Thursday, 21 February 2019

More Pictures from Southern Alabama

The weather here remains cold, rainy, windy and grey.  We have seen very little sun and the few warmer days have been so humid we have had to put on the air conditioning to dry out the coach.
We know we have escaped a bitter, snowy and icy winter in Ontario but it has been frustrating using the gym bikes rather than hitting the trails as much as we would have liked.  Fingers crossed for a more favourable March.

Beach cows
Not cows but old Christmas trees used for dune protection.
Two babies growing quickly.

CC from the other side of the lake
Giant Live Oak beside our park

We were lucky to watch the heron and fish "performance" from our patio.

We also had another strike of luck when we went riding one day knowing that we may get soaked under the predicted showers.  The rain began on our drive to the bike paths and we decided to pick up our groceries before rather than following our ride.  Drizzle was still upon us as we departed the grocery store parking lot.  As we parked and unloaded the bikes, the rain stopped and we saw no more showers until our drive home!

And on another outing, we unloaded the bikes to discover that Chris had a flat tire.  When he examined it further, he found the hole in the tube right beside the air valve.  While he was applying a patch kit, we made plans to drive back a short way to a bike shop for a replacement as he did not want to get caught with another flat miles from the car.  A couple pulled in near us and began their prep before bike riding and he came over to see if he could help us.  By crazy luck, he had a spare tube that was exactly the size we needed.  Chris popped it in, filled up the air and off we rode, thanks to Bob from Michigan!

Monday, 4 February 2019

Florida to Alabama and Beyond

Our plans to 'Go South and Sit' have finally begun after jaunts from South Carolina to two RV Parks in Florida to Rainbow Plantation in Alabama to Kimbroughs RV Shop and Red Bay Alabama, back to Rainbow and now finally settled at Lake Osprey RV Resort until the end of March. Our total of unplanned mileage was 2,017 miles!

From Florida to Alabama:

Miles of heartbreaking damage left from October's Hurricane Michael.

Escapees Rainbow Plantation RV Park near Gulf Shores.  We had some great bike rides, a couple of grey, foggy beach days and a lot of frustration with the park.  The road noise of pickup trucks screaming past; the neighbour's backyard fires, loud wood-planer running constantly, barking dogs and general hollerin' any time of day; acrobatic planes training all day, often beginning at 6 am; the indifference of the Park to address issues of drivers speeding in the park, daily loud pickup of the single dumpster, lack of security, care and upkeep of the grounds and input from campers mixed with the soggy, muddy sites after the torrential rains forced us to seek out another park for the balance of our winter.  We were not happy there for so many reasons and were so lucky to find a site at Lake Osprey RV Resort.

Even the grocery store can provide amusement and interest:

Foot-long bananas!

Banana Leaves

Stocking up on veggies, NOT!

Interesting Mexican food basics: Tamale corn husks

Hello Hello Aloe Aloe

Hotdog in a bag sold with candy bars.

Krispy Kreme Doughuts hot off the press.

After settling Dixie into one of the best Kennels we have even seen, we
traveled up to Kimbroughs Repair Shop where our dining room floor was
replaced in a few hours by highly skilled Tiffin experts.  Because it was a
manufacturing flaw, the costs were covered by Tiffin.  We overnighted in
the Red Bay RV Camp where we had new bedside carpet installed. After a
pleasant drive up, our return trip was tense as we traveled through
insane rains and wind gusts as Flash Flood warnings were broadcast. We
stopped during the worst downpours but pressed on, arriving to an entirely
flooded 'Rainbow Plantation' campground.  We were happy to have Dixie
home and be cozy and dry inside.

Brown-headed Nuthatch

Had not seen this in awhile.

So much rot, glad we have a new strong floor!  Thanks Bob Tiffin
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You can see the large area of rot and peeling layers across the old slide floor.

Power Plant and Tower Florence Alabama


We renamed the Escapees Park from Rainbow Plantation to Hillbilly Haven
as we left a couple of days after our return from northern Alabama.  The only
rainbow we saw there was the metaphorical one across our windshield as we
headed towards Lake Osprey Resort.

We landed a lakeside lot in this quiet park whose borders are a shallow mixed
forest where hundreds of blackbirds and numerous robins hang out. They
disperse in the daytime and congregate at sundown in masses of chortling
silhouettes.  When they bed down, the spring peepers take over and the coyotes
often join in. The man-made lake is stocked with fish and we regularly see
Turtles, a Heron and a pair of Hooded Mergansers. There are great facilities
for everything here, a free laundry, pool and hot tub, fitness room and social
areas.  As you know, we prefer to be fairly solitary and near nature so we are
pleased to see some wildlife around even though the park is landscaped and
lawns are kept trimmed.  The lots are well spaced and we have an empty field
behind us where Dixie wanders on her slow, short walks. Our location allows
us to ride our bikes on the miles of boardwalk in Gulf Shores Park and walk
Gulf Shore and Orange Beaches and hit the seafood shops and restaurants
that we know well.

"topnotch" styled by the wind

Evening's reflections across the lake

Eagle's nest Gulf Shores

After observing the large collections of Robins, 20-40 morning and late
afternoon, I began to wonder if groups who migrate together, stay
together.  Doing some research, I learned that Robins lead two very
different lives. In spring and summer they're territorial worm and
insect-eaters. In fall and winter they switch to berries and fruits and
live in flocks where it is easier to spot predators.

If you read my last blog titled Alabama Bound, please note that I
deleted it and re-blogged this short version with a few additions.
The Open Live Writer site has gone belly up so I have moved back
to Blogger which is a very user-unfriendly site.  I am currently trying
to set up a brand new site on Wordpress but I am nerdly-challenged
so that may take awhile.  We will be staying here at Lake Osprey
until the end of March.  I will try to post a few images regularly
and will keep you in touch of any change I may make, especially
if the contact website changes.  Stay warm you snow and ice-bound friends!