2015 – Done and Dusted

This past year was one of changes and traveling, some good times and some challenges.  It was a very unsettled year for us; seems like we just couldn’t find the “spot” for us, sort of like Goldilocks looking for the right bed.  Some of our decisions were better than others.  We logged a lot of miles; well, for us, at any rate.  We faced some challenges and had some good times along the way.   

Georgia Rest Area 06282015

I took a multitude of these types of shots at various rest stops during 2015.  Wish I had the patience to go back and tally up the miles we traveled during the year.

Darlington SC 07012015

We started the year doing security work in Darlington, SC.  This was a tough gig.  Night shift did not agree with Dave; he was getting 1-2 hours of sleep every 24-36 hours.  Cycling was dangerous with him being run off the roads, chased by extremely aggressive stray/wild dogs and coming off the bike (crashes) three times.  We had no way to properly empty our tanks and experienced our first ant infestation in 5 years of full-timing (and numerous years of camping before that). The tree over us was unkempt; a storm brought down large branches which barely missed our rig.  We were also experiencing frequent fluctuations in power to our rig, with our “big black box” shutting us down due to low voltage.  This was definitely not a good thing.

Vicksburg MS Visitor Center 03172015

We received an offer to manage a park in Texas, so in March we headed that way.  We took our time and did a bit of sightseeing.  Here we are in Vicksburg, MS.  We stayed at Ameristar RV Park and would recommend it.

KOA Mt Pleasant TX 05022015

While the job itself would have been okay, the circumstances were not.  We resigned our management position but stayed on as workampers for a while.  If we had remained as managers, more than likely we would still be there attempting to run the place by ourselves with extremely limited resources.  Not a good scenario.  We learned a lot from this experience, though.

We stayed at numerous RV parks in 2015 in our trekking around the eastern third of the country.  I haven’t included photos from all of them, just some of the memorable and well-liked ones.

Shady Pines RV Park Texarkana TX 06082015

We really like Shady Pines RV Park in Texarkana, TX.  This was our second stay here, this one in June.

Camping World Anniston AL 06242015

Another second stay at Camping World in Anniston, AL during June.  Skies were threatening and we were treated to an extraordinary light show courtesy of Momma Nature, but it never rained.  I like this photo.

Prairie Creek COE Beaver Lake AR 06132015

We gave a try at being gate attendants at a COE park in Arkansas in June.  A brief try.  The site looks nice, but had many issues, including an uphill sewer connection and a dirt hill right next to our rig which became a mud river during rains.  A quiet park?  Hardly.  A young girl was killed on the lake the day before we arrived.  Weekends were nonstop traffic, to the point of parking being full in all areas.  Law enforcement screaming through the gate with lights flashing at all hours.  People coming up to our rig (when we weren’t on duty) with questions, etc.  It was also a 6-day work week and turns out one had to go the bank and post office on one’s day off.  This was not a good decision and not as described.

Country Boys RV Park Madison GA 06272015

A repeat visit to Country Boys RV Park in Madison, GA in June.  Certainly adequate for 1-2 nights.

We agreed to return to South Carolina and the security gig as the relief team for 3 months.  While we had questioned our decision to leave there earlier in the year, the return visit served as affirmation of that decision. 

Office area 08262015

While in SC the second time, we removed our dining table and chairs (which we rarely used) and turned the area into a workspace/office for me. 

We were there from July 1st until October 1st, at which point we were headed back to Texas.  Changes in our health insurance predicated this move.  I was still working part-time as a virtual assistant, and we were hopeful Dave could pick up some work once we arrived in Bryan, Texas.

Barnyard RV Park Lexington SC 10012015

We planned a 2-night stay at the Barnyard RV Park in Lexington, SC following our security gig.  We thought this would allow us to resume normal sleep patters and chill a bit before hitting the road to Texas.  The stay stretched into 5 nights due to massive rainfall and areal flooding.  We were grateful the park did not flood.  It wasn’t very relaxing, however, as we were in emergency preparedness mode the entire time.  Management was totally accommodating and helpful as we (and a couple of other neighbors) kept extending our stay day-by-day due to weather.

Montgomery South RV Park 10122015

Landed for a week at Montgomery South RV Park, we sort of began catching up on some R&R.  Dave really enjoyed the cycling here; however, the park was infested with loose dogs and, just because of that, we would not return.  Otherwise, it was a fine park in the process of expansion during our stay.

Ever closer to Texas, we stayed a few nights in Beaumont at Gulf Coast RV Resort.  Looks like I didn’t get photos . . . hmmm.  Dave enjoyed the cycling and I enjoyed really relaxing, catching up laundry, etc.  Our friend Rachelle, whom we had not seen since 2010 prior to our embarking on this lifestyle, came to spend a day with us.  So good to see her again, and we really appreciated her making the trip.

Traders Village Houston TX 10182015

From Beaumont, our next stop was Traders Village on the northwest side of Houston.  It was okay, but nothing spectacular.  I couldn’t believe Highway 290 was still under construction.  No, wait, I can believe that, actually.  It was pretty darn warm when we arrived and shortly after landing . . . it was a really warm day . . and . . we had no power to the rig.  Turns out a mobile tech working on the RV next door was terrific and got us powered up again.  Remember that low voltage issue in SC?  He suspected that’s what fried the . . . um . . . I forget what it was but it had to do with the gen set.  Since we don’t have an onboard gen, he just bypassed it and disabled that.  He showed it to us and, yes, it was fried.  Another affirmation that leaving SC was a good decision.

The next day, we headed to Bryan, Texas and what we anticipated as our home for the long term.  I had checked reviews, talked at length with the manager and made a month’s reservation at Primrose Lane RV Park in Bryan.  We didn’t have much selection, as it was football season in Aggieland and nary an RV space to be had.

Primrose Lane Bryan TX 10192015

Primrose Lane long-term site.  Mud pit. Bad “neighborhood.”  Worst place we have ever stayed.  Our front landing gear were sinking.  We asked for more gravel, correction, gravel on the site but it never materialized and we realized after a while that it just wouldn’t.  Standing water all the time around our rig.  Electric shore connection so low to the ground we had to unplug so it wouldn’t short out.  Residents letting dogs run loose and dog “deposits” all over the grounds, including sidewalks.  Ugh.

Good news is that during our time there, Dave secured a seasonal position at Walmart.   I still had my virtual assistant client and had landed a medical editor job.

We had been looking at other RV parks and ended up being third on the waiting list for Aggieland RV Park.  With our November rent almost due at Primrose and not wanting to be there any longer, the owner/manager at Aggieland found a spot for us.  We moved here the early afternoon of November 17, following horrendous storms which got us out of bed around 3:30 that morning.

Aggieland RV Park Site 43 12132015

Concrete streets!  Concrete site!  No mud!  Tidy neighbors!  Decent laundry facilities!  Great owner/manager!  Yay us!

Aggieland RV Park 11182015

The site on our door side is only for short-term and is not used often.  We have an open grassy area on the other side.  Lovely.

We experienced a split (and leaking) gray holding tank in November and it’s been a saga getting the correct tank ordered, etc.; however, we have an appointment next week for installation at an RV dealer less than 10 miles down the road.  I sure will be glad to have my own shower again, but am grateful for the facilities here during this time.

My medical transcription skills are still excellent after all these years away from the profession; however, I found medical editing to be very stressful with a good deal of “extras” one has to do for which one is not paid.  I dreaded each work day, which was totally opposite to my experience with traditional MT work; I used to love my work as an MT; however, the profession has deteriorated and really is not a profession where skills are paramount these days.  The MT company owner called after I resigned wondering why I did, stating “You’re such an MT!”  Perhaps that’s part of it . . . I’m a purist.  Today’s environment just is not a good fit at this time. 

Long and short . . . I picked up a second virtual assistant client which also may be a long-term relationship.  I resigned the ME gig and, upon doing so, felt a great sense of relief.  I now have two clients and really enjoy the work and my interactions with them.  The resulting pay is much better, and I am utilizing my brain and skills.  Yay me!  Minimal stress, maximum rewards.  I’m good with that.

Dave’s seasonal job is turning into a permanent position.  He’s working hard, but it’s certainly not as rigorous as pipefitting on ships or in the mines of Minnesota.  He enjoys his interactions with coworkers and most of the time even the job itself.  Yay him!

Dave works 2-11 PM Thursday through Monday.  I go to work when he leaves a bit after 1 PM.  We both take Tuesday and Wednesday off to run errands and do whatever.  This schedule seems to be a nice fit for us.  We’re both sleeping very well here, and that’s a good thing.

I know Walmart gets a bad rep, but so far Dave and others are treated decently at this store.  He worked overtime around Thanksgiving, but management had a huge dinner spread for the team.  There was a gift discount card during that time, freebie holiday decorations, more food and treats for them at work (and to bring home), etc.  There are other “small” things that have been positive so far, too, such as opening up a check-out lane for Dave when he was purchasing some items on his dinner break.

Dave was a pipefitter with the Royal Navy in Scotland.  He remarked once that he’s gone from working on nuclear submarines, where the lives of sailors literally were in his hands and relied upon his skills.  Now he’s working at Walmart.  But you know what?  At this point in our lives it’s not about our jobs or building careers.  It’s just about having work which pays what few bills we have, putting food on the table and living a comfortable life. 

It’s about our life together, not about our jobs.

We had a delightful impromptu visit this week from two dear long-time friends who live about 60 miles away near Bellville.  Had not seen them since 2010, so it really did my heart good to get some hugs and spend time with them.  Talking on the phone is great, but it’s just not the same as being together.  We hope to get out their way before long, as I used to do occasionally when I lived in Brenham.

Yes, 2015 had its challenges.  Just to end the year with a bang, my bridge failed the other night, so I’ll need to find a dentist after we see how insurance is going to shake out in the coming weeks.  Oh yeah, it’s been a whiz-bang year, alright.

Radar Bryan TX 10242015

This was an all too often recurring theme in 2015.  We believe we experienced more days in rain/severe weather than not.

We made some decisions which seemed questionable at the time, but we learned from those experiences.  We traveled, saw some sights and had some good times.  The end result is that we have landed well back here in Texas with jobs and a comfortable, pleasant environment for our RV home.  (Yeah, well, check with me in July/August when it’s 2275 F outside!  At least the pool is nearby and electricity is included in our rate here.) 

I am grateful for those experiences and for all the miles we traveled in safety and comfort with no breakdowns or accidents and, even in severe weather, we were never in immediate danger.  We try to be careful and alert, but we have also been very fortunate and watched over, I’m sure. 

If all continues favorably with work, our plans are to remain here for the foreseeable future.  We’ll see what 2016 brings, but I’d be good with just “being” right here.

Hope your holiday season has been safe and joyous.  Happy New Year!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

  

 

 

 

Landed in Gautier, MS for One Night

We departed Hope Hull, AL at about 11:15 this morning, in that time range that we seem to get going naturally.

We cruised south on I-65, stopping at a rest area and then a Pilot just north of Mobile to fuel up the truck. At Exit 0 in Mobile, we hooked up with I-10 West and headed towards Mississippi.

Mississippi Welcome Center 10132015

Mississippi Welcome Center on I-10 West

A little bit later, we rolled into Indian Point RV Resort in Gautier, MS. This is a huge place with hundreds of RVs in here and quite a few cabins and cottages for rent. There are long-term workers, folks with apparently seasonal sites (and boats) and then some overnight spots such as ours towards the front of the sites. We have a concrete pad and patio, although the pad at this particular site really is not quite long enough for our rig still hitched up.

Indian Point RV Resort site PA2 10132015

We are in Site PA2. That empty site next to us is no longer empty.

We were originally assigned to site PA1, the empty one in the above photo. Not sure why they gave us PA2 on arrival and I wish they had not. On this row of overnight sites, we have the most cramped and the trickiest to exit. Oh well. It’s only one night. There’s a small tree towards the front that is not in the photo; I’ll have to swing reaaaaally wide in the morning to get out. This site really is too close to the next one on the door side. Ugh. Oh well. One night.

Indian Point RV Resort 10132015

One of two lakes here

Impressions so far suggest this is fine for an overnight stop, but it’s just not my kind of place. There are just too many people here and too many trees . . . We are bypassing the free WiFi, as it is not secured with a password; we’re using my hotspot instead. The restrooms/showers are okay, but Dave opted to shower at home tonight; he will often use the facility showers if they are nice, enjoying a larger shower stall. There is cable TV; it is very basic cable, but we are able to tune into CNN and have the Democratic debate on right now. There is a clubhouse, pavilion for gatherings, café (apparently only open in the mornings), swimming pool, pier and boat launch. Quite a few of the roads are sand/dirt. The sites that are not concrete are more grass than gravel; perhaps they were nice gravel at one time, but the grass has pretty much taken over. Even though it has the word “resort” in its name, it has more of the feel of a campground and/or fishing camp.

Again, fine for one night.

Moving along . . .

Since the above photo was taken, a dually with a pretty and big 5th wheel pulled in. Why am I mentioning this? Because . . . their rather large dog (not a pit bull but some breed that sort of looks a bit like that) was riding in the open bed of the truck when they arrived. I really cannot even imagine my dog riding in an open truck bed, much less with a 5th wheel hooked up to the truck. Sheesh. Any bump or turn of the RV and . . . it could result in a not-so-happy ending for the dog.

Then . . .

They chained the dog to a tree and put its food and water bowl outside. They have a cage for it placed under the front overhang of their RV. Yes, they have been inside with the dog chained to the tree outside. Yes, I’m guessing the dog will be sleeping in the cage outside tonight.

What the hell is wrong with dog owners in the South?

Now back to our regular programming . . .

Interstate 65 South is actually a nice highway and an enjoyable drive. I-10 hasn’t been bad so far. We’ll see how tomorrow shapes up as we head on into Louisiana for tomorrow night’s stop in Duson.

I am grateful that the 203.3 miles we traveled today were done safely and without incident.

Maggie is pretty much back to her usual self and made today’s journey very well.  The weather was gorgeous with a high in the low 80s.

Have a great evening and be safe out there!

Thanks for stopping by!

Last Night in Alabama

This is our last evening in Hope Hull, AL. We’ll be on the road tomorrow headed to Gautier, MS for one night. We’ve got around 200 miles to go tomorrow. That’s not much for some folks, but it’s a full day for us.

Dave pedaled 51 miles today on his bike this morning, once again thoroughly enjoying the cycling here. He has racked up 208 miles in 5 days here. He has also been taking some photos with his new phone.

Hope Hull Cows 10122015

 

Hope Hull Road Kill Cafe rest stop markers 10122015

From the charity ride, alerting riders of the upcoming rest stop named Road Kill Café. Cute, eh? Each rest stop is named with a theme.

Hope Hull You Kill It We Cook It 10122015

Also for the Road Kill Café, this says, “You kill it, we cook it.” Haha!

Hope Hull route markers 1 10122015

Route markers

The park is full tonight, with 4 rigs parked in the new sites. Those sites do not have gravel yet, but the utilities are functional. We hitched up the truck a bit ago; that’s one less thing to do in the morning.

Maggie was definitely feeling better today and has had a bit of food at reduced amounts. She is certainly more her usual perky and alert self. I am so grateful and am keeping my fingers crossed that she (and I) has another restful night.

Roaming dogs have been less of an issue today, at least so far. Perhaps someone dropped a word or two to their owner down the road?

I am also happy, no, thrilled and relieved, to report that we have had no ants in our rig from day #1 since leaving the work site in South Carolina. Obviously they were coming in from outside. We are both grateful for that and happy to be away from that location.

One other cool thing I have forgotten to mention. When we were getting ready to leave Lexington, SC after the rain event had passed, Dave noticed a wee frog that came out from under our Lynx pad under one of the tires.

Little wee Frog. Good omen. Sent by Cousin Karen, I betcha. Watching over us. Yep. Indeed.

Hope you have had a great Columbus Day. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in Canada!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday and Sunday

Saturday

While Dave was out cycling Friday, he noticed route indicators on the roads. I hopped on the Internet and found the Glassner Autumn Challenge, taking place today.  Although he did not pay the entry fee, he still rode the 30-mile route, as this is something he would have done anyway. The staging area was at a church about 3 miles from here.

Hope Hull AL Glassner Autumn Challenge 4

Dave had a whale of a good time being amongst other cyclists of all skill levels. The photo above and the one below were snapped by him at the event.

Hope Hull AL Glassner Autumn Challenge 2

The Caped Crusader (Batman) was handing out goodies to riders

Everyone was quite friendly and ride hosts insisted he partake of the sumptuous spread of fajitas following the ride. Yep, Dave scored big time!

What did I do while he was gone? I got my feet wet with my new virtual assistant job, taking advantage of the quiet time.

Our Maggie woke up at 6 AM with nausea which, along with another symptom, led us to believe she was experiencing a flare of the slight pancreatitis she was diagnosed with a couple of years ago. I immediately began her on the prescription medications I keep on hand for this. They absolutely alleviate the symptoms but make her a bit drowsy, although this is a good thing. Napping and being quiet is a benefit during these flares. I also held food except for the minimal amount needed to take the meds; this gives her gut a break. She was not appearing distressed or in any discomfort, but not 100% her usual bouncy, perky self. If you didn’t know better, you wouldn’t be able to tell anything was going on just being around her.

After a nice dinner of crab cakes and wild rice, we watched an incredibly bad horror movie in the evening. Dave has commented that we certainly have done well with meals. The only groceries we have needed have been staples such as bread, milk, etc. I’m glad I stocked up the freezer, fridge and pantry prior to embarking on our trip. There’s still several more meals to be had from our current provisions. We have not eaten one meal out so far. We didn’t have dinner at Stuckey’s the other day; I just got the pecan divinity and we ate dinner at home.

Sunday (today)

Maggie made it through the night without stirring, so she and I both had a good sleep. She has done well today and acting somewhat more like herself. She still is on her meds as a precaution to get her through this episode. I am hopeful we caught this early and that she will be able to travel Tuesday.

Dave took off on the bike again today, as the area here is excellent for cycling. In fact, he says it is even better than the Lancaster, PA area, which he really enjoyed. I did some more laundry, which  puts us in a good position in that regard for our departure Tuesday. Got a bit more work done, too!

After Dave’s return, we went the 10 miles north on I-65 to the actual town of Hope Hull and the Winn-Dixie market there for a few basics in the way of groceries. We then stopped at the Flying J near the park to fuel up the truck for Tuesday’s leg of our journey.

Montgomery South RV Park sunset 10112015

View of sunset this evening from our site

The roaming dog saga continues this evening. The total number of dogs that roam freely through this park (but do not actually belong here) has risen to 6, with the latest one being a very large brown dog that just showed up a few feet from us this evening as we were sitting out on our patio.

Earlier in the evening (before dark) I had just stepped out of our RV to take Maggie out – she was still just inside the door on her leash –and saw one of the big white dogs (which belong down the road apparently) just entering our site. It saw Maggie and Maggie saw it. I got back inside; thankfully, Maggs had not started down the steps yet.

Spooked the heck outta me, I tell ya. The best thing for Maggie during these health episodes is to not become excited. Good luck with that here. No wonder my stomach is rumbling, too. Walking her is stressful, especially at night, as there are no lights anywhere in this park. Flashlights and spray bottle at the ready, and we double-team walking her – one walking her and one on lookout.

Yesterday evening the cat was under our rig, sat up on its haunches and grabbed onto the rig’s underbelly with its from paws/claws. We were sitting out and shooed it away.

Management here is very nice and the park is well-maintained; however, the roaming critters are enough of an annoyance and issue that we would not return here except as an overnight stop. The fact that there are no lights in the park makes it a bit more dodgy when walking Maggie. We do have good flashlights as part of our “arsenal” in security work, and we have been using them. We also leave our porch light on at night and our driver side security light on all night.

The evening is moving along, so I’ll mosey out of here for now. Be safe out there, okay?

Thanks for stopping by!

Yesterday and Today

We departed Madison, GA yesterday morning a bit after 11 AM under beautiful blue skies. What a relief!

Alabama Welcome Center 10072015

One of a few stops today, this one at the Alabama Welcome Center

Our trip was uneventful, but we were glad to see Atlanta in our rear view mirror, even with taking the loop around the main part of the city. Interstates 85 South and 65 South were both of good quality and a pleasant drive. We traveled a total of 236.5 miles and landed at Montgomery South RV Park in Hope Hull, AL, which is just south of Montgomery.

Montgomery South RV Park site 1 10082015

We are in Site 1

We were not impressed upon arrival with the fact that the “campground mascot” dog (a small older dog which appears to have ear mites and a skin condition) immediately began hanging around our site, followed by a cat, then another small dog came around . . . sigh. This was while we were trying to unhitch and set up, and Maggie wasn’t even out of the truck yet. Later when we were backing the truck out to go get groceries, a tenant’s large dog was hanging around the truck; Dave had to shoo it away so we could get out of our site . . . all while the owner woman was seated at a picnic table at her site about 2 down from us. Yet another tenant’s large black-and-white dog was off-leash down the street, and this morning some dog left a “deposit” in the grass next to our rig right by our basement doors. I did mention this to the office person on duty, and he came by to clean that up.

When I casually mentioned I had never seen so many loose dogs in an RV park, the response was, “It’s Alabama.” Well. Okaaaay. That explains it? That’s a source of pride?

“Pets are welcome, although dogs must be kept on a leash at all times when outside of your RV. Pets must be walked in designated pet area and please pick-up after your pet. Pets are not to be left unattended.” This is under the park’s Rules on their web site. Be advised, however, if you stay here that this is in no manner enforced. They are adding 2 rows of additional sites here, so we are essentially in a construction zone to boot.

When we were out last night, I purchased a spray bottle for shooing critters away. Dave and I tandem walk Maggie. I think the “mascot” dog has gotten the idea about not coming over here after being sternly shooed away a few times.

Today we really considered looking for something else a bit down the road, but decided to stay here. It’s not bad enough to drag ourselves down the road and there really isn’t much around that is close to as decent as this.  I am tired and need a rest. The facilities (restrooms, laundry) are okay. There is no cable TV and no lights in the park whatsoever (so it’s pitch dark at night), but the WiFi is decent. Staff is nice and gave us a good site and good rate for our 6-night stay. Most of the current tenants are “worker bees,” but the park is quiet at night; I imagine most folks go to bed pretty early. We’ll see what it’s like on the weekend. The nearest town and grocery store is about 8 miles away and the nearest Walmart is about 25 miles, so I’ve been told. I would not stay here for an extended period simply because of the dog issue. If you do not have a dog, it’s probably not a big deal; however, if you do . . .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The dirty clothes hamper became more full than anticipated due to our longer stay in South Carolina, so today was a much needed laundry day! Thankfully, no one was using the 2 washers/2 dryers, so I availed myself of them. Yay!

Dave hopped on his fixed-gear bike and got 32 miles today, his first time back on the bike in 12 days. He had a good ride on quiet country roads with no dog issues.

Montgomery South RV Park 10082015

Drying out the awning under sunshine!

I did a few things around here like deploying our awning to dry, putting out our solar lights, arranging a bit inside for a few days’ stay, etc. Dave kept asking if I wanted to find somewhere to get our dinner, as it is my birthday today. “No, not really . . . but thanks.”  There really isn’t much around here and I couldn’t justify the expense for fast-food burgers. Ugh. “Wait! There’s a Stuckey’s back on the corner! Let’s go there. I haven’t been to one since I was a kid and there aren’t many left. Maybe they still have pecan divinity.”  Traveling with my parents when I was a kid, we’d stop at Stuckey’s. Dad would gas up the truck, they’d get coffee and perhaps we’d get a snack, we’d use the facilities and often I’d get pecan divinity.

Stuckeys 10082015

Just a bit of silly fun and something to do for a bit.

Birthday present 10082015

Birthday present from Dave.

A low-key birthday, but I’m tickled to just be safely settled someplace for a few days and to have clean laundry again. We’re just hanging out this evening. We’re well-stocked for meals, so there’s no real need to go anywhere until right before we leave Tuesday just to pick up staples like bread and milk. I’m sure Dave will get more cycling in here and I’m hoping to get some virtual assistant work done over the next few days.

And some resting and recuperating from the rainy days in South Carolina . . .

Ya’ll be safe out there, wherever you are!

Thanks for stopping by!

And on the 14th Day . . .

the Sun Did Shine!

We awoke a bit after 8 AM this morning at the Barnyard RV Park in Lexington, SC to actual sunshine. It is difficult to express how wonderful this was after enduring 13 straight days of virtually nonstop rain, including the massive and catastrophic rain system that pummeled South Carolina this past weekend. We rolled out of the park and onto I-20 West shortly before 11:30 AM.

Our first stop was about 60 miles down the road at the Georgia state line welcome center. Yes, there was cheering as we crossed into Georgia from South Carolina.

Georgia Welcome Center on I20 West 10062015

Dig that blue sky!

We munched Pringles (our road trip snack of choice) merrily along until Exit 114, and stopped at the Pilot across the interstate to fuel up for tomorrow’s leg of our journey. Back out on US 129/US 441, we crossed I-20 and cruised down a couple of miles to Country Boys RV Park. This is our third stay here. The park really isn’t much to look at, but it is quite decent for an overnight stay with WiFi that works, cable, good utilities and decent gravel sites. Most of the park is filled with long-term workers, but everyone is friendly and we stop now and then to visit for a bit when we take our strolls around the site loop. We talked quite a while with a young man who is a traveling nurse. I would certainly recommend this as an overnight stay.

Country Boys RV Park Site 59 10062015

Letting our awning dry out a bit here at Country Boys RV Park

If you’ve been watching any coverage of the situation in South Carolina, you’ve heard about dams failing and/or breaching. These have been earthen dams in the area; however, we were never in the path of potential danger from these.

Lake Murray was not too far north from our location in Lexington. The Saluda Dam (or Dreher Shoals Dam) is a large concrete-and-steel dam that is located there. Lake Murray had reached capacity and the dam floodgates were opened at least twice during our stay. This had not happened since 1969, except for testing purposes. South Carolina Emergency Management Division periodically posted reassurances on Facebook that the Lake Murray dam was in no danger of failure, and I certainly did appreciate that. If that dam would fail . . . well . . . we would have been done. Quickly. Period. Truth be told, I feel just flat better being away from there.

Here we have cows lowing in the field next door. Cows have groovy energy.

We traveled 152.9 miles today without incident or discomfort, for which I am very grateful. Tomorrow we’ll be making our way down to Hope Hull, AL, just outside Montgomery, where we will lay over for 6 nights.

Hopefully that stay will be the relaxing time we envisioned for Lexington. Although we were never in immediate danger, the conditions were absolutely uncertain and we never could really let down our guard. I’m looking forward to doing laundry, working my virtual assistant job and transitioning from disaster preparedness mode to enjoying-the-road-trip mode.

Thanks again, everyone, for your continued support and good vibes as we journey along!

Ya’ll stay safe out there!

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!