Sunday, November 28, 2010

What a Long Drive

Well, we made it down here - well, almost all the way. We left Buck Creek Friday morning - in freezing cold weather - BOY, did it get cold overnight! When we lifted the jacks on the motor home, the rear jacks were basically frozen to the ground and brought up a big "divot" of grass and dirt along with the jacks - different! But we got on the road with no problems at all, nor did we have any problems along the way (which has NOT necessarily been true of previous years, so we're always relieved when we have uneventful traveling days). We pulled over into a Walmart just south of Knoxville and stayed there for the night. We actually found I-75 to be a pretty good route - we're thinking we actually prefer it to our normal southbound route which goes through Indianapolis, Louisville and Nashville (so, Brenda, I guess you should plan on us for Thanksgiving every year from now on!). And, as usual, when we got into southern Kentucky and started seeing the mountains, we were amazed at how pretty the scenary is. So, anyway, we spent the night at the Walmart and slept surprisingly well - we're getting pretty good at this sleeping-in-a-huge-parking-lot thing.

Saturday morning we got up really early - like 6:00! - and hit the road. After we gassed up and got coffee (for me) and hooked up, we were back on I-75 by 7:00. And we were glad we did, because we got in a number of hours of easy driving - we even got through Atlanta without any problems at all. In fact, the traffic was amazingly light at about 11:00 on Saturday morning. But, BOY, as soon as we got through Atlanta and hit the stretch of road between Atlanta and Macon, did we hit traffic! We basically crawled between the two cities and we never did figure out why - we really never passed an accident - but the traffic was so backed up that even after it started moving south of Macon, we never really got back out of a heavy flow for the rest of the day. Fortunately, we had planned all along to pull into Reed Bingham State Park, which is about 40 miles north of the Georgia-Florida state line, so we got off the highway about 3:30 and breathed a huge collective sigh of relief!

Since our reservation at Cedar Key starts on Wednesday, December 1, our initial plan was to stay here until Wednesday morning. But we got to thinking, and called them this morning to see if we could just come in a couple of days early, which was fine with them. So we'll be leaving first thing tomorrow (i.e. Monday) morning and we should arrive at our December home by early afternoon. And then we are PARKED for a whole month- VERY cool! But in the meanwhile, we've had a great day here at Reed Bingham. This is one of our favorite "layover" parks along the Michigan-to-Florida route. It has maybe 70 or 80 campsites and is situated on the side of a pretty little lake formed by a dam on the Little River (yes, that is it's real name). And the hiking trails are great. I went out this morning for about an hour-long walk around the lake with Brandi and then went again about 4:00 and hiked the trail along the river (which is one of my favorite hour-long hikes). Brandi did really well although she just about pulled my arm out of shoulder taking off after her first armadillo! God, is she STRONG! It was a little emotional hiking with her because I've done this many, many times in the past with Foster. But she's a good little companion and it was fun to see her excitement, curiousity and enthusiasm at all the new sights, sounds and smells. Dave went on a long bike ride this morning and then spent some time fishing in the afternoon. The temp was in the low 60's so it was really, really pleasant - and we were really, really happy to be here! Plus - we made a KILLING in firewood - there was a group camping together and when they left this morning, they left a huge pile of really good firewood behind - oak, I think Dave said. Anyway - the SECOND they pulled out we jumped into the car and drove over and snagged the firewood. And it's a good thing we did because 10 minutes later the camphosts headed over there and got the measly leftovers that we didn't take. It's a man-eat-man battle in these campgrounds over leftover firewood, believe me! So - we had our first campfire tonight, which was terrific!

So - our camping trip has now offically begun! We've had our first campfire, our first hot dogs, our first hiking/biking/fishing experiences - and tomorrow we head out on the last leg of our drive into Florida. Hallelujah! Life is good...

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