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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

What's a Buc'ees?

~Sunday, February 5, 2024~

Day 967 (Travel Day)

Because we extended our stay in Ocean Springs, Mississippi to attend the Mardi Gras Parade yesterday, we will now be driving THROUGH Alabama, not staying. So I guess that means we won’t be able to add a new sticker to our travel map that has a slight gap in the middle (we still have yet to visit Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Alabama). How is it that we’ve been to the neighboring states of Alabama but haven’t managed to stay overnight in the cotton state? Though it’s never been a goal of ours to dutifully fill that map, it would be nice to show that we didn’t ignore the middle. One day, we’ll plan a trip devoted to touring the Great Plains states. To be sticker worthy, we agreed that we must at least have an overnight stay to count it on the map, and it must include the RV. Everyone has their own set of rules. What would be yours….a drive through? A week long stay?

We had quite the Harvest Host crowd here last night. We happened to have the same departure as a few of them, leaving one Class A Motorhome behind. We had a quick chat with them while we were breaking things down and learned they’re from Missouri. When they left a few weeks ago, it was about 30 below zero. No wonder they’re heading to the Sunshine State like us, to ride out the rest of winter.

Early on in our drive, once we crossed into Alabama, we had to stop for gas. I know….big deal. But this wasn’t just any gas station. It’s a gas station with 120 gas pumps, a store the size of Costco (about 53,000 sq. feet), and a place chock full of every goody you can imagine, except for my favorite….CornNuts. They’re even open 24/7, 365 days a year. A fun stop, and the cheapest diesel we’ve found in a very long time……$3.89/gallon. Gee, I should have checked to see if they sold eggs! Maybe their prices would be way better than the overinflated $9.00 price tag we’ve seen as of late (I’m still committed to buying organic).

Once we arrived in the Florida Panhandle, we crossed Escambia Bay via Interstate 10. In September of 2004, the 2-½ mile-long bridge suffered enormously during Hurricane Ivan. The storm surge alone wiped out 58 spans off the eastbound and westbound bridges and misaligned another 66, causing about $26 million worth of damage. For over 2 months, approximately 55,000 cars per day were diverted to U.S. Route 90.

It’s so nice to be back at one of our favorite campgrounds in Florida…Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, and because we booked way in advance, we were one of the fortunate ones to get longer than an overnight stay (we have 1 full week). Like all Florida state campgrounds during the winter months, this campground is in HUGE demand. Knowing we’d be back one day, we made sure to scout out the primo sites ahead of time. And site #84 has it with privacy, full hookups, a 5 minute bike ride to Santa Rosa Beach, and a dog park for Sadie. Yay!!

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