Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, totally worn out, shouting "Wow...What a Ride!"

Sunday, April 30, 2017

On To Lake Shelbyville IL

April 10-30, 2017

We finally had to say goodbye to Curt & Glenda as we parted ways on Monday morning. They have been awesome traveling partners, great walking buddies and we can't wait to do it again. While it was sad parting ways we know we'll see them soon when they head to IL to visit family.

We had just over 800 miles to go to Shelbyville IL so we broke it up into 3 travel days. Once we got out of the Mobile AL area we had an enjoyable travel day staying off of interstates and riding some major US routes.

I have been contemplating taking a turn driving while the RV is attached. I'm very comfortable driving our big truck and Dave's recent illness just reiterated why I should do it. So today was the big day. Of course there are no pictures, I think Dave was a little too frightened to take pictures. I spent a few hours behind the wheel, made a few mistakes but that's what learning is all about. I drove thru Columbus MS and we made it to DeWayne Hayes COE just north of Columbus safely and in one piece. After checking in I gave the wheel back to Dave, not quite ready to tackle backing into a site.

DeWayne Hayes is another beautiful COE park, most sites are large and while they all have water and electric some also have sewer. We enjoyed our two nights there, even had a fire one night. They have some trails you can walk, it is located on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway with boat access.

Our next stop was at Reelfoot Lake State Park in northwester KY. A walk around the park and all we could think of was Duck Dynasty and Deliverance had all come together. The park left a little to be desired, folks are allowed to stay for months on end so it really has the feel of a fish camp.

While the view is nice what's not showing is what made us decide to only stay one night. Just behind us was the boat ramp and our view was soon obscured by trucks parking after dropping their boats. Diesel fumes coming in the rv when ever there were trucks running, early morning fishermen with loud trucks, one night was enough.

The next morning we were on the road to our summer volunteer gig. We arrived by 1pm and were let into the park by one of the other volunteers. The park didn't open till 4/20, we volunteers had the campground to ourselves for a little bit.


 One of the things they allow at this COE is the gathering of fallen wood. You can even use a chain saw to chunk up some of the longer pieces. We invested in a $50 electric chain saw and laid in hopefully a full season of wood.

Some of the nicest sites at Opossum Creek are the tent sites. All three points have tent sites at the end of the loops.

Site 24, water, electric and 60' long, one of the best sites in the park. If anyone is coming for a visit this is the site you want to try for. There are also quite a few full hookup sites, some you can reserve and some are walk-in only.

Site 24, the best view of all the rv sites.

We are enjoying being here near my folks. We've seen them a number of times already. We've have met most of the other volunteers and already have sat around a few fires with them. We have "worked" two days at the visitors center and that went well. We're looking forward to our summer here near family and friends, a few couples we know have already made reservations here and we look forward to their arrival.

As much of the summer will be just living here in the area I once again won't be posting much. We hope you all have a safe summer whatever you're doing.

Until next time...

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Party/Reunion Time at Gulf State Park Gulf Shores AL

April 1-9, 2017

Back when Curt was planning our trip across the Gulf Coast and we decided to stay in Gulf Shores AL some of friends from our AK caravan caught wind of it. Before too long a bunch of couples had made reservations in the same park...a reunion was born.

 Over the years I've heard about Gulf State Park and was excited to check it out. It's all and more than what people have said. With 400+ FHU sites, miles and miles of trails good for walking and biking, a swimming pool, store, large laundry, tennis and basketball courts, there is something for everyone.
We had a few days of rainy weather but most of the days were sunny. Early in our visit Dave started feeling poorly, sometimes it would seem like it would go away and then there were days when he didn't want to do anything. We arrived on a Saturday and on Thursday we took him to a walk in clinic. Turns out his last dinner of oysters in MS must have had a bad one in it, he had an intestinal bacteria and was given a super antibiotic to kill it. With in a few days of starting it along with Kefir and yogurt he was feeling better. Unfortunately he missed some of the fun dinners out which means no pictures of those fun times.

One morning we headed to Pensacola FL to see the Blue Angels practice, the precision and courage they have to fly such tight formations is amazing. All these photos were taken with my phone. If you ever have the opportunity to see them do so, you'll be impressed.

All 6 back down on the ground safely, what an awesome show.

One rainy day we went to the Flora-Bama to play Bingo, it's free, you get one card and use it to usually play two games. A few in the group won including Curt who just happened to win when a 6 pack of Fat Tire beer was the prize.

It was a great time reconnecting and renewing friendships made on our Alaska caravan, for Curt and Glenda their friends' list has grown.
Lou & Phyllis
Terry & Owen

Greg & Cheryl

Donna & Carl
Cathy & Steve

Dixie & Jack

Janice, Sharon & Tommy
Mike & Sandy

Liz & Mike
Curt & Glenda

We had a great time with everyone and look forward to when our paths cross again. Safe travels to you all.

We've had a great time traveling with Curt & Glenda and look forward to more adventures with them. You can check out their blog Camp Lowry: That's How We Roll-Avery Island, Tabasco and Gulf State Park for their take on meeting up with all the crazy caravan people.

Until next time...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Texas to Mississippi: Rolling (Eating) With The Lowry's

March 21-31, 2017

We left Port Aransas TX the same way we arrived, with a short ferry ride. An early uneventful departure made for an early arrival at Brazos Bend State Park near Needville TX.

Curt and Glenda arrived about an hour after we did. Let the fun times begin. Aside from going to get the truck fueled up and a few groceries we spent our 3 days in the park. We've been to Brazos Bend before but this time, unlike our last two stays, the weather was perfect. We spent our days walking the trails, eating well, sitting around campfires getting caught up and enjoying the park.

Brazos Bend SP has a large alligator population, many of their trails are along side of the small lakes they inhabit which makes walking these trails heart stopping at times.

We had a great time at Brazos Bend and look forward to a return visit in the future.

Our next stop was Palmetto Island State Park near Abbeville LA. This was a new park to us, we've driven through before but have never stayed. The main goal here was for the rest of the group to get their crawfish and oyster fix in.

While Palmetto Island SP is lacking in trails they have lots of roads and we spent every morning getting our steps in and then found something fun to do afterwards.

Curt & Glenda have visited the area before but never toured the Tabasco Museum so off we went. Their store had many samples to try including raspberry chipolte tabasco ice cream which was much better than the jalepeno tabasco ice cream.

Jungle Island Gardens is part of the McIlhenny (founders of Tabasco) estate, there are abundant plant and wildlife exhibits.

We found a local Crawfish Etouffee Festival in Eunice LA where we got to sample many different Etouffee's and the boys got in some more crawfish. Dave didn't bring his camera and I didn't do a good job with my I-phone so no pictures of the great Etouffee's we tasted.

We were entertained by a great Zydeco band

We got to sit with some of the local beauty queens.

We made it to two local famous eateries.

Dave & Curt enjoying oysters at Shucks.

Crawfish for the three of them at Richards.

 Our next stop was at Buccaneer State Park in Waveland MS, a place all of us had been to before. The boys were still in search of seafood.

Our days were filled with getting our daily walks in, getting supplies, the boys having crawfish for lunch and dinners out. Waveland MS has been devastated by  hurricanes in the past but keeps coming back strong. While many homes are still missing just as many and more have been rebuilt, our daily walks took us along Beach Rd where the affects can be seen still. A new pier has been built with lots of fishing stations on it.

Looking for Geocaches

A beautiful place for our daily walks.

Still eating crawfish, by the time we left Waveland they had quite the dent in the crawfish population. 

Just down Beach Rd in Bay St Louis there is a restaurant called 200 Main St. Oysters and beer is half price 4-6 Monday thru Friday, guess who indulged. 

Check out Curt's blog for his recount of the same time period. We've been having a good time traveling with them, we still have 9 more days with them as we head to Gulf Shores AL where we'll meet up with some of our Alaska caravan friends. 

Until next time...