Wednesday, February 05, 2014

It Wasn’t Al, this Time


We didn’t leave for Key Largo as early as we intended, but we got the boat delivered for the new motor,and hopefully  it will be ready tomorrow.  We had a little problem on the way, with a low tire signal on the truck.  Luckily we found a service station with air.  We’re not sure what happened but all 4 tires were a little low.  We have a tire pressure monitoring system on both the motorhome and the truck, but I turned it off when we arrived at the campground, so it hadn’t alerted us to any low air issues.  The tires were all fine when we arrived.  Usually when you go from cooler to warmer climate, the air expands and you have more, rather than less air.  Luckily the truck tire monitoring system alerted us to the problem.

After dropping the boat off, we decided to visit John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.   We hadn’t been there in years and couldn’t remember much about it.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

The coral reef outside Pennekamp is all a marine sanctuary with all the inhabitants protected.  We dove there years ago, but all I remember was very bad visibility on that particular day.

It turns out the campground has been recently updated.

Nice paved wide streets.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

All the sites had full hookups. Yes, even sewer.  

Many could hold a large rig, you just need to make sure there is enough overhead clearance.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park


Site 18 in the next picture was plenty big.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Site 16 was nice too

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Site 8 was another nice one.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park


There were some trails, a marina with boats that offer trips you out to the reefs for diving,  or snorkeling trips.  I believe they still have a glass bottom boat.

They have a nice visitor center with big aquariums with a lot of the native species.


This is either a Blenny or a Goby.

Goby in aquarium at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

This Florida spiney lobster was eating a shrimp.  Can you see the shrimp it is holding between his legs?

Florida spiney lobster eating a shrimp

Beautiful anemone flowing in the “currents”   





Juvenile blue angel fish

Blue angelfish


a Shovel nose or slipper lobster.  See his little eyes?

shovel nose lobster

spiney lobster

florida lobster

This  is a lion fish.  They are not native to these waters and although very beautiful, they are a threat to the reef ecosystems.   Stupid people released them from aquariums and are causing a lot of problems.  It’s encouraged you kill them if you see them.  There is even a cook book with recipes, and they say they are good to eat.

I do understand that they are not supposed to be in these waters, but they are such a magnificent looking fish, I could never kill one.

They are poisonous.  They won’t kill you but their sting can be painful.




I don’t know what you call all the spikes on them, but up close they look just like feathers.  I couldn’t quite capture it in the photos.


After we left Pennekamp, we headed south and our day went down hill from there.

We came across a accident in which a truck pulling a 5th wheel struck a pedestrian.

pedestrian accident on overseas highway near Key largo

As we passed the trailer, we saw a man with a bleeding head injury, laying in the road.  There was no bicycle around, so we assumed he was a pedestrian .  The truck and trailer was in the right lane, so it appeared to us that the man had walked out in front of him.  People just don’t realize you cannot stop these big rigs as quickly as a car.

We pulled over to see if we were needed to help, but there were already a few people there.  It must have just happened because there were no cops or EMT’s  yet. 

We waited a few minutes and finally the ambulance came.  We didn’t see the man moving and were very concerned that this was a fatality.  We left when the ambulance arrived and started cutting every stitch of his clothing off.  I told Al if that ever happens to me, to hold up a sheet in front of me.

About a half hour later, we saw a trauma helicopter overhead.  We felt that was good news since they wouldn’t have transported a dead person.

This morning I read online that he was transported to a Miami trauma center where he is alert and talking.   Good news. 


We had planned on going for lunch, but after witnessing the accident, we lost our appetites.  We ended up walking through a dive shop, then to a new Rv park in Key Largo.  There were some nice waterfront sites and reasonable prices.  I’ll post some pictures tomorrow in case anyone is interested.  The blog post is getting a little too long.


  1. Whew.. glad the guy was still alive! Hope all goes well for the RV that hit him, and hopefully it was all just a dumb mistake on the pedestrian and the RV driver couldn't stop in time?

    I liked that campground you toured through, with plenty of shrubbery and trees in between each site. Reminds us of the Ocala National Forest at Fore Lake we went to a couple years ago. Hope to get there again in the next month or so! Taking off Feb 15 to head south for a few weeks!!!!!

    Karen and Steve
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  2. Sorry you had to encounter that accident. Sure puts a sick feeling in the stomach.

  3. Marcia told me that we are going to have to carry a large sheet in our HHR from now on...just in case she gets run over while using her GoGo.... --Dave (

  4. Your posts are never too long, they are so interesting. They keep me coming back for more! ;c)

  5. We have two week reservation at that park next December. Please email me the name of the park in Key Largo. We are still looking for our next stop after

  6. My ipad hit a glitch, I was writing we are looking for our next stop after Pennekamp, and Key Largo would be great it we can get in.

  7. I love a park with wide streets!
    Awesome photos of the aquarium. Some of those fish I have never seen or heard of.

  8. Can't wait to see the photos of the RV Park. Not sure when we are heading to Florida, but I'm always looking for a nice spot!

  9. Thanks so muchc Karen for this great information on the new John Pennekamp and the terrific pictures. Maybe I can get a reservation there since I hear it isn't as popular as the other parks where I strike out every time I try. So sad about the accident but it's true that people don't realize big rigs can't stop on a dime.

  10. We had a very nice boat tour from Pennekamp a few years ago.

  11. I love your underwater photos of the fish! I can't swim a stroke and am so envious. I can understand your lack of appetite after that accident scene...


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