Exploring the New England States in an RV

After we left Niagara Falls, we traveled east across New York and stayed at Lake Lauderdale Campgrounds in New York close to the Vermont border. It made it convenient to go explore the Vermont roads and explore we did. We went looking for covered bridges and found several on some back roads. We ended up at the Vermont Country Store located in Weston. It was an interesting store and had lots of stuff most of us liked back in the 70’s. Plus, it had nostalgia items that dated back further than the 70’s. We enjoyed big fat burgers and delicious ice cream before heading back home.

The sunsets out our front yard were beautiful. I think you’ll agree based on these pics. (Click on any pic for a bigger view and scroll through)

The next stop was in New Hampshire at the Circle 9 Ranch & Campground for 7 days. The campground has a lot of permanent residents and is somewhat run down. The location was convenient for us to explore New Hampshire and drive into Maine to explore as well. However, there are other campgrounds in the area that I would look at staying at if we were to ever come back to the area.

New Hampshire is home to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which for those that don’t know, that means NASCAR. My husband is a big fan and this is one speedway he hasn’t been to, so a visit was definitely going to happen. I didn’t realize you could pop in and view the speedway on non race days, so I was excited to see what the raceway looked like as well.  On the day we visited, the speedway was actually being used by some motorcyclist that were zooming by at speeds unheard of for my liking.  Our visit was pleasant and I’m actually looking forward to visiting some more speedways and even sitting in on a real NASCAR race one day. Below is few of the pics I took. (Click on any pic for a bigger view and scroll through)

The first day we attempted to drive through the White Mountains to see waterfalls and covered bridges ended up being a bust and after an hour or so we turned around and went back home as the rain would not let up. On day two, we had much better weather. We only stopped at one of the falls as we had the dogs with us and I don’t like hiking through the woods by myself and our wiener dogs are lazy and wouldn’t have made it too far and carrying them is not an option. We saw several covered bridges and lots of mountains. The drive was nice and seeing what other states look like is always interesting.We have pretty much given up on seeing a moose. We’ll wait until we visit Alaska for that. The pics below show just how beautiful the landscape is as well as the waterfalls and covered bridges we saw. (Click on any pic for a bigger view and scroll through)

Sightseeing in New Hampshire

Waterfall in New Hampshire

Covered Bridges in New Hampshire

 

We took a day to head into Maine for two things, lighthouses and some good lobster. I had really been looking forward to tasting some Maine Lobster for months now. I chose a restaurant that was listed on the Maine map and had good reviews. However, the food was not good at all. Luckily, the trip wasn’t a total waste as we saw a couple lighthouses and got to see the Atlantic Ocean. Not sure what I was expecting in the way of the beach, but I was definitely shocked to see how black the sand was compared to the white sandy beaches of Florida. The lighthouses were definitely more impressive than the beaches.  Guess it depends on a person’s taste as to what you like more. Here are the pics so you can see for yourself. (Click on any pic for a bigger view and scroll through)

Sightseeing in Maine

Lighthouses in Maine

From here we head to Massachusetts. While there we’ll cross over to both Rhode Island and Connecticut. Our main reason for visiting MA is to go to a Whalburger’s for a burger and fries and tour Fenway Park. Hopefully the next stop will be better than this one.

My Obsession with Covered Bridges in Vermont

Covered bridges have so much history. When I see one, I think about who might have crossed through and did they have to walk, ride a horse and buggy, a car or just what type of transportation carried them over to the other side. In the last couple weeks, we have driven through several of these magnificent bridges. Most of them dating back to the 1800’s. The ones in Ohio and Kentucky had been vandalized by people spray painting and writing all over them; however, the ones we saw in Vermont and New York had not been.

Our covered bridge ride through Vermont took us on many roads, some paved and some not so paved. There were some that made us think twice about doing this, but when you come around the corner and see views like this it makes the drive better. Had we not been on some back country road we never would have seen this beautiful pond. 

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We kept hoping we would see some wildlife especially when we were driving through the national forest, but we didn’t even see a squirrel. We did see lots of old cars, barns, farmhouses and other things that reminded us of the old days. After seeing a half-dozen bridges, we headed back home to prepare for our next journey. I wanted to provide more than just pics of the covered bridges, so here’s a little history on each one we saw.  

The West Arlington Covered Bridge a/k/a Bridge of the Green is located in West Arlington, Vermont off Route 313 in Bennington County. It was built in 1852, is 80 feet long and 17.5 feet wide. Although the bridge was damaged by flooding due to Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011, it was fixed and reopened to traffic in the months following.

West Arlington Covered Bridge

West Arlington Covered Bridge

West Arlington Covered Bridge

The Burt Henry Covered Bridge, also known as the Henry Covered Bridge or just the Henry Bridge was originally built in the 1830’s, however it was completely rebuilt in 1989. It is located near Bennington, VT and spans the Walloomsac River. The bridge spans 121 feet and is 18.5 feet wide.

Burt Henry Covered Bridge

Burt Henry Covered Bridge

Burt Henry Covered Bridge

The Paper Mill Village Covered Bridge, a/k/a the Paper Mill Bridge or Bennington Falls Covered Bridge was built in 1889 by Charles F. Sears. It spans 125 feet and is 18.5 feet wide and is located on the south side of State Route 67A, northwest of downtown Bennington, VT.

Paper Mill Village Covered Bridge

Paper Mill Village Covered Bridge

Paper Mill Village Covered Bridge

The Silk Road Covered Bridge was built in 1840 and is in close proximity to both the Burt Henry and Paper Mill bridges. It spans 88 feet long 15 feet wide. It is located between downtown Bennington and North Bennington on Silk Road, which connects Vermont Route 67A and Vermont Route 279.

Silk Road Covered Bridge

Silk Road Covered Bridge

The Creamery Covered Bridge was built in 1879, is located in Brattleboro, VT and was closed to vehicles in 2010. The bridge spans 80 feet long and 19 feet wide. A sidewalk was added about 1920. The Creamery is the last covered bridge in Brattleboro, is visible from Route 9 and a great tourist attraction.

Creamery Covered Bridge

Creamery Covered Bridge

Creamery Covered Bridge

Creamery Covered Bridge

The West Dummerston Covered Bridge was built in 1872 and is located in Dummerston, VT. This is the longest covered bridge I have ever seen coming in at 267 feet. It was built in two spans, with the westerly span being 143 feet and the easterly at 124 feet. The bridge is 22 feet long and opened to traffic. Locals enjoy going for a swim under the bridge as there were many families enjoying the beautiful day when I stopped for pics. 

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

The Rexleigh Covered Bridge was built in 1874 and is located in Salem, NY. The bridge spans 107 feet over Battenkill River in Washington County. It is just under 18 feet wide and is still operational to vehicles today.

Rexleigh Covered Bridge

Rexleigh Covered Bridge

Rexleigh Covered Bridge

The Beauty of Niagara Falls

Since leaving Florida we have spent 45 days on the road and driven through eleven (11) states to get to Niagara Falls, which was the biggest place we wanted to visit on this four month trip. At first I wasn’t sure the trip was worth it, but once we got on the Maid of the Mist and got to see the falls up close, it was definitely worth it. I could not believe how big and tall and massive looking they were and the sound of the rushing water was exhilarating.  It was so worth getting wet on the Maid of the Mist, so we could have an up close and personal view of the falls. Although we had hoped to cross the Rainbow Bridge into Canada, we never made it back on our last day to do that. There is so much to see and do around the falls, it’s hard to do it all in just a couple of days.  If we ever make the drive that far north again, we will definitely plan to stay longer.

I refuse to admit how many pics I took, but I was able to narrow them down to a reasonable amount to post. But of course no matter how many pics I have here, seeing the falls in person is the best way to get the true effect.

The following is while we were on the Maid of the Mist boat giving us an up close look at just how beautiful the falls are. The boats get so close all you see is mist and hear the roar of the water. To have a conversation, you have to just about scream for the person next to you to hear you.

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Taken during the Maid of the Mist boat ride on approach to the falls

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View of American Falls while on the Maid of the Mist

The following pic is from the Observation Tower, which is 282 feet over the Niagara Gorge and the only place to see the Horseshoe and American Falls at the same time.  

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View from the Observation Tower

You can find all our pics from this beautiful trip by clicking here.

During our visit we stayed at the Four Mile Creek State Park. The sites were nicely spaced and they had a great playground for those that have kiddos, but the best part is they are right on Lake Ontario, which means you can see the most beautiful sunsets. This was another one of those times that I took way too many pics and had to narrow them do to a manageable size. While watching the sunset one evening I was also able to look out and see the Toronto cityscape in the distance. It was amazingly beautifulClick here to see all my sunset pics.

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View of Canada from Four Mile Creek State Park

Feel free to leave comments below about your own visit to Niagara Falls. Our next big stop will be in New Hampshire and Maine where I’ll be trading covered bridges for lighthouses, waterfalls and lobster. From there, we’ll be headed down the eastern coastline back towards Florida.

 

Our Trip North, Part Two

From North Carolina to Ohio

Our second big stop after Maggie Valley was Delaware, Ohio. It wasn’t until I started planning this trip that I discovered Ohio even had a town named Delaware.  It’s north of Columbus, OH and convenient to just about any place you need. Before I talk about our Ohio visit and all the wonderful things we got to see let’s look at the places we stopped at on the way.

The first mini stop was to visit the in-laws. We stayed at Riverside RV Resort in Sevierville, TN only about a 15 minute drive to their place in Kodak. Other than spending a little time with them, including a night out to the local Texas Roadhouse, we mostly hung out at home.

The second mini stop was in Frankfurt, KY. This was a last minute change from a trip to West Virginia after the floods. We just didn’t want to chance driving up there, so we changed our route. I picked Frankfurt so we could visit Louisville and Lexington. We stayed at the Elkhorn Campground.

Thoroughbred Center

The Lexington trip was to the Thoroughbred Center. It was an interesting place. We got to see the thoroughbreds during their morning training sessions. During our visit we were told that jockeys can weigh no more than 105 lbs, but trainers can weigh as much as 130 lbs. We watched several horses on the track and then learned about the education program they have on site as well as other interesting information. If you’re into horses I would recommend a visit if you’re ever in the area. Click here for additional pics.

The Thoroughbred Center

The Thoroughbred Center

Exercise track

Exercise track

Gorgeous horse in the barn

Gorgeous horse in the barn that kept making faces and showing his teeth at us.

Louisville Slugger Museum

The most entertaining trip was to the Louisville Slugger Museum. We got to tour the plant to see how bats are made. They produce bats seven days a week; although professional bats are only made Monday – Friday. It only takes 30 seconds to cut a bat from what is called a billet, which is made from either Ash or Maple wood, which is harvested out of Pennsylvania. We walked down main street to see members of the Walk of Fame.  There is so much about this place that was amazing. They had a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not that had some great items. Click here to see some of my favorites from the museum and Ripley’s.

Louisville Slugger Museum

Louisville Slugger Museum

We also spent some time getting the truck serviced as well as searching for covered bridges. There was one only a short distance from Elkhorn Campground, so we took off to see it. It was beautiful from the road, but once you got up close and walked through you could see how people had desecrated what use to be a beautiful bridge. I will never understand why people want to paint and destroy a part of history.Edit-7353

Our next stop would be the big city of Delaware, OH. We stayed at Alum Creek State Park where I discovered I really messed up when I made our reservation for an entire week. The site only included electric. Luckily it was 50amp, but we had no water. The people at check-in were of little help. Instead of telling us at check-in where we could fill our water tanks up at, they didn’t tell us anything. Hell I had to ask for a map to find our site. It wasn’t until my husband was hooking up on the outside that he discovered we had no water hookup. Once you back in a 38’ fifth wheel and level the last thing you want to do is unhook and search for water. Had we known prior to going to our site we could have filled our tanks up. We found a solution by running several water hoses to a water tap nearby. It was a big inconvenience that could have been avoided. We are looking at it as a lesson learned.

Columbus Zoo

Our first day out we went to the Columbus Zoo. It was bigger than most I’ve been to and although the temps were in the eighties, it was still an enjoyable day. Please click here to view pics from our visit.

Columbus Zoo, Ohio

Columbus Zoo, Ohio

One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Ohio was to visit Amish Country. We took a day trip up around Millersburg and saw lots of farms and even went through Nashville, OH; which looks nothing like Nashville, TN, where we use to live. It was one of those towns that if you blinked you might not even realize you had driven through it. Once we arrived in Millersburg, we did see a couple of horse and buggies as well as some Amish people. However, I think we saw more Amish at the Zoo in Columbus than in Amish Country. We ate at a place called, Olde Country Bakery. We both had a farm burger, which is just a hamburger with an egg. It was good, but the fries were even more delicious as they were fresh cut. The best part was the fresh bread. I wished I had bought two loaves.

Our final tour of Ohio was to see covered bridges. I picked several that were built in the 1800’s within an hours drive from our campground. We saw five different ones and a gorgeous church with beautiful stained glass windows. My favorite covered bridge pic below included a lovely couple that were locals taking a bike ride on a trail leading to an ice cream shop on the other end. You can find several pics from the tour by clicking here.

B&W of my favorite

B&W of my favorite

Stained glass window

Stained glass window

Beautiful church with stained glass windows

Beautiful church with stained glass windows

On Saturday we were headed to the outlet malls when my dear husband decided to stop at a couple RV dealerships. The first one didn’t seem too interested in showing us anything…..boy was that a mistake. At the second one they had the 2017 Montana’s. The 3791 model has way more storage than we’ve ever seen in a fifth wheel. We looked and looked, asked a lot of questions and told the salesman we needed to keep looking before we made a decision on whether to trade or not. By the time we left the outlet mall we both knew we wanted the new model, so we stopped back by and looked again, but I still wouldn’t agree to do anything. However, by Monday morning we were back signing papers and ordering our new house with all the options we want, so in less than 8 weeks we should be picking up our new house.

From Ohio we are headed to Niagara Falls.  A place neither of us have ever visited. From there we will travel east through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine before we start our journey down the east coast. Hope you’ll continue to follow our journey. 

Our Trip North, Part I

The first big stop on our trip north was Maggie Valley, NC, but before we got there we had two stops to make.  The first was in Fort Benning, GA. We stayed at the MWR Campgrounds available to military personnel on the Alabama side of Fort Benning in Fort Mitchell. The name of the campground is Uchee Creek Army Campground and Marina. It was a gorgeous place to stay. We enjoyed our evenings sitting out in front of the RV watching the deer eat. They would wonder throughout the park all day and night.

In the campgrounds @ Uchee Campground, Fort Mitchell, Alabama

In the campgrounds @ Uchee Campground, Fort Mitchell, Alabama

Right at our campsite at Uchee Campground, Fort Mitchell, Alabama

Right at our campsite at Uchee Campground, Fort Mitchell, Alabama

Deer at Uchee Campground, Fort Mitchell, Alabama

Deer at Uchee Campground, Fort Mitchell, Alabama

Our site was number 404, which was right off a great parking area where we could watch the paratroopers do jump maneuvers. Being that both my husband and son were both in Fort Benning, it made this stop very emotional. My husband went through basic training and Ranger School at Fort Benning back in 1984 and my son went through basic and Airborne School here in 2009. We spent time driving through the base seeing what had changed since Greg was here 32 years ago. We saw lots of soldiers going through obstacle courses and range practice. Another highlight of the trip was going through the National Infantry Museum. Although I had toured the museum back in 2009, it was special to get to share this with my husband who had more knowledge to share of the different things to be seen. Of course anybody military related knows that you don’t go near a base without going to the PX and Commissary. This was my first time at a PX like this and boy was I surprised by all the things you could buy. 

National Infantry Museum, Columbus, GA

National Infantry Museum, Columbus, GA

National Infantry Museum, Columbus, GA

Flags at half mass, National Infantry Museum, Columbus, GA

Paratroopers doing jumps

Our last day here we sat and watched the paratroopers do several jumps. I can’t believe my son was doing jumps like this just a few short years ago. It amazes me what these soldiers go through to train to protect our freedom. Each night as we sat in the RV chilling from the day, we could hear C-130’s fly over our house. We speculated that they were doing night jumps as that is also part of the training.

Paratrooper Jump - watching within walking distance from our campsite

Paratrooper Jump – watching within walking distance from our campsite

Paratrooper Jump - watching within walking distance from our campsite

Paratrooper Jump – watching within walking distance from our campsite

Paratrooper Jump - watching within walking distance from our campsite

Paratrooper Jump – watching within walking distance from our campsite

The second stopover was in Cumming, GA at Bald Ridge Creek Lake on Lake Lanier. I had hoped we would be able to get in some fishing on the full day we had here, but unfortunately I wasn’t feeling very well, so I spent the day recuperating, so I would be more than ready for our time in Maggie Valley.

Maggie Valley

Our stay in Maggie Valley started on Friday the 15th of July having arrived around 2:30 pm. We enjoyed dinner at a local restaurant the first evening, Garrett’s. I had trout for the first time and didn’t realize it taste and looked a lot like salmon. It was great.

On Saturday we took off for Cherokee, NC to see the Oconaluftee Indian Village, the Qualla Arts and Craft Mutual, Inc. and the Museum of the Cherokee Indians. Everywhere we went we learned more and more about the way of the Cherokee. 

Of course a trip to Cherokee would not be complete without seeing waterfalls and we saw two of them. The first was Mingo Falls, which is actually in Cherokee. You have to walk .04 miles to get to it, but it is so worth it.  There is a platform to stand on and see the falls from the top, but you can also go down the mountain to get to the bottom. I wasn’t brave enough to go all the way to the bottom, but we did make our way about half way down. 

Mingo Falls, NC

Mingo Falls, NC

Mingo Falls, NC

Mingo Falls, NC

Since it was raining on our way back to Maggie Valley, we postponed seeing the second waterfall until Sunday morning as it is actually closer to Maggie Valley than Cherokee. You could hear the roar of the falls as soon as you get out of your vehicle. The walk is not that far and the beauty of the falls is grand. My pictures don’t do it justice.

Soco Falls, NC

Soco Falls, NC

Cataloochee Valley

On Sunday afternoon, with our two dogs in the backseat, we headed for Cataloochee Valley hoping to see Elk. After waiting for what seemed like all day, finally after a few rain showers the Elk started coming out of the woods. At the first location we were at we saw a total of 8, which included two babies. They were totally adorable running and playing together just like children. At one point, a mommy and baby drifted from the rest of the herd and made their way to where a couple trucks were sitting just below us. Although the baby laid down in the grass, the mommy kept drifting until she ended up crossing the road to the creek. After about 45 minutes or so of viewing these magnificent creatures we started our trek out of there. Greg was disappointed that we didn’t see any bulls, but we weren’t down the mountain yet. Sure enough we came upon another open field to several cars sitting still on the side of the road and sure enough there were 6 more cows (females) and 2 bulls (males). While Greg drove along ever so slowly I jumped on the back of the truck for better photo opportunities. I’m sure I looked crazy to the other viewers, but it was worth it for these up close pics.  In addition to the elk, we also saw twelve turkeys.

6 Cows and 2 Babies at Cataloochee Valley, NC

6 Cows and 2 Babies at Cataloochee Valley, NC

Mommy who drifted from the herd for the creek for water.

Mommy who drifted from the herd for the creek for water.

Mister Bull....Mister Bull....You look so good!!!

Mister Bull….Mister Bull….You look so good!!!

Love the rack on this Elk, Cataloochee Valley, NC

Love the rack on this Elk, Cataloochee Valley, NC

The scariest part of this trip was the ride up the side of the mountain and back down. I was totally wishing I had a brake on my side of the truck because the road was very narrow and at some points there was only one lane and you could not see around the corner, so you had to pray there was not another car coming at you.

This road is a lot smaller than it appears especially when passing another car!

This road is a lot smaller than it appears especially when passing another car!

Wheels Through Time

Our visit through Maggie Valley included a fantastic museum devoted to motorcycles called Wheels Through Time. There are over 300 bikes including a double bicycle from 1896 to motorcycles in the early 1900’s. If you’re a lover of motorcycles, especially Harley’s then you would love to tour this museum. In addition to the motorcycles, there are automobiles from the early 1900’s as well as lots of memorabilia that was very impressive to be seen.

Our last day was filled with a trip to Asheville for a trolley ride. We started at the visitor’s center and done the hop on hop off trip that included 10 stops throughout Asheville. The driver was very informative and he shared a lot of information about the city. The one thing that stood out the most was when we drove past a McDonald’s and the driver said it was the swankiest McDonald’s you would ever see as it has a piano and marble columns. Made me want to jump off the trolley and see for myself, but instead I just took his word for it.

The first leg may be over, but we still have lots of miles to cover before this 4 month adventure is over. Our next big stop will be in Ohio with a couple stops on the way. Hope you will continue to follow our trip and see where we end up.

For more photos from each of our stops click on the links below:

Uchee Creek Campground, Ft Mitchell, AL

Paratrooper Jumps, Ft Benning, GA

Ranger School, Ft. Benning, GA

National Infantry Museum, Ft Benning, GA

Cherokee, NC

Mingo Falls, NC

Soco Falls, NC

Cataloochee Valley, NC

Wheels Through Time, Maggie Valley, NC

Asheville, NC

Our RV Journey to Louisiana

June 17th – 20th – Eastbank Campground, 153 Eastbank, Bainbridge, GA

We arrived at Eastbank Campground on the 17th a little before 5:00 pm. We had site A01 with a waterfront view. Unfortunately the place was covered with Mayflies, which attacked our rig and truck and would attack you when you got close to them. Despite the annoyance, we still enjoyed our view and gator watched every day we were there. I know most people prefer whale watching and when I finally get a chance to do that, I’m sure it will be more thrilling than watching gators. 

Mayflies

The first day we saw at least 4 different ones floating around going back and forth in front of our site. Being that we didn’t get up close and personal and because they were in the water the whole time, I can only guess how long they really were, but based on the size of their head and the length of the body that rose out of the water, I would say they were anywhere from 3 feet on the small size up to about 10 – 11 feet long. On the second day, we didn’t see as many, but there were still some floating about.

Alligator floating at Eastbank Campground

Alligator floating at Eastbank Campground

Another shot of Mr. Alligator

Our stay ended on Monday when we headed for Fort Pickens, Florida to spend a few days on the beach.

June 20th – 24th – Fort Pickens Campgrounds, Fort Pickens, Florida

We left around 9:30 (CST) on the 20th headed for Fort Pickens. We arrived around 1:15 PM at the registration station, but had to wait until 1:30 for them to open up as they close for lunch every day. While waiting we got to see the Blue Angels practicing. Check-in was a breeze. Our rate here was only $13/night using our Access pass discount. Not sure going without sewer for several days is worth it, but we’re learning to use less water so we can make it through our stay without having to go dump. One thing we learned as soon as we got to our site is we really should have bought a shorter rig. This thing gets bigger when you try to put it on what they tell you is a big enough site, but when you have trees on both sides, a 38.6 ft. fifth wheel is not going into that space. Luckily they found us another site a little further down and we were set up in no time. We spotted a dog park on the way in on day one and took the dogs by to walk in the sand. We found out real quick like that our dogs are not water lovers. They did not like the sand, nor the water. Can’t blame them, I don’t really like the sand and salt water either. I prefer pool water. With that being said, why did we come to the beach? I have no idea! My husband said he wanted to stay here, so I made it happen. 

Beautiful sunset at Fort Pickens

Another shot of that beautiful sunset

We did spend one night down on the beach watching the sunset. It was quiet and serene. The pictures above really don’t do it justice. We saw several families having family portraits made. Being a photographer myself, I love to see families preserving their family memories.

June 24th – 29th – Bayou Segnette State Park, Westwego, LA (New Orleans)

Once we left Ft. Pickens, we headed towards New Orleans. This was my second trip to the city, but the first since Hurricane Katrina. The main place I wanted to go to was Café de Monde to taste some beignets. My husband had never tasted beignets before. I don’t think he was really that impressed with the place. I have to admit they weren’t as good as I remembered them the first time. The weather was extremely hot and humid during our entire stay, which made enjoying our time almost impossible. On Saturday, I drove to Baton Rouge to meet up with my daughter that I hadn’t seen in over a year. It was great catching up and I hated to leave, but we will see each other again soon.

On Sunday, we made our way to New Orleans to see what we could. We were there during the heat of the day and it was miserably hot. We parked at Algiers and took the ferry across. We were able to see one of the Carnival Cruise lines, which was cool. Once we landed at Canal street we strolled to Café de Monde and ate our beignets, then strolled the streets some more. My husband wanted to drink a beer on Bourbon Street and he got his wish, but I have to say that street was so gross. The smell was absolutely disgusting. I could not get back to the ferry soon enough. I came to the conclusion that for me I have not lost anything in New Orleans and have no intentions of going back. 

On the ferry headed to New Orleans

On Monday we drove to Cabela’s about an hour’s drive away. This was our first time ever being in one and it was very interesting and entertaining with all the animals. I have no idea if all the Cabela’s are decked out this much with animals, but this one was very unique. In the evening a huge storm with thunder and lightning came and we lost power until the next day around noon. Lucky for us we have a generator, so we were able to have power. By the time power was restored on Tuesday, I was in no mood to get out, so we stayed at home. I was more than ready to leave on Wednesday headed for West Monroe. Some shots from our time in New Orleans.

St Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, LA

Dog on curb just sitting there. Owner wanted money if you took pic.

June 29th – July 2nd – Jimmie Davis State Park, Chatham, LA (West Monroe)

From New Orleans, we headed towards West Monroe. I had found another state park in the town of Chatham about 30 minutes south of West Monroe. Once we got off I-49, we were on back roads with miles and miles of nothing. We got our worse scare in trying to find diesel, so much so that by the time we got to the park, dropped the rig and found diesel, it was saying “0” miles left of fuel. I’m sure we had driven at least a mile with it saying “0”. I was doing some major praying hoping God would watch over us and thankfully he did and we got fuel before we ran out. 

Across the street was a mom and pop restaurant, J&H that we got dinner at. The food was decent and the sweet tea totally delicious. The atmosphere inside was that of an old-time diner with scriptures on the wall, family pics and many, many servicemen and women who have served our country for many years. 

On Thursday, we headed to West Monroe to find Duck Commander. It was easy to locate as it’s right off the main road. They have an area where you can make your own duck call and get a bobble head. We didn’t do that; we only got a picture made and viewed all the stuff in the store. From here, we went to Willie’s Diner for lunch. It was much bigger than what I expected. The food was good. We tried boudin for the first time. They talk about it on the show and we had no idea what it was. I have no idea what was in it and I probably don’t want to know, but it wasn’t bad. We also drove to the neighborhood that the boys all live in. Although you can’t get to their front door, we could see the back side of Jep and Jessica’s house. As for Si’s place, we drove right in front. I tried to get my husband to stop, but he wouldn’t. I told him I wasn’t scared to knock on their door. Maybe next time.

Duck Commander RV

Duck Commander 18-wheeler

Willie’s Diner, West Monroe, LA

Martin from Duck Commander

July 2nd – 5th Okatoma Resort & RV Park, Hattiesburg, MS

After West Monroe, we were headed back towards Florida, but we made two stops in Mississippi before getting there. Our first stop was at Okatoma Resort. It was an interesting place. They have several sites and at first wanted to put us in a back-in on the lake, but it was way too small for our rig, so we got a pull-thru, which is what we prefer. We were literally parked in what looked to be a dirt parking lot that they added extra sites to as an afterthought from the original park. It has a lake that you can fish in, a swimming pool and more, but even with all that we probably wouldn’t stay here again. The best part about this location was the farmers market located on the left side of the road when driving towards Hattiesburg. It was beautifully decorated with nostalgic decorations that reminded me of the good ole’ days and the fruit and veggies were delicious.

Okatoma Resort

July 5th – 7th – Davis Bayou Campground, Ocean Springs, MS

Our second Mississippi stop was in Ocean Springs which was just south of the bridge to Biloxi. We wanted to spend a little time at a casino, just for the sake of saying we had been. Luck was not on our side and it just made me think why do people spend hours and hours playing on slots losing money. It was crazy. The park we stayed at was the best place we had been in the past 3 weeks. We ventured out the first night for a good place to eat and found McElroy’s. I thought I was going to bust by the time I got through eating. I had shrimp and grits and they were the best I have ever eaten. The hubs had an oyster po’boy, which was not so good. He said the oysters should have been fried more for his taste. 

Hard Rock Cafe, Biloxi, MS

July 7th – 9th – My Parents

This journey was supposed to land us back in Molino, Florida at my parents to celebrate my dad’s 80th birthday. I won’t bore you with all the details that took place. I’ll just say that things didn’t go quite the way I had hoped. But I was able to see my two-year old grandson who I hadn’t seen in over a year. It made this trip worth all the bad we went through especially when that little man give his Nana much-needed hugs and kisses. He really knows how to make this Nana feel loved. On the 9th, we left my parents around 5:00 pm and found a little “hole in the wall” place about an hour away off exit 83 on I-65. It was perfect for an overnight. The pull-through was long enough we didn’t have to unhook and we could begin our 4 month journey the next day.

Let the journey begin……