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!

 

 

  

 

 

 

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!

It Doesn’t Even Have a Name

This massive rainstorm doesn’t even have a name, although it is certainly worthy of one. I imagine you have heard about the devastating rain event occurring here in South Carolina. We are in Lexington, which is probably a bit under 10 miles west of Columbia, one of the hardest hit areas. We have been very fortunate so far with no flooding issues whatsoever. Turns out our neighbors across the street used to live in Lexington for several years, so they are quite familiar with the surrounding areas. It was great to get some information about what to expect (or not) here and so forth. We exchanged phone numbers this morning and both turned off city water in case of contamination and disconnected sewer hoses from the ground connection in case the sewer system backed up.

Later today, Columbia was advising residents to boil their water. Lexington has not issued such an advisory so far, but better to protect our rig than be sorry later.

Barnyard RV Park break in rains 10042015

This is what we had for about 10 minutes this afternoon, including a wee showing of sunshine. We started on a walk, as did several others in the park, but the rains came on again, so we headed home. That’s us up front on the left.

Yes, Susan (Travel Bug), I have the AccuWeather app, along with The Weather Channel, WunderMap, FloodWatch (USGS service), iDamage, NOAA Radar, Weather Alerts, the Red Cross, FEMA and a Police Scanner app among others on my iPhone. Conditions on the site in New Jersey necessitated that we be in touch and aware of weather and our environment up there, as we were subject to severe conditions such as Nor’Easters and were parked by a river. Thanks for your suggestion!

Dave went to bed last night a bit before midnight, but I was too wired to sleep and wanted to be up to monitor what was happening since we are in an unfamiliar location. I tell ya, the rains were absolutely torrential. Epic. Biblical. My phone kept sounding with alarms. At about 4 AM this morning, I felt confident enough that flooding was not going to be an immediate issue and I was able to get about 4 hours of snooze time in my recliner with Maggie snuggled on my lap.

There were lights on in quite a few of our neighbors, so I wasn’t the only one keeping vigil.

The rain has eased up today but has been fairly steady, and it has been a bit breezy. Our forecast is calling for possibly 1-2 additional inches through Monday. We have decided to stay Monday night and continue our journey westward on Tuesday, which is looking pretty good at this point.

Amazingly, this morning quite a few rigs pulled out during heavy downpours, hoping for better conditions elsewhere. We watched them leave, hoping they would be safe. Advisories were being issued for people to stay off the roads even this morning. I hope these RVers did not run into any issues on the roads. We know some sections of I-20, I-95 and I-77 (I think that’s the one) have been closed due to flooding. There are numerous secondary roads that are flooded and washed out.

We’re just more comfortable with waiting until conditions improve a bit more and we feel it is safer to travel.

I talked with our destinations in Madison, GA (Tuesday’s stop) and Montgomery, AL to change our reservations yet once again. The park in Madison has not flooded; they did not get the rain that we have seen.

The rest of today has been just hanging out and watching The Weather Channel coverage of the events unfolding here in South Carolina.  Since we travel well stocked with groceries, it was homemade quesadillas for dinner tonight. Comfort food!

We so appreciate the messages here and on Facebook and the phone calls I’ve received today from everyone checking up on us. Ya’ll rock! It’s so nice to know so many people are thinking of us and helping keep us safe.

I hope this has made sense. I’m pretty tired tonight. I’ll have shower in a bit and then I am going to actually go to bed tonight. I bet I sleep!

Stay safe out there, okay?

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!