Friday, December 25, 2009

The Christmas '09 Holiday Trip

We awoke and rolled out of bed at 4 a.m. Christmas Eve. It was still dark. The camper had been loaded the day before so all we had to do is drive over and hook-up. The temperature was mild but sprinkles of rain were starting. They're ahead of severe rainstorm due to come all across the south. By 6:30, we pulled out of the storage lot to see the "red sky in the morning; sailors take warning". Using our new solar and wind-up weather radio we heard of wind warnings for high profile vehicles. A last minute check of the weather from Mobile Bay to Orlando indicates our best bet for sunshine is the panhandle of Florida, so we took I-65 south. We intalled and were using our new Garmin Nuvi. We came into Birmingham with only a few sprinkles on the windshield and no noticeable wind. The same as we drove through Montgomery and on down I-65. We took Exit 94 and traveled south on Al 41 through Brewton. That road turned into Fl 87 at the state line. We were heading to Blackwater River State Forest Campground. We turned east at Berrydale onto Fl 4. Wayne didn't have a good "gut" feeling about the 30-site state park campground with dirt roads. As usual his "gut" instinct proved accurate. The road was wet and muddy so we just drove right by. My first frantic search for a new destination using the Garmin (now named Nuvi) was nerve wracking. The Trailer Life Campground Directory showed two more campgrounds in the area and now we just had to find out how to get there from here. We always had good success using the map. He drives; I navigate. This system works but I miss all the local scenery. That's the reason for the GPS. After a few frantic minutes, I found the "lodging" button that magically showed the two campgrounds. We followed the Garmin directions: From Hwy 4 we turned right (south) in Munson onto Hwy 191 to Milton. At Milton we took US 90 east to Hwy 87 to I-10 where we traveled east to exit 45 going south to River's Edge RV Campground. It's about 2:30p.m. Still only sprinkles of rain. No downpours. We drove about 440 miles.

River's Edge is at the end of this road and it's to our liking; mostly shady, wide sites and without frills. At the office there's an "open" sign but no one is in the locked office. It is Christmas Eve, after all. The "after hours" instruct travelers to choose one of the available spots. We drove around the grounds (about 80 sites total) and were flagged down by the resident host who suggested Site #3. She told us to wait until we were set up to check in. It a pull-through with full 50 amp hookups for $24 a night. We chose it, pull in and set up. Sprinkles turn into raindrops as we get the water and electric connected.

Supper was ready by 5 and we enjoyed eating. Rain began falling more steady and soon fell in torents. After supper we settled in to watch some Christmas movies, but fell asleep in the recliners quickly.

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