Our Chalet Truck Camper

Our Chalet Truck Camper

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

April 30 to May 1 - Florida to Alabama to Mississippi to Louisiana

April 30 to May 1 - Florida to Alabama to Mississippi to Louisiana

No we didn't cross four states in one day. We decided it was time to head inland away from the ocean and back into country. Route 331 from Grayton Beach, Florida crosses into Alabama at Florala. We've passed back into cow country with a side of paper company forests all in a row ready to harvest. I wonder how much of the south is owned by paper companies? The acreage must be huge as every where you look there are pines matured to various sizes. The other reason you know you are in paper company? The log trucks that barrel by and the smell of a processing plant. Good steady jobs I would imagine and the re-seeding is pretty evident to keep the "crop" coming.

At Opp, AL we switched over to Route 84 which is what we all call a red road. Shows up red on maps, is usually in pretty good shape but offers a trip through the back country. Talk about red - the land is red here with many fields being bright red. It's dry here and I can imagine that red turns to mud pretty easily as it is so fine.

Hot today - I mean for us it was HOT - 90F and humid for the first time. Even though I was raised as a southerner, I just don't handle heat like this well anymore. Joe was sweltering. Our plans to head to Arizona have been put on hold for a winter trip. The idea of trying to take walks in desert country in 100+F just isn't appealing at all. Our house sitter said it was 28F the other morning in Maine with a frost. Quite the difference.

The best kept secret in camping is the Corp of Engineers campgrounds. Tonight we are in a camp near Coffeeville, AL on the Tombigbee River. This river goes all the way to Mobile and also further north from here. We've had quite the parade of beautiful 30-40 foot cabin cruisers go by. Last there was a barge pushed by a tug that brought Coast Guard memories back for Joe. The river is controlled by a series of locks and is at full height. Our camp site is large, level with a gravel area for the picnic table, power, water, and a dump station - all for $10.00. That's taking advantage of the Golden Age Passport but $10?? If this were elsewhere it would easily be a $45 site. Don't tell anyone!

Again we will wander in the morning but are now thinking about heading north along the Mississippi or maybe follow the Georgia mountains into NC. Cooler there? Wimps? Yes but hey somebody has to be it.

May 1 - Natchez and Louisiana

We decided to keep on Route 84 over to Natchez and then up to Vicksburg. Tonight we are actually across the Mississippi River in Vadalia, Louisiana. Camping in LA now counts camping in all the states except NJ, Alaska and Hawaii. No idea how we've skipped NJ?

We spent so much time in the Natchez Visitor center that we didn't get into town. The wealth of history, exhibits, documents, photos is astonishing. There was a docent talking about life on the river back in plantation times from both the owner and slave point of view. We followed her along as she talked about history after the Civil War, the Depression and finally the emergence of a thriving new culture for all.

Walked along the river to watch the barges. Four containers wide and 5 long, they carry a lot of goods up and down the river. Walked the top of a levee also. It is about 15 feet high and a couple of hundred yards back from the river. The locals we talked to said the last big flood, the river went over the bank and also over the levee.

Tomorrow we'll go into Natchez, walk the river area, drive back in the old houses and then head along the Natchez Trace to Vicksburg. It's almost 8PM and still 84F with big thunderstorm clouds in the distance.

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