First off, we’re healthy and in a safe spot on a farm in central Alabama.
Writing isn’t one of my stronger points, but my usual method of documenting this journey with only photographs isn’t going to capture all of these feelings and thoughts during this coronavirus outbreak. I’m backing up to about when our plans started to change in response to the virus. So here goes…
March 1 – San Luis Island, TX
Today we’re leaving the beach. We’ve been here for 4 nights, boondocking above the high tide line. We ventured out onto the sand with our friends, the Fethers. We were all concerned about pulling 16,000 lbs over the sand – but it turned out to be a non-issue. We biked, kayaked, caught ghost shrimp, had another family over for a day, and ended up with enough sand in the RV to remember this for a long time! Here are a few photos from the few days at the beach. What a great time this was.
March 2-4 Dickinson, TX
The winds shifted and ended our nice weather window on the beach. We hitched up and parted ways with the Fethers, figuring to see them again either in FL or at the latest in MT when we congregate for our Alaska run.
Have you ever stopped at a Buc-ees? Think of a Flying-J truck stop but for automobiles, not trucks and then double or triple the size and you’d get the idea. We stopped at our first one a few days ago heading south out of our FTF Safari Rally on the recommendation of one in our convoy of 5th wheels and what a place. It’s a TX thing!
We headed to Dickinson, TX between Houston and Galveston and stayed for 3 nights with Adam (my good friend since childhood) at his brother’s shop. We resupplied at the HEB (another TX thing we will miss), did fuel filters and differential maintenance on the Ram, and hung out with Adam. It was good to see him again.
March 5 – New Iberia, LA
We’ve been watching the developments of Covid-19 for awhile. As cases started occurring in the US we’re looking to what has happened overseas and wondering if this could affect our travel plans. We’ve got about 9 weeks to be in Great Falls, MT for the start of our Alaska Roam convoy with about 19 other fulltime families. We’re all really looking forward to it. We’re working our way East looking to find a nice campground to spend Ella’s birthday before we turn around and head Northwest.
We headed south about 7 miles to the Tabasco Factory and had a tailgate picnic followed by a self-guided tour around the factory and grounds.
After the tour we spent time at the store sampling an array of Tabasco products. There was a little hesitation grabbing pretzel sticks out of a serving bucket to dip in sauce cups – but we did. Made sure we sanitized before and after. We left with a 6 pack of Tabasco, some Tasbasco olives, Tabasco dilly beans, and some Tabasco brand red hots. It was a very good day!
March 6 – Pass Christian, MS
Today we booked an RV Resort in Perdido Key, FL for Ella’s birthday. It has a pool, and a beach on the inter-coastal waterway. Things are pretty booked up along the Gulf Coast. The economy has been good for so long that a lot of retirees (and folks like us) are traveling in an RV. Spots across the South have been a bit difficult to find this winter. We’re glad we’ve got a reservation and a nice spot to celebrate her birthday.
We’ve been debating the last few days about New Orleans. We decided to skip it, partially due to the virus concern, and ended up at a campground/flea market in Pass Christian, MS. This place isn’t the nicest, or the best deal, but it was available.
March 7 – Pass Christian, MS
This morning we went to the flea market, held every Saturday and Sunday. There were a few interesting things – but we are trying to lighten up the RV for the Alaska trip so didn’t get anything other than some clip on sunglasses that were a good deal and I was needing anyway. We drove down to Biloxi and walked on the beach for awhile. Fueled up for $2.15/gal Diesel. Our Alaska run might not cost so much after all.
Washed the Truck and RV and gave Liam a haircut outside this morning before we left since we only had a 45 minute move. Now the RV is nice and clean for the week in Perdido Key. We also emailed a farm in Alabama about a potential volunteer stay after Ella’s birthday. We figure we have an extra week in our route and we can hit that on our way back West.
March 8-9 Gautier, MS
Moved to Shepard State Park in Gautier, MS. We have a nice site and there are places to bike here. The kids setup their hammocks and we just hung out for a couple of days.
We used our new reciprocal museum membership to go to the Seafood Industry museum in Biloxi and spent a few hours there looking at the exhibits and learning about how hurricane Katrina devastated the area in August 2005. The museum was pretty empty and the only extra precautions we took were not touching the door handles and sanitizing more frequently.
March 10 Summerdale, AL
We moved to an SKP park (Rainbow Plantation) a type of which we’ve been staying at occasionally. They are actually age 55+ parks for seasonal guests but we have a membership that allows us to access for transient stays. They have been one of our favorite campground destinations.
We went to the clubhouse in the afternoon and worked on a puzzle with some of the residents. They were happy to see kids there and we all had fun with the puzzles.
March 11 – Summerdale, AL
Today we didn’t do much besides our homeschooling and some biking around the park. There are museums in mobile that our reciprocal museum membership gets us into but we decided to skip that due to beginning to be more concerned about public places. The news is increasingly alarming.
We went to happy hour at the Clubhouse and had sodas and juice with the older crowd.
March 12 – Summerdale, AL
Usually the grocery is a family affair – but things are getting different. The store was out of Sanitizer, TP, Ramen noodles, and bleach. I did a pretty regular weekly grocery run otherwise.
We skipped happy hour today and didn’t go do any puzzles, much to the kids dismay.
We did, however, go to the beach at Fairhope, AL. The kids played in the sand, and Tricia and I walked the pier and sat in camp chairs overlooking Mobile Bay. I forgot my phone so couldn’t sit there and look at the bad news.
March 13 – Summerdale, AL
This morning I woke up early and did another Walmart run. Having limited space in the RV, we don’t usually carry grocery staples in excess of a 1 week supply. Not sure if our plans may have to change, I wanted to put on another couple of weeks worth. Turns out the crowd didn’t find the RV toilet paper yet so we’re good for awhile.
Today Trump declared a national emergency due to the Coronavirus.
This was our first day of social distancing.
March 14 – Summerdale, AL
This morning Tricia went out to grab some things for Ella’s upcoming birthday. We had plans to get things delivered to our Resort in Perdido Key, but we’re questioning whether we should head that direction now and want to have a backup plan in case we’re not there for a delivery. I contacted the farm in Alabama to discuss if we could still volunteer there. We’re talking about maybe heading there on Monday the 17th.
It’s Saturday so no homeschool today. The kids and I hung out at home while Tricia was out. They built a campground out of Legos. The weather is getting really nice.
March 15 – Summerdale, AL
Today I called and canceled the resort at Perdido key. It’s a big deal to us because it was for Ella. We’re out a nights stay, which for this place was about the cost of three nights at our usual rate.
We made final arrangements via txt to head to the farm tomorrow. We are full on fuel and groceries and don’t plan to make any stops other than a rest area.
We arranged to stay an extra night in Summerdale, and Ella grilled for dinner.
Here is a video of the kids riding the “runway”. The road dead-ended into a long grassy field, and if you pedaled fast enough it felt like taking off. We did this several times and I’m sure it will be one of their memories of the trip.