The road is calling, and I must go! Bright and early I hitch up the RV, a task that isn’t as sweaty as I feared it would be with the clouds rolling in. Then I get on I20 West and…uh, stay on it like forever. Seriously.
Alabama comes quickly, Atlanta is always closer to the border than I think. Another thing that surprises me about Alabama, it’s quite hilly! I guess the Appalachian mountains terminate in northern Alabama, it’s not really mountains I’m driving through but there are some pretty significant hills, it’s no use trying cruise control here. It’s very pretty country though and I’m happy for the abundant clouds. See, this is the first time I’ve done one of these big repositioning trips in the summer, last year I got up to the Badlands early in spring and stayed until fall had started and I missed actually towing the Casita in the heat. I’ve pulled all the food stuff that might melt into Bertha with me (save the chocolate!) and hope that the ups and downs won’t affect the fridge’s ability to keep things cool with near 90 degree weather.
Oh, did I mention that there’s a chance for severe thunderstorms today? As I’m leaving Birmingham an ominous dark wall of clouds stretches across the horizon north to south. I’ve been passing little thunderstorm cells since I left but there’s no avoiding this one.
It gets dark enough that the street lights come on as I and other motorists pass underneath the wall, I’ve slowed down expecting to get hit with something, and everyone else on the road is doing the same.
It’s wind, very strong wind. There is almost no rain at all and the lightning and thunder isn’t real intense, but the wind makes the trees along the side of the road go crazy. We’re lucky. Because the storm is moving west to east the wind blasts us head on and doesn’t cause any unexpected lane changes. It’s a very brief gust, and then the wall cloud has moved on and we get a more typical soaking from the lighter clouds behind it.
When checking for leaks after driving through the heavy rain (none, yay!) I discover that none of my battery powered electrics in the RV are working, merp. Well, at least I’m heading to Little House Customs anyway to get work done, no extra trip needed!
Tonight’s stop is a Walmart in Meridian, MS just off I20. The rain has cooled things down and sleeping isn’t too bad despite not having AC.
Today I get back on I20, and keep driving west. This part of Mississippi is hilly too, though not as much as Alabama was. The rain showers continue, but they’re not heavy enough to slow me down. Everything is amazingly green and the streams and rivers I pass are all high, must have been a lot of rainfall here lately.
Late in the morning I cross into Louisiana and for the second time manage to get a shot of the Welcome sign, wow, I rarely never manage that. Someday I want to come back and spend some time in these three states, this is the second time I’ve come through without being able to sight see, but time is of the essence. The bayous I can see from the interstate in LS are intriguing. I wonder if the bugs are really bad in them, I’d think so but then again I haven’t had a chance to get out of the truck and explore. Some day!
Tonight is another Walmart stop shortly after crossing into Texas in the town of Longview. There are a lot of birds in the trees in and around the lot, I can never remember what they’re called but they’re medium sized, males are black and females are brown and they have longer tails and make several distinctive calls. They sing me to sleep tonight, I keep a window cracked because it’s very hot and humid out and I need any breeze I can get. I’m not worried about intruders, the parking lot security guy came over and introduced himself shortly after I showed up, a kindly older man who enjoys talking. He says he’ll keep an eye on the rig over night.
Well, I’m not too far from LHC now but not due in until tomorrow. As a full-time RVer that makes this a “vacation day”.
Tyler State Park sits between Longview and Yantis, and google reviewers have praised it for it’s hiking trails and nice lake, sounds good to me! By 10 am I’m at the park, anxiously awaiting in line while two other campers ahead of me check in at the office. Outside the sky has gotten dark and thunder is rumbling near continuously, it’s another severe thunderstorm watch day.
Luckily the rain holds out until I make it to my spot and check in. It’s a lovely park. If you’re coming here with a RV you have options: Water only, water and electric, water, electric and sewer, and water, electric and sewer with a lakeside view. Prices start at $14 a night for the first up to $26 a night for the last. I choose the Cedar Point camping area, with is water and electric at $20 a night and set on a hill above the lake with younger oak and mature pine. The sites all seem to be paved, there are back ins and pull-throughs located in every camping area so check a map before making a reservation if you prefer one over the other. Having shore power I confirm that all of my electric stuff is working fine, it’s got to be something wrong with my battery.
The hiking trails at this park are very well laid out. There are four of them and they’re all loops that allow bicycling – hikers travel one direction and bikers the other. Due to the rain I don’t have the opportunity to do more than peek at one of the trails: Loop B located on the northeast end of the campground. I do walk down to the lake however which looks particularly stunning with sky above being so dramatic with the scattered showers. Like in the other states I’ve passed through the water level is high, or at least higher than it’s been in the recent past with several smaller trees poking up out of the lake edge. Near the boat dock there is a wooden bridge that leads out to an island with several benches on it facing the water. I pull my kindle out and read in one for a while, life is good.
Later in the evening I Enjoy A Shower. Normally this would not be an event worthy of mention in a blog post let alone being capitalized but you don’t understand. I’d been stuck using the teeny little showers on the festival grounds in Fairburn for months now and they were pretty awful. Compared to that, this state park shower is the height of luxury. I can adjust the temperature, the shower head is high enough that no stooping is necessary, the water pressure actually rinses conditioner out of my hair, and I have so much space inside! I can bend over and reach my feet to clean them. I can stick out my elbows to lather my hair without fear of bruising. I can do jumping jacks! Okay maybe not that last one but you get the point. It was a good shower.
Bright and early at the hour of 9…well that’s early for me… I depart Tyler State Park and drive the last hour to Little House Customs.
As always, Larry and Debbie treat me like family. I pester Larry with questions while he works which he answers fully and without complaint. I’m getting my hitch adjusted, and an emergency brake-away brake thingy installed. My friction pads should no longer wear away abnormally quickly, yay! I also complete and send in two more job applications while he works and do my laundry.
Larry brings it to my attention in the afternoon that someone who wishes to remain anonymous has donated $100 to my bill. I don’t know who you are, but I imagine you read my blog. Thank you very much, and thank you also to everyone out there who have ever done a random act of kindness for someone. Despite the prevailing thought that people are dangerous and selfish, I’ve found that most people are actually pretty awesome – particularly RVers. If you ever need your faith in humanity restored, go spend some time getting to know your neighbors in a campground.
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Still a bit behind but it’s getting late and I need some sleep! Tonight I’m enjoying the drier climate of central Texas, tomorrow’s another travel day but after that I’ll probably be more stationary again for a couple days and can catch up on the travelogue. Hope everyone’s having a good weekend!