I left home on Friday, July 10th, and I drove about 300 miles. I kept driving into intermittent pockets of heavy rain, sometimes while the sun was shining. I got to see full arc rainbows twice. I love seeing rainbows, even though sometimes they only last few a few minutes. In the late afternoon, there was a heavy downpour of rain with lighting and thunder, so I got off at an exit when I could and I sat in the parking lot until it let up enough that I could go in and buy some food. After I bought a few things, and the rain let up, I drove north about 30 miles and stopped in a rest area that has security guards at night. It was so hot that it wasn’t enjoyable, I did however use a small fan which helped it not be so hot inside my camper.
The second day, I stopped in an RV campground east of Pensacola, Florida, about 4:00 p.m. so I had electricity which is definitely needed in this 90+ degree temperature. I am finding that I get sleepy driving so every couple of hours I stop for about a 30 minute nap. I also stop for gas, food, etc. This campground also has wifi so I am able to update my travel map and write this post.
I turned the refrigerator on Wednesday, two days before I left home thinking it would be cold enough by Friday. It didn’t feel very cold so I moved the temperature lever up on Thursday. On Friday as I traveled it still didn’t feel very cold inside so I stopped at a RV dealer and they checked the lever and probe and put it on the fin again for me. Today, which is Saturday it still wasn’t cold enough so I stopped at a Camping World that I passed and a service guy took the probe off the fin and put it on again. I’m not sure he did it right. After being plugged in at the campground for two hours the fridge is not cold inside. The fins which usually get cold and sometimes have ice on them are not very cold and water is dripping on them. I took the probe off and put it on again. I will leave the fridge door closed until morning and check it before leaving the campground. If it is not cold I will decide whether to stay here another day and night to see if it gets cold, or I will continue west and find a RV repair place and hope they can fit me in to see what is wrong with the fridge. It’s four years old and it worked when I took a short trip in May. Hopefully, it will be working fine by morning. Not every time, but many times when I take a trip there is something that happens or needs repair. I hope this is the only happening or repair needed on this trip. If I need to buy a cooler and some ice then I will. Creative eating will be necessary without a fridge. I have bread, peanut butter, chips, and I will find single portion foods like packages of tuna fish if need be.
Sunday morning, July 12th, I prayed before going to sleep and again during the early morning hours when I was awake that the refrigerator would be working well. I checked it about 8:30 a.m. and the temperature was cool and in the good range on the temperature thermometer I keep in the fridge. I’m so glad it’s working well. I knew it was in the middle of May when I was on a short trip and I hadn’t turned the fridge on again until this past Wednesday. I guess since it’s in the high 90’s and operating on gas is not as efficient for the fridge so it doesn’t get as cold as when plugged into electricity. I know there will be several days on this trip when I won’t have electric hookups, such as at the hot air balloon events, but at the other times I will try to stay in campgrounds. It’s much too hot to dry camp.
I don’t know when I will have Internet again, so this might be the only story for a while. Until I am at the hot air balloon event in Longview, instead of writing new stories, I will most probably add to the bottom of this post and add the date with the new information. I will try to update my travel map location every day or so.
Sunday, July 19th, I am now in Longview, Texas, staying at the Maud Cobb Convention Center for the Great Texas Balloon Race. They have a campground with full hookups, and also inside the convention center there is wifi so I am able to update my story. I wrote the story below while sitting in Buckhorn Creek Campground when I had no Internet, it will save time to post the story when I do have Internet.
Sunday afternoon, July 12th, I stopped in Lakeview RV Park east of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. So far the refrigerator is still working great. I hope it continues. I drove about 300 miles again today. I am now on Central Time. I am so glad I was traveling west on I-10 today. As I was getting close to where I-10 and I-12 connect, there was a backup of traffic going west due to an accident. It only slowed me down for about a mile and about a 15 minute delay. There were also construction signs, but it seems that the construction was mostly on the eastbound side. The traffic was backed up for about 8 miles going east on I-10 and I-12. I hope by the time I return that it is not like that. As any of us drive, no matter where we are, can be driving along with the flow of traffic and all of a sudden it stops. We never know how long of a wait or how far the distance of the backup is. Sometimes when the traffic is backed up in the opposite direction I check the distance out of curiosity and thank God that I am not in it. There are times that I have been in long traffic delays. It’s not fun as you may know from being in them at times. I am using the hotspot on my phone to update this story.
At sunset as I was walking around the campground I took some pictures of the trees and campsites across the lake. I thought the pictures came out interesting. The trees and RVs are reflected in the lake, it’s a fascinating mirror image.
Tuesday, July 14th, last night I stopped at Ajax Country Livin RV Park in Ajax, Texas. It’s off of I-49 about half hour or south of Shreveport, Louisiana. I had driven about 250 miles and didn’t feel up to going any further. I found this RV park in my Passport America campground book. So I stopped and I was pleasantly surprised because there was a nice lake on the side of the campground which could be seen from almost every campsite. Also, in the office there was a small library where I could exchange some paperback books. I like to do that because in addition to having new books to read, I almost always find books by authors I am not familiar with.
So, I get up this morning to continue my journey and I go to put my back steps up and nothing happens. I am plugged into electricity, and the steps also operate off of the battery which I know is charged because I have been plugged in at campsites all nights on this trip except the first night. I try the switch several times, and try pushing the step in and still nothing happens. The campground has a few campers, but only one had a vehicle next to it. So I waited until 9 a.m. when the campground office opened. I explained my situation and asked Denise one of the campground owners if her husband David could help me. David comes out and says he will see what he can do to help.
After about a half hour we think it’s probably the motor because there is power to the switch and the wires to the steps. David suggests several things we can do to get the steps up, and we consider the options. I also sent a text to my friends Ann and Phil asking for their advice because Phil is a RV repairman who has done repairs to my camper when I am in Albuquerque. He gave us things to try and when nothing else worked we did what both David and Phil said is the best option at this time. That was to remove the pin and push the steps up manually and then tie them up against the frame or whatever we can. David removed the pin and very easily the steps folded up. I had some paracord and bungee cords and a rubber strap so David used those to secure the steps so they would not come loose when I traveled. I am so very thankful to David for his help. He took about two hours of his morning to help me and he wouldn’t let me pay him.
I believe that we are here to help others as we travel through life. I know there are many times that I have helped others without anything in return. I guess it’s the Universe’s way to say thank you. We are put here to help others. It doesn’t matter if it’s offering a hug, words of encouragement or support, or even consolation. It’s also helping no matter what, of giving back, of making life easier for others when we can. For offering prayers to those in need.
If you are driving on I-49 between Lafayette, LA and Shreveport, LA, stop by Ajax Country Livin RV Park. It’s about a mile off of exit 155, near Marthaville, LA. It’s very quiet and peaceful there with seating overlooking the lake.
So, after the steps were secure, I thanked David again, and I headed north towards my destination which for this day was going to be Buckhorn Creek Campground in Jefferson, Texas, just north of Marshall in east Texas. It’s a Corps of Engineer Park. I like staying in Corps parks, they are always kept in great condition, usually have level campsites, and almost always where I can either be camped on the lake or see it from a campsite. I stopped in Marshall and bought groceries because like most Corps and state parks around the country these parks are remote and not very close to towns which makes it quite a drive to go shopping.
Early Tuesday afternoon, I arrived at Buckhorn Creek Campground which is a really beautiful campground. Because I arrived on a Tuesday, there are not many campers here. I see four other trailers in the section I am in and none are close to me. I feel like I have my very own private campground with a close up view of the lake. I hung my hammock between two trees and spent lots of time laying in the hammock reading, relaxing, enjoying watching the birds, listening to the sounds of nature, and having quiet time with God. The campsite I am in is pretty much shaded by tall trees. There are a few times when the sun was shining on me in my hammock and on the camper, but overall it was shady for which I am very thankful because it’s really hot here, especially in the sun.
I have not had any Internet connection for the six days I have been in this park, and two days before that while I was traveling, not even on my phone. I was able to make phone calls, and send and receive texts if they were short and did not contain photos. I bet when I get Internet again there will be quite a few email messages. When I travel I do not have television either and I don’t miss it.
Sunday, July 19th, My next stop is Longview, Texas, where I will attend the Great Texas Balloon Race. This will be my first time at this hot air balloon event and in Longview, and I am looking forward to this new experience and meeting new people.