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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Sadie, We're Not in California Anymore!

~Tuesday, December 22, 2020~

Day 191 (Travel Day)

Breaking down our site didn’t take as long as I thought it would. With the Holiday decorations added now in the breakdown mix, it’s added a little extra time, but not bad, as now each item has its particular spot until we arrive at the next location. While we were breaking down, our neighbor (they sound like they’re from the South), asked if she could take a photo of our dogs together. They look like they could be related, though theirs is nearly twice the size and twice as old. But they have the same coloring and face. Cute! We would have liked to spend more time in Texas, especially to see the Holiday excitement in Fredericksburg. It is supposed to be THE place to see at Christmas time. (check out our list of winter things to do there on our “Playground Spots” page); another reason to come back. And when visiting San Antonio again, we’ll definitely stay at our jewel of a campground at Hidden Valley (lower portion).

Jeff started off the driving while I took care of a few phone calls and worked on our blog. For some reason, Reserve America’s phones are down. I’ve called all the numbers I can find. So instead spoke directly with the manager of Topsail Hill Preserve (our next stay) to ask a few questions. Boy did it bring back memories of my living in Texas in my single digit years. We always said, “yes m’amm” or “yes sir” when answering anybody, along with that good ‘ol southern accent which I quickly lost when we moved to California. Jeff and I were just talking about all the states we’ve been to in the past, and realized that I had already been, at one time or another, all the states we’ve visited so far. Some might have been a quick drive through or a flight layover, but nevertheless, I can say I’d been there. For Jeff, he’s had similar experiences with the exception of Texas and Louisiana, which are new for him.

To get to our destination today, we decided on the Highway 10 route, but with that came a few toll roads. It’s interesting how those are handled. They basically post on the side of the highway, how much that road is going to cost you from one section of highway to another, and to pay it online. Highway 130 came to a $20 toll. The tricky part is knowing who to pay? (stay tuned). The last time we had a toll road situation was in Southern California going from San Marcos to Riverside. We thought that our Fastrak would take care of it, but found out a month or two later, we had outstanding toll violations. Thank goodness the $200 fees were reversed pretty easily, which tells me this is a common occurrence with assuming motorists. If you’re not used to toll roads, it can be confusing. After we exited Highway 10, we must have changed state highways about 5 times to get here, all which were very nice, flanked for miles by numerous tall trees. It was peculiar though, that the posted speed limit on most of those highways was 70 to 75 as we’re driving by homes set back from the highway (most large ranches or properties). I felt like I should be going more along the lines of 50 mph. The top speed for us towing though, is always 60 mph. So that’s where I stayed.

Pulling off to get some gas, turned out to be eventful as we saw our first big flying insect

in the South. He/she/it was on the trailer and didn’t seem to mind me photographing it. And it was a good time for all of us to stretch our legs, including Sadie. As she went sniffing along, unbeknownst to us, she started sniffing a red ant hill, which we thought was a gopher mound. “Sadie, I’ve a feeling we’re not in California anymore”.

Arriving in the dark around 6:30 was not a good idea….at least at this campsite. We’re just not early risers, and you know me (I stay up too late). This will be the absolute last time we arrive at a site in the dark, especially in a forest setting. We pulled up to the gate (already had the gate code ahead of time), and made it in safely but not easily. Finding our campsite was not a problem. Boy when I requested trees, we got trees. Site #43 is awesome (at least in the dark) and can tell this is going to be an awesome place for us to spend Christmas. We seem to be alone in this loop, at least for now. Backing into our site was quite challenging as we tried to line ourselves perfectly on the narrow, concrete pad. Unfortunately, because Jeff couldn’t see or hear me well enough to direct, the trailer tires dropped off about 4” causing a loud clunk. No harm done. If anything, our invisible neighbors probably heard ME more than anything. With Jeff’s quick thinking, we used the orange Lynx levelers in front of each tire (the side where we dropped off), to give us enough height to slowly ease the tires back up onto the concrete pad. Can you visualize all this craziness? Another thing we had to factor in, were the slides. They were right next to a sloped hill leaving us a little worried about the bottom clearance of the slides. After 45 minutes of making all of the adjustments to successfully park in our lovely “driveway”, along with a little bickering back and forth, we’re “home”. One thing we’ve learned (hindsight is always 20/20), is when possible, to back in turning in from the driver’s side (especially in the dark), so the driver can see where the turn is. It’s impossible when turning in from the right side, as we did tonight. Ugh!!

Who would have thought we’d be in an evergreen forest in Louisiana for Christmas!? At the Grand Bayou Resort, you feel like you’re in a state park, not an RV park. Look forward to checking out all it has to offer in the next few days. As Sadie got to check out her “happy forest”, Jeff and I took about 2 hours to set everything up, especially since we’re here for the next 7 days, i.e. outside lights, and all of the Holiday decor inside. Even though our little real, mini Christmas tree is now dead, it’s still being proudly displayed. It has really been through the ringer with all of the moving around….water, no water. Finally, it will be good to chill, and enjoy our little forest Christmas!🎄

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