Our first shake down trip was just three days on the Illinois River. Gulf Shores was going to be our first real trip. We spent days, packing and finalizing preparations. We turned the fridge on early the morning we were going to leave so it wasn’t cold enough when we put food in (forgot to turn it on the night before). We packed tons of food, more than we ended up using. We packed clothes enough for half the trip – assuming we’d make have a laundry day.
October 17, left for Memphis with 25 MPH cross winds. Driving was a bit tense most of the day, but never out of control. Construction was, as usual, frequent and we spent half an hour in a rolling parking lot due to an accident scene. We were going to stay at Bass Pro shop in Memphis – nice big parking lot, well lit, huge – but it was under what seemed like two interstates – about 50 feet above the trailers. No way to sleep under that and there were no parking spots that seemed laid out for RVs. It was well after dark. We had passed a cracker barrel about 10 miles back – called – they said ok to stay, so we went and stayed the night there. While we were only abut 300 feet from the Interstate, the noise wasn’t bad and we slept fairly well. Walking to breakfast was great.
October 18 We made it to New Orleans. It was interesting driving the, what seemed like tens of miles of elevated roadway into town. We eventually found our camp site, Jude RV – a small place,in a somewhat run downlooking part of town. I expect the “look” of the neighborhood was more about how much of it was bulldozed after Katrina and never replaced. Jude RV was clean, simple, had full hookups including cable. It was fenced and gated so we felt
reasonably secure. Went headed downtown to get a quick look at the French quarter and a bite to eat.
October 19, We went on bayoo/nature boat ride where we saw many kinds of birds, turtles, alligators and a few huge spiders. It was interesting (for a mid-westerner) and quite worth the time and cost. Then back to the French Quarter and had lunch and a wonderful time at Antoine’s. From their web page: The Oldest French-Creole Fine Dining Restaurant in New Orleans. It’s a wonderful old establishment with a great deal of history. The staff went out of their way to welcome, even entertain us (even though we went to the $20 lunch special ). I have no idea what it would cost to eat there in the evening, but it was well worth the price for lunch. As we left, we got a tour of a number of their special dining rooms, full of years worth of history and artifacts. We walked around the French Quarter the rest of the afternoon and had supper in a bar whose name I don’t remember. Then off to St Jude RV for a good night’s sleep.
October 20 We got up early, packed up, and headed east to Gulf Shores, Alabama and Bay Breeze RV park. Bay Breeze is a small place on the bay side of the spit of sand that encloses most of Bon Secour Bay. We entered off of Fort Morgan Road, past a row of houses (some I think were rentable) to a small loop of sites whose end was right at the water’s edge. There was a long dock, with a two story deck at the end for watching the Bay, pelicans, herons, passing barges as well as sunrises and sunsets. The site was very shaded, as you can see in this Google Satellite picture – most trailers are not visible. There was a small community room with bathrooms and shower and a TV that would come in handy. The owners were pleasant and very helpful. We settled in, and dashed off to supper at Desotos restaurant in Gulf shores which was very good.
October 21 Went to Fort Morgan – civil war fort. It had quite a history from before the civil war up through WWI. A detailed history can be found on their web site here. We also spent time on the beach just enjoying the sun, sand between our toes, the color and sparkle of the gulf.
October 22 – We drove around exploring – looking for a dog friendly beach (hard to find near Gulf Shores, though on some beaches, people simply ignored the signs.) We finally found the beach, and while they are always excited to get out and about, the beach and the sand was no exception. They got their feet wet, but didn’t seem terribly impressed with it all. We walked the beach but didn’t swim either. We got back in time to make some popcorn and watch the Cubs Win in the community room – Cubs are going to World Series! We could get some TV reception at the site in our trailer, but it wasn’t great and not the channels we needed – GO CUBS!
October 23 – Laundry day – in town. It seemed like a good day to be at the beach at sunset with our cameras. We picked a remote beach halfway between Bay Breeze and Fort Morgan. When we got to the beach, we saw the Heron strolling on the beach with us.
We got some great shots of the heron in the fading light and the sunset behind oil rigs in the distance. We also discovered back at the camp, that I had left the grate for our new grill at home in the garage where I had assembled it, so the cooking was done indoors.
October 25 We drove inland a bit to meet a cousin at Lamberts in Foley (about an hour north) for lunch, and back in time for an afternoon/evening dolphin cruise. Then back to Bay Breeze in tie to see the Cubs lose first game of World Series.
October 26 Hung out around camp most of the day, relaxed and took pictures from the dock. We went to Cayman Grill for supper.
October 27 We said our good-bye’s and left for Texas T campground, 50 miles south of Nashville, TN. It is a decent campground with lots of pull through sites. As we were just staying the night, we didn’t take much advantage of the amenities, but a simple quick parking and hookup was appreciated.
October 28 The next morning, we headed for home and parked the trailer about 4pm, in storage, without incident.
It was a great trip. The trailer performed fine except the backup camera (we are changing out). It was a good learning process – what works for organizing storage and what doesn’t. How to properly pack a refrigerator (know where your temperature sensor is and don’t push a bunch of greens right against it cutting off the air flow. It got well below freezing until I figured out what the issue was.) Our cousin was with us – and we learned in no uncertain terms, the hide-away bed that came with the trailer was really a “you can’t sleep in it” bed because it was three cushions of different stiffness and at three different levels with gaps in between. It has since been replaced by a real hide-a-bed with a real mattress and topoper. There are many more images in the Gulf Shores Gallary.
- Bluebird gets Toad preparations
- Eclipse/Galena/Rustic Barn Campground
- Propride P3 hitch installs
- This summer has been busy, in a way…..
- The 201703 trip – home
- The 201703 trip – Colorado Springs
- The 201703 trip – Santa Fe
- The 201703 trip – Monument Valley, Mexican Hat
- The 201703 trip – ER, Arches, Mexican Restaurant disaster
- The 201703 trip – sick, Goblin Valley, Capitol Reef, drunk driver, Dead Horse