After wrapping up things at home we are on the road it was getting a little cold there. We traveled 360 miles and stopped at a Flying J Travel Plaza (free secure overnight parking) in Beaverdam
for the night. Nice and warm here. Wed. we traveled 400 miles spending the night at a Flying J in Ohio . Knoxville Tennessee
We arrived at Mountain Lakes Resort, one of our membership parks. This is located in the
Mountain Lake area of Alabama, sw of Huntsville on . This is a really beautiful campground with all sites having a view of the lake and the sunset. We arrived just in time for their 6th Annual Music festival with various bands playing country, bluegrass and gospel music. Inside, outside and even at some of the campsites too. The weather here is amazing about 75f during the day, sunny and about 50f at night. Lake Guntersville
We took in the flea market in the campground Saturday morning, checking out the many deals to be had. After that we took a drive into Guntersville about ½ hour away. It was a beautiful drive along the lake, up and down the winding roads thru the mountains. Did a little shopping for groceries and toured the town.
Checking out the many areas of the campground, the boat slips, fishing piers, volleyball courts, picnic areas, clubhouse , indoor pool, mini golf, youth activity centre, exercise room, clubhouse, and even a Huge Chapel for Sunday services.
We also met many local people here who were curious about
and I just loved listening to their southern drawl. Canada
Another sunny day about 70f and a drive in the other direction to Scottsboro. This was once again a beautiful drive along the edge of the lake, winding roads and back country northern
. Here we checked out the local Dollar Store and Walmart Supercentre. Also found a hotspot for the internet and was able to download my email. Alabama
Some of the campers have left after the weekend and our Wifi internet connection became better. This was rather expensive here so only Suzie signed up while researching her Genealogy
Thurs Nov. 8th
LeavingFri. Nov. 9th
mountain Lakes we headed south to Styx River Resort just east of . We stopped at many beautiful rest areas, all were beautiful places with large clean picnic areas and RV dump stations, really set up for the tourists that are traveling. We passed many grass cutters on the side of the interstate while travelling 70 mph, it must be scary driving those tractors. Styx River is a nice campground with free WIFI (internet) that we will stay at for 4 days and check out the Gulf coast Beaches, Again weather is nice although unseasonably cold at 68f ( 20c) for a couple of days. I think we can handle this. Mobile Alabama
Another awesome day, At 8.50 am temp was 100f (38c) in the sun, amazing. WE took a drive to the Gulf Shores beaches where it was 84f (29c) . Magnificent beaches white sand, not too many people, (only fri morning). There was people fishing in the surf and this 1 woman only just put her line in and pulled another fish out, 3 fish in less than 10 minutes. There was a big bird (Egret) standing by watching , hoping to sneak a few of her fish. Airplanes flying overhead advertising restaurants in the area. We did a bit more touring, shopping and viewing many acres of cotton fields everywhere, then back to home to enjoy the rest of the day.
Mon .Nov. 12th
Mobile Alabama to New Orleans about a 3 ½ hr drive, we crossed the Bay in Mobile, and went thru a tunnel, on I-10 then on to . At exit 50 we went south to I-90 along the Mississippi Gulf Coast thru Biloxi to The cleanup is still in full swing after Katrina in August 2005. Still bridges down and rebuilding new ones. Remnants of destroyed buildings, casinos that were there, Also a lot of driveways that went to huge mansions with only a staircase or footings or parts of fences, signs and buildings left, some buildings are just skeletons. We drove along the coast highway from Gulf Port. Biloxi to which is right on the Beach, beautiful scenery even thou some areas still not open. Really hard to imagine what was here before the huge tidal wave wiped it all away. Gulfport
Our campground here is at Abita Springs on the north shore ofPics of Gulf Shores
Lake Ponchatrain about 40 miles to . Really nice managers here Rene and Lamar remember us from last year and make y’all feel welcome. Apparantly we just missed a rainfall 2 weeks earlier, they had 12 inches of rain in 1 day! And they just about have it all cleaned up. New Orleans
Today we took a bus trip to the Silver Slipper casino on the Gulf Shores of Mississippi about 1 hour away with a group of eleven people from the campground. This was a fantastic deal and a fun day. Only $10.00 per person which included return bus trip, free lunch buffet (wow) and $15.00 per person of Casino Money to spend and free beverages all day. We had a great time with our group and passed some devastated areas along the way, some being rebuilt. The Casino has just reopened, completely rebuilt after being obliterated. Another interesting day.
Sat. Nov. 17We took a tour today to the plantations along the Mississippi River about 1 & 1/2 hour drive with another couple from Michigan , Jim and Nancy. I- 55 was a long bridge type roadway about 20 miles long through the swamp, interesting. We drove along the banks of the Mississippi River but were unable to see the river until we took the bridge across, because of the large berms lining the river to prevent flooding. There were quite a few sugar refineries and sugar cane feilds along the river. We pasted a few Sugar Plantatons and choose to stop at St. Joseph Plantation for a tour( circa 1830). This was a personally narrated 1 & 1/2 hour tour by a direct descendent of Joseph Waguespack who purchased this plantation after the civil war over 130 years ago. Very interesting and worth while. Following that we stopped at a small local seafood restaurant for a lunch of catfish, froglegs and shrimp an excellent meal. Then a tour back home.
Sun. Nov 18th French Quarter
We decided to take a drive into New Orleans and tour the French Quarter, The causeway is the short way there, right across Lake Ponchartrain from Abita Springs. About 26 miles long. Driving in Esplanade to Decatur St. we found parking next to the River Walk and the French Market. Sunday is a pretty busy day here and we took in the sights and sounds, a lot of street entertainers and musicians add to the atmosphere, souvenir shops, restaurants and bars everywhere. We stopped again at Bubba Gumps Seafood for lunch with a table next to the sidewalk. Awesome seafood Gumbo! From there we toured around Bourbon St. and Jackson Square then the Riverwalk and checked out the River Boat tours. From here we decided to visit a couple ( Mike & Wendy) that we met from Calgary last year in Rock Port Texas. Was nice to meet up again. Then back across the lake to home and relax.French Quarter Pics
Thurs. Nov. 22, U.S. Thanksgiving
At Noon we went to the clubhouse for a Thanksgiving (potluck) dinner of Turkey, dressing, potatoes and gravy supplied by the park for $3.00 per person, arranged by managers Lamar and Renee ( an awesome couple). We took a yummy homemade pecan pumpkin pie. There was 88 people in all and a huge selection of different dishes to try from salads, cajun food, casseroles and deserts. Two other couples we met joined us , 1 couple we met in Alabama from Michigan ( Jim and Nancy) , and the other couple we met last year in Texas from Calgary ( Mike and Wendy). A great meal was enjoyed by all and we returned to our house to sit around the campfire and catch up on our travels. A very nice day outside in the sun.
Fri. Nov. 23rd
Another nice sunny day, able to enjoy the outdoor weather again. For supper today the park has a " Tag-a-long" to a local Mexican Restaurant, people shared rides and we followed the leader. 30 people from the campground went and we had our own room. They had an amazing assortment of real mexican food, most I could not pronounce. The portions were huge and the prices small and the food excellent, a good way to meet more people from the campground.
The rest of the weekend we stayed in the campground, walking about and talking to our neigbours. Time to get back on the road.
There is a huge detour on I-10 (between Baton Rouge and Lafayette Louisiana) due to a fire in a natural gas well that has been burning for about 2 weeks and at least another week before they can cap it. We will have to go about 30 miles out of our way to get around it.
Monday morning we will be heading west thru Texas to Benson Arizona about 1500 miles. 4 days of travelling and enjoying the Open Road. Traveling thru Houston, San Antonio, Elpaso, then southern New Mexico to Arizona. Probably stopping at Flying J Travel Plazas for a secure nights rest, or maybe a Walmart Supercentre..
Few More Pics
Mon. Nov. 26
We left New Orleans Area heading west, I-10 was open so we took the Swamp Freeway to Orange Texas and Stay at a Flying J. Nice driving.
Tuesday we headed out thru Houstin Texas, wow what an amAmazing city of construction and Interstate Highways, some as mush as six lanes and about 5 levels high, on the northern bypass. Good thing it was about 9.30 am but still a lot of traffic. The Evacuation routes were amazing for hurricanes, signs show where to go and all traffic will leave Houston heading North west taking all of I-10 and no inbound traffic. At exit 514 we stopped at a rest area for the night, again with free wifi. After supper and a good nights sleep, on the road again.
Wed. Nov 28
Departing in the morning from the Texas safety rest area near San Antonio at 8.00am we traveled I-10 all day until 3.30pm at Van Horn, passing many beautiful rest areas. There was a ridge that we passed that was just lined with 100's of giant windmills for generating electricity, a great way to harness the energy of the wind. The Road is good and not too busy with a speed limit of 80 mph (130 kph), we of course don't travel that fast. We stopped for the evening and relaxed, enjoyed supper the sunset and a movie.
Thurs Nov. 29
After an overnight stay at another Texas safety rest Area, complete with free WIFI (internet) at Van Horn. Enjoyed the view, dinner and a movie and check our email. These rest areas are well maintained and nicely decorated ( check the Mosaic Tile mural in the mens washroom).
We headed west Past El Paso and thru southern New Mexico. Wide open spaces and rugged country side. The weather was warm but dull and overcast with occasional rain showers not very good for taking pictures but good for driving. The roads so good I had to keep checking my speed as rv just wanted to go. If I did not use the cruise control at 70mph I found it creeping up to 80mph with cars and trucks still passing. This was one of our longest days covering 400 miles in 7 and 1/2 hours allowing including 2 fuel stops and 5 rest areas. We arrived at Valley Vista Resort in Benson Arizona at 3.30pm. We will stay here for 5 nights, travel to Tombstone and some local sites.