Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Back on the Road

April 16 & 17, 2015

Thursday (16th)

Two last pictures as we pulled out of our lovely site at River Forks RV Park.

 We head back down Georgia 53 and back to Interstate 85 take the on ramp and head towards South Carolina.

We stop at both welcome centers checking for a campground near the border between South and North Carolina without a lot of luck. One we call is full the other we check out and keep driving. We decide on the Walmart in Gastonia, NC. We walk over to a Pizza place about a block away in a slight drizzle for dinner. The plan is to drive back to Kings Mountain National Military Park in the morning.

Friday (17th)

When we originally planned to visit this park we had planned on camping nearby for a couple of days and then driving over. Now we are pulling the 5th wheel behind us and Tom mentions how we have been to places we realized once we got there had we been towing the 5th wheel behind us we would have been in trouble. He suggests I make a call. The lady I speak to tells me normally it would not have been problem but today is an education day at the park and all the spots have school buses parked in them. So we just turn onto I85 and continue north. We call ahead to an RV park near Linwood, NC and we stop there for the night. I call my friend and confirm we are just a short distance away and will be there just after lunch tomorrow.  I do a last couple of batches of wash and we have a leisurely evening.

Now that we are this close to my friend's I just hope I get some sleep. Mary Beth and I have been friends since before kindergarten and Tom has known her since he met me. She was the maid of honor at our wedding and we are her youngest daughter's godparents. She is Aunt Mary Beth to our kids and her kids call us Aunt Debby and Uncle Tom. Peter we have not really had the opportunity to spend much time with so we are looking forward to having the time to get to know him during this visit. Now if the weather cooperates and gives us a few sunny days that will be "the icing on the cake".

"At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities."
                                                                                                                                    ~Jean Houston

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Delay or Adventure?

April 11-15, 2015

Saturday (11th)

The sun is out and we are headed north towards Montgomery, AL. This is where we leave Interstate 65 and turn onto Interstate 85 which will take us into North Carolina.

We soon leave Alabama behind and cross into Georgia.

We stop at the welcome center to get information about RV parks ahead of us on I85 and find out about a winery just down the road, not far off the interstate, so we decide to take a small detour.
River Bend Winery and Vineyard
This is a small winery that makes their wines from grape juice they buy from California. They have 11 varieties and we decided to try 3 and left with 5 bottles of wine.
We continued on our way. The next part of the day's ride would take us around Atlanta on 285. We have been there before, more then once, and Tom was not looking forward to the drive pulling the Crusader but we were committed and forward we went.
Planes are landing.

Planes are leaving.

The traffic kept coming.
Then we were on the other side and back on Interstate 85. We traveled just about another 30 miles when at this point we hear a very loud bang. Tom maneuvers us onto the shoulder. We know it is a tire we are pretty sure it is one of the Crusader's it is just a matter of  Tom opening the door and getting out into the traffic, no one is even slowing down let alone moving over, to check what has happened. It is one of the tires on the 5th wheel. He could see an exit sign just ahead so very slowly, with our flashers on, we crawl to the exit and up to a gas station.
I took this picture as  we were leaving the area 4 days later.
We were able to get some one to come and change the tire. It is now late Saturday evening and we have no spare. As luck would have it there was a Camping World a few miles down the road. So we drove a couple miles down Georgia 53 and had dinner at Cracker Barrel after which we drove a little farther to the Walmart in Gainesville to spend the night.
Sunday (12th)
The next day we drove over to the Camping World in Oakwood to see what we could do about getting a tire. They have none in stock but can order us one and get it there by Tuesday. Though he did tell us about a tire store in the area that could possibly help us on Monday. We then drove over to the Walmart in Oakwood, park, and discuss our options. (Side note this was our second tire to go on the 5th wheel.) We decided to replace all our tires and called Camping World and told them to go ahead and order what we needed.
We know start looking for a camp ground to stay at. We decided on the River Forks Park a Hall County Park. It was raining and foggy but the pictures below tell the story.


Monday (13th)
We are now parked in a beautiful campgrounds, though it is still raining and foggy, waiting for tires.
I give my friend a call to let her know what is going on and that we will not get there by the 15th. Since, this park only has electric and water hookups Tom heads over to a laundry mat while I take care of some things in the trailer. It may be dreary out but the view is still beautiful.
Tuesday (14th)
The sun has made an appearance and the tires arrived. An appointment is set up for Wednesday to have them put on. We are able to sit out today and since no one is camped next to us Tom moves his chair over by the picnic table next door to enjoy a cigar with his beer. Two ducks walked up the hill to investigate what he was up to.
Views of the lake just at dusk this evening.
Wednesday (15th)
After 5 hours at Camping World the Crusader has "new shoes" and a spare.

We are parked back in our spot. Tonight is free since we camped here Monday and Tuesday and we are relaxing and enjoying the view out our back window. The rain made a come back.

Not a bad way to end the day.

Reflecting back at the last few days the first thing I would say is blowing a tire and stopped along the side of the road with cars going by at around 80 miles an hour is not fun but we made it to the exit and up to the gas station. It was a Saturday but when we called the number advertising towing on the window at the gas station the man came out to help us.  When we did not have all the right tools he went back to his shop to get them and brought back someone else to help. When Tom asked him how much do I owe you he said, well I do not usually change tires I just have a towing service but you sounded like you really needed help which is  why I came. Then he named a ridiculously low amount for the two of them helping us. We waited four days to have the tires replaced but the campground we found is probably one of the prettiest we have stayed at and is on our list of places we would like to spend time at again.

I titled this blog Delay or Adventure? The answer...a resounding...Adventure.  One of the things we learned over our years of camping is you have to accept that things will go wrong and not waste to much time getting upset when they do; you have to just move on. The nice thing about this life style, whether it is "snowbirding" or "fulltiming", is your time is not limited to a two or three week vacation. You have the time "to stop and smell the roses."

"The brook would lose its song if you removed the rocks."
                                                                                                ~Fred Beck


Monday, April 27, 2015

Three Days...Three States

April 8, 9, & 10, 2015

The plan is to do some serious traveling yet to stop if we decide there is something we want to see.

Wednesday (8th)

Our first goal today is to get to the east side of Houston. As many of you probably know Interstate 10 goes straight through Houston and amazingly it is a pretty smooth trip through.

About 25 miles before we reach Houston

Included for Chris, Jody, Frank, and Perry

One of the last things we saw as we left Texas.
The one thing that will stick with us about Texas is how often
we saw the US flag with their state flag flying.

We are in Louisiana.

This car passed us just about a mile before the border
and then parked right under the sign.

Driving through and over the Henderson Swamp.


We see this bridge ahead.
Then we are crossing back over the Mississippi River.

We end the days drive in Denham Springs, Louisiana in the Walmart parking lot.
Thursday (9th)
Today we cross into Mississippi. We stop at the welcome center and decide to drive along the Mississippi Gulf Coast on US90.

It is not long and we have parked to walk down to the gulf.

I finally get my feet in the Gulf of Mexico.

We spend the night at the Martin Lake Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi. Dinner is seafood at one of the many seafood restaurants. (Neither of us can remember the name.)
Friday (10th)
Before we leave the Mississippi Gulf Coast we decide to visit the Gulf Island National Seashore visit center. We also took the time to drive through the campgrounds. This will definitely be a stop next time we come this way.

I did some checking, and if the information I found about these is correct, there are 24 Waffle Houses along the Mississippi Gulf Coast Drive. It seemed liked we passed one every couple of miles so curiosity got the best of me.
Traffic light 79, yes the traffic lights were numbered, the last one we see on US90 before we rejoin Interstate 10 and cross the border into Alabama.
The brochure we received at the welcome center listed
points of interest corresponding with traffic light numbers.
We are in Alabama and the Welcome Center is closed.

Vietnam War Memorial Highway

Closed for Renovations

Purple Heart Trail

Ahead we see a high bridge.

We are at the top and stopped.

We are slowly moving.
We ended up passing two accidents
on our way down. Luckily it did not
look like anyone was hurt.

It is a beautiful day the sky is blue
with lovely fluffy clouds.

Then it clouds over, the rain comes down, and we are in a
Walmart parking lot with two other RV's. By the time it
stopped raining it was dark.
We are parked at the Walmart in Greenville, Alabama and it is where we will spend the night.
Note: When we started our trek East we planned on staying, for the most part, on Interstate 10 until we reached Jacksonville, Florida. We would then turn North and head for North Carolina along the Atlantic Ocean. We discussed this plan as we approached Alabama and decided, for a lot of reasons, to turn North in Mobile, Alabama. So it was at this point we left Interstate 10 and turned north onto Interstate 65.