The RV Road Trip Blog - September 2010

Roll Tide! We are excited about Labor Day! The full hookup section here at Tannehill is already full and the W/E only section is getting new campers in every day. Eventually it will fill up and then the primitive section will be all that is left. By Friday the entire campground will be filled to capacity, campfires will be burning, children will be playing and riding their bikes and on Saturday... the Tide will roll in! A camper just down from us has a huge outdoor projection screen and he bought the game on Pay Per View so his site will be the spot to be during game time. Jerry is not a big fan of anyone but Cynthia will most likely be strolling down to watch the game. No offense to those who support another team. :)

The expense summary for last month has been posted for those who are interested in that. You can get to it from the RVer's Library (see menu on the right of every page). Starting in September we will separate food from non-food items bought at grocery stores. We did not eat $353 worth of food last month! We track our expenses using RVer's Notebook and it works well for us. An yes, it works just fine on Windows 7. I know some folks use Microsoft or OpenOffice spreadsheets but we are not skilled enough with them to use them.

Also, many may not know of all the pages we have on our site so we have a site map that shows every page in every section. You can view the site map by clicking the link near the bottom of the home page or you can click here.
We were right... the park filled up and the Tide rolled in. As the parents watched the game, the kids rode bikes. I don't think I have every seen so many bicycles in one campground at one time! And of course people had the TVs out on the picnic tables and the ball game on. One site had a 12'x12' screen set up with a projector. Needless to say, he had a large gathering at his site.

We had our grand daughters again this weekend and they had a blast with all the kids around. We were glad to have them since it will likely be a very long time before we get to see them again. We took a few pics over the weekend and added them to the Tannehill gallery, it is now up to 84 pictures. Here's one of Jerry and Gracie off to find her first ever geocache.

Going Geocaching

When we leave here on Tuesday, we'll hop over to the Dewayne Hayes COE Park near Columbus, MS. We're not sure how long we'll stay there... at least long enough to see all the sites nearby and to hunt a few geocaches.
Labor Day was big fun at the campground. The local radio station came out, there was a Moon Pie eating contest, a band played for most of the day, there were pony rides, bouncy things for the kids, face painting, a man making balloon animals and about a thousand people milling about. Here are just a few of the pics, more are in the gallery.

The Band

Pony rides!

Moon Pie eating contest.

Stay tuned!

Good thing you stayed tuned! We're now in the Dewayne Hayes Corp of Engineers Park near Columbus, MS. As we arrived in the campground, we started setting up and a car pulled up with a big CBS logo on it. They asked if they could interview us and we said sure. Here is the clip that aired...

I added this campground to the picture gallery, but not many pictures are in there yet. This is a beautiful park and we'll be taking lots of pictures... plus we'll also get some pics of the historic downtown area.
We rode the scooters into the historic downtown area and snapped a few pics. We really enjoy historic areas that are well maintained and Columbus, MS has taken good care of theirs. We saw Tennessee Williams' house, the oldest church in the area and a few other neat things. The first picture below is a random shot of Main Street and the second is a shot of the old Princess Theater. All other pictures are in the gallery.

Downtown Columbus, MS

Princess Theater

We also rode over to the Barton Ferry recreation Area but there is nothing there. It appears it is used for hunting only so don't bother going there unless you are going to the Town Creek COE Campground. That campground doesn't have sewer hookups and is more "in the woods" than Dewayne Hayes Campground. I'm glad we are at DHCG as I don't like all the debris from the trees falling on the camper.

We decided to stay here for 7 more nights, can't beat the rate of just $10 per night for full hookups and we like the park. Here is a shot of our camp site, I forgot to put one up when we first got here. The water behind us is a canal off of the Tombigbee Waterway. Pleasure boats use it but it is not big enough for barge traffic like on the Tombigbee itself. There is a fishing dock at our camp site and I guess you could swim if you wanted to. Maybe if I was younger... LOL.

Our Camp Site #10

We had originally paid for 4 days having us leave today, the 11th. Checkout time is 3:00pm but we had folks asking us when we were leaving so they could have our site! That's when we went down and paid for 7 more nights for this "walk-up only" site.

Weatherman says rain later today so not sure how much more scooter riding we'll be able to get in. We've already ridden so much we had to put more gas in them! $5.26 to fill them both up and we're good for another combined 260 miles.
We had our first experience of someone taking something from our camp site! It had looked like someone had ruffled through the things we leave sitting out, prints were clearly visible on several items and we knew what we had to do. We sat down at the picnic table under the awning and waiting for the burglar to return. Sure enough, he showed up again while we were still outside. Since he was wearing a mask, we thought we better take a picture in case we had to identify him later. Here that rascal is...

A masked thief!
Time to move again! We've really enjoyed our time here at Dewayne Hayes Campground but now it is on to Mid-South RV Park in Robinsonville, MS. We're not too thrilled about it being a casino RV Park but it is inexpensive and convenient to Memphis. We'll be making trips back and forth to Memphis for Jerry's visits to the Spinal Cord Injury Clinic at the Memphis VA Medical Center. It will hold us over until we move on the 25th to Lexa, Arkansas.

We'll spend Saturday and Sunday the 25th and 26th in Lexa. This is the small town Jerry lived in from ages 9-15. We're really excited about visiting the area. After that, it is off in the direction of Hot Springs National Park!
We pulled in to Mid-South RV Park at the Harrah's Casino complex after a fellow RVer recommended it. Well, we didn't like it very much at all. It is well manicured but it is just an RV park in a field with very few trees. The bathrooms were nasty with toilet paper littering the floor and the showers had enough soap scum on the floors and walls to make you gag. The pool area was filthy, etc, etc. I took some pictures because I figured there would be folks who think I am exaggerating. You can see ths pics at Picasa if you'd like. We packed up and moved over to the campground at the Hollywood Casino which turned out to be 100% better... and cheaper!

We didn't get the greatest news from the VA about Jerry's disability. Because Jerry's condition is deteriorating and to help keep him mobile, the VA is providing him with a power wheelchair. He's getting the Nutron R51 LXP model. He can still walk just not very far because his left leg has gotten so weak. We're still staying in the area so we can get a lift installed in the bed of the truck that will hoist the chair into the bed. It looks like we'll have to sell our Honda Ruckus scooters so we can fit the wheelchair in the bed of the truck. If we can afford it, we'll try to find a single scooter large enough to carry both of us, maybe a Yamaha T-Max or similar. We need something other than the truck to sight-see with, as fuel is so expensive.

We visited the Tunica River Park that is next to the Mississippi River. It's pretty nice and offers a great view of the river. We also looked around downtown Tunica and it has a few cool things to see like the war memorial, the old Pure station and some neat old buildings. It is also cotton picking time here so we snapped a few shots of that going on. Jerry grew up on the other side of the river in Arkansas and is very familiar with cotton and soybean farming. He said it sure brings back memories.

Cotton Picker

Since we don't care to gamble in the casinos, there isn't a whole lot for us to do here while we wait to hear back from the lift installers. Luckily, there is free wifi here at the park so we can catch up on the blog and work on mapping our stops after we depart here. After we leave Lexa and "if" the chair lift has been installed, we'll head in the direction of Hot Springs National Park. We're excited about visiting there!
Jerry turned 47 yesterday, or as he says... 39 with 8 years of experience. We visited the area he lived in when he was a teenager. Things have changed but he really enjoyed seeing the school he went to, the house he lived in and the church he was saved in. We're going back this weekend to attend services at the church and we're both excited about that.

We've been thinking about the best way to adapt to the fact that Jerry will have to use the power wheelchair now, and how we can continue full-timing normally (we're certainly not going to stop!). We've looked at all of our options and the 2 most reasonable are...

1) Sell our 2 Ruckus scooters and get one larger scooter that will carry us both. This will free up space in the bed of the truck for the wheelchair.
2) Trade our camper for a 5th wheel toyhauler. The camper could carry the Ruckus scooters and the wheelchair plus Jerry could ride the wheelchair up the ramp to get into the camper.

Jerry likes option 2 better but the problem is being able to afford a 5th wheel toy hauler. A new one is out of the question but it is not unreasonable to think that we could find a good used one. Towing it would not be a problem as our truck is a 3/4 ton and was previously set up to tow a 5th wheel. We'd only need to add rails and a hitch to haul one again. Also, a 5th wheel would have to be one of the shorter models, no longer than 30' total length.

We had a friend tell us about the Outback 230RS and it looks pretty nice. Only drawback is that we'd have to drop the dinette and sofa to let the rear slide in... but to have wheelchair access would be a tremendous bonus. We'll keep our eyes open as we travel.
We crossed the mighty Mississippi River this morning on our way to Lexa, AR. I was going to use the metal detector to look for a butter container with coins in it that I buried when I was a kid, but the people who live in that house now have poured asphalt over the area it was in. I am sad. I sure was looking forward to hunting for that buried treasure. Also, the house that was across the street is gone! Things sure have changed but that's OK, I have a ton of memories that make it all better. I added some pictures to the gallery section if you'd like to see a few of my memories.

Welcome to Arkansas!
OK, we're back in Tunica, MS at the Hollywood Casino RV Park. We'll bide our time here since we have an appointment on October 1st in Memphis to get the wheelchair lift installed in the truck. I sure am glad they have free Wi-Fi here. :)

We had a great time in Lexa, Arkansas seeing all the places I played as a kid. Many things took a turn for the worse, like the nearby city of Helena is now virtually abandoned. It was like a ghost town except for a few businesses on Cherry Street. The crime rate here is extremely high and most people simply left. Nearby West Helena has grown a little since I was a kid but not much. The biggest changes are new fast food places and a Walmart. Lexa itself has shrank... there isn't even a single convenience store there anymore. There were 2 when I was a kid. The old, small post office moved into a brand new building but that seems to be the only positive change.

The following pictures are the population sign for the town and a picture of the house I grew up in. It has expanded, been through a remodel and changed colors but I still remember it fondly.

Lexa, Arkansas

My boyhood home.

My old swimming hole, Wooten's Pond, has been filled in and no longer exists. The old fishing hole, Ray's Catfish Pond, was all dried up. That was kinda sad. I did notice the dove, rabbit and squirrel populations exploded since I left. My brother and I hunted them relentlessly not realizing at the time that we provided most of the meat for family meals.

Overall, it was good to visit the area as it brought back lots of great memories. Of course, it was a little sad to see some of the changes but that can never erase the good times I had there as a kid. The 30 year high school reunion is next year and depending on what month it is, we may head back for that. It would be neat to see how everyone has changed.
Nothing exciting to report today. We went through the camper and threw out things we have not used since we left home. It wasn't much, just things like an extra pillow, some knick knacks, etc. Jerry straightened out the back seat of the truck so that looks much better. All of his tools, the ladder and some other miscellaneous items are back there. It gets to be a mess from taking things in and out all the time.

We'll be getting the truck's rear end gears changed while we are in Texas. It has 3.73 gears now and we will be lowering that to 4.10. This alone will increase max trailer weight from 8,200 pounds to 10,200 pounds. It will also increase the GCWR from 14,000 pounds to 16,000 pounds. The new camper we need to get is heavier than the one we have. Ours weighs about 5,000 pounds fully loaded and the new one will weigh 8,300 pounds loaded. That would put us right at 14,000 pounds GCW so the new rear end gears will give us our cushion back.

Cynthia is getting the laundry done up so everything will be clean when we pull out from here Saturday morning. The machines here are cheap, .75¢ to wash and $1 to dry. Every little bit helps. This month we'll be about $300 under budget and that is great. More money to put back towards the new camper!

RV Blog Archives

2017   JAN, FEB, MAR         Please visit
2014   We did our massive 22 state and 15 national park road trip.
2013   We dealt with Jerry's wreck and thyroid cancer treatment.
2012   JAN, FEB, MAR, APR         We stopped full-timing in April 2012.
2008   The Beginning

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