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Myakka River State Park – Sarasota, FL: In Search of Bad Signal

The thought of intentionally seeking out places with bad cellular signal would have been unfathomable just a few years ago.

Searching for signal at Myakka River SP

But we’re in the middle of another round of signal enhancing testing for RVMobileInternet, and needed to find a place with very weak signal to really put the gear to the test.

With a denser population in Florida, that’s been pretty hard to find as we’ve roamed around the southern parts.

This post covers: March 1 – 5

Myakka River State Park – Sarasota, FL

During our boat shopping we made many trips by car between the coastlines, and we had passed by Myakka River State Park when we stayed at Oscar Scherer State Park at the beginning of the year.

We noted a definite drop in signal as we drove past.

I kept an eye on ReserveAmerica for availability and site right after our stay at Jonathan Dickinson State Park popped up. Perfection.

The boat we were in process of buying was located in Punta Gorda, so Myakka was perfect to get us positioned back to the west coast. (Trying to guess where to book stays this winter with so many unknowns has been challenging – but it’s worked out beautifully!).

Confirming park reviews, the signal was indeed reported to be pretty unusable.

We only booked a 4-night stay in case we would be unable to work signal magic – we could only responsibly be offline for so long at such a critical juncture of closing on our boat. And of course that work thing.

In retrospect, I should have known we’d be able to make the signal not just usable, but streamable on multiple carriers with our various booster & antenna setups.  (Our premium members have access to our field testing results showing what worked best here.)

Myakka River State Park is a truly incredible park – one of the largest and oldest in the Florida park system. We thoroughly enjoyed getting out on our bikes, exploring the trails and climbing the tree top canopy bridge. We were instantly at peace after a couple weeks in the relatively tree-less stay at Jonathan Dickinson.

The site we booked was a huge pull thru in the ‘new’ campground loop. All of the sites in this area were thoughtfully laid out, private feeling and spacious with full hook-ups. The other two older loops were more cramped feeling.

For such a short stay, we didn’t even unhook the MINI Cooper and got around just by bike – covering 10-15 miles a day as we explored.

We never did quite make our schedule align with the air boat or tram tours offered. We could have easily filled more time in the area just kicking back and enjoying the lush forest, alligators and delicious onsite cafe.

But, boat closing was imminent, and we’d needed access to civilization to make that happen.

New adventures on the horizon!

What’s Up Next?

Moving out of the bus..

Our next stop was at Koreshan State Historic Site just south of Ft. Myers – I’ll catch up the blog shortly enough with that lovely stop.

And then, we start sharing more about our new boat!

We moved aboard earlier this week, and have the bus in local storage for quick access as we continue to shuffle things about and get settled.  We’ll likely remain docked in the Punta Gorda area for a bit as we get our sea legs, get some onboard training and perhaps start tackling some modifications.

We’re in no rush at all – for now, we’re loving our new floating condo with dolphins & manatees swimming by!


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22 Comments - Still Plenty of Room for Yours!

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  1. Hey there from my 1965 GMC parked in Myakka!
    What a pleasure finding you! How awesome is reading and watching your story which is now sort of mine.
    It’s just me and my dog named Bug(sy) for now. I found a great bus repair shop in Lake Wales and a great, but aging out mechanic in Plant City.
    It’s only been a few months living in the Honeysuckle Rose aka The Magic Bus, but loving every step and drip of oil of the way.
    Looking forward to seeing the country and meeting more of us!
    (ps – if you ever want crew on the boat, used to have a 40′ Bsyliner with twin Hinos. ..got love the diesel!)
    aka Maggie Smith on fb

  2. One of the things that,s very important that you remember about boating when somebody says were going to PORT it does not mean you run to the liquor cabinet and starboard it is not a drink,, although Starbucks is,,
    And dropping the hook does not necessarily mean that it’s fishing time on the Aft deck
    And getting into skinny water does not necessarily mean you’re at ponce de Leon fountain of youth so stay away from it. although it does have some magical qualities because all your food money will go towards repairs ,, The other thing that you might want to remember. swear words from the upper bridge travel farther over water than they do land
    Emily Post book of etiquette does not address acquiring ones sea legs. that’s where the term drunken sailor comes in, and no the Sunset grill and outdoor bar does not sway back-and-forth
    And if you wear A personalized shoulder type auto inflated life-vest, don’t eat the aspirin it,s not for you
    (Although it will save your life)
    Remember the captain is always right even if he does run aground
    He’s really testing your speed and sense of humor
    Remember every boat has a belt line,, don’t let the water get above it

  3. Hello. In your lastest cell booster video,you are show using a Mobile Mark LTM ant. Is this the LTM601? if it is where did you buy for $189.00. We installed them on our cable splicing trucks and was charged 360 beans a piece, even buying eight at a time.

    Thanks for reply when you get time
    William BORIE

  4. Truly enjoying following your adventures. We live in St. Augustine, FL and just returned from a 6 day trip to North Fort Myers. I was attending a Photography conference in Ft. Myers and the Seminole RV Resort was the only availability I was able to find months ago when we decided to take the motor-home to the west coast. Campground was full, very tight but still lovely. Clean, lots of activities going on with all the snowbirds a little pricey.

    • We thought about just finding a monthly spot at one of the private parks in the area – but all either completely full, or strict on the ‘over 55’ rule. Finding spots in the prime season has been a challenge!

  5. Wondering how those electric bikes are working out for you guys. Or have you already had a post about them that I’ve missed?
    Looking forward to following your boat adventures and best of luck with that!!

    • We’re continuing to love our electric folding bikes. We actually took some video footage while we had them out at this stop – hopefully I’ll have time soon to finally get a post up about them! It’s long overdue.

  6. Exciting times moving aboard! I’m happy for you 🙂

    I came from boating, and am now RV-ing — but I would like to do some “seasonal” boating again (then spend time in the SW in winter). I have a suitable trailerable boat, so that part is good. But what to do with my RV while I’m aboard? It’s my Princess and the Pea, so doesn’t want to be too hot, too cold, too damp, mousey, etc. (I joke, but things like batteries, textiles, etc could really take a hit.) I don’t want to worry about it unduly security-wise as that would take away from boating pleasure.

    All that as intro to say that I’m interested in how/where (generally) you will store Zephyr while you are underway. That is, if you care to share (don’t want to seem too nosey, but it’s something I have yet to solve). You are resourceful, and seem to come up with great solutions to challenges 🙂

    Just sitting here, I can almost hear the dock cart trundling down the gangway as you get moved aboard. And all the other marina sounds. Good times.


    • Still details to work out.. this first season we’ll keep the bus stored in Florida while we boat around Florida. This will give us easy access for RVing excursions from boat life. That part is worked out, and not a storage option that would be available to most (privately arranged).

      As boating takes us further north, we’ll eventually want to get the bus out to the southwest for storage, and RVing around AZ, CA & NM in the winters.

      • Thanks for replying. I realize what you arrange might not work for me, but it’s something that has been on my mind, because in my case, I’ve noticed that “Hmm, I’m not boating as much as I thought I would, why is that?” The answer is mostly that I worry about leaving my RV at a boat ramp, at a non-secure place, too hot (what to do with the batteries?), too humid, etc. etc.

        I know that it’s not good to worry about “things” so much that it keeps me from doing what I want to, but… I can’t help myself!

        So, since you have some of the same concerns (although you are probably better at not worrying – most people would be compared to me), I thought I’d see how you were going to handle it.

        I actually have storage in the SW already (where I keep my boat), but it’s SO HOT in the summer that I can’t imagine leaving my RV there. I already have to remove the batteries from the boat and store them elsewhere, and the RV ones are a lot heavier/bigger.

        You’ve given me some food for thought. I figured I’d have to store the RV east, since I’d be using it to trailer my boat out there; but maybe I could do a one-time-agonizing shuffle and bring it back west, then bring my wee toad east and go from there.

        Well anyway, I seem to be repeating myself, but really just wanted to thank you for answering. Two heads can be better than one (mine), and you two have some good heads! 🙂

        I’m still smiling just remembering how joyful I was the first time I moved aboard. Magical! Subsequent times aren’t half bad either 🙂


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