Dodging a Hurricane

Just as we were packing Dixie Pixie for our annual camp out with family, Florida was under a hurricane warning. We’re accustomed to Hurricane season and do our best to secure our home, but we weren’t going to let this one (Elsa) spoil our camping plans. So the day it made landfall southwest of us, we headed northwest.

We outran the storm but not the rain. The nice part of rainy weather in the south in summer, though, is cooler temperatures. Rain didn’t spoil our trip and we had fun.

One of our favorite RV parks in Alabama is Cullman Campground in Cullman, Alabama. It’s quiet and rural yet not too far from I-65 or shopping and restaurants. The staff are friendly and very accommodating.

Although we enjoy cooking our dinners, we usually have breakfast at the nearby Cracker Barrel. Here’s my nephew Joe and his wife, Vicki.

Breakfast at Cracker Barrel.

I managed to get in my exercise by walking the campground. The paved roads wind throughout the campground past a pond filled with ducks and a pony corral past old agricultural implements from the property’s origin as a farm.

Fitbit tracking.

This was a family visit more than a sightseeing camp out. We returned to an undamaged home (we hadn’t even lost electricity) and a yard filled with limbs and other storm debris. We thoroughly enjoyed dodging a tropical storm, too. If you’re traveling 65 through Alabama and need a campsite, check out Cullman Campground. You’re welcome.

Camping Again

A year after the COVID19 started keeping folks at home, people are traveling again. RV sales are up, campgrounds are booked, and most of us seniors have our vaccinations. So we headed back to Mississippi with our RV friends, Dave and Judy.

This time we stayed at the Hollywood Casino in Bay Saint Louis. Despite a rainy first day, we had an enjoyable stay. The RV park is very nice, equipped with a clean bathhouse, laundry, full hookups, paved level sites, and a walking path. The casino is within walking distance.

Judy, Cheryl, and Nova.
Butch, Dave, and Nova

While Judy and I don’t mind cooking, we enjoyed a wonderful buffet dinner. Technically, it wasn’t a buffet because only masked and gloved staff handled utensils. Their servings were very generous and the food delicious. Dining was by reservation only to control spacing and crowd size.

The casino had a nonsmoking floor that offered a variety of gaming. As usual, Butch and I lost our gambling money, but Judy and Dave were luckier. We had lots of fun. It’s great to be out again!

I highly recommend this RV park.

If you’re a Good Sam member, you get a discount.

A Favorite Getaway

Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park in Florida is about an hour and a half’s drive from our home. It’s a favorite camping getaway because of its quiet, natural setting. Fall weather gave us the perfect excuse to camp there this week.

We introduced our friend and new RV owner, Mike, to the park. He camped across from us and joined us for meals in the shelter of our Clam screen enclosure. (There were mosquitoes) In my opinion, we scored two of the best sites in the campground, not that any were bad.

The preserve is a 21,000 acre savanna that once marked the northern edge of the Everglades, back in the day before air-conditioning and development. It is also a National Natural Landmark. Camping there gives us a taste of long-ago Florida. Wildlife abounds, and the nearby historic town of Micanopy charms.

Besides eating, we enjoyed hiking a couple of trails, visiting the nearby lake, and the visitors center and observation deck. Because we travel with our Shihtzu, I stayed behind on the trails that prohibited dogs. Unfortunately, I missed seeing the wild horses and bison Butch and Mike spotted on their trek. But I saw many deer.

Although the campground preserves as much of the natural setting as possible, it offers clean, modern bathrooms, laundry facilities, dumpster plus recycling bins, water and electric hookups, and a waste disposal station for emptying RV holding tanks. The boat ramp for non motorized boats, children’s playground, and picnic areas are connected to the campground via an ADA-compliant paved path.

If you’d like a taste of Old Florida in the days when Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote The Yearling (her home is nearby and offers tours) and when much of Florida was unspoiled swampland, camp at Payne’s Prairie Preserve State Park. Reservations can be made through ReserveAmerica.com.