In the South, in the heat, are we NUTS?

We did a two day stopover at a Yogi Bear Jellystone campground in Scottsburg, IN. This was strictly a stay-put stopover, not a whole lotta anything nearby to see. Then it was on to Red Bay and the Allegro Campground at the Tiffin service center. They don’t do reservations so it was a get there and hurry up and wait in line for your service date. They have 90-some full hook up sites at the old airport location and they are generally packed full. Once you register you get on the wait list for service and at this time they are generally clearing 1-3 units per day from the service bays (they got about 49 total bays here, plus who knows how many over at the paint service center in Belmont). So wait, we did.
“Hey, Yogi, watch your hands, mister!”

Tiffin Service Center bays from the outside…


…and bays from the inside.


Hurry up and wait!

As the sun sets on our lovely stay here in Red Bay…
The temps in this part of Alabama at the end of July were not bad, a little humid, and a few thunder/lightning/rain storms. We made a run to Tishomingo State Park in Mississippi where we walked the dogs on one of the trails off the swinging bridge. We also just HAD to check out the Coon Dog Cemetery, the only one of its kind in the world. Oh boy…It was started sometime in the 1930’s and there’s quite a few puppies resting there. Locals said we just had to visit the Rattlesnake Saloon too. It is a local saloon/eatery built under/inside a cavern carved into the rock. The lunchtime eats were typical barfood, burgers/sandwiches and nothing to rave about. 

The Rattlesnake Saloon



Up close and personal


World famous Coon Dog Cemetery


Rest easy, puppies


The swinging bridge at Tishomingo State Park, over Bear Creek


Rock outcropping off the trail at the swinging bridge

One big draw back to this part of the world, there seems to be a lot of “dry” counties. A couple of warm days it would have been nice to quaff a cold one, only to find out there was none to be had. We did manage to find a pizza joint in Belmont where it was not a “dry” county, even though the local grocers and stores choose not to carry alcohol. So it was off to non-Chicago pizza and a pitcher of beer. Pizza was terrible, and the only beer on tap and available was Bud Light. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuck!

The Natchez Trace also runs through this area, so we took a brief drive up a small section of the over 400 mile trail. We saw the Pharr Indian Mounds, an ancient burial grounds for the local Indians and a small “graveyard” of unknown Confederate soldiers. This would be an awesome bicycle trip, to take the entire Natchez Trace from Mississippi to Tennessee. Maybe some day…

Pharr Mounds on the Natchez Trace


Unknown Confederates’ resting places


“Tomb” of an unknown soldier
While in Red Bay we ventured over to Tupelo, Mississippi to gawk at the birth home of Elvis Presley. And we tripped into Muscle Shoals for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. There, we met Bobby Denton. Being a die-hard heavy metalist, I have to admit I am not familiar with Mr. Denton’s music. He was also a state senator for Mississippi. Nearby we found Helen Keller’s birth home.

Elvis was born here.

Bobby Denton, at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

Helen Keller’s birthplace
Well, we got finished with the Tiffin Service Center after a total of 24 night’s stay. It’s nice that for owners in that first warranty year they do not charge for the campout on those old runways. All others get there spots for $20 per night. I could not drive fast enough in my escape from Red Bay. 

We wanted to drive to Montgomery for our next stopover, but we felt like driving a bit farther once we got there, so we kept heading south to Troy, AL. We thought we would just swing into their local Walmart for an overnighter, but of course we found the only one in town and it did not allow RV overnighters. Southbound to Ozark, AL, where we found their Walmart and again found they also did not allow RV overnighters. So, one more time, we continued south to Dothan, AL and BINGO(!) we found a Walmart that welcomed RV overnighters. One grocery excursion and a good night’s sleep and we were on the road again, destination Jacksonville, FL.

Jacksonville is a HUGELY spread out town! We stayed at the Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park for 3 nights. The park is a total jungle setting, thick trees, shrubs, narrow winding roads in the campground, and lots of banana spiders. One needs to recon the sites before driving a big rig in, not a lot of level looking sites. We found a fairly level spot under the thick canopy and called it home for a few days. The park has about a mile and a half of beach with white sands and at this time not a lot of rough surf. We walked the beach, swam some in the ocean, and hunted sea shells, typical beach comber stuff. It was very hot during the early parts of days, with cloud cover rolling in generally at the back half and we got some quick torrential thunder/lightning shows while we were there.  The town of Jacksonville is a little too sprawling for my taste…we had to drive in to a Costco and a Staples and it was always a 20-25 mile drive to get anywhere. Even getting to the general delivery post office to get our monthly mail, we ended up driving forever. And the kicker was we still only saw the northern part of the city.

Sunset over the lake at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park.

Oh boy, my favorite, airborne banana spiders!

Sunset over the beach at Hanna Park. Wait, is that a Black Hawk I see over the clouds?

Southward look along the Hanna Park beach.


3 days and go, we were off northbound, only about 2 weeks to kill until we run into “The Attack of the Grandchild” (Jenn and Max arrive in Charleston). Next stopover was another 3 days (Passport America) at Golden Isles RV Park in Brunswick, GA. It looked like an old KOA park, with the telltale A-frame office, but the park was not too bad. Grassy sites, a pool, and a restaurant on site that was always PACKED for lunch with locals. Not a lot to do around Brunswick, but we did manage to make a quick spin through town, checked out Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island. But the heat was pretty intense here, hard to get away from the A/C  for any length of time. 


So, onward and northward we go, I’ll try to get more pix for the post…

About rvrrat520

Recreational wanderers just livin' the dream while we can still get vertical.
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