Thursday, December 8, 2016

Heading South

Thanksgiving is over – the sweet potatoes and pies are all devoured.  All our doctor appointments are completed.  The Ohio State-Michigan football game has been played and the boys in the winged maize and blue helmets let the Buckeyes win again. It’s now December!  The trailer is packed and ready to go!
Crossing into Kentucky
Our southern direction has changed from heading southeast to southwest since we’re heading for the Gulf of Mexico first on this trip.  Our journey down and across Indiana on state roads (not expressways) was great and we watched the landscape gradually change from flatland farming with their corduroy textured, harvested fields to gently rolling hills covered with pastures or wooded acres.   Along with all the rest of the Friday afternoon traffic, we crossed the wide Ohio River on one of the multiple spans of the I 65 bridges – so much for the peaceful ride!  Down below, there were tugboats and long narrow coal barges chugging their way downstream on their own watery expressway.
The Natchez Trace

From Louisville thru Nashville we stayed in the middle lane and let the traffic flow around us!  Thru Nashville and finally onto the Natchez Trace – we could breathe again! We slowed down and began to enjoy the ride once more!  No semi trucks and not much traffic at all – just a deer darting across the blacktop and leaping into the brushy undergrowth and a humongous flock of dark black turkeys that thought they owned the road and wanted to play chicken with the big blue truck!  Then the rains came!  And they kept coming for 3 more days!
The Tenn-Tom River

We parked that night in David Crockett State Park, just outside of Lawrenceburg Tennessee.  The town is full of history from the infamous Trail of Tears to the famous folks who called the town home, including Fred Thompson the actor and congressman.  The MOST famous tho, is Davy Crockett himself!   His history and lure permeates every inch of the town and the state park that is his namesake!  The park boasts 2 modern campgrounds, cabins, a restaurant, archery, tennis and Frisbee golf.   There is a museum/grist mill and a covered bridge that straddle the Shoal Creek where Davy once lived, worked and earned the title of Colonel before heading to the Alamo.

Tennessee and Mississippi on the Trace and then off for the last time as we followed more state roads thru BIG sounding small towns of Louisville and Philadelphia to another state park – Clarkco State Park. Another set up and take down in the rain!  This park was easy to get to from Meridian but the park roads were extremely narrow and tall pine trees stood guard at and behind every narrow site and at each bend of road.

It was a comparatively short jaunt across the cotton fields of Alabama to the gulf coast city of Mobile and US Route 10.  Route 10 seemed like one continuous bridge from Mobile, over creeks, swamps and low areas to the Florida border!   As we crossed the bridges from Pensacola to the barrier island of Santa Rosa the skies opened up even further and the watery deluge came in waves of blinding precipitation.  The windshield wipers struggled to keep up!  We later found out that the amount of rain that day set a new record of 4 inches!   Once in the Fort Pickens Campground in the Gulf Shores National Seashore Park, the downpour let up long enough for us to park on site A14, which will be our home for the next week and a half.  That respite was brief however and the downpour returned and continued thru the night.  Our camping loop fared pretty well but the other one did not and most everything except the parking pads and roadway was underwater the entire next day!   

The rain has now stopped and the “exploring” can begin!