Day 34 continued…
Monday, November, 11, 2019 – Today’s drive to Mobile would be our longest drive on record – GPS said 6 hrs & 20 minutes but the final count was 7 hours. We drove straight south on Interstate 65. Crossing the Tennessee River (again, we had crossed it en route from GA to Huntsville), passing by Birmingham & Montgomery. May I just say, Birmingham needs to improve their roads! We were bouncing for about 10 minutes. If you think a road is rough, try driving it in a truck pulling a heavy trailer!! Oh my!!
We arrived at Historic Fort Blakeley Campground (a state park) just after sunset but there was still a bit of daylight. Thankfully, the site was pull through but did require a bit of navigation. This campground is considered a wilderness campground. I guess that means a bit larger but maybe a bit more rustic. We did have full hookups which we were thankful for with the colder weather approaching. The entire east and part of the west was about to experience the great chill. The warmest spots would have been South Florida or Tuscon, AZ! Which were both too far to drive to so we settled for Mobile. 🙂 Thankfully, we settled easily and cranked up the heat for a chilly night ahead.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 – We woke to temps in the mid 30. Tonight and into Wednesday would actually be colder and with more wind. This was our slow day which as you probably have learned, includes laundry! I ventured out to a local spot that was next to a grocery store. This way I could start the laundry, restock groceries, dry the laundry and return to camp. I was able to use the time during drying to catch up with my friend Amanda from TX. We’re heading there for her wedding in just over 3 weeks!! My bridesmaid dress is already at her house. Just need to order the shoes! Amanda was a bridesmaid in our wedding and I’m so excited to be able to stand with her on her special day!
When I returned to the campground, we decided to go for a hike. Our hikes are becoming some of our favorite times together. This one ended up being quite a bit longer than we had anticipated – about 3 miles. But the views were worth it. This park was the site of the final major battle of the Civil War and also an Indian village.
Our campground is about 10 miles north east of Mobile. Since it was a chilly evening, rather than hanging out in the camper, we decided to drive around a bit. That didn’t last long as Lucas was getting restless. We headed back to get cozy.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 – We awoke to temps in the upper 20’s. I think I mentioned that our RV has heaters on the tanks as well as a heated under belly and storage compartments. This prevents freezing of water lines. While we have this technology, it doesn’t mean that Matthew isn’t on edge when these cold circumstances arise. After all, this is our home – we need it to function properly at all times.
The temps were going to rise to 60+ degrees today so we headed south to Gulf Shores with the destination of Dauphin Island. This was going to require a ferry ride! Lucas was so excited about his first ferry ride! On the way there, we stopped for fuel at one of the most incredible gas stations we’ve ever seen – Buc-ee’s!!! This place was crazy – 2 long rows of fuel pumps, anything you could want to eat inside and the cleanest and largest bathroom around! LOL If you ever see one in the your travels – STOP!!!
We arrived at Fort Morgan – where we were going to board the ferry – about 45 minutes before the next trip. It was still chilly so I popped out to take a few photos and then we sat in the truck waiting for the ferry to pull in.
We were first in line to board the ferry. While it was freezing cold on the ride over, I was determined to see a dolphin so I stayed outside until I spotted one. Once one was spotted I grabbled Lucas so he could see one too! It was such a thrill to experience it with him! Of course there is no photo proof of the dolphins but trust us – we all 3 saw them!
When we landed in Dauphin Island we went to the Estuarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. We had a peanut butter & jelly tailgate picnic in the parking lot before heading inside. What a surprising little place. Lucas loved all the sea life, Matthew touched a sting ray and we got to see all kinds of creatures, including an octopus! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one in person. It was incredible to watch. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to add the video here. 😔
From there we drove to the western most tip of the island, walked the beach and then headed north to Mobile. I had put a beef roast with potatoes & carrots in the crockpot as I knew we’d want a warm dinner when we returned. It was delicious! We finished off the dinner with smores in the oven!
Thursday, November 14, 2019 – We headed to downtown Mobile. It was chilly but we wanted to check out the city. Did you know that this is actually where Mardi Gras began? Not New Orleans?? I didn’t either. I love the architecture of the south.
We took pictures of the USS Alabama and made a stop at Bass Pro on our way home.