Thursday, August 18, 2022

In Florida, Not Home Yet


Yes, we are in Florida...but we have another 285 miles to go to get home.  Sitting in the Stay N Go RV Park in Marianna...a Passport America Park, but PA prices are not good for pull-through sites.  With the car acting up, I needed a pull-through, so we paid the $45 price for a pull-through.  Good thing is that there is a restaurant right next door, so we had a good dinner to-go, which we ate in the motorhome....just a short walk which I made without any problems.

Once we left the park in Tupelo around 7:15, it did not take long to get into Alabama.  Of the 371 miles we drove today, 310 of them were in Alabama, about half on Interstate, and half on US Highways.  The thing about the US Highways is that it includes stop lights, entrances and exits to stores and gas stations, etc.  Overall, we actually like this new to us route to Arkansas compared to the I-10 to Mobile, US Highways from Mobile to Jackson Mississippi, then I-20 into Louisiana, then another US Highway up to Pine Bluff.  The biggest factor is that this route has MUCH BETTER roadway conditions than our normal route.  Distance is about the same, the new route is faster, but it can have issues with getting through Memphis.

The other thing about this route is that it is prettier...lot less cotton and bean fields, more trees and green grass.  Will we use this route again?  I am sure we will.  In times of severe weather threats, which we get in Spring when we travel, having two options will be better in our effort to keep away from the hail and tornadic conditions.  Sure glad we finally went this way.

When we arrived at the RV Park around 3:30, we did not need to check in, and just drove right up to our assigned site since I called and reserved it yesterday evening.  It is a typical park with concrete slabs, grass on each side, and not much room between you and your neighbor.  If you want to use Passport America, you have to use a back-in site, which has no concrete.

Although the skies looked a bit threatening at times, we did not have rain from when we parked until late into the night...we hope all night.  All three of us are tired of traveling right now, and look forward to getting home again.  Lots to do once we get there, and we sure hope to get the car fixed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Rainy Day, COOL Weather, Wreck after Wreck


I had set my alarm for 6:45 to wake up and start the coffee maker...but at 5:45 it was still raining, having rained much of the night.  Radar said it would be over around 7:30, so I set the alarm for 7:30.  We got up at 7:20, hit the road by 8:00.  I was so soaked (no, the rain did not stop) that I put on a dry shirt as we left the park.  I was able to back up to the car, and then move the car about 2 feet and connect to the motorhome.  It won't be disconnected until we get home.

There is maintenance being done on the lock and dam.  We knew this because Marcia's youngest brother, Skevos, use to work on lock and dams, even in Arkansas (despite living in Florida about an hour north of us).  This group of workers is the same he use to work with, he was a safety monitor.  Skevos retired from the business a couple of years ago.

From Fort Smith to Conway we saw very little rain.  The weather front was flowing from the Northwest towards the Southeast, and for the most part the roadway was nearly dry as the storm had already gone by.

Arkansas' answer to the Groom Cross...I guess they really do make things bigger in Texas.

As we get close to Russellville the Ozarks come to an end east of the mountains in this picture. 

As we got closer to Conway, the rain started to come down, fairly good rate at times.  The rain, for the most part, lasted all the way to near Memphis.  After passing Little Rock, we saw our first of many wrecks.

THANK GOODNESS Marcia missed the wreck shot.  A pickup truck slammed into the rear of an 18-Wheeler, lodged under it, and caught on fire.  I have no idea if the person or people in the pickup truck got out, but the fire department was there along with many different police departments...the back-up went on for miles.

We saw a number of trucks which went off the road.  One was buried into the trees to the right of the eastbound lanes prior to this picture above, no police at either site. 

After filling up at a Love's Country Store and Truck Stop ($3.19 per gallon), we continued another 50 miles toward Memphis and crossed over the Mississippi River along I-55.  You have to be very diligent when you take this route through Memphis, there is a very sharp right hand turn as the Interstate heads south into Mississippi.  I was happy that there was no rain, but I am more familiar with the I-40 route through Memphis than the I-55 route which goes south of Memphis.

We then went east on I-269, and the traffic was light.

Then we headed southeast on I-22 to Tupelo.  Traffic was busier than I-22, but at times it seemed empty.  We are staying at the Campground at Barnes Crossing.  Thank goodness I looked on Google Maps and saw that the campground was north of Tupelo...

...because the GPS was going to take us a good 20 miles to the west of the campground.  I called the campground and the nice lady told me that the Google Maps was the correct location.  As I was talking to her, we hit a huge traffic jam.  Having just looked at Google Maps, I saw a detour which I followed a few trucks on.  Sure enough, we got around the huge wreck on I-22 and made it to the campground just before 5 pm.  A 400 mile, all Interstate drive took 9 hours!  Wow, that took a lot out of me.  Thank goodness the weather was in the 70's the entire trip.

The park is a lovely park.  The office is surrounded by wonderful mature plant life including flowers, bushes and trees.  Sites are spaced just enough to give you some privacy, and there are many trees providing a lot of shade...which, with the cool weather, we did not need today.

Tomorrow, we will be in Florida.