Thursday, June 7, 2012

So the trip is over.

Yes we made it back to St. Augustine this afternoon and am glad we are back.
Traveling is just too rough on both of us.
So 2,457 miles done.  Most of the interstate highways we traveled on were terribly rough,frost heaves, poor asphalt, concrete done wrong.....  leaves one pulling a trailer bouncing something fierce.
We invested in airbags in Spgfld to ease the trip some.  And they did help.  At least we didn't bottom out on the way back.

I-55 southbound heading into WestMemphis ARK, watch out for the huge bump, yes huge bump, it is just after I40 heads off to the right going to Little Rock.  I55 goes to the left and just after that bridge, right hand lane, expect to get airborne.
So some pics to add to the maiden voyage of our land yacht.

OUR first night out was behind a Huddle House somewhere in GA.

Great place to park, gravel parking lot, just opened the windows and enjoyed, that is until the wind shifted and we realized we were downwind from a Paper Mill. Boy that smell makes a pig farm smell pleasant. Next stop was the farm:

After a few days of visiting old friends, stopping at my old work to get my annual physical etal, we were ready to head out = quick goodbye from the farm crowd

So the Barngoddess (after all she is at the Farm, calling her a beachgoddess with no sand in sight would be just plain wrong) My Noble Assistant and I headed out for the 1,200 mile trip home.

Our first rest break was at Mammooth Springs State Park on Hwy 63 at Mo/Ark line. Spent an hour walking around the lake/spring and reading about it. Really relaxing, had lunch and then off again. A sep blog on that park, have lots of pics to upload.

Our overnight stop was the Tom Sawyer Campground in West Memphis Ark. Sits literally right on the Mississippi River, and was great. They are still recovering from the 2011 floods that wiped them off the map, but have done a great job rebuilding. Access was easy, but somewhat "do we really want to go down this road", but glad we did, Staff was friendly and pleasant, and really helpful.

The neatest was the barges that kept coming by, the three of us got to really have fun
watching them plod along.


And this view shows just how close they are:

Next morning (Tuesday) we headed out on US 78 towards Birmingham. ROUGH ROUGH ROAD. Although they are paving it, it was still rough, bouncing along.

So at Tupelo we headed south on US 45.. smooth sailing, sailing, that's what makes the trip so grand, yes smooth highway. We went to US 82 and headed east. By the time we got to Montgomery, we decided to spend the night and make use of a campground and swimming pool. Our pick stunk worse than the first night out. Place was an old KOA, rough roads leading into it, guy at counter acted like we were imposing on him. We used
 the pool, at least the water was clean...

Up again and off on HWY 82 towards Tifton GE and Interstate 75. US 82 is a great highway to travel. Very little traffic, and we sailed along about 60-65 most of the time.

Longrooffan - I have taken your advice and am now using NON INterstate highways. Except for the ones that I know are smooth.

Anyway, we stopped in Union Springs, AL. This is home to the field dog competition trials and there is a statue of a dog in the center of an intersection. So true to form,
we stopped and took pictures.

Quick little rest stop, then grab some lunch from the golden arches, and we headed down US 82.

Now understand that it has been about 10 days since the Barngoddess has been in a trift shop, or any store other than truck stops, and she was having withdrawls.... so upon reaching a little town of Eufaula, AL, I parked the right parrell on the street, taking up about 15 diagonal parking spots, and the Barngoddess and my Noble Assistant went shopping.
Downtown has a ton of stores. So I went and took pictuces of the downtown area. Now Spgfld and MO have to learn something from these folks. Every intersection has a statue of someone, or a fountain. Really neat looking.

The last was a statue of someone, but I didn't venture into the street to look, it was the main drag and there was a ton of traffic rolling thru. I imagine something to do with civil wars.

WE continued out roll out on HWY 82 until we reached Interstate 75 and turned south.

Now I know I 75 from Tifton GE to Lake City FL is smooth, and was easy to drive. Spent the night in Jennings FL at the Jennings Campground. Nice campground, but spots were narrow and difficult to pull into without driving all over the grass.

Next am headed for home. Now I75 is smooth, so is Interstate 10 between Lake City and Jacksonville. Can't say what it is like west of Lake City, and headed south on I95 to St Augustine.

Home finally, got set up and the rains hit. 5 inches of rain already this afternoon and evening. So that is the trip. More later.

So that is how we spent the last two weeks.  I'm beat, Beachgoddess is glad to be home, and we took the Noble Assistant to the beach before the rains hit, and she got her first experience of the ocean washing the sand out from under your feet in the surf.  A couple pics for your viewing of a young teenager who is exposed to the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.

you can see how much beach has been added since we were gone, and they are

It makes me dizzy to watch the surf, and the sand keeps washing out from under my feet.........

And that also lets us celebrate Life knowing we are enjoying life to the fullest. Next stop is Daytona Beach.... after playing tourist in St Aug the Nation's Oldest City..... A quaint little drinking town with a fishing problem. tom

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