Rest Days in Lexington, SC

Barnyard RV Park Site D2 Lexington SC 06282015

We are on our second and last full rest day here at The Barnyard RV Park in Lexington, SC

Yesterday was nothing really to write home about or to blog about.  We ended up at a Walmart for a few provisions in the morning.  “Ended up” means we were originally headed for a grocery store I couldn’t find; that doesn’t happen very often.  We were about to say “screw it,” and go home, but did get to a Walmart.  Whoopee.

Seems like we were both kinda tired wiped out yesterday, so we didn’t do much but imitate slugs and two-toed sloths here in the rig.  Pretty darn warm out, so we hibernated.  Too, there aren’t folks around to visit with, so there was no hangin’ outside for long.  Even hit the sheets sort of early for us.

This morning I got a load of laundry going to catch us up before arriving at our work site tomorrow.  Dave did manage to plot out a route for the bike and got 25 miles in, although he really didn’t enjoy it all that much.  The area is just too congested and there’s no ready access to quieter country-type roads. 

I whipped up one of our fave dishes today, a chicken noodle casserole.  We had some for today’s main meal and we have leftovers for dinner tomorrow.  Sweet.  Not long after that, we were under a severe thunderstorm warning and . . . wow.  It did storm!

Folks next door have their awning out and anchored and left it that way, although many of us stowed chairs and brought in awnings.  The gentleman next door came out during the storm and looked around and up at his awning, in what appeared to be contemplation of, “Do I take it in or leave it out?”  He did this a couple of times.  At that point, it was too late to bring it in, as it was blowin’ and stormin’ like crazy.  They were lucky in that their awning looks intact, although one of their chocks went floating a bit away from their rig tires . . .

The storm passed and we went for a stroll around the park just a bit ago.

Have I mentioned that they really need to trim trees here?

Barnyard RV Park storm 06302015

Not our rig.  In the back section of the park.  The tree (on the left) split and part came down.  They were fortunate in that it did not hit their rig.

Barnyard RV Park storm 2 06302015

Again, not our rig.  This was just about directly across from the top photo a couple of rows over.  You can see where the tree on the right split.  Again, looks like no direct impact on the rig.

Barnyard RV Park storm 3 06302015

Flagpole at the front (we’re closer to the front) was also a casualty.  It’s not a very thick pole; however, it really was windy for a while. 

You can see in the photo at the top of this post that there are a couple of big trees right next to us; in fact, one of them is one of the tallest in the park.  We were very fortunate not to have anything come down on our home.

Now we’re just hanging out and enjoying our last night of cable TV for a while.  I’d love to see “The Philadelphia Story” with Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant, but the air time of 1 AM is just past my bedtime.  Sure wish that was on now . . .

So we’re away in the morning for a short run of about 90 miles into Darlington, SC tomorrow to our duty station.  We’ll be on night shift starting tomorrow. 

I’m so looking forward to being settled for a few months!

Thanks for stopping by!

Safe and Sound in Lexington, SC

We got away from Country Boys RV Park in Madison, GA a bit after 11 AM this morning and once again continued eastbound on I-20.   Our stay there wasn’t bad.  Again, it’s not terrific, but it was quiet and fine for an overnight.

It certainly was a nice morning with bright sunshine and actually pleasant temperatures.  What a relief after the hot days we’ve endured lately!

We cruised down I-20 with a fuel stop at a Pilot after a short ways and then hit a rest stop before going through Augusta, GA. 

Georgia Rest Stop 62 06282015

Lovely blue skies and a light breeze at Georgia Rest Stop 62.  Sweet!

Passage through Augusta wasn’t bad at all, probably given the fact that today is Sunday.  Pulled into the Welcome Center over the South Carolina state line and gave Maggie a rest stop.  She’s such a good traveler!

Another 50-odd miles and we were arriving at The Barnyard RV Park in Lexington, SC.  The RV park is sort of behind the Barnyard Flea Market.  This is our third stay here, but we had never been here on a weekend and I wondered what the traffic would be like getting in and out of the RV park, as the road to the park is indeed behind the flea market.  It wasn’t too bad, thank goodness.

I had made our reservation here about two weeks ago, stating the size of our rig including truck, the number of nights and that we wanted a pull-thru.  Fine.  We were given site B-3, close to the laundry and one of the better (utilities in the correct spots, long enough, etc.) spots for big rigs.  Well, guess what?

B3 was still occupied with no tow vehicle in sight.  The office person tried calling them, but got no answer.  Okay, so we were given D3.  Fine. 

Not so fine. 

Sewer ground connection at the back end of the site, the site is shorter and . . . trees overhanging that would definitely be hit by our rig.  Nope.  Not gonna do it.  We had stopped short of the site and decided to take the next one to it, D2.  Sewer and water connections in better positions and trees, although hanging down, not totally dragging on our RV.  Went and told the office gal.

Took a while to level our home, needing two tiers of Lynx levelers on one side . . . they kept sinking into the ground.  This site is more dirt than gravel and is not as long as we really need.  We had stayed in Row A before; those sites are gravel and plenty long. 

Contrary to what the gal in the office says, these sites are not as long as those and they obviously are not as well-maintained/groomed as Row A.  Over here we are more in the midst of long-term folks.  Nothing really wrong with that or the site, I guess, but it is definitely not as nice as Row A or even Row B.  Longer distance to the laundry and the dog walk, too.  That being said, there is plenty of room between sites in all sections of the park; however, the grass could do with a trim.

Barnyard RV Park Site D2 Lexington SC 06282015

Our home for three nights – Site D2.  Might be a wee bit tricky getting out of here, as it’s two sort of tight right turns close together.   Definitely not a convenient big-rig site.

A couple of thoughts:

  • There should be some system for knowing who is scheduled to depart each day and then checking to see if they do leave the park.  We did this at the KOA in Texas.  Seems like common sense to  me, especially with the overnight sites at the front of the park where you can easily check them.
  • If you move someone to a different area/section, give them the password to the WiFi booster that has the better signal in their new section.  Phone was busy when I called and then the office was closed.  We’re both using my hot spot, although Dave typically uses park WiFi when available.
  • Trim overhanging trees.

More notes about this park:

  • There is a good amount of space between sites.
  • Each site has a concrete patio and picnic table.
  • Sites both with shade and without (in case you have a satellite).
  • Cable TV with oodles of channels, including TCM.
  • Decent utilities.
  • Sites may or may not be sort of level.  Ones in Row A weren’t bad; however, this particular site is not level side-to-side.
  • Lots of ants, so bring spray for around the perimeter of your rig.
  • Paved streets.
  • There is no nearby grocery store.  There used to be a Piggly Wiggly across the street, but it is no longer there.  You’re a bit of a drive from amenities such as groceries.
  • Be aware some sites have sewer and water connections at rear of site.
  • Watch for overhanging trees in sites.
  • It is convenient to I-20, but we would not consider this for an extended stay.  The surrounding area is congested with busy streets, something which does not appeal to us and is definitely not tempting for cycling.  You can get more pleasant environments for your buck elsewhere.
  • There are really too many long-term folks here and, if you are put in their midst, you don’t get a chance to visit with other RVers with whom you might have more in common to chat about.  With over 100 sites there may be . . . may be . . . approximately 20 short-term sites.

What we have seen at several of the parks we have stayed at recently is that there are few overnight sites; even if the park is large (such as this one with over 100 sites), most of the sites are occupied by long-term guests.  I know in same cases these were workers in the area such as welders, electricians, etc. in the area for a special work project. 

Nothing wrong with that, really.  We don’t stay at high-end resorts but the parks we stay in are not slums, either.  It’s just something that we have noticed more lately and it makes getting a reservation and/or a pleasant site for a short-term stay.

Truck’s odometer clicked over the 56K mark during today’s journey.  Good Truck!  Good Truck!

Total miles today = 152.2.  I’m once again grateful for a safe and uneventful trip.  Nothing jumped out of the cabinets and nothing took a swan dive from its allotted spot in the rig.  Sweet!

Thanks for stopping by!

Landed in Madison, GA

Country Boys RV Park site 54 Madison GA 06272015

Site 54 at Country Boys RV Park in Madison, GA

Whew.  What a long day.  I’m tired.  Dave has “given me permission” to goof off the rest of today.  Seeing as I got us through rain, construction that was a wee hairy in some places and smack dab the middle of Atlanta in one piece (or two pieces hooked together), he’s made a good move there, eh?  Ha!

Rolling out of Anniston, AL this morning just a tad after 11 AM, we continued our journey eastward on I-20.  Not a bad ride, that.  I’ve seen worse.  Namely, I-40.

Rain was not far away when we hit the road, and we were just ahead of it until we made our first rest stop.  Pretty much after that we were in rain of varying intensity all the way here to Madison.

We stopped once at a Pilot for fuel and shortly after that were in Atlanta.  Man.  Atlanta goes on forever!

Oh yeah, we hit areas of the interstate narrowing down from three lanes to one and other spots of road works here and there.  That, combined with the rain, made today a longer journey in time than it would have been otherwise. 

In addition, we crossed into Eastern Time at the Georgia state line, so we lost an hour there, too.

At least the road works and rain slowed down the Atlanta traffic a bit, so it definitely could have been worse.  I don’t know . . . we took the loop around Birmingham and perhaps might try the Atlanta loop should we come back this away at some point.

GA Rest Stop 52 06272015

Thrilled to be through Atlanta unscathed with sanity somewhat intact at Georgia Rest Stop 52

When we arrived here at Country Boys, I saw lightning in the distance and clouds appeared to be bringing imminent rain;  however, Mr. Sun made an appearance.  For a while.  It’s a bit darker now and there has been spitting rain.  Apparently a cold front is coming (I see storms on the radar) and we’re forecast for storms this evening/tonight.  Hope we miss the worst of it.

Interestingly, our microwave vent cover made a kamikaze leap off the microwave during transit today.  Okay, I can take a hint.  Must be time to give it a good cleaning.  Did that and put it back in place once we had the rig opened up (slides deployed).  That’s a new one.  It’s firmly attached again.  And clean, I might add.

Glad I cooked that chicken yesterday!  It made a nice sandwich just a wee while ago.  Dave was a champ and hooked up the cable here, so we have quite a few stations.  That’s  good, ‘cause just about all I want to do this evening is veg.  Well, I would like a stroll around our loop.  I like/feel the need to walk a bit after a day of travel.

We’re still hitched to the truck and, along with cable, only have shore power connected.  Once again we’re running off our fresh tank and pump.  It’s just an overnight stop, so we’re good.  Makes getting away a bit easier in the morning.  We’ll head to Lexington, SC tomorrow, where we will be at The Barnyard RV Park for three nights prior to heading to our work site in Darlington, SC July 1.

This is our second stay here.  It’s fine for an overnight.  The sites and park are not spectacular by any means, but it’s a port in a storm.  Literally, it seems, as it may be stormy tonight and our overnight stay in March was extended by a night due to nasty weather.

We have friends who are on their maiden voyage this weekend with their new-to-them 5th wheel.  How cool is that?  Am proud of them for getting it set up and am so tickled for them!  Looking forward to hooking up with them at some point in the future and putting our rigs side-by-side.

Gave the truck a pat a bit ago, “Good Truck.  Good Truck.”  Truck is still a bit of a youngster with just a bit under 56K miles on the odometer.  Beast.  Faithful steed.  Like a rock today with everything thrown at it – wind, rain, road works, traffic.

I think my Dad was probably watching over us today and I know he’d be proud of me getting us here safe and sound.  He was probably grinning that mischievous grin of his, too.  

Total miles today = 145.9, but it sure seems longer than that.

Thanks for stopping by!

Rest Day Two in Anniston, AL

I didn’t blog yesterday because there really wasn’t much to tell.   Dave pedaled 35 miles on the bike, getting an early start to beat the heat.  Once back and showered (yep, he needed one! teehee!), we headed out for a few groceries.  It was our first experience with a Publix store, and it was quite nice.  One thing we noticed is that some items . . . well, a lot of items . . . sure seemed more expensive than usual.  Don’t know if it was the store or the locale or if things have just gone up so drastically in some cases.  They did have quite a few “buy 1, get one free” offers, but still . . .

We eat out rarely but occasionally will splurge on a pizza for home consumption and we really don’t spend money on sightseeing or souvenirs; however, one thing we don’t scrimp on is food. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t buy extravagantly and I do comparison shop and use store discount cards.  That being said, we probably spend just as much on food as full-timers as we did living in a stix-n-brix home. 

Okay, back to our story.  It was pretty danged hot out, so we stayed indoors pretty much the rest of the day, as did everyone else here in the park.

Notes about this Camping World / Good Sam RV Park:

  • All roads and sites are chunky rock/gravel and essentially level but not much fun to walk on.
  • Grounds are maintained.
  • Small book exchange.
  • WiFi that works and basic cable TV, both free.
  • Good utilities, although be advised sewer connections are at the rear of the sites.
  • Plenty of space between sites with concrete patio and picnic table at each site.
  • No shade, although there are some small trees that will provide shade over time.
  • Very clean restrooms and laundry facilities (three washers and three dryers). 
  • Escort to site.
  • Camping World next door (you can walk there) in case you want/need to go shopping.
  • Groceries and other amenities not far away.
  • Easy access to I-20.
  • Dave liked the cycling here.

We would return here, but probably would not use it as an extended stay.  The roads are not conducive for walking, there is no shade and at a bit over $30 a night (with Good Sam discount), we’ve gotten more bang for our buck at other places that were more aesthetic.  Still, for our purposes, this was a good place to land for three  nights.

There is a couple here who are Camping World/Good Sam Ambassadors.   I visited with them a wee while yesterday evening just to see what that’s all about.  After hearing about their schedule, I’ve determined that’s just not for us.  Although they are here in the park for a while, they do what sounds like a lot of gadding about to other parks, Camping World stores, functions, rallies, etc.  For example, they were gone in their “toad” this morning before 8 AM and didn’t get back until around 5 PM for the second day in a row.  That seems to be quite a bit of what they do. Sounds a bit too hectic for my tastes and for the compensation one receives. Driving 85 miles one way to deliver brochures to a park doesn’t sound like much fun.  I’m sure the security work we do doesn’t sound like fun to others.  To each their own.

Dave was off on the bike this morning for a repeat of yesterday, again getting in 35 miles.  Taking advantage of the nice (and not crowded) facilities here, I caught up our laundry and changed/washed our bed linens.  Yay!

Cooked some chicken for salads, sandwiches, whatever for the next couple of travel days and watched Field of Dreams (again) this afternoon.  Having seen it a few times, it still makes me laugh, causes my heart to sing and my eyes to leak.  Love that film. 

The truck is hooked up and water/sewer disconnected in preparation for heading out in the morning for an overnight in Madison, GA. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Travel Day to Anniston, AL and Five Years on the Road

Five years ago today we pulled out of the self-storage facility in Cedar Park, TX (adjoining Austin) to a nearby RV park.  We commuted back to work as managers of that self-storage facility for a couple of weeks before hitting the road.  I mark June 24 as our launch date, because we began living in our rig on this day in 2010.

Five years.  Wowsers!  What adventures we have had and what memories we have made!

Once again, we awoke with no alarms and rolled out of Benchmark Coach and RV Park in Meridian/Marion, MS about 10:45 this morning.  Having done most of the ready work yesterday and last evening, it was a pretty easy getaway. 

Our first stop was a rest area on I-20 East about 50 miles down the road into Alabama, only to find that the facilities were closed.  No problem-o!  We have our own facilities, and I took advantage of those.  We boogied eastward on I-20 about another 40-odd miles for Dave to check out the rest area facilities, and I took the opportunity to give Maggie a walk.

Our Maggs is so ready to get in the truck once it’s running for leaving that she can’t be bothered to go potty.  She is focused and excited, and makes a beeline (with leash and me attached) to the truck.  Figured she could use a rest area break herself at this point in today’s journey.

We took the I-459 loop and skirted around Birmingham.  Definitely the thing to do, I think.  I-20 was of a decent quality – not brilliant but not deplorable – and we did encounter a few spots of road works which slowed us down a bit. 

Our last stop was about 25 miles out of Anniston at a – you guessed it – Pilot to fuel up.  We could have made the entire trip on a full tank with fuel to spare, but I just like to be topped off after the gauge reaches a certain point.  Dave got coffee and I had a wee break.  From there, we scooted on into the Camping World/Good Sam RV Park here.  It’s right next door to a Camping World and easy to find from the interstate.  We were here in March, coming from the east.  The couple managing the park at that time has moved on, but she and I keep in touch.  I’m tickled with that, as Linda and I seemed to hit it off from the get.

Camping World Good Sam Anniston AL Site 18 2 06242015

Site 18 – Our home for the next three nights.  Storm clouds brewing!

Maggie and I were out taking a walk not far away when all of a sudden . . . W I N D ! ! !  At that point, our awning was deployed.  She and I hightailed it back, as the awning was starting to bounce and flap.  Thankfully, Dave was already bringing it in.  (It’s an electric awning, opening and closing via a switch just inside the RV).   I tell ya, that wind came out of nowhere. 

Camping World Good Sam Anniston AL Site 18 06242015

View from the other side of our rig.  We are on the end of the row, with a grassy area on this side.

After the sweltering heat of the past few days, the breeze and abrupt drop in temperatures in front of this storm were absolutely delicious.  Dave and I stood outside for a bit just loving it and watching the awesome skies.

I see the folks across the road have returned.  They left a while ago, with the awning on their Class A still deployed.  Thankfully, it looks like there was no damage and they have taken it in now.

Don’t deploy your awning and leave it unattended, peeps.  The results can be . . . ugly.

Trust me on that one, okay? 

Camping World Good Sam Anniston AL 3 06242015

There is another entire section of the park in the distance.  Perhaps for long-term folks?

It’s dark out now and we have had very little rain.  What we are having, however, is a spectacular light show.  We’re just back inside after watching it outdoors for a bit.  We are seeing horizontal forked lightning with no associated thunder.  This is something new to me and it’s totally awesome.

I just did a Google search for this type of lightning and found out it is known as “anvil crawlers.” 

Cool.

Yes, actually, it almost is outside right now.

Cool, that is.

This evening I’m grateful for a safe and uneventful trip today, for five memorable years in this lifestyle, for good friends I speak with on the phone, for our home on wheels and the dependable steed of a truck that pulls that home and for the man in my life, my husband, who shares this adventure with me.

Thanks for stopping by!

Last Rest Day in Meridian / Marion, MS

It may be our last rest day here, but we have more coming up.  Yay us!

Dave gave the bike a miss today, and this morning we set about preparing to hit the road tomorrow.  He loaded the bed of the truck and I did a few things before the heat set in for the day.  This evening we continued on with me dumping our tanks and Dave disconnecting the water and sewer.  We’re running off our water pump and fresh tank until we land in Anniston, AL tomorrow.  I  emptied and wiped dry our “overflow fridge” – a standalone dorm-sized unit – and it’s ready to be stowed for traveling tomorrow.

Benchmark Coach and RV Park Dave laundry day 06232015

Dave did some cycling laundry today.  Didn’t take long for it to dry outdoors.

I worked my virtual assistant job a bit and Dave took advantage of being indoors by watching a few cycling videos.  Before we knew it, dinnertime rolled around.  After that, Dave did those few things outdoors mentioned above and we had a stroll around the park.  Although it was pretty darn hot during the day, this evening is milder than last night.  Don’t get me wrong; it’s still quite warm and still out, but better than last night.  We saw a bat flying about just a bit ago at dusk. 

That’s a good thing, because this place sure has a lot of flies and mosquitos.  We’ve been utilizing our flyswatter indoors.  Maggie isn’t happy about that; her one “fright” holdover trait since we rescued her from the shelter is a fear of flyswatters.  She’ll cower in a corner or slink off into the other room.  Of course, after we nail the fly, she receives a lot of reassurance, hugs and love. 

I cannot fathom anyone taking a flyswatter to our sweet Maggie, but it is fairly obvious someone did in her past prior to coming to live with us.

The dumpster was emptied yesterday, and that was a bit of a funny thing to see. The dumpster truck driver was good; he got the dumpster emptied, even though it was piled high with lids propped open.  There were a couple of bags that ended up on top of the truck cab; he got out and up there via a ladder on the front of the truck and got those puppies down.  Yay him!

There is a Class A parked next to us that came in this afternoon.  I wonder if they leave their gray tank open because . . . whooowhee . . . there sure is a sickly-sweet sewer smell emanating from their rig. 

Did I mention I downloaded the Allstays Truck and Travel app for my iPhone?  Thought I’d give it a spin seeing as we’re more mobile these days.  I like it!  I already had the My Pilot app (we have the RV Plus Card for fuel) and I use it all the time, but the Allstays is a nice addition for showing rest stops and other truck fueling options, not to mention so many other amenities.  Right now I have the filter set for rest areas and truck fueling places and truck parking spots.

It’s a full house here tonight at Benchmark RV.  Five (or was it six?) rigs came in this afternoon.

We have both been sleeping well here.  Dave has really enjoyed cycling in the area.  Yep, we would return to this park.  It’s a nice layover.

Thanks for stopping by!

Rest Day 2.5 – Meridian / Marion, MS

Gosh, what did we do yesterday?  Dave got in a 45-mile bike ride yesterday (Sunday), starting fairly early in the morning to be off the road before the day’s heat came on.  He’s really enjoying the cycling here.  The rest of the day?  Vacuumed our living room since we seem to track in some grass here, even with taking off our shoes upon entering.  I worked my virtual assistant (VA) job a bit and we had a nice dinner of a couple of catfish fillets I picked up the other day. 

We were also awaiting the arrival of two friends and former Reiki students of mine from my days of living in Brenham, TX.  Paul and Ann have a 1993 Bounder Class A and are in the process of moving from Texas to Virginia.  They are en route to VA and decided to stop here overnight. 

Cool!

In the late afternoon, Paul informed me their ETA was 8:20 and, sure enough, my phone said it was 8:21 PM when they rolled into the park.  That’s what I call precise!

Assigned to the site next to us, we had a bit of time to visit before calling it a night.

Benchmark Coach and RV Park Paul and Ann McKinley next door 06212015

We resumed our visiting this morning prior to their heading on down the road a bit ago.  Sure was good to see them again and we appreciate them taking the time to stop here with us.  Did my soul good to be with friends for a bit. 

Although our laundry hamper wasn’t full, I got that caught up with an early trip to the laundry room here this morning.  Again, an early start means not having to deal with that in the heat of the day.  Yay!  Dave also was out on the bike early for one final ride here this morning, clocking 35 miles and back well before it really gets warm. 

The rest of today?  I’ll probably work my VA job a bit, do some major chilling out and then it’s chicken fajitas at home for tonight’s dinner.  We have one more day here after today and then will be back on the road Wednesday.

There are two things about this park that I’ll classify as negatives . . .

  • The dumpster is too small and has been overflowing since our arrival Saturday.  Okay, it was the weekend, but it is almost 1 PM and has not been serviced today (Monday).  There are a few long-term residents here and the park has been virtually full each night with overnighters stopping in.  A larger dumpster is obviously required.  This really is not an expensive thing to do and certainly is an aesthetic as well as health issue that is absolutely an easy fix.
  • The restroom facilities are designed well and there are two of the “suites” as I’ll call them . . . toilet and shower facilities in a large private room.  Again, well designed and essentially nice.  But.  They are not serviced frequently or regularly enough.  Although not quite to the point of  icky and disgusting, I will say that I’m glad I don’t have to  use them.

There really is  no excuse for either of these situations.  The park is otherwise totally acceptable and we are enjoying our stay here.  Well, except for the fact that we’re up front and the window I’m looking out while typing this is a dead-straight view of the overflowing dumpster. 

Would we stay here again?  Oh probably.  The park is fine overall, it is convenient to amenities (groceries, etc.), the cycling is good, there is WiFi and cable, sites are level concrete and the rate is very reasonable.

At any rate, we are very much savoring our down time here.  It is so nice to have the chance to chill. It’s also been great to have  had friends passing by who took the time and effort to hook up with us.

Life is guid!

Thanks for stopping by!