I and the doggos are actually spending alone. There were a couple of days here and there that we spent traveling between places and friends or family, but we hadn’t been without someone for any appreciable amount of time until now.

At the Navarre Beach Pier. This picture does not do it justice.

We’ve spent our time here in Florida for the past couple of months. We arrived in the NW Panhandle just after Thanksgiving. The friend we were traveling with at the time boogied off to the Arizona desert in early December. Still reeling from the cost of brakes in Jackson Hole, WY, I decided it would be best to stick around the “homestead” for a few months and work. So, that’s what happened.

I got a job as a substitute teacher. Sadly (well, fortunately for me), there is a lack of teachers in Florida–like in many parts of the US. There are even more sub positions going unfilled. Having been a substitute teacher previously, and with the major flexibility afforded by this position, I decided I would apply. I was accepted and had to wait until the beginning of the calendar year to start teaching.

While I waited, Gus, Trane, and I camped in the state forest at a fantastic FREE campsite with hot showers and friendly people. As this spot is 14 consecutive days in a 30 day period, we found other spots around the area to break up the time. I’ll post some videos about these spots soon-ish. 😀

And so the addiction to SUP has begun

Anyway, back to the story. In addition to working, I also decided that being in the homestead, I should take advantage of being near my medical providers and get all my health needs taken care of. And I got them ALL taken care of. With the exception of some extra pounds, I’m doing pretty well.

Now, substitute teaching comes with a whole set of challenges. You don’t typically have a single school you go to day after day. The county I sub for is HUGE which made the logistics of finding places to park for the night quite interesting. Some nights I was out in the forest, some nights in one of three Walmart parking lots, and some nights in one of two Cracker Barrel parking lots.

I was never far from Planet Fitness where I went for showers and the opportunity for a chair or hydro massage. (Fantastic inventions!)

Since I don’t have a TOAD, I had to drive Serenity to the schools where I subbed. I always let the staff know that the RV in the parking lot was mine and that there were doggos inside. I would take my lunch and go check on the pups and I NEVER took a job on days that it would be too hot to leave them for extended periods of time. Fortunately, in NW Florida in the winter and early spring, I didn’t have to worry about the temperature.

Everything has been going great and the temperatures are just starting to warm up. We’ve been taking advantage of some of the lovely spots to visit in the area. Fort Walton Beach has a great little dog beach we go to a couple of times per week. The Navarre Pier is a cool place to visit as well. And yes, it’s worth it to get the pass to walk to the end of the pier!

Gus and Trane making friends at the Fort Walton Beach Dog Beach

but now Covid-19 coronavirus is beginning to become problematic. I was already planning my trip north when the school district decided closing the schools was the prudent thing to do.

Now, the Spring of 2020 will be a completely different story. I’ll post when I head out of Florida. I also plan to talk more about substitute teaching in a later post. Stay tuned.

We hope your 2019 winter was good. See you down the road!

(And yes, I AM actually working on videos. Like many others, everything that has been going on [vaguely waves hand] has made me tired, listless, and out of sorts. I apologize.)

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