Well Wednesday night in Waco was truly uneventful. It was cold enough for me to find out if my in-house heating systems worked. I have an electric unit that helps take the chill out of the air, but I needed the forced air heating system to get through the night. It was close to 32 degrees, but the heaters kept me cozy at a nice 70 degrees. I pulled into Austin early enough to spend some time just relaxing inside the motorhome, and then went out for dinner at a Tex/Mex restaurant and the chicken was delicious. After dinner I had an early evening as Friday was a day of visiting gardens in Austin.
Well it has been a couple of days since my last post. Since then I’ve been from Mobile Alabama, to New Orleans, to Houston, and now this evening I am in Waco. Waco you say? Why? Tomorrow morning I am hoping to be able to drop in and see Joanna and Chip Gaines.
Today was a short day for driving. It was about 120 miles from Holt florida to Mobile Alabama. I wasn't originally planning on stopping in Mobile, but I started thinking about the history of the City, and decided to spend the night. Tomorrow I am off to New Orleans area.
The last 2 days were spent at Rivers Edge campground in Holt Florida. Nice campground with all the amenities, and right next to the Yellow River. The picture above is of the river with the native Bald Cypress growing in the water. They look haunting, yet beautiful at the same time with the Spanish moss dangling from their limbs. It was nice to have a day off yesterday with no driving, and a bit of time to meet some new friends at the campground.
Things are finally starting to get into a bit of a pattern. It takes a while to figure out where to pack things up each day, and what is the most efficient way to do things. It's also learning what not to do, as well as what to do. I'm learning to feel more and more comfortable driving the coach. Even though it went through an extensive overhaul, it still is a 40 year old vehicle. Right now It's running like a top, and I'm thankful for that. I like to tell people that it just seems to settle down at 60 on the freeway, but I think it is more that I like that speed. It truly is nice to travel a bit slower and enjoy the road and the ever changing landscapes.
Below are some pictures of the Yellow river in Holt Fla. I took over the last two days. I particularly like the abstract photos, which are reverse images of the silhouette from the trees against the water. Click on each picture for a larger photo.
Cities along the Gulf Coast are setting new records for temperatures. It is 81 degrees in Mobile today, and the air conditioning is on in the Coach. I know it is going to get cooler as I travel westward, and still need to buy warm clothes. At the moment though I wonder if Winter is ever going to come!
Today upon entering Mobile, I was very briefly on MLK Blvd, as I was making a transition across the City to the RV Park. I was only on it for about a minute, however was surprised the impact it made on me. I, as most of you, have been on many many MLK Blvds, however somehow being on MLK in Mobile was different. I hope to get downtown tonight for a bit to enjoy the City.
Well the Wall Mart experience was not so bad. I had heard that the parking lot sweepers loved to circle around the RV”S in the middle of the night, but it was a quiet night. I left Crawville FL around 10:30 in the morning, filled up with gas and then chose to travel on the Big Bend Scenic Highway that follows the Gulf of Mexico along the Florida panhandle. It was absolutely beautiful. It is a 2-lane road, but it is nice and wide. Very little traffic until I got into the Panama City area.
The drive is listed in National Geographic’s list of most beautiful drives in America and it proved to be worthy of being on that list. Miles and miles of just unspoiled Florida landscape. The views from the road of the St George Sound are breathtaking. Once though in the Panama City area, Highway 98 wasn’t so much fun anymore. It suddenly became lots of stop and go, with lots of development, so then decided to go up to head up to Interstate 10 and bee-line it to the campground at Holt Fl. The coach continues to run fine, and I am impressed just how smoothly it drives. The Campground is called Rivers Edge, and is a nice campground next to the river with lots of space between all the camping sites. Only drawback is that the internet service is Pony Express slow.
The Coach continues to draw attention where ever it goes. I wasn’t even hooked up yet at the site when people started coming around to talk about it! Most people think it is a new coach, and are amazed that it is now 40 years old, which goes to show that good design no mater what the genre, will always stand the test of time.
I am going to spend an additional day here, just to relax. It has been a hectic last couple of weeks, and today is put aside as a day of down time.
Wednesday was a busy day. I left the Juniper Springs National Forest in Florida, and headed towards Ocala. My first stop was at the Appleton Art Museum, a wonderful smaller local museum with a fine and diverse collection of Asian, African artifacts, and paintings from American and European artists. They had 2 temporary exhibitions in particular called A Fine Timber. Eric Estrada works in marketery in wonderful pieces of furniture, and Chuck Sharbaugh works in ceramics that look exactly like pieces of timber, sticks and branches. All of the works from both of these artists are truly exceptional.
After the Museum I decided to go to the E-One Emergency vehicle manufacturing facility. My Rand McNally Navigation said it was open for tours. Wrong. I went an hour out of my way to visit the facility, only to find that they had not offered tours for over 5 years. So much for the information in the newest of their navigation systems. It just reminded me to call first to confirm what the internet says.
The Doggies have now commandeered the passenger seat. Poncho usually sleeps, but Luck always wants to see what is going on with her head proper up by the passenger seat arm rest!
After my non event at E-One, I then turned to going to the Suwanee River, a few hours away. I’ve always loved the song of that name, so had to go and see it. I had a late lunch watching the river flow by and thinking of all the American history that surrounds this river.
After the river I just started driving westward on Florida Highway 98 until nightfall, and then tried spending the evening in a Wal-Mart Parking Lot! It was a bit noisy at times, so put in my earplugs and had a good nights sleep.