Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Double Mojito night

Yesterday we stayed at Buccaneer State Park in Waveland, Mississippi. Quite an interesting State Park Campground that isn't typical at all. It was recently rebuilt after being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and this campground has a water park as well as a wave pool and is directly on the Gulf of Mexico. It appears most of the 200+ campsites have full hookups too.

The other interesting fact about this campground is it is built on the site for the confederate command forces during the civil war during the battle of New Orleans. And it's also the site of Andrew Jackson's homestead where he lived after the war.

We practically had the campground to ourselves and the dozen or so campers staying here are not to be seen. We were guessing that they're probably at the local casinos making their fortunes. During the night we had some pretty good thunderstorms come through. Looking at the positive, the heavy rain washed off most of the love bugs while we slept.

It was a long day today and we put in quite a few miles and made it into Texas. Roads in Louisiana were pretty beat up but the real fun started when we felt the excitement of driving through Houston during rush hour traffic. It was without a doubt the longest traffic jam I have ever been in through my entire life. The 12 lane road was backed up for 50 miles through the city. I don't know how anyone in Houston could possibly live in this town. I'm just glad we opted to fight our way through the city and camp on the western side so tomorrow will be clear sailing. The traffic jam is what effected our double mojito night.

We're in a private RV park tonight. Very neat and quiet. Good place for drinking Mojitos and relaxing. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The cat with ESP

It was a relief to finally hit the road after months of planning and checking the 5'er to make sure we brought everything we might need for the trip. First night is at Torreya State Park in the panhandle of Florida. Went about 340 miles which seemed like a decent day. Lots of love bugs were plastered to the truck and 5'er when we pulled in. Washed them off as soon as we set up.

We never did get everything organized before pulling out so there is still a pile of stuff that needs to be put away. We have at least 2-3 times more things that what we normally take camping. That plus the extra tools, a half tank of fresh water and the generators has the rig feeling somewhat heavier going down the road. Nothing the new diesel engine can't handle though.

Big hills in this State park reminds me of the mountains of Georgia in some ways. We did a little hiking after dinner and got a good workout. Mosquitoes were extremely thick which made for a brisk walking pace.

Our Cat has ESP and without a doubt knew what was up when we woke up this morning. We closed off her usual routes of escape to hide out and when it was time to go, she went limp when I picked her up and let me take her out to the 5'er with no complaints. Any other time I try to pick her up she starts with constant meowing to let me know she doesn't like being picked up. So she just knew what was coming and resigned herself to just get on with it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Very little planning

Just about every spare moment since February has been spent renovating a new house we bought with our son, so there has been little time devoted to planning this Alaska trip.   Doing things impulsively and flying by the seat of your pants as they say is more fun anyways.  In fact the only reservations we had were for the Alaskan Marine Hwy and we cancelled those to save money and instead travel the Alaskan Hwy back.

But I have been taking time maintaining the Fiver to be in top condition to travel.  It now has a new set of top quality wheel bearings and grease and I've been going through all the systems to update what needs attention.  Although that was going well, just before we went camping last week to test  modifications several problems were discovered.  First, a water connection that I changed out started leaking like crazy.  This in turn got the carpet inside wet which somehow caused our slideout to malfunction.  It would not go all the way back in and a plastic piece that is part of the sliding mechanism came unattached.  Talk about a panic situation.

The slideout is a number one worry because it can cause big headaches if it fails.  Fortunately we have some top notch RV mechanics (RV's R Us, Pinellas Park, Fl) in our area and what I thought was a major issue turned out to be a quick fix to these guys.  Plus they noticed the other end of the slideout had the same issue so they fixed both of them.  Apparently the pieces never did get screwed down at the factory ... the screws were just laying next to both pieces under the slide room.  Somehow the slide still worked just fine without the screws since 2006.  And it's good that it failed now instead of in some remote area of the Yukon.

One of our good friends who also has a fifth wheel and helped us plan this trip to Alaska passed away unexpectedly this week.  I got a lot of good advice from him and it highlights the fact that we need to savor and enjoy life while we can because you never know when your time here will end.  Bob loved driving on the Alaskan Hwy so I'm sure he will join us in spirit on this trip.

Only a couple weeks left to departure so we're finally starting to pack and get ready.