Off Again, November 2020

In this time of Covid-19 pandemic with cases soaring, record numbers of people dying and the risks as high as they have ever been, we considered our winter plans (made long ago) with some care, actually lots if it. Can we stay safe? Will there be places we might have to avoid to stay safe? Who are we going to see and are they practicing good behavior? And many more questions.

We had some practice at this last spring starting in early March in New Orleans and Houston and then the rest of March and April in Fredericksburg, TX. We went from hearing about Covid-19 in NOLA to a 90% lockdown in TX by early March. We discovered we could wear masks, we could go to the grocery store in as safe a way as possible at that time. We could get out and walk and ride our bikes. We were as safe and isolated in our coach as we wanted to be. Sure our favorite restaurants were not open but you could get take out. A new batch of food trucks popped up in Fredericksburg with some tasty new choices. The DQ was an essential business and the drive through was open. So life on the road in a scary pandemic time is possible.

Because we would have been stuck pretty much at home all winter – the high school indoor walking track is closed, we are pretty burned out on take out, the roads will be icy and the opportunity for warm outdoors walking and bike riding almost every day was at the end of four days of driving – we decided to go.

And since three months at Pandion Ridge in Orange Beach, AL was only $175 more than twomonths we signed up for three and for the first time we left before the end of the year.

So we are off.

We left for Belton MO just south of Kansas City. It is a drive we have made several times before. We get up and get going and get to a familiar Camp Walmart just about dark. This year was not much different other than being earlier which gave us an extra half hour of daylight. We called the Walmart rather than going in to make sure it was OK to stay and it was. This is the time we start discovering what we forgot. There was a mixup on pillows so my preferred one got left behind. I forgot my favorite wooly socks and Susan forgot her third set of JimJams. We will survive. The next day was sunny and bright, south towards Belle Vista just into Arkansas and then on a new section of I49 that bypasses Bentonville and Fayetteville and some other smaller towns that used to be a pretty slow go. Even so it is a very twisty section of Interstate that requires close attention. More south to Alma then I40 SE towards Little Rock. We crossed the Arkansas River on I430 and then just a few miles north to Maumelle COE (Corp of Engineers) park. 889 miles from Hastings. We have stayed here before as well. A great place to take a day off from driving, flush out the winter water system RV antifreeze, flush out the fresh water tank and take on some fresh water.

We got out for a couple walks. The park was much fuller (Thanksgiving weekend) than we have seen in January. We got to see some of the less desirable light shows that some folks think is necessary.

The rope lights on the ground are to keep animals away. It is a marketing propaganda tool of the rope light manufacturers. And many recent RVs have bright ugly lights on the front that for some reason owners turn on and leave on all night just to annoy every other camper.

We just put down the shades and ignore them. It rained today until early afternoon. We got out for another long walk.

Lots of folks had left. There were still quite a few left. This is a very nice stop. We are off in the morning towards Memphis then south towards Jackson, MS and then SE towards Mobile. We go near but not through Laurel, MS, home of one of Susan’s favorite HGTV programs, “Home Town”. Please do all you can to keep yourselves, your family and friends safe and healthy. More Later, Much Love. Roger and Susan