Wednesday September 15th 2021
I expected today to be cloudy and wet. It was cloudy to start, but by midday the sun was breaking through the clouds. The forecast rain and the remnants of tropical system Nicholas seem to be moving slower and staying to the south. Tomorrow’s forecast still calls for rain showers even thought the weather radar shows the storm already over Alabama and Georgia.
I am seeing more signs that fall is arriving everyday. The sun is setting earlier every day. Today’s official sunset time is almost ten minutes earlier than it was last week when I arrived here and twenty minutes earlier than the beginning of the month. The heavy forestation also makes it seem dark earlier at night and for longer in the morning.
The arrival of Fall is causing me to reflect on this summers travels. It was heavily influenced by not having a plan. Last winter I kept delaying making plans and reservations until I understood the COVID vaccination situation. As it turned out, I got vaccinated earlier than I anticipated and could have (should have) made real plans. Instead I’ve been planning as I go. The result hasn’t been perfect. Finding reservations on the weekends has often been a problem. Out of frustration I’ve spent longer in less desirable locations rather than continuing to explore options. Even so, I’ve spent time in several nice areas I wouldn’t have visited had I planned all of my Summer travels. Fontaineblue State Park in Louisiana, a stop in Vicksburg, and return visits to Tom Sawyer RV park on the Mississippi River and Maumelle Corp of Engineers Park on the Arkansas River were all good fun stops. I just haven’t visited any major new areas this summer.
I have about five weeks of my “summer” travel season to go. I’m am moving east slowly following the same pattern of planning as I go that I’ve been using all summer. October 22nd marks the end of my summer travels. I have reservations at various places in Florida from then through the middle of March 2022. Most of my stays will be two weeks long in state or federal parks, but I start with a month long stay at a private park in the Jacksonville area and have a few shorter “filler” reservations along the way. Overall it is a slower pace visiting mostly know areas with lots of interesting things to do and see.
Planning for next summer is in the early stages. The working outline of a plan is to head for the Dakotas. How I get there, what I see along the way, the things I see in addition to the national parks and the Black Hills, and where I end my summer travels are all things to figure out. Right now I anticipate being back in Florida again for the winter. The research and the theoretical part of planning are the fun part. Finding places to stay and making reservations is the tedious part.