Caught by the Rain

Thursday September 30th 2021

It was a cloudy day this morning. Instead of the high fluffy clouds of the last few days the sky was completely filled with white. The morning weather forecast called for the clouds to continue all day with a slight chance of rain. The high temperature for the day was in the mid seventies.

Blossom of the day.

The forecast was overly optimistic. This afternoon while I was out driving around more than thirty miles from my RV home it started to rain. Half trusting the forecast, I had only closed the roof vents on my RV home. Many windows were still open. I headed for home in heavy rain. As I got near my RV home the level of rain diminished as I got ahead of the storm. Everything was fine. The wind wasn’t strong, so it didn’t come in the open windows. Rain continued for next couple of hours. It never got as heavy as I experienced on my drive home.

Later in the day, before it got dark, I got most of the outside travel preparation tasks complete. I’m moving on about fifty miles east tomorrow. The weather is forecast to be dry in the morning.

Are Shortages Returning?

Wednesday September 29th 2021

The nice fall weather continued today. It is getting a little more humid. With the humidity more clouds dot the sky. The billowy white and occasionally dark clouds form an interesting pattern in the sky. A couple of times today they threatened rain, but only a drop or two fell.

A day filled with lots of big clouds.

Today was another exciting grocery run. Listening to the gloom and doom news stories on TV, I expect to find shortages and huge price increases every time I go to the store. I didn’t find anything unusual about the supply on the shelves today. All year there have been small issues with choices of brand or flavor variations in products, but it has always been possible to get the things I need or a close option. Yesterday the news indicated a new shortage on paper products was happening. I found the paper towels and toilet paper aisle fully stocked. So I’m now fully stocked to the extent I have storage space.

Figuring if things are more expensive is more difficult. Moving around all the time and shopping in different areas adds an extra variable. Most of the prices on standard items like can goods or boxed goods go up and down a few cents depending on where the Walmart is located. Things that have a shorter life which may be sourced locally, like produce, meat and dairy are much harder to judge. I know the meat is more expensive than it was a couple of years ago, but I’m not sure when it went up. Produce is a total mystery with respect to the price. Its price is seasonal and demand based. The product that I find hardest to predict is milk. Some states must subsidize or tax it. The price can vary by more than a dollar a gallon from state to state. A half gallon of milk was only ninety eight cents today. That is the cheapest I’ve paid in ages.

Blossom of the day.

Tomorrow is my last full day at the this RV park. On Friday I’m moving east another fifty miles or so for another week. Until the end of the month my plans remain in jello.

Thinking About Rivers.

Tuesday September 28th 2021

There were a few more clouds today, but otherwise it was a nice day. The mid eighties temperature of the last few days continued. It was a little more humid and there was no breeze. So far it hasn’t cooled down as fast this evening.

In my wandering around the area, I found a nice boat launch area on one of the dam created lakes on the Tennessee River. There was a lot of recreational boat traffic. It is hard to believe that there might also be commercial traffic on the river. The Army Corp of Engineers and later the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) built and maintain dams and locks to support navigation from the Knoxville TN area where the river forms all the way to where it empties into the Ohio River in Kentucky. The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway was also created to connect the Tennessee River to the Tombigbee River in Mississippi. This allowed traffic from the Tennessee River to reach the Gulf of Mexico via Mobile Bay. I was camped along the Tenn-Tom Waterway earlier in the month at Piney Grove Corp of Engineer Campground.

One of the things that has surprised me on my travels is the extent of America’s river system. I knew about the major river systems on the Continent from the various geography courses I took during my education, but the extent of their use and all of the other smaller river systems is the surprise. The Mississippi River is navigable from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. I knew the Ohio and Missouri Rivers were major tributaries, but the role of the Tennessee and Arkansas rivers were things I learned more recently. I’ve also learned there is a connection to the Mississippi River from the Lake Michigan in the Chicago area, but it may only be usable by shallow draft and low vertical clearance vessels. Either way, it opens up access from the St. Lawrence Seaway emptying into the
Atlantic near Newfoundland. I’m not sure how far the Arkansas river is navigable, but it is at least as far as the major cities in Oklahoma. Out on the west coast the Columbia and Snake Rivers are the surprising ones. Traffic can reach areas of Oregon, Washington and Idaho from the Pacific Ocean.

The other major waterways are the Intercoastal routes along the eastern seaboard and the Gulf Coast. They allow smaller commercial craft and recreational vessels to travel from the Philadelphia area in the northeast all the way to Brownsville Texas near the Mexican boarder without having to face the open sea in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Some sources define Boston as the northeast start and exclude the west side of Florida from the definition of the Intercoastal waterways, but either way it is a lot of protected navigable waterway.

All of the nations rivers represent another interesting way of travel. I know there are some people that transition from RVs to boats and the other way around too. I am not going to be one of them. The issues of navigating the roads solo are hard enough. A boat needs at least one more person on the crew.

Lost Monday

Monday September 27th 2021

The good early fall weather continued again today. The temperature peaked in the low to mid eighties will very little wind and a bright blue sky. The combination of warm days with cool overnight temperatures is ideal.

As far as productive or adventurous experiences today was a bust. I got lost in the bowels of the internet during breakfast. Between reading obscure articles on a variety of subjects and watching videos, I consumed half the waking daylight hours. It was an enjoyable day despite not producing anything worthy of capturing in this blog entry. Here are some of the pictures from today’s walk around the RV park.

Football Sunday

Sunday September 26th 2021

The nice early fall weather continued today. There were a few more clouds during the middle of the day, but the sky was back to cloudless by evening. The temperature peaked a little above eighty with very little breeze all day.

This was the first Sunday that I have been able to watch the NFL games on TV. The first Sunday of the season I didn’t have any TV reception and last Sunday I was traveling most of the day. I am not an over the top football fan, but I do enjoy following the game. Most weekends I’ll catch bits and pieces of games. Today, I watched more than usual to catch up for the lack of exposure over the first two weeks of the season. The local teams in this market seem to be the Tennessee Titans and the Atlanta Falcons. I hoped this area claimed the New Orleans Saints as a home team so I could see their game against New England Patriots. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I didn’t get to see the Patriots loss.

I need to set my alarm clock to get back on a decent sleep schedule. I’ve been getting up at 10 in the morning. At night it is closer to 2AM before I get to sleep. When you don’t have any specific plans it is easy to get out of sync. Today the day felt particularly skewed with the football pregame shows starting before I finished breakfast.

The weekend guests at this RV park departed this morning. A couple more look like they are leaving in the morning. It will be back to the empty during the day and near full at night cycle starting tomorrow. According to my original plan I would have been one of the people departing tomorrow. Yesterday I extended my reservation until Friday, but in my head this has seemed like my last day. Once I don’t leave tomorrow I should be back in mental alignment.

A Routine Day with Lots of Little Tasks

Saturday September 25th 2021

The weather is gradually warming up. It wasn’t as cool overnight, although it was still very comfortable for sleeping. Today’s high temperature was closer to eighty under bright blue sky with low humidity.

My day was filled with lots of little tasks. It was after five before I came up for air and to eat. One of the tasks was making a reservation in the Florida Everglades for next March based on my research earlier this week. That leaves one more five day reservation to make when the six month reservation window opens later this month to fill all the nights between the end of October and the middle of April. The summer of 2022 is the next challenge. Other tasks that filled my day included washing the sink full of dirty dishes and doing a few maintenance tasks around my RV home.

The campground remains full this weekend. When I stopped in at the office to extend my stay until Friday, the host indicated that the business had picked up with the arrival of fall. There isn’t anything specific going on in the area that is drawing people. Fall is apparently a popular time for travel in this area.

Is it Really Friday?

Friday September 24th 2021

The temperature got down into the forties once again last night. By mid afternoon the temperature climbed into the mid seventies. Overall it was a perfect day. It was cool at night supporting good sleep and just warm enough during the day.

This has been a very lazy week. It is hard to believe this is Friday. I’ve been sleeping late in the morning and consequently going to bed late in the evening/night. The result is a very skewed sleep pattern that probably will require an alarm clock set to an early morning hour to break the cycle.

Today was a little more productive than Thursday. I’ve been working on travel plans for the near term and the long term. In the near term I leave here on Monday and have to plan four weeks before my first “winter” reservation in Florida. The long term relates to filling a two week gap next March and the entire summer from mid April forward. On both fronts I’ve made some progress. Next March I’ll head into the Everglades for ten days or so. Next summer the middle of the country from Kansas north to the Dakotas is looking more interesting with each new page click of internet research.

Here in Tuscumbia Alabama, the campground is filling up for the weekend. Each day this week there were new arrivals and departures, but most of the people that arrived Thursday didn’t leave today. As the afternoon progressed more people arrived. I’m surprised. I don’t know what the specific draw is in this area. I’ll have to look around the area some more over the weekend.

Another Lazy Thursday

Thursday September 23rd 2021

The temperature dropped into the forties overnight. The interior temperature in my RV home was in the low sixties this morning. It took until mid afternoon for the outside temperature to get into the low seventies. Fall weather was here.

There were only a few wispy clouds in the sky today.

It was a day without motivation or ambition. I spent the day reading and watching television. The most productive thing I did all day was cook my afternoon meal. Even this blog entry is low on the achievement scale.

A Lazy Start to Fall

Wednesday September 22nd 2021

I woke up to temperatures in the sixties inside my RV home. The outside temperature may have been in the fifties. Late in the afternoon, after about an hour of full sun, the temperature peaked a little over seventy. There was also a strong northwest wind all day from the cold front that passed through the area overnight. I had to add a layer of clothing to be comfortable. My sweatshirt came out of the draw for the first time in six months or more. The cool temperatures are forecast to last until the weekend. The eighties will be back next week.

Blossom of the day.

The cold morning resulted in a very late start to the day. I rolled over with the covers pulled up a little higher twice before I got out of bed. The laziness continued all day. I didn’t do much more than take advantage of the internet I didn’t have last week. Reading and TV watching rounded out my activities for the day.

The sun has set.

Chores and More

Tuesday September 21st 2021

It was another day with rain just around the corner. Just like yesterday the sky went from sunny with a few clouds to rain in the blink of an eye. The only difference was the rain was a little lighter. There were no flash flood warnings issued for this area today. The temperature also peaked a little higher in the mid eighties. A cold front is forecast to pass through overnight to break the pattern. The next few days are forecast to be dry and sunny with a high temperature in the low to mid seventies.

It is hard to believe that tomorrow is the first day of my favorite season. Starting the year in Florida makes summer seam very long. The temperatures and other weather patterns turn summer-like in April. That makes for about six months of summer. The good thing about this location in northern Alabama is there is some foliage. A few trees are already turning, but the majority will be much later in the year. Once I get back to Florida, the season will just blend into a Florida winter. The leaves on the deciduous trees fall off, but they don’t really turn color first. Having lived most of my life in New England, the fall colors are one of the things I miss most.

Today was a chores day around my RV home. Dust and dirt really show up in the small space. I know my former fixed residence was probably just as dirty or even more, but I didn’t see it. In the RV I see it everyday and need to do something about it on a more frequent basis. Today was one of those days dedicated to cleaning up some of the accumulated dust and clutter. My RV home is cleaner tonight, but the clutter is just in new locations.