The other day I was going to the post office in Tuscaloosa to mail off some orders and was stopped at a traffic light when a man in the vehicle behind me got out and walked up to my window and said, “Hello Nick.” It was longtime reader and friend Jack Allen. He and his wife Nell Dahl were staying at another nearby RV park. Once the light changed we pulled over into a parking lot and had a quick visit. It’s always nice to run into friends everywhere we go.
In spite of the cold weather, rain, and even snow, we really enjoyed our week in Tuscaloosa hanging out with my son Travis and his wife Geli. For much of Travis’ childhood I was a single father, and while I wasn’t the best parent in the world, I think he’s come to realize that I always tried, and we have a special bond. We’re looking forward to getting back up there to see them again when it warms up a bit.
We left Tuscaloosa yesterday morning about 10 o’clock, drove west on Interstate 59 for 36 miles, and then took US Highway 43 south, passing through rolling hill country and several small towns, including Demopolis, Thomasville, and Jackson. It rained while we were on the interstate, but stopped just as we got off and onto the two lane highway.
Whenever we can, these are the kind of roads we love to travel on. You can be on Interstate 75 in Ohio, or I-40 in Arkansas, or I-80 across Nebraska and they’re all pretty much the same. The same truck stops, the same generic eateries; it gets boring.
But on the secondary roads you really get to see America. All day long we passed houses with sofas on their front porches, and enjoyed the architecture of the buildings in the small towns we drove through. At one point we passed a field with several sculptures and it reminded us of the Enchanted Highway up in North Dakota.
For the first 90 miles, US Highway 43 was a good two lane road. There were a few rough patches, but they never lasted more than a mile or two and weren’t that bad.
When we got to Thomasville the road turned into a divided four-lane. Eventually we connected with Interstate 65, but rather than take it on into Mobile we turned east and followed it 15 miles to State Highway 59, another good two lane road that we took south all the way to Summerdale.
But before we got to that point, Interstate 65 had a nasty little surprise for me. Well, actually a big surprise. A very high bridge we had to cross. And you know how I feel about bridges! It wasn’t enough that it was high, it also had a curve way up there in the air. Yes, there was some sniveling done, along with a good deal of whining. But Miss Terry talked me across.
It only took an hour and a half, or a lifetime, or maybe it was just five minutes or so before we were on the downhill slope. I’m not sure because I think I kept my eyes closed most of the way across and a death grip on the steering wheel.
Right after the big one there were a couple of smaller bridges we had to cross, and just for fun, the state highway department threw in a construction zone.
Once we got to Summerdale and turned onto County Road 28, we had to get off of it and take a detour through the countryside. We made it to the Escapees Rainbow Plantation co-op about 3 PM. As we always do at an Escapees campground, we got a warm welcome. This is one of our favorite Escapees parks, with roomy RV sites, a nice activity center, a swimming pool, and lots of friendly people.
I had reserved a 50 amp full hookup RV site, but the place is really crowded and the only one they had was under trees where our rooftop satellite TV dish would not work. Fortunately, there was a 30 amp full hookup site that would give us a clear shot at the sky, so we chose that instead.
The weather is comfortable so we probably won’t need a heater, and we definitely won’t need any air-conditioning. Of course, I brought my personal rain cloud with me and about 7 PM it started to rain and kept it up all night long, with some thunder thrown in for dramatic effect.
We’ll be here a week, then it’s on to Florida, where the folks in Miami are awaiting my arrival and preparing for a blizzard.
Thought For The Day – There never was a good war, or a bad peace. – Benjamin Franklin