WheRVe we been? Our travels, 1st quarter 2019

My Valentine’s Day surprise was the joyous discovery that we’d finally caught the rat that had been vexing us for 3 weeks and nearly 1000 miles. That story appears below, with pictures, but not of the actual corpse. I have my standards.

My birthday surprise was even better, and also involved rodents I did not get pictures of. We saw lots of mongooses in their natural habitat — in Hawaii.

That story’s here, and you’ll learn just how I found myself saying to a hotel clerk in Honolulu, “Well, I didn’t even know I was going to be here today…”
And yeah, I did laundry there too.

Here’s the summary of our 1st quarter travels, mapped with a little help from Google.

RV miles traveled this quarter: about 4230

We started the new year in Pensacola, and then headed back to Palestine for the final round of work on the ranch (see 4Q2018). From there we went to Shreveport, then clockwise to Indiana, the DC area, the Atlanta area, the RVE Summit in Alabama, and back to Texas again, ending the quarter in Corpus Christi.
(Not all stops are shown, hence the discrepancy between my mileage count and Google’s.)

I covered Pensacola and Palestine in my 4th quarter 2018 post, so I’ll start with…

Shreveport, LA, Jan. 15 – Feb. 11: After a frenetic 4 months in Texas, we needed a place to hide out and just be us, before our scheduled RV service appointments in Indiana. We didn’t want to be too cold. We didn’t want to go too far out of the way. And we didn’t want to be in Texas anymore. Barksdale AFB Famcamp for the win! We’d spent a couple of quick overnights there in years past, and knew our stay would be quiet, safe, convenient and economical.

So much for that whole “not too cold” thing.
We tried, but Mary Jo still ended up developing a case of the frosties.
Did our level best to try all the foods Louisiana is famous for.
We went to Ralph & Kacoo’s for seafood po’ boys and gumbo, to Strawn’s for pie, and to Julie Anne’s Bakery for king cake.
I made my own Cajun 10-Bean & Sausage Soup with locally made products, and wow, was it tasty!
And since we were eating a lot of calories, we tried to burn some off too, while also supporting a local non-profit.
So yes, I’m still running! I haven’t made it to 10 miles, but I can run a 10K, and I’ve added FL, LA, IN, VA, AL and two Hawaiian islands to my list of “running states.”
Yay me!
Because I am like a moth to a flame when it comes to Peculiar Things and Random Goofballery, I had to have my picture taken here, at the corner of Highland & Stoner.
I’m still giggling.
Shreveport. Who knew?

Northern Indiana, Feb. 13-22: Service Appointment 1 was at MORryde in Elkhart, to have 4″ risers installed on the RV so that it would sit levelly while towing. Tim can give you the long, detailed explanation. I thought until we actually arrived that we were having something done to the truck, so I am really not a reliable source of information. Service Appointment 2 was at DRV in Howe, for our first round of warranty repairs on the new RV.

It was while parked for two nights in the MORryde garage that we finally caught The Stowaway Rat that had helped itself onboard in Shreveport.
We’re pretty sure it came up through that opening in the floor beneath our kitchen sink, where it left that tremendous mess.
It laughed in the face of every trap we set, even moving one of them to the base of the stairs one night to trap us.
It pushed aside widely touted deterrents like steel wool and fabric softener sheets, pooped in my kitchen, scritched around in the walls all night, and turned up its nose at several popular types of bait, but it ate my avocado.
That thing had to die.
And the next day, it did.
The peanut butter it had been ignoring for weeks finally became tempting enough to taste.
Best. Valentine’s Day gift. Ever.
So yeah, you’d better believe that hole in the floor was on the list of fixits we supplied to our service team at DRV!

DC Area, Feb. 23 – March 3: Still cold. But worth it to witness the bat mitzvah of a dear friend’s daughter. Her mom and I have been friends since she was 13, so it was a full circle, full heart kind of milestone, and one I probably would have missed if Tim and I didn’t have the freedom to take our home with us wherever we want to go.

We’ve really got to get better at abiding by that “Follow 70 degrees” rule that most full-time RVers recommend.

Marietta, GA, but really Hawaii, March 4-17: You’ve probably already seen one of my social media posts or read my full length blog post about it, plus the little blurb above, so I’ll spare you yet another recap. Except for a few seconds of this guy.


Lake Guntersville State Park, AL, March 17-25: My own Tim the Tech Guy has teamed up with a Savvy Woman With An Idea to create a new RV navigation platform, and together they attended workshops at the 3rd annual RV Entrepreneur Summit to get the proverbial ball rolling.

You can watch for details and launch updates at Wanders!

NAS Corpus Christi, March 26 – April 1: Some RVing friends were parked in the area, so we hung out with them, and also got to spend time with our younger son and his girlfriend, who drove down from Austin; and have lunch with my brother and his kids, who drove over from Port Aransas.

Life is good …
… and we are grateful.
(Thanks for this sweet pic, Mark!)

Right now: We’re back at Kerrville-Schriener Park, one of our favorite places to stay when we need to run around central Texas for a while. We’ll also spend time in San Antonio, where we’ve got family, friends, and Fiesta to enjoy, and a round of medical and dental appointments to endure. I turned 50, and you know what that means. I’ll also be checking in with all my breast cancer docs, and hoping for the 5-Year All-Clear.

Plus, we’ll be celebrating two family graduations, Mother’s Day, and lots of birthdays, and those will keep us here until the end of May.

Where to next? By mid-June, we’ll head back to Indiana for our RV manufacturer’s club rally. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter for updates as we go!

We started full-timing in August of 2015, but I didn’t think to do an annual review until the end of 2016, and it was just a listing on Facebook of places we’d visited. After that, I started using a quarterly format.

After 2 days and 800 miles on our butts, 6.5 miles on our feet felt wicked good

We’ve stopped for a 3-night road break on our way from San Antonio to Norfolk.

(You haven’t heard? We’re selling the other house.)

The Toad is all set up here at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park between Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, AL, and it. is. lovely. After two months of living in military RV parks with few trees and with burn restrictions in place, it’s refreshing and restorative to spend a few nights under these tall beauties, falling asleep to the crackling sounds and toasty smells of neighboring campfires.

Home for 3 nights
Home for 3 nights
We walked all over the park today, covering a little more than 6 miles in distance, and 150 years back in time, to the Civil War — errrr, I mean the War of Northern Aggression, now that we’re sitting here in the heart of the Confederacy.

Come join us…

From our campsite near the, we walked the perimeter of the park counterclockwise, from
From our campsite between the train tracks and the office/museum loop, we walked the perimeter of the park counterclockwise.

Historic cabin along the creek
Historic cabin along Mill creek

The old furnaces date back to 1830, and they produced iron for Confederate military necessities during the Civil War.
The old furnaces date back to 1830, and they produced iron for the Confederate military during the Civil War.

That's me there in the doorway, for perspective.
That’s me there in the archway, for perspective.

View of the charging bridge into Furnace 1
View of the charging bridge into Furnace 1

Close-up of some of the works at the ironworks
Close-up of some of the works at the ironworks
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When we stopped to read this sign, I said to Tim. "Hey. I've heard of Montevallo. Mom & Dad have some old friends there." Remember that. It's gonna come back later.
When we stopped to read this sign, I said to Tim. “Hey. I’ve heard of Montevallo! Mom & Dad have some old friends there.”
Remember that. It’s gonna come back later.

Along the Iron Road Trail was a spur that led to this marker, which allowed us to stand in three counties at once! It also tells me which county each of us peed in afterwards. Look. We were in the woods, there were no facilities, and... you know the rest.
Along the Iron Road Trail was a spur that led to this marker, which allowed us to stand in three counties at once!
It also tells me which county each of us peed in afterwards.
Look. We were in the woods, there were no facilities, and… you know the rest.

We couldn't walk that far without stopping to visit the old slave cemetery. It was sad in its starkness. Those rocks in the background served as headstones. I know.
We couldn’t walk that far without stopping to visit the old slave cemetery. It was sad in its starkness. Those rocks in the background are the headstones.
I know.

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The grist mill is long out of use. Probably because people stopped buying grist.

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After we finished our walking tour, we wandered into the Alabama Iron & Steel Museum to read up on everything we’d just seen. I happened to glance at the shelves in the gift shop, and that’s where I saw this book. Remember I said my parents had friends in Montevallo? That’s him. I very nearly peed again. Um, hi Norman and Joan!

All that walking worked up an appetite, and even though I’m not a big burger fan, I’ll support a local business that boasts the best (Yelp users concurred). I had a much harder time choking down that apostrophe.

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Thanks for joining us on today’s walkabout! One more day of rest tomorrow, and then we’ll hit the road again on Saturday.