(FYI – no pics for this post. Connection speed too slow. Sorry.)
Finally made it out and away from the comfort zone. There’s something about the Appalachian mountains that always give me a ‘feel good feeling’ and see nature’s beauty all at the same time. Not to mention all the things that interest me like the little mountain towns, the big town of Chattanooga, the Cherohala Skyway, Cloudland Canyon, country road after country road with a side-view of pasture and cows, which Hershey, the Wonder Dog thinks of as his own personal play toys. The list just goes on and on.
The last afternoon in Georgia started with a simple drive down a country road, camera at the ready, to experience another country drive and see where we’d end up. Of course, I knew where we would end up – Alabama – but didn’t realize just how beautiful the view would be nor did I realize Lookout Mountain traveled as far as it did. Regardless, I did manage to find a few stopping places for pics as we traveled slowly along. Mountains, houses here and there, pasture and barns, and a sun wanting to sink behind the mountaintops, close its eye and rest for the day. So much to behold in the beauty of nature (not to mention the perfect timing).
After 40 miles or so, we ended up in Ft. Payne. Anybody with any country music experience from previous years will know about Ft. Payne. The country group ‘Alabama’ mentions Ft. Payne in several of their songs; there’s also an Alabama museum in the town. Not interested in the tourist trap of traveling but Ft. Payne was a cool little town. Lots of little digs and dives, BBQ and blues. Quite enjoyable but had to end and head back. Chose the interstate north for speed and quickness, to which we promptly arrived back, safe and sound and tired.
That’s it, I thought. Time to ride away from all the familiar and see what I can see, feel what I can feel, experience all the new digs along an unknown trail.
So that’s what we did. Hit the trail running. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s always exciting being on the move.
But first, let me tell you about my skills and how I’ve adapted to this roaming home away from home lifestyle. I love it. I am literally ‘at home’ no matter where I am in this country. The camper has become a glove, fitting close enough that I know pretty much when anything is not quite right or off-kilter just a bit. As far as towing Gypsy down the road, it feels like second nature. Road conditions let me know beforehand how much ‘stuff’ I’m going to have to pick up inside when we stop for the night. That never ends, no matter how well I pack or how secure I think it is. The kitchen pantry loves to play with me – every trip! I’ve only asked for help one time this trip and not because I couldn’t back the camper in but because to get the camper exactly where it needed to be would have me running over metal pipe holding the elevated lot together. That would burst the tires. So I backed her in (never realized just how patient I really am) until I knew I needed a little more experience than what I had. Brian, the campground owner, knew what to do. Took him a while also but he got it just right and all was well and intact.
Gas stations are easier now. I don’t need a truck stop anymore. Still, some stations won’t work and I might not realize it until I drive in, which I promptly ride back out of. I have that down pat. There’s something about a female with a big truck, hauling a big camper that stops people in their tracks at a gas station. Why? I don’t know but I think it might be for fun and games, such as ‘let’s see how this chick is going to accomplish all that without hitting something.’ I’ve seen more than one grin in my gas station experiences and can’t help but believe that was exactly what they were thinking and maybe they were disappointed that I didn’t wreck anything…??? Yea, it’s that girl power thing. I’ll drag Gypsy anywhere now because I know I can get her out; I can backup with the best of them; albeit slowly, but I’m not afraid to back and I’ll jump out and check myself as many times as I think necessary.
So we left Georgia and all it’s beauty, heading towards Alabama. It was here I found US Route 82. It was going to take me to the next stop, which would be Mississippi. Talk about an awesome drive! It was beautiful! Campground was on a lake, complete with levee; the place was quiet and shady, a good place to be. In the country as far as I could get. Six to eight miles west of the town, which houses the University of Mississippi. A beautiful, historical downtown area. The best BBQ in town had a bible verse from the chapter of Romans highlighted by the door. That, however, didn’t stop their business. The parking lot was full, the street was full, the side street was full – I talked with a fella who was heading inside and he informed me this was the absolute best BBQ around. Reference to the bible in no way deterred their business. Of course, that was before I had listened to the local evening news and realized that two days before, two students had been arrested at the airport before boarding for Syria. They had been recruited by ISIL. Two days before I arrive. Recruited. Arrested. Weird feeling – it was like waiting for something to happen. Just shows me it’s everywhere – there’s really no pick and choose, it’s just here… and there.
Then comes the trailer hitch/back incident. Talk about a change of plans! Attempted to head down south to the bayou but that plan was not going to be fulfilled this day. Oh my ouch! Came back and eased myself into bed. This was so not cool! I also knew I should baby the back somewhat but preparing the camper for hauling or unhauling requires the back and sometimes gumption. No matter how bad it hurt, the chores had to be done.
Slow. Slowly. Slow.
Gave it a day of rest but the ‘roaming the road’ itch won. Decided the route, reserved a campground lot, and painfully hooked up. Only took about twice the normal amount of time. Sheesh! At least I’d be sitting a few hours of the day so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.
With a last good-bye at the camp office, complete with another offer to spend the winter there, Hershey and I began blazing the trail for that day’s adventure. It was to be a day of many ‘firsts’ in life. Excitement was in the air!
In the words of Dusty (Twister)….. “We gone, baby!”