Goodness; what a long travel day it was. Neil was pretty tired by the time we got here and setup so after a very short run and shower we ate some left over fried oysters and clam strips from our dinner on Thursday night and just watched TV until bedtime. We figure that 400 miles will be our limit for a normal travel day…both of us feel like we can expand that maybe another 50 or 60 miles if we absolutely have to and if it’s in the middle of a transit period where we’re essentially going to just park over night with no setup or unhitching and then head out again the next morning and if it’s mostly freeway travel. Of course; some of those transit periods might be through the middle of nowhere and hence we might be forced into more by lack of stopping places but we’ll do our best to stay out of those situations unless something comes up or we have a deadline we have to meet, luckily retired folks don’t have many deadlines:-)
We got up yesterday morning at 0530 and got a cup of coffee…Neil had set the pot to auto brew so it was waiting when we got up. After that and a leftover cinnamon roll from the day before’s breakfast we set about stowing the inside of the rig, finishing up the utility and hitch up testing, and hit the road about 0730 or so. The first 20 or so miles of the trip was up this really narrow highway (CR 345) to Chiefland, FL…it would have been about 10 miles farther to just go straight up CR 24 to US 19/98 and then west to Chiefland. We won’t make the mistake of going that way on our return back south. We had maybe an extra foot of clearance between the centerline stripes and the side of the road stripe, no pavement outside the side stripes at all and a narrow shoulder that was a ditch more than half the time. So we just mozy’ed along about 40 mile an hour and Neil drove in the middle of the road when feasible. Luckily the traffic was almost non existent. Once we got into Chiefland we turned onto 19/98 and stayed on it all the way to the intersection with I-10. We did have to slow down 4 or 5 times total for small towns but most of the way rolled along at 62 on cruise control. After stopping for lunch (fish sandwich from Burger King, we never had one before but they were pretty good) shortly after Perry, FL we turned west on I-10 for 220 miles and got off at US-90 Alt northwest of Pensacola. From there it was another 40 miles or so to the park, about half on two lane roads although thankfully wider than 345 was and the last 10 miles on a six lane but lots of traffic and traffic lights (it was 1600 on Friday afternoon by this time so we hit Gulf Shores rush hour) to the park. We checked in and pulled into site 193 shortly after 1630 after a total drive of 398.1 miles.
Site 193 is on the main road through Gulf State Park but it’s a cutout pull through and we quickly got positioned next to the utilities and were set up by 1730. Neil went on the aforementioned quick run through the park then we had dinner. Afterwards he did go out and get a couple of quick snapshots of the park.
Gulf State Park is really, really nice; we’re pretty much surrounded by trees but they’re low enough so that satellite TV works perfectly. The wifi is a little more intermittent though.
Here’s a shot from the front of site 193, Neil was almost up to the next site when he took this one so as you can see there’s really plenty of room between sites to spread out and not feel like you are right on top of somebody. As our friends Howard and Linda would say…this seems like one of those “it” spots.
a shot from across the road, notice the nice views we have out of our side windows
and finally a panorama of the off side view we have taken from right next to our steps under the awning. There are actually other RVs 50 yards or so away across the trees but nothing visible. There’s a little distortion in the picnic table from the pano operation but not much…it actually does sway down in the middle a bit.
We will be here until 1 April, the Monday after Easter…we have a few errands to run including finding a Navy Federal Credit Union branch to handle some money stuff we can’t do via ATM and a visit over to Mobile to see Neil’s parents grave; we haven’t been back since mom’s funeral. There’s the usual work to be handled and even Neil has some for this week…he’s gotta put together a couple of presentations on computers and electronics for the New Horizons rally next month. It’s supposed to rain a couple days this week so we’ll work those days and do fun stuff on the other days. Dinner tonight will be grilled pork tenderloin and he’s going to toss on a couple of marinated chicken breasts for tomorrow and Monday night; no sense letting perfectly good grilling coals go to waste. Don’t know what else he’s making yet though. Now it’s time for a hike and then a bike ride and/or walk around the park to get a looksee.