View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Getting Sherman ready for three months in Mexico

The sun never appeared like the weather forecast said it would, but at least they got the temperature right and it turned out to be a decent day despite the lack of sunshine. So I spent most of it outside giving Sherman a sponge bath and puttering around on a few fixer upper type of projects.

While I was doing that, Ruth was cleaning the inside of the windows and frames in our bedroom. Took all the screens out and cleaned them properly too. Sherman had sat for a full year prior to November 15th, and it has been so cold for the past six weeks of this trip that we've never been able to properly clean things.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

This is a great free camping spot!

I first read about this spot on the Free Campsites website. It's also listed on the Ultimate Campgrounds app.

The reviews were mixed. Some people didn't think it was very good, but others thought it was fantastic. So we had a backup plan of staying at the nearby Falcon State Park if this didn't work out.

But, for a free campsite, we're not really sure how much more you could ask for. It's great!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Made it to the border!

And if we had our way, we would be crossing that border this coming Sunday, instead of having to wait until the next Sunday. But, we signed up to lead this RV caravan throughout Mexico (which we are really looking forward to doing, by the way) and the schedule says we don't depart until January 7th.

Speaking of the RV caravan, everything is coming together as we get closer to the departure date. There are lots of emails flying back and forth as the participants get prepared for a three month adventure... and what an adventure it will be!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

We can't wait to get to Mexico!

A totally overcast day yesterday. Never saw the sun, but it never rained either so at least we were able to get outside and get some exercise.

I noticed that Al and Kelly over at The Bayfield Bunch got hit with a freak snowstorm while making their way through Texas to Arizona. Abnormally cold winter so far in the entire state of Texas. That's the problem with wintering in the southern U.S.. You never know from one year to the next if it's going to be Texas, Arizona, or Florida that gets hit with the cold. Always seems to be one of them.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Common sense prevails!

Woke up to a cool, windy, overcast day yesterday so we decided that we were better off driving. We're not really beach people to begin with, and the beach on a dreary day just doesn't seem worth it to us.

And the forecast for Magnolia Beach looked terrible for the next week, and not much better all across Texas. But the better weather is definitely closer to the Mexico border, so we started heading that way.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Not many RVs here at the beach

Not a very exciting Christmas Day here at the beach. Despite the morning sunshine it wasn't very warm outside and the wind continued throughout the day. It was 11:00am before we decided it was warm enough to go out for a walk.

We did about 2.5 miles (4 kms) along Magnolia Beach. It's a public park, and there is a washroom building with 4 showers. One of them was unlocked, and it looked usable enough.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Eve at the beach!

We didn't have far to go yesterday, only 48 miles. As soon as we got to Port Lavaca, we stopped at the Walmart to do a little last minute grocery shopping and buy an emergency supply of beer. Wouldn't want to run out of beer during Christmas at the beach!

Got up to the cash, and the beer wouldn't go through. The cashier couldn't figure it out, until she remembered that you can't buy beer here until after noon on a Sunday. Who thinks up these ridiculous laws?

But, it was almost 11:30am, so we went and sat in Sherman for a half an hour and I went back to get the beer at noon.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Bit of a long driving day for us...

We were still on a bit of a mission to get some inexpensive propane, so after we said goodbye to Annette and Raymond, we made a quick detour to the U-Haul in College Station to fill up the tank.

We got there, and parked nicely beside the fill station and I went in to get the guy. He was already coming out because he saw us pull in.

He got the hose and everything ready, and I remembered to ask him the price. "$3.39 a gallon" he says. Yikes. That's not cheap!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

No alligators to be seen.

Slept great in our out of the way boondocking spot. Then Sherman summoned the courage to use the narrow exit road, and we put on some miles heading west towards Bryan/College Station, Texas.

Along the way, we made a stop at another Texas State Park. This time, Hunstville State Park!

Friday, December 22, 2017

What we go through to get to a nice boondocking spot

We left the Livingston Municipal Airport at about 10:00am and drove the short distance to Lake Livingston State Park. We're only about 65 miles north of the big city of Houston, Texas so I'm sure this park is a zoo during the summer.

I went into the office to get our day use pass, using the $70 USD annual pass we bought the other day. Each Texas State Park sets it's own day use fees, and so we save $5 each at this particular State Park.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Don't mean to be gross, but...

What a great day we had yesterday!

After breakfast, we drove over to Martin Dies Jr. State Park. Went to the park office, and bought our $70 USD ($92 CAD) Taxes State Parks annual pass. (Thanks Mom!). The lady explained all of the benefits we get with the pass, including four coupons that give you half price camping for one night of any two night stay. Good deal, and we'll definitely take advantage of that over the next two weeks.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

One thing we've learned about overnighting at airports.

It's been four and a half weeks since we left Ottawa and headed to the abnormally cold south east in the motorome. Yesterday, we drove west from Louisiana into Texas and it's been our warmest day yet, with a high around 24C (75F), we were able to open the windows and and still have our t-shirts on.

Finally! But, it didn't start off that way...

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Never seen such a big spider web...

Kind of a coasting day yesterday. Nice to have those every now and again, although we still managed to get out and get some exercise. Went out before lunch and did a 5 km (3 mile) hike. Didn't really stop to take many pictures though.... did it more to get out and get the heart pumping.

And after lunch I took our oven burner apart yet again, and did some more adjusting.

This time, I got it right!

Monday, December 18, 2017

One of the things I love about traveling in an RV

Yesterday morning, we headed west through Alexandria, Louisiana early before there was any traffic. Stopped at the Home Depot and used their fast free wifi for a while before going in the store and buying a couple of things we need to finish up a few things on Sherman's interior.

Then, we went to the nearby Bed Bath and Beyond store. We had received a package from Amazon  the other day. We bought a new silk filled duvet for our bed. But now, we needed a duvet cover.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Another great overnight spot!

We were on a mission to avoid some heavy rain. Well, not avoid it I suppose, but at least be parked somewhere on solid ground.

Here in Louisiana, at 60 feet above sea level, puddles tend to form easily! And we didn't want to be parked in some forest campground on low land with a muddy dirt road.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

We took the money and ran!

We made it out to do some exploring at around 10:30am. We were waiting for the sun to come out, but it didn't look promising!

I have to admit, we expected it to be warmer getting this far south. But, that's the problem with the southern U.S... decent weather is not guaranteed in the winter. One of the reasons we love Mexico in the winter. Once you are in that country,  you can have whatever weather you want within a four hour drive.

Friday, December 15, 2017

10 days on the Natchez Trace Parkway

We made a 20 mile (32 km) detour off the Trace yesterday to take in a ruins site that Ruth had read about.

Another really interesting story, where this wealthy landowner had built himself a huge mansion back in 1861. After completing the mansion, he died at age 34 only weeks later! The mansion survived the turmoil of the Civil War, only to be destroyed by fire when it accidentally burnt to the ground in 1890.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Clinton, Mississippi is worth a stop...

The city of Jackson, Mississippi (pop 170,000) didn't really offer much that we were interested in, plus the Natchez Trace Parkway goes around the outskirts of the city so we didn't feel the need to go off course too much when we were going through that area.

However, Ruth had seen a media display at the visitors center in Kosciusko that advertised the town of Clinton, which is sort of a suburb of Jackson.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A friendly welcome to Madison, Mississippi

We left Jeff Busby Campground early, hitting the road just after 8:00am. Nice clear blue sky all day, but still a little on the cool side. First stop was French Camp, a sort of recreation of old buildings from the 1800's.

They have a sort of visitors center there as well, but I think I read that it doesn't open until 10:00am.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The batteries will do for another six months or so...

Definitely a nicer day yesterday, with the temperature going up to about 63F (17C). We had already decided to make Monday a non-driving day, and just relax at the Jeff Busby Campground. We took our time getting outside, and finally went out to enjoy the day at about 11:00am.

Not many places to hike in this park, so we did the same route we had done on Sunday, but in reverse. Because we needed some exercise!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Note to self: Don't plan to purchase propane on a weekend!

Slept great at the Tupelo airport, and took off fairly early in Sherman to get to Jeff Busby Campground at a decent hour. We had a turkey to cook!

We had bought a 12 lb frozen turkey on Friday, and it was busy thawing all day Saturday. Of course the inside of the motorhome was about the same temperature as the inside of the fridge Saturday night! So it wasn't in any risk of going bad but we wanted to cook it as soon as possible and if we were going to have Sunday roast dinner it needed to get in the oven round 3:00pm.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Being tourists in Tupelo

Yesterday morning, we drove over to the airport, just to check out if it would be any good to park for a night. We've parked overnight at many small airports, but Tupelo, Mississippi is a little larger of a city. Sure enough they have a decent sized parking lot and less than half full. And, from where we parked, we got a good free wifi signal from the terminal.

I went inside the very quiet terminal and looked for somebody to ask. But couldn't find anybody. I finally went to one of the two car rental counters and explained to the lady that we wanted to park overnight.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Through Alabama and into Mississippi

Our internet allotment was getting low, and we rely on being connected. And Verizon doesn't make it easy to have an online account when you are a Canadian citizen, so we couldn't recharge our pay as you go data pack without finding an actual Verizon store.

Having used cellular internet in many different countries, I have to say that they sure do make it difficult and expensive both in the U.S. and in Canada. Must be something to do with too many rules. Looking forward to getting into Mexico where it's easy and cheap!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Not the nicest overnight stop... but it's not all bad

Only a short drive for us yesterday, just enough to change locations.

Actually, we were on a bit of a mission to empty our holding tanks. They weren't really that full... but we both were due for showers and that would fill up the grey tank to the point where we would want to empty it.

I had read about Laurel Hill Lake which was just off the Trace. We headed there first.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

It might take us two weeks to do the Natchez Trace!

The rain stopped, but the skies never really cleared up. Still, it gave us a chance to get out and do some hiking. We chose the loop trail that goes around the property here at Meriwether Lewis Campground on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Still a little chilly, but so long as there is no snow, and we can hike... we're doing fine!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

We don't find it any hardship to be boondocking

Yesterday was a rain day. It was pouring before we woke up, and it continued to rain on and off until well after lunch. We had already made the decision to simply stay put, so we had an indoor day. Other than a few strolls to the bathroom, we didn't even get out for a walk.

That's not like us, but a one day break isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fast cars and a slow motorhome

We were up just after 6:00am yesterday morning. We had been parked right beside the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky and we wanted to be there right when it opened at 8:00am.

Sure enough, we were pretty much the first paying customers of the day, although there were quite a few people around because they had a staff meeting just finishing up when we arrived.

Monday, December 4, 2017

It's gonna get chilly...

Interesting weather forecast as a cold front is moving into a big part of the eastern U.S.... and we're going to try to avoid the worst of it! I see that Lexington, KY will have a high around 66F (19C) today, but by Wednesday it will only be 46F (8C) and by Friday 34F (1C). Yep, that's the high.

Yikes. So we did some driving yesterday, and we'll do some more today. Gotta head further south!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

We're here to see the moonbow!

Just a short drive yesterday to Cumberland Falls State Resort Park.

The campground here is open year round, which we found kind of strange since most of the sites are geared towards small trailers or tents. But, they are on a self pay system in the winter and the water lines are shut off. Most sites have both 20 and 30 amp electric, and one site even has 50 amp, even though a big rig might have a difficult time getting up here.

Also, all sites are at a flat fee $20 USD ($26.40 CAD) per night. We wouldn't normally pay that much, but there's a reason we are here!

All Aboard the Pequod: Travelling from the Great Lakes to Java with the Moby Dick Crew

Seafaring has always captivated humankind as a means of travelling and exploring – and few literary works depict life at sea better than the renowned novel Moby Dick. As avid travellers ourselves, we decided it would be fun to board the novel’s whaling ship Pequod (in our imagination) and discover the most fascinating spots along its route.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

No luck at the RV junk yard

We packed up and left Koomer Ridge Campground yesterday morning. We weren't going very far... there was another trailhead only about 3 miles (5 kms) to the Gray's Arch trailhead that one of our readers had enthusiastically recommended.

We had to take a potholed dirt road to get to the parking area.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Hiking in Daniel Boone National Forest

We did a short 2.5 mile (4 km) hike yesterday morning, came back to the motorhome for lunch, and then went out for another fairly short hike in the afternoon.

They were calling for some showers yesterday afternoon, but we only had a few drops despite it being a generally overcast day.

November Expenses

Here's our November expense report.

Considering we were the first two weeks of the month in expensive Barbados, I suppose it's not too bad. But it's still a little higher than we were planning for. It's easy to see where the problem is...we've spent money on things that we're not using yet! That, plus the Canadian dollar has dropped in value again, meaning that everything we buy in U.S, dollars is that much more expensive.

We spent a total of $2,873 CAD ($2,270 USD) for the month.