Pine Mountain, GA to Summerdale, AL
Summerdale, AL - Events of Wednesday, April 4 to Sunday, April 8, 2012
We originally planned to make the journey from Pine Mountain, GA to Summerdale, AL in two days traveling a little over three hours the first day and about an hour and a half the second day. However, when we thought about it the evening before we left and realized it wasn't that far, and when we realized we would gain an hour traveling from the Eastern Time Zone into Central, we decided it didn't make a lot of sense to split the travel into two days. Therefore, we switched to Plan B and decided to drive straight through and arrive in Summerdale a day early.
However, when we got up Wednesday morning and checked the weather radar, there was a large, ominous-looking rain storm just offshore in the Gulf of Mexico that looked like it was heading directly for Mobile and Summerdale. We could only think of the videos we saw on the news the day before of semi-trailers being tossed through the air by tornadoes in the Dallas area, so we started to think switching back to Plan A and stopping for the night before we got to Summerdale to avoid driving through the rain storm wasn't such a bad idea after all.
When we pulled off the interstate for fuel at the Flying J just south of Montgomery, Margery plugged our Pantech modem into the computer and brought up the weather radar. To our surprise, the rain had remained mostly out over the Gulf, and Summerdale's weather report showed it was overcast with only a few light showers. We went back to Plan B of driving straight through. We checked the radar again a little later while we were on the road (something we could not have done with the satellite internet service we used to have), and there was still no major rain around Summerdale, so we drove on.
We hit a couple of very light sprinkles, and it got a bit breezy for the last 25 or 30 miles or our journey, but none of that was interstate driving so it wasn't that bad. We pulled into Rainbow Plantation around 1:45 Central Time.
Rainbow Plantation has a campground, co-op sites and deeded lots. The campground has full hookups. The roads are paved, and the sites are widely spaced and are mostly grass, although many of the sites have live oak trees under which the grass is pretty sparse. Even with the sparse grass, we usually prefer a site with some shade given the heat of the Alabama sun. The eastern end of the campground has 30-amp electric and the western end had 30/50-amp electric. Wi-Fi is available for a fee. Summerdale is close enough to Mobile that the the Verizon Broadband service is 4G.
We usually end up getting one of the same two sites every time we stop at Rainbow Plantation, and this time was no exception. We got set up in short order and settled in to relax for the rest of the day.
The campground does get its share of winter residents in spite of the fact southern Alabama can get many nights below freezing during the winter. However, by the time we usually arrive in March or April, the weather has warmed up considerably. Most of the winter crowd has left so there are plenty of sites available.
We ran some errands on Thursday, and we hit Walmart on Friday to restock the fridge and pantry. On Friday afternoon, Paul washed the motor home and the car while Margery caught up on laundry. It had really piled up after we spent a week at the state park in Pine Mountain with no sewer hookup.
On Saturday, we did our weekly cleaning inside the motor home in the morning and then we drove down to Bon Secour to Billy's Seafood to pick up some fresh shrimp for dinner.
Bon Secour (French for good security or safe harbor) was originally a French fishing village dating back to the 1800s. Bon Secour is the home of several packing companies that buy shrimp and fish from the local fishing fleet and ship the seafood all over the United States. We found out they also sell fresh seafood at retail last fall when we visited the Swift-Coles House in Bon Secour. The Swift-Coles House was built around 1900 by lumber magnate Charles Swift. Click here to read about our visit last fall to Bon Secour and the Swift-Coles House.
Billy's Seafood has shrimp in many different sizes. We bought about a pound and a half so we would have enough for dinner that evening plus some left for another recipe Margery wanted to try a few days later.
We have several ways we like to eat our shrimp, but our favorite, which is the way we had them on Saturday, is to just quickly sauté the shrimp in oil with a little garlic, then add some Old Bay seasoning and white wine for the last few minutes as they finish cooking. Margery drains off the liquid and serves the shrimp with melted butter. When dipped in the melted butter, the shrimp taste almost like lobster. Yum!
Sunday was Easter, and Paul was up in time to catch a beautiful sunrise.
Although we didn't make it to the sunrise service, we did attended the 10:00 AM service at the Church on the Eastern Shore in Fairhope. The Church on the Eastern Shore, or COTES as they call themselves, is where we worship when we are staying in Summerdale. It was a beautiful service with great worship and a meaningful Easter message.
Rainbow Plantation had a pot-luck Easter dinner in the afternoon, but we decided not to sign up because we felt like we wanted a quieter dinner after the sightseeing and traveling we had been doing in the past two weeks, so we went to Cracker Barrel for an early dinner. Margery had fried catfish, and Paul had a more traditional Easter dinner of country ham. The food, as is usual for Cracker Barrel, was delicious.
On Sunday evening when we were taking Freeway for his evening walk, we met up with Darrell and Judy. Darrell and Judy have a co-p site at Rainbow Plantation, and we originally met them through their blog. They told us about the new dog run that was just installed behind the RV storage area at Rainbow Plantation, so we all walked over to check it out. It is only about 3 weeks old, and it is great. Is is very large and completely enclosed by a fence. We will be stopping there often because it is a safe place to let Freeway run and a good place to use for training.
We will be staying at Rainbow Plantation for several weeks. We have some projects scheduled, we have some sightseeing we want to do, and we have several favorite restaurants where we want to eat while we're here. We'll let you know what we're up to in our next post.