Fairhope, AL - Events of Thursday, April 14 to Sunday, April 17, 2016
On Thursday morning, we hitched up the 5th wheel, left Blueberry Hill behind and headed north and west toward Lower Alabama. We had a drive of a little over 4 hours to our overnight stop at Beaver Lake Campground in Quincy, Florida. Quincy is located a few miles west of Tallahassee.
We stayed at Beaver Lake on our way from Alabama to Florida last fall, and it's not what you would call a destination campground. It is basically a row of a dozen or so campsites in a field behind a Marathon gas station. The check-in is inside the gas station. The good news is the price is reasonable (around $20 at the Passport America rate), it has full hook-ups with 30/50-amp electric, it is conveniently located right off the interstate exit and almost all the sites are pull-throughs.
The bad news is the sites are very close together with side-by-side hookups and there is some traffic noise from I-10. Also, the ground can accumulate quite a few puddles if it's been raining like it was when we arrived on Thursday afternoon.
The other bad news is the lady in the gas station who does the campground check-in is strictly business and not very friendly. Check-in time at Beaver Lake is 2 p.m., and it is reportedly strictly enforced. We read reviews where people who arrived early were made to stand there and wait until exactly 2:00 before they could even begin the check-in process. We took our time leaving Blueberry Hill in the morning to be sure we arrived in Quincy after 2:00. Being forewarned about check-in also helps. Margery tried to be as pleasant as possible without going overboard by being too jolly, and she actually managed to almost get a smile out of the lady at the check-in.
When we stopped here in the fall, there were only a couple of RVs in the campground. This time, however, they were almost completely full by early evening.
On Friday morning, we got a fairly early start on the second leg of the journey to Lower Alabama. Not only did we have a drive of less than 4 hours, but we gained an hour going into Central Time so we arrived around noon.
Up until last fall we always stayed at Escapees Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale; but on our last stop we waited until the last minute to make reservations and couldn't find a site at Rainbow Plantation where we were sure we could get satellite reception. Therefore, we stayed at Coastal Haven RV Park located a few miles away in Fairhope because Coastal Haven is more open with only a few trees. We liked Coastal Haven so much we decided to stay there again. Not only is it a nice campground, it is closer to Walmart, closer to the church we attend when we're in Lower Alabama and closer to several of our favorite restaurants.
Coastal Haven has paved roads, and the large sites have paved pads and patios with well-manicured grass between the sites. There are about 50 back-in sites and about a dozen pull-throughs. All sites have full hookups with 20/30/50-amp electric. There is free cable and free Wi-fi that was pretty fast and pretty reliable, and there is a good Verizon 4G signal in the area. The daily rate at Coastal Haven is $42. With a weekly rate of $146 (which is what we paid) and a monthly rate of $442, the average nightly cost for longer stays is pretty reasonable.
We like coming to Lower Alabama because we have a lot of favorite things to eat here. One of our favorite things is the fresh shrimp that is available in the little fishing village of Bon Secour located a few miles south of Fairhope. We planned to have fresh shrimp at least once while we were in Lower Alabama and to take a bunch with us in the freezer. However, cleaning it all at once is a real chore, so we decided to buy and clean the shrimp in a couple of batches. On Saturday, we headed to Aquila Seafood to get the first batch of shrimp for the freezer.
There are usually a number of fishing boats docked behind Aquila. This time was no exception, so after we got our shrimp and put it into the cooler, we snapped some photos of one of the picturesque boats.
After we got back to the 5th wheel, we cleaned the shrimp and popped it into the freezer then we relaxed the rest of the afternoon. After church on Sunday, we made a quick stop at Sam's Club, then relaxed some more.
As we said, we like Lower Alabama because we have a lot of favorite eateries here. We had stops at a number of them planned for the following week, so stay tuned.