Summerdale, AL - Events of Thursday, April 16 to Friday, April 17, 2015
On Thursday, we said good-bye to Blueberry Hill, hitched up the 5th wheel and headed out toward Lower Alabama. Although it still takes us quite a bit longer for us to pack the 5th wheel to get it ready for travel, this time we were much better at getting lined up and actually doing the hitching. We expect packing up the 5th wheel will get faster in time, too. After all, we had 10 years of practice getting the motor home ready to travel and this is only our third time for the 5th wheel.
Since it took us longer to pack up, we got a little later start than we had planned. After a drive of a little over 4 hours plus an additional 15 or 20 minutes to fuel up, we pulled into our overnight stop at Coe Landing Campground around 2:30. Coe Landing is a Leon County park located on the shores of Lake Talquin just west of Tallahassee.
The campground has 15 or 20 campsites with water and 30-amp electric. The sites at Coe Landing have gravel pads and patios. The campground is fairly heavily wooded, especially along the lake, so only some of the sites have grass. A few of the sites are a little close together, but it wasn't crowded at all when we were there on a Thursday so being close wasn't a problem.
There was no traffic noise, and there were no trains so the campground was nice and quiet when we were there. However, we suspect the place can get a little zooy on weekends since it's so close to Tallahassee and since it's on a lake that is popular for boating. The camping fee at Coe Landing was $27, which seemed a little high for only two-point hookups and the rustic nature of the campground. There was a pretty good Verizon 4G signal.
There are only a couple of long pull-through sites, and the one they originally assigned us didn't look like it had good satellite reception at all. Not only that, but the site was curved, and the front sloped fairly steeply. Therefore, we switched to a back-in site that was more open and level. We really didn't want to fuss setting up a satellite dish on a tripod for a one-night stop, and we also wanted a site that was relatively level so could still leave the 5th wheel attached to the truck and just extend the jacks to stabilize the rig.
The roads at Coe Landing aren't very wide, and with trees and shrubs everywhere, maneuvering is tight in a lot of places - especially at the entrance to our site. We had travel trailers years ago, and Paul had gotten pretty good at backing into tight spots; but after 10 years of motor home ownership, he is a little rusty at backing a trailer. The tight quarters were a challenge, but we eventually got situated.
There are several lake view sites, but they are best suited to smaller RVs.
Since we didn't have to hitch up in the morning and since we didn't do much unpacking for a one-night stop, we were able to get a relatively early start. With a drive of a little over 4 hours and with gaining an hour going from Eastern to Central Time, we arrived at the Escapees' Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, AL shortly after noon.
Rainbow Plantation has around 100 full-hookup sites. About half the sites have 30-amp electric and the other half have 30/50-amp electric. The cost for escapees members is $18 a night ($1 additional for 50 amps).
The widely-spaced sites are on grass and sandy soil. There are medium-sized live oak trees between many of the sites. Satellite reception is generally good, but you do need to be careful which site you pick because of the trees. There is a relatively good Verizon 4G signal, but our internet connection did bog down from time to time. Wi-Fi is available for a fee.
There were a surprising number of people still at Rainbow Plantation. The weather here in lower Alabama is still in the upper 70s and lower 80s as opposed to being in the 80s and 90s in Florida and only in the 40s and 50s in some places in the north, so we're guessing that's the reason there are so many still here.
As we have mentioned before, Summerdale is one of our favorite areas. It is close to Mobile, AL, and not too far from Pensacola, FL, both of which have lots of sightseeing possibilities. However, since we'll only be here for a short time for this stop, we won't be doing much, if any, sightseeing, but then you never can tell what we might find. Nevertheless, we do have lots of favorite restaurants in the area so we'll be eating out a lot. Stay tuned.