Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Friday, September 25, 2015

September 24, 2015 - Rainbow Plantation - Summerdale, Alabama

September 24, 2015 - Rainbow Plantation - Summerdale, Alabama

Thursday, September 24, 2015

We were up pretty early this morning and ready to leave at 9:45.  I think we were both anxious to get on toward the coast where there are a lot of things to do and see.  We've enjoyed the quiet and the relaxation, which we needed, but we are ready to get out and about more now that we have recharged a bit.
Another cotton field - a little clearer picture this time.

We have discovered that as much as we thought we would enjoy traveling the back roads and going through the small towns that we have come to appreciate the Interstates more than we ever imagined.  We don't have to go any faster than we want to - typically 60 on an Interstate, we don't have to worry about trees, it is always easier to find a place to stop for bathroom breaks (rest areas, side of the road on exit or entrance ramps or truck stops) and there are no rough railroad tracks, and if you do have a problem there is always a shoulder to get off of the road.  Isn't it funny how you get a totally different perspective once you do something different than what you think you like? 

We had another exciting drive today.  About an hour after we left the campground our tire pressure monitoring system started beeping.  The back tire on the passenger side of Bentley was showing a drop in pressure.  We finally found a place we could pull over (of course it was a two lane road with no shoulders).  Dean got out his tire pressure gauge and sure enough it was down quite a bit.  He got the air compressor out but he wasn't able to get a lot of air in it as we had no way to plug it in, but enough it got us to the next town where there happened to be a tire repair shop right at the edge of town.  I kept checking the pressure on the tire as we drove the 17 miles from where the tire pressure monitoring system went off, as I was praying that God would let us get there without anything else going wrong.  The pressure did not drop anymore during our drive so he answered our prayers!  We pulled in, talked to a nice young man, that soon had us repaired and we were on our way in about 30 minutes.  We had a faulty tire stem which he replaced and we were only out $20.  We both agreed it was worth every penny (and probably even more) to us.  At this point, we realized the money we had invested buying the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) was worth every penny as it could have saved us from eventually having another blow-out. The last one cost us a deductible and the insurance several hundred dollars worth of damage repair.

Not too long before we approached Summerdale, we passed by several things that really made me think about home - first of all Faulkner State Community College (my mother was born in Faulkner, KS), the very next community was Stapleton (my mother's maiden name).

Stapleton, AL water tower.
In Stapleton we saw "Blair Road" - my kid's last name is Blair; and the road we turned on to reach Rainbow Plantation was "Long Road" - my step dad's last name.  All of these were on Highway 59, the highway that goes right through Oswego, Kansas.  Hmmmm!  Maybe I'm missing home too!

We also saw this Monster Car along the road.  I thought the grandsons might enjoy seeing these.

We arrived at Rainbow Plantation a little before 2:00 p.m.  There wasn't anyone at the office, but they had left information and several sites we could choose from.  We selected Site #72, a 50 amp site.  It was an easy back-in site and we were soon hooked up and ready to eat some lunch.  After lunch we walked up to the office to pay for our spot.  Bill Liebe, the office worker on duty was so kind and got us squared away.  As we were preparing to leave he said there is one more thing.  I said what's that.  He said you have to have an Escapees Hug and he gave both of us big hugs.  What a sweetheart.  It made me think of the first time I met my dear City Clerk friend Bill Goering, many years ago.  He did the same to welcome my friend Stacey and I as new City Clerks to our first conference.  We also met our next door neighbor here in the park, Pauline when she stopped in to pick up her mail.  What a nice welcome they were.

There was a nice breeze and we set our chairs outside for awhile.  We needed to find a grocery store as our food stock is getting pretty low.  After we lost quite a bit of food while we were parked in Greensboro, NC we haven't been buying that much at one time.  (NOTE:  I don't think I have mentioned that my daughter Misti called me one morning when she stopped by the house to tell me she could hear something beeping in our house but she couldn't figure out what it was.  I said check the refrigerator, and sure enough someone had left one of the doors lightly ajar.  We weren't sure if maybe Dean or I had done it as we were leaving or if someone else had opened it.  We actually were hoping it might have been Logan when he mowed, thinking he would get a drink while he was here,  as it would have been running for quite awhile if we were the culprets.  Fortunately for us, we were glad to hear it was Logan so it had only been 2-3 days rather than 2 weeks or so.  But, you guessed it, we lost everything that was still in the refrigerator at home too.  And again, fortunately I had cleaned it out pretty good before we left, bringing several things with us, so we didn't lose too much.)  The good thing is everything I have purchased since then for the RV I can just transfer inside so it won't be like starting entirely over again at home.  We will probably not use Bentley but another week or so when we make a trip to Wichita after we return home and then he'll be winterized until spring so it will all work out.

Our neighbors Pete and Pauline were outside when we got ready to leave for the store, so I went over and asked them about suggestions of good places to eat for dinner and breakfast, and also the closest grocery stores.  We visited with them a little while.  They are very nice folks from Wisconsin originally.  They full-time and will be staying here for at least another year while Pete recovers from cancer surgery earlier this year.  Our prayers are that he will soon be back on his feet and ready to travel again.  Pauline is a big Green Bay Packers fan.  We noticed the Chiefs play the Packers this Monday night.  Wonder who will be happiest after that game?

We left and headed back to the highway.  Originally we were going to find somewhere to eat and then purchase groceries and head back.  However, we decided we are so close to the coast why don't we just drive on down and check things out.  So that's what we did.  Gulf Shores is like most beach communities - lots of houses, rental homes/condos and hotels along the water with the beach behind them.  It is crowded and full of people but the beach is quite inviting and we will go back Saturday or Sunday to spend some time.  We'd like to get up really early for a sunrise or go later in the day and enjoy a sunset.  We'll see which wins out.

Gulf Shores Beach

Highway as you drive east/west along the beach.

I was surprised to see the intercoastal waterway here is large enough for barges to use. 
You can see the barge if you enlarge this.  Sorry, it's hard to get clear pictures when you are flying by.

There were so many choices of restaurants.  Since we just had fish and shrimp last night and we have been craving Chinese, we decided that's what we would look for.  We finally found a place and as we were driving up I was checking the reviews on Trip Advisor.  They were not very good but by this time we were tired and just wanted to eat, get groceries and go back to Bentley.  I have to say the food was quite good.  They didn't have my two favorite dishes but what I had was really well prepared.  I do plan to provide reviews for all of the restaurants and camping spots we have utilized once we get home.  They will have a good review from me for dinner tonight.

We stopped at Wal-Mart after that and quickly ran through grabbing a few groceries and headed back to the park.  We were pretty tired by now and just ready to chill for the rest of the evening.  See you tomorrow.

I am now caught up and hope to maintain the blog on a daily basis until we hit the rallies.  Then I will either post once or twice or all of it at the end of each rally.  We will be here until Monday, September 28 when we will head to Mississippi.