Finishing Up 2016

Here we are in February already! Time to get things caught up, but before we start 2017 I thought we should at least finish up the previous year. I believe my last blog was back in October.

We were headed to Kentucky. We stayed in Salvisa, KY while Linda worked in Danbury, KY. We actually had trick or treaters while there and some of Linda’s family came to visit.

In November we traveled to LaGrange, GA. We had a quiet Thanksgiving with lots to be thankful for.

After Thanksgiving comes Linda’s ‘birthday month’ and she wanted to stick her toes in the sand so we headed to a campground in Summerdale, AL. This was close to the Gulf Shores. We were able to make a quick trip so that she could indeed stick her toes in the sand.

Linda needed to work in Selma, AL after that so we stayed at an AC campground in Lowndesboro, AL. This is the first time we stayed at an Army Corp of Engineers campground. I was impressed. Well maintained with lots of room between sites. Some do not have full hook-ups but their facilities are decent. The general rule is that you can only stay at one site for 14 days. Then you have to either leave or go to another site that is available. Because it was a slow time of the year we didn’t have to move and we celebrated both Christmas and New Years there.

So that is how we spent the end of the year. Just to recap, these are the places we stayed and visited in 2016:

January: Townsend, GA; Walterboro, SC; Beaufort, SC

February: Perry, GA; Dozier, AL; Andalusia, AL; Destin, FL; Gulf Shores, AL

March: Birmingham, AL; Crestview, FL; DeFuniak Springs, FL; Pensacola, FL

April: Opp, AL; Enterprise, AL; Goshen, AL; Cornersville, TN; Georgetown, KY; Frankfort, KY; West Union, OH; Peebles, OH

May: Lexington, KY; Dry Ridge, KY; Seaman, OH

June: Tecumseh, MI

July: Remington, IN; Michigan City, MI; Marion, IL; Batesville, MS; Oxford, MS; Memphis, TN

August: Adrian, MI; Ann Arbor, MI

September: Lebanon, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Cornersville, TN; Troy, AL

October: Cornersville, TN; Salvisa, KY; Danville, KY

November: McDonald, TN; LaGrange, GA

December: Summerdale, AL; Lowndesboro, AL; Selma, AL

We have been traveling quite a bit around the Southeast. Some places might have only been for one night. Others places we stayed a week and some a month or two. We have been very fortunate in our travels and are thankful.

Last year found Linda back in the hospital for another operation. She has recovered with thanks to family and friends. We pray that 2017 finds her healthy and staying out of the hospital!

Though we were greatly blessed we did suffer some sad moments in 2016. We lost both our traveling buddies / fur babies. Nicky passed away in August and Maureen passed away in December. We miss them both so much.

 

We pray for continued blessings and favor for the New Year. Not only for us but also for our family, friends and those we meet along the road.

So now on we go to 2017!

 

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Destinations #23 – #26: Mississippi, Michigan, Ohio and Alabama

It has been a while since my last post and a lot has happened.  Let’s begin with destination #23 which was Oxford, Mississippi.  We actually stayed at the Batesville Civic Center Campground in Batesville, Mississippi from July 16th until August 4th.  Let me just say that it was hot.  The temperature with the heat index averaged 105 on a daily basis.  The humidity was usually 90 percent if not higher.  Needless to say we didn’t do too much outside.  When you went outside the heat and humidity hit you like a brick wall and all you wanted to do was get inside and find some AC.

Unfortunately our AC decided to cause  problems and we ended up spending time in a couple of hotels while we got it fixed.  Some repairs we had done in Andalusia, Alabama were not done correctly so we had to pay to get them corrected.  Very frustrating.  We were able to get the AC and refridgerator fixed in time and head towards Michigan.

On route to Michigan we stopped overnight in Marion, Illinois and Anderson, Indiana.  We try not to travel more than 4 or 5 hours a day.  We reached destination #24 Adrian, MI on August 6th.  We actually spent the night in the parking lot of our church so that we could attend church August 7th.  Then we moved the 5th wheel to my brother’s property where we stayed until September 10th.

Our destinations usually are driven by where Linda needs to be for her job.  This img_3805destination was different.  We returned to Michigan because Linda was scheduled for an adrenalectomy on August 12th.  Since her nephrectomy in 2014 her doctor had been watching a nodule on her adrenal gland and unfortunately it turned out to be kidney cancer.  This surgery involved the DaVinci robot at the University of Michigan hospital.  It was a less invasive surgery but the recovery was not as easy as expected.  Linda made it through and recovered with the help, love and support of family and friends.

Though still sore and worn out from surgery, we left Michigan on September 10th and headed to destination #25 Lebanon, Ohio.  We spent a week there.  Linda’s nephew got married on September 17th in the Cincinnati area.  The wedding was very nice and Linda got to see a lot of her family and friends.

Celebration time over, we headed to destination #26 Troy, Alabama.  We stopped overnight in Cornersville, Tennessee at the Texas T Campground.  We have stopped a couple of times at this campground because it is easy off and on while traveling Hwy 65.  We reached Troy, Alabama on September 19th and stayed until October 7th.

Troy, Alabama was warm but not like Mississippi in July!  After about a week it started to cool down and the humidity decreased.  We were able to turn off the AC and open up windows and enjoy the fresh air.  Linda spent a lot of time working so we did not do too much sightseeing.  We did drive around one Saturday and visited Montgomery and Selma.  Linda has a job site in Selma, Alabama in a couple of months so we will be returning to Alabama.

So that gets us caught up on where we have been lately.  When we left Troy, Alabama we stayed overnight in Cornersville, Tennessee.  We were traveling Hwy 65 again and this time it would take us to our next destination:  Danville, Kentucky.

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On a sad note we lost one of our travelers.  Our cat of almost 16 years passed away from liver failure on August 18th.  Nicky enjoyed traveling in the truck and being outside in the sun wherever we were.  He was small but big in our hearts and we dearly miss him on our travels.

 

Destinations #19 – #22: Michigan, Indiana and Illinois

Not sure how I got behind but I did!  Let me get you caught up with where and what we have been doing lately.

Destination #19:  Tecumseh, MI  6/4/16-7/1/16

After Kentucky we headed to Michigan.  Linda had some doctor appointments so we also took this opportunity to get together with family and friends.  We really liked that we are able to go to “our”church.  It was interesting being back in this area.  When we get to a new destination we always have to research grocery stores, pet stores, restaurants and churches.  We have to use the Garmin to find our way around.  Not the case during this stay.  We knew where everything was and how to get there.  Kind of nice to “go home”.

We stayed at the Indian Creek Campground.  It was a nice campground except for the owner.  He was a little grumpy and rude.  We had some electrical issues and he wasn’t overly nice about it.  Issue was resolved but I think he blamed us for it; however, it is like the chicken and the egg.  Which came first?  What caused what?  Water over the bridge now but just didn’t make for a good camping experience.  What made the time better was visiting with family and friends.  We met some for dinner at local restaurants.  We had a few over for a campfire at the campground.

Even though we are traveling, Linda still works Monday through Friday remotely.  While she works I try to paint some.  I was able to finish two paintings during this time and mailed to their  new homes.  I am thinking of going into pet portraiture, open an Etsy account and make business cards.

This stay went by fast and July 4th was fast approaching.  Unfortunately this campground was fully booked for the holiday weekend when I made our reservations.  So we headed to our next destination:  Remington, Indiana.

Destination #20:  Remington, IN  7/1/16 – 7/9/16

I chose the Caboose Campground in Remington, Indiana because it was on the way to Michigan City, Indiana (destination #22).  It was a nice campground with a small lake.  They have a lot of activities for kids so it makes a nice weekend destination for families.  They also had special activities planned for the 4th.

 

This part of Indiana is covered with miles and miles of corn.  There is also a large windmill farm amongst the corn.  We had fun driving and getting lost in the corn fields when we met with our friend Amy and her family for dinner.  It is always nice to visit with friends you haven’t seen in like forever!

Time to leave the corn and travel towards Lake Michigan.  Next destination:  Michigan City, Indiana.

Destination #21:  Michigan City, IN  7/9/16 – 7/13/16

The main reason for this destination was to celebrate the 80th birthday of Cindy’s Mom.  Her family rented a house in Michigan Shores.  The Michigan City Campground was 20 minutes from the house and it was a nice campground.  Michigan City has a lot to offer and is a neat area to spend time.

The time with family was too little and passed quickly.  Before we knew it we were back on the road heading to our next destination:  Marion, Illinois.

Destination #22:  Marion, IL  7/13/16 – 7/16/16

Ok, this is really sad.  NO pictures at all of this site.  We stayed at the Marion Campground because it was just off the highway and half way to our next destination.  It was really hot and muggy during this time and it reached 105 with the heat index.   Did not realize this area got so hot!

When we got ready to leave we tried to empty our tanks and found that the dump housing was cracked and nothing would drain.  We had to move to another site to empty our tanks. Luckily it wasn’t too bad and we were able to get on the road at a decent time.  We had a bit of a drive to reach our next destination:  Oxford, Mississippi.

 

Destination #18: Dry Ridge, KY 5/14/16 – 6/4/16

We drove only 40 miles to our next campsite.  We tried to get as close to Ohio as possible so Linda could go to some graduations.  Due to Memorial day that proved to be hard to do.  Most campsites were booked for that weekend so we couldn’t reserve a spot for the time frame we needed.  We ended up finding a spot at the Cincinnati South Campground located between Dry Ridge, KY and Crittenden, KY.

This campground use to be a KOA and was now privately owned.  There had been a lot of rain lately so things were a little muddy but not too bad.  The campground had lots of trees and grass.  Nice change from the previous campsite which was mostly gravel.  They also had lots of roses, peonies and small gardens.  During our stay we had a few neighbors but not many long term.  A lot of campers came and stayed a few nights or overnight and then went on their way.  I was quite impressed by the two gentlemen that were always working around the campground.  They really were trying to improve it and their efforts showed each day we stayed there.

This stay was pretty quiet.  Linda worked remotely for her job.  I painted, cleaned and did laundry.  We drove to southern Ohio on two weekends for graduations.  We found a dog park for Maureen on the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio.  We did take in a baseball game.  The Florence Freedom team was only about 20 minutes away from the campground.  Their stadium was right off of 75 in Florence, KY.  I was a lot like seeing the Toledo Mudhens play.  We had fun that night.

The last thing Linda wanted to do before leaving the area was see Noah’s Ark which is being built in Williamstown, KY.  It is being built to actual size.  It wasn’t open yet.  It is still under construction.  The Ark Encounter is slated to open July 7, 2016.  We got as close as we could for a picture.  It was impressive.  If you notice the school bus next to the ark you can get an idea of the size of this thing.

 

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The next day we took down camp and headed north to Michigan.  We are returning to the mitten state for some doctor appointments.  With no work destination until August 1st we will float around.  (Get it.  Float around.  Noah’s ark up above.  Some times I crack me up!)  So stay tuned and see where we shore up in the next coming months. ( Shore up.  Too funny!)

Destination #17: Georgetown, KY 4/9/16 – 5/14/16

I was a little nervous getting back on the road after staying put for two months.  You always wonder if you will remember everything you need to do.  Luckily Linda created two checklists that we follow.  One for setting up camp and one for taking down camp and hitting the road.  I highly suggest making your own to follow as it makes sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s crossed!

Alabama is about 9 hours from Kentucky.  We normally only like to travel 5 hours max so we made a pit stop in Cornersville, TN and stayed at the Texas T Campground.  It was a nice little campground just off Highway 65.  I asked about the name.  Apparently the original owner of the campground came from Texas during the oil boom and used his money to create the campground.  The owners have changed but they kept the name.

We stayed two nights in Connersville and then left for Georgetown on April 9th.  We really wanted to stay in Frankfort, KY because Linda would be working at the local paper there.  The campground we wanted to stay at in Frankfort was full so we got a site at Whispering Hills RV Park in Georgetown, KY instead.  It was about a 35 minute drive back and forth to her job site.

Whispering Hills RV Park was in general all right.  You never know what you are going to get for a camp site unless you actually visit the campground prior to arrival.  The site they put us on was so small there was no room to park the truck.  Luckily there was part of a site not being used two doors down so I snuck the truck in there.  I left a note with my phone number so they could call me if they needed it moved.  They never called so I guess it was ok.

The park in general had a lot of gravel and a little bit of grass.  Sites were really close together and those staying for a while were really packed in.  We looked into moving to a different site but was told there were no openings.  Sites were reserved to campers coming in.  We kept watching sites that were open and no one ever seemed to arrive.  Made us scratch our heads.  But we decided to make the most of it where we were and it turned out ok.  Linda made friends with the neighbors (which she always seems to do) and bonded with Captain.  Captain was a wire-haired Jack Russell terrier who loved to bark at everything.  The park was full of dogs so Maureen got to meet lots of new friends on her daily walks.

We didn’t really do much sightseeing during this time.  Linda ended up working a lot.  During the drive back and forth to work we saw lots of pastures, horses and cows.  One weekend we drove to a couple campgrounds closer to Frankfort to see if we wanted to move.  They were close to the Kentucky River and when we heard there was a slight chance of the campgrounds being flooded we decided it was better to stay put.  During our explorations we did see lots of blooms, a covered bridge and some waterfalls.

We also discovered a great church to attend while in the area.  The New Union Christian Church in Versailles, KY is a small church with a warm, welcoming congregation that is led by a fabulous lady, the Rev. Dr. Nancy J. Kemper.  We really enjoyed her sermons.  (She is running for Congress and I sure wish I could vote for her!)   The dogwoods in the church courtyard were in bloom during this time and were quite a site to see.

During our stay here we didn’t see the Derby (in person).  We didn’t see Keeneland.  We didn’t see the Horse Park.  All things to see if we do return to the area again.  But we did see Ward Hall!  It was a summer home built by a plantation owner from Mississippi.  It was quite interesting to tour.  You can click here to learn more about Ward Hall.

Our time in Georgetown comes to a close but we aren’t leaving Kentucky just yet.  We are staying in the area but closer to Ohio so Linda can attend some family graduations.  Then we will be returning to Michigan.  From there you just never know so be sure and check back with us as we continue our RV quest across America!

 

Wall Murals Of Andalusia, Alabama

There have been several cities or towns we have been to that have wall murals.  I try and take a picture of them when I can.  Some are simple while others are quite detailed.  Most try to document the history of the area.  They are really quite interesting.

Andalusia has at least 10 murals if not more.  Before we left the area I drove around trying to capture them all.  I may have missed some but here are the photos of the ones I got.  I hope you enjoy them.

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Destination #16: Andalusia, AL 2/13/16-4/6/16 Part B

It has been a while since I posted Part A.  We have been in campsites with little or no WIFI signal and our data has been used up quickly.  Now we are at a campsite with decent WIFI so I am getting back on track.

This post picks up where I left off which is around mid March.  My birthday was fast approaching and we needed to do something about the license plate on the truck.  We decided to get Florida license plates since we did not know how long we would be full timing it.  We made a day trip to Crestview, FL and took care of all that fun stuff.  While in the area we drove over to DeFuniaks Springs.  It is home to a naturally round spring fed lake and several neat old houses.

The next day we took a road trip for my birthday.  I had found on line an old church in Scotland, Alabama.  I thought it might make a fun trip to drive there and see it.  The trip was only suppose to be about 3 hours but it ended up being 8 hours!  But we had fun driving in areas of Alabama that most people never see.

We were able to see a ballet performance of Sleeping Beauty performed by the Andalusia Ballet Company.  They did a nice job and it was nice to support the arts again.  We miss going to the theatre and need to do more of that while on the road.

When on the road we always try to find a dog park so Maureen can make new friends.  We heard of one in Pensacola, FL.  She enjoyed the time making new 2 legged and 4 legged friends.

This part of Alabama was hit with several bad storms while we were there.  We had a few scares and had to spend time in the safe areas of the campground.  Thankfully nothing major happened to the campground we were staying at.  Everyone kept saying ‘this isn’t normal weather we are having’.  Figures!

After the sun came out we took one more road trip to explore the cities to the east of Andalusia.  We drove through Opp, Enterprise and Goshen. Goshen is where we found an excellent restaurant, The Old Barn.  It is probably the best restaurant we have been to in quite a while.  Great steak!   We returned to it as often as we could.

During this part of our stay in the Andalusia area we had our truck serviced.  It was just suppose to be an oil change but apparently there were oil leaks in 3 different areas.  They changed the oil and then wanted me to drive it around for 500 miles and return so they could try and pinpoint where it was leaking oil.  Eventually they had to pull the transmission to fix one of them.  We got a loaner and the repairs took 3 days.  Happy to say that the truck , Stitch, is working just fine and pulling the 5th wheel, Lulu, like a champ!

The truck wasn’t the only thing needing work.  Lulu, the 5th wheel, decided she needed a new converter, new gasket for the AC and a new water inlet connector.  So it was Mr. Mobiles RV Service to the rescue.  He stopped by on his way home from vacation in Tennessee to see what we needed to fix the problems.  He got the parts ordered and installed the next day.  All of this happened the same time the truck was being serviced.  I am so thankful everything turned out as well as it did.  Thanks be to God we were still able to leave when we were suppose to!

So after two months in Alabama we bid it adieu, packed everything up and on May 7th we headed to our next destination:  Georgetown, Kentucky.