The RV Road Trip Blog - August 2009
Elvis visited the park Saturday night and put on a free show. This guy was actually pretty good and we enjoyed the show. He said he'll be back to the park over the Labor Day weekend, so if you're there you'll get to see him.
We rode our scooters all over the park and a few areas outside the park. We always get asked a million questions about the scooters since most people have never seen a Honda Ruckus before. It gives us an opportunity to talk to people and to make new friends. We also save a ton on gas as we can ride them all over and get 112 MPG rather than taking the truck which gets 12 MPG. You can read about our scooter adventures by clicking here.
We got to play bingo while we were there and Cynthia won a $5 gift certificate to the marina store. Cynthia spent it on Fireballs, Chewy Sweet-Tarts and a campfire starter. We also attended a "fellowship" service Sunday morning. It was really church but to avoid potential legal issues, they call it "fellowship".
We removed the giant decal from the front of our camper as it was starting to peel. We'd like a company with a good reputation to put their logo on there and give us a little compensation each month to advertise for them as we travel around. That'd be a great way for them to reach a very large, targeted audience.
We talked with several campers from other parts of the United States and they said they like to come to Alabama as we have the best parks. That's good news for Alabama and good news for us since we are Alabama residents. We're already thinking about where we want to go next, now to find that next great campground... Pictures of this trip can be seen here.
The trip to the drop off point took about 8 minutes. The ride down the river to where the truck was took just over 2 hours. We brought along a bottle of water and a disposable waterproof camera, we ended up taking quite a few pictures. It was really a great time and would have been more fun if the water level was a little higher. Every now and then we'd hit our butts on underwater rocks - LOL.
We saw lots of fish jumping, large birds along the shores catching fish, beautiful flowers and trees, birds flying overhead, the mud nests of swallows under the overpasses... scenery you might not otherwise see unless you were on the river.
The tube rental place is located in Centreville about a mile north of the beginning of US 82 on the right. They have a big sign visible from the highway but you have to be looking for it or you'll miss it. It's called Adventure Shoals and you can call them at 205-316-1116.
To view the pictures of this trip, click here.
We went to Geocaching.com, learned as much as we could in one sitting then pulled up the list of geocaches within 20 miles of us. Big list! We did a little research and found out how to load waypoints into our Garmin Nuvi 205 GPS. We looked into using the VZ Navigator on our cell phone but quickly abandoned that idea due to battery life issues. So now with fresh POIs (Points of Interest) loaded into the GPS, we set out on the hunt.
Hmmm, turns out this isn't as simple as it sounds. The caches are not in plain site so you really have to look for them. We rode the scooters out to Minooka Park where 2 are listed. One was supposed to be near the gate but not in the park. The Garmin Nuvi 205 just was not up to the task... so we didn't find it. I think the "driving" GPS units are content to get you within 500 feet of your target and they go silent. A handheld model like the Geomate Jr. is great for beginners and the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx is perfect for the more proficient GPS user.
So now we head off to Jemison park to find the one there. We cheated a little and read the hint from the listing at Geocaching.com. We walked around a bit and WOOHOO we found it! You'd have thought we won the lottery - LOL. We opened up the container, signed the log book and looked at the items stored in the container. We found a baseball, a Star Wars action figure and a few other odds and ends. We closed it back up and returned it to its original hiding place.
Now we're excited to find another one, but that will have to be another day and with a better GPS. For more info on Geocaching and suggestions on GPS devices, books and more, click here.
Next will be the purchase of two 6v golf cart batteries to store the power generated by the solar panels. These batteries will replace the puny 12v battery that came with the camper. I'll buy these next spring right before we leave so they'll be fresh!
We returned the Garmin Venture HC GPS we had bought and replaced it with a Lowrance Endura Out & Back GPS. The new GPS is made for hiking and geocaching and it has a touchscreen. For just a little more money it is a significantly better GPS than the Garmin. Now it is not for road navigation and the guy who reviewed it on Amazon thought it was so he rated it low. That's like buying an apple and complaining that it doesn't taste like an orange.
It started raining while we were in church and it looks like it is going to rain all day, so no geocaching for us. Guess we'll take this lovely opportunity to go to the grocery store. That's always fun...
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