Florida Farewell and Alabama Arrival
Summerdale, AL - Events of Friday, March 29 to Wednesday, April 3, 2013
On Friday and Saturday, we relaxed a bit and also began to do a few things to get ready for our departure the following Tuesday. After church on Easter Sunday, we met up with our friends, Pat and Mike, and two other couples for Easter lupper at Cracker Barrel.
Cracker Barrel seems to be our go-to place for meals on holidays. They have consistently good, southern-style, comfort food at very reasonable prices. Lots of other people apparently feel the same way about Cracker Barrel as we do because it is usually pretty crowded, especially on holidays. We arrived shortly after 2:00 p.m. and had about a 35-minute wait for a table. The time passed quickly as we chatted on the porch.
we got seated, it didn't take all of us long to decide what we wanted. Margery had boneless
fried chicken and Paul chose country ham. We split a piece of
double-chocolate Coca-Cola cake for dessert. Everything was delish!
Since it was crowded, we didn't linger too long at our table after we had finished eating, and we continued our conversation outside on the porch. As we chatted, we noticed a very nicely restored, late-1940s International pickup parked in the back of the lot.
We eventually said our good-byes and headed back to Blueberry Hill where we settled in for an evening of TV. On Monday, we finished putting things away around the motor home to get ready for our departure on Tuesday. It's amazing how much stuff we get out and leave out when we park for an extended period of time. We also said good-bye to Pat and Mike and to the few neighbors who were remaining.
We pulled out around 9:20 Tuesday morning headed for Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, AL where we are planning to stay for several
weeks. We were hoping that leaving on Tuesday we would avoid the holiday and departing snowbird travelers. Although there was a good bit of traffic heading north on I-75, it wasn't excessively heavy - we didn't run into any slow-downs or problems at all. Once we hit I-10 and started heading west, traffic thinned out to practically nothing. Good plan!
We made an overnight stop at Florida Springs RV Campground in Bonifay, FL to the west of Tallahassee where RV friends, Randy and Terry, are workamping. It was a little over a 5-hour drive, which is a farther than we usually like to drive in a day; but since we gained an hour going into the Central Time Zone, it didn't seem quite as long as it was.
Florida Springs RV is only a short distance from the interstate, so there is some traffic noise. However, it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be, even late at night when everything else is very quiet. That's partly due to the relatively light traffic on I-10 and partly due to the fact there is a small rise between the campground and the interstate that helps block the sound. There were no trains either.
The roads and sites at Florida Springs RV are a mixture of sand and gravel. Most of the sites are shady, so there is very little grass between the sites. Most of the sites also have full hookups, some with 30/50-amp electric and some with 30 amps. There is also free cable and free Wi-Fi, but we were too far from the office to get a Wi-Fi signal. Fortunately, even though the area seems to be very rural, we had strong Verizon 4G broadband service.
The campground has a mixture of back-ins and pull-throughs. The spacing of the back-ins is a little close together, and some of the pull-throughs are very close. We always like to get a pull-through when we're making a one-night stop so we don't have to unhook the toad. Fortunately for us, a few of the pull-throughs also have a clear view of the southern sky for good satellite reception, so we didn't have to unhook the toad or fool with the tripod for only one night. Unfortunately, not only are some the pull-through sites close together, but the sunny pull-throughs don't have sewer hookups either. And on top of that, the sunny pull-throughs aren't very level.
Florida Springs RV Park isn't exactly a destination campground, but it's not bad for an overnight stop or a stay of a few days. Their regular nightly rate of $36 for a 50-amp site seems a bit pricey; but they are a Passport America campground, and the price isn't too bad with the 50% discount.
We hit the road a little before 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday. We only had about 2½-hour drive to the Escapees Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, AL; but we could see lots of rain moving into the area on the weather radar, so hurried to leave early because we didn't want to have to unhook utilities and put away all the leveling blocks in the rain.
It started to sprinkle just as we pulled out of the campground, and the intensity of the rain gradually increased the whole way so it was raining pretty hard by the time we got to Rainbow Plantation. That meant we had to unhook the toad and set up in the rain.
We both got soaked even though we dug our raincoats out of the closet and put them on. Our raincoats were pretty old, and we haven't worn them in quite a while. The vinyl lining that is supposed to make them water repellent was cracked from age, so they weren't much better than wearing a regular jacket. We'll be looking for new raincoats in the near future.
After we got backed in and leveled, Paul hooked up the electricity and we put out the slides. Paul hooked up the water and sewer a couple of hours later after the rain stopped.
The sites in the RV campground at Rainbow Plantation are all large back-ins. The sites are mostly grass, but there are a lot of bare, sandy spots - especially where there is shade from the many live oaks. Fortunately for us, the trees aren't huge, and we can usually get our satellite dish to peek up between the branches to lock onto a satellite signal. There are full hookups with 30-amp electric on the eastern end of the campground and 30/50-amp electric on the western end. The next photo of Rainbow Plantation was taken a couple of days later after the sun came out.
The area around Summerdale, AL is one of our favorite locations. Since have spent several weeks here every spring and fall for the past several years, we have found plenty of great eating places, and visiting them has become one of our favorite activities while staying here. We hope we will be able to hit most of them without busting our budget or our diets. Stay tuned.