All the forecasters were saying that Irma, at the time a whopping category 5 hurricane could hit Merritt Island head-on. So we loaded up the Ka Hale and headed out. Little did we know at the time that we would drive over 1400 miles with countless hours of driving time. The storm moved west and then straight up the state. Our home was spared the worst but still felt the full force of Irma. When we finally got home we found only cosmetic damage and power & water had been restored. As the saying goes, we are Happy Campers!
Barry’s schoolmate, Dennis, gave us great back road directions. Our first stop was White Springs, Florida. We wanted to get North and West and wanted to be at the intersection of I-75 & I-10 so we could plan our next move dependent on the direction of the storm. We stayed at Kelly’s RV Park (along with numerous other Florida refugees). It was a nice park with shaded spots. We had intended to stay here for the duration, but Mother Nature had other plans.
It was interesting seeing all of the utility trucks heading south.
We were monitoring the Weather Station and the “Cone of Uncertainty” started to show a move up the west coast and White Springs could get 70 – 100 mph winds. We decided we wanted to get a bit more north & west. Next stop was Gantt Lake RV Park at a beautiful campsite at Gantt Lake, Alabama. When we called from the road (after calling many other campgrounds, they said they were full. Soon after that they called back and said they could make room for us. They were the sweetest people and ended up giving us and extra large site steps from the lake.
We were fortunate enough to have our previous neighbors, Glenn & Susan, close by. They brought us a refugees aid package (just kidding – only bread) and we all went out to eat at a very lovely local joint called David’s Catfish House.
The track is all ready for the Friday night riding lawn mower races.
The track is all ready for the Friday night riding lawn mower races.Again we thought we would stay here a while (and wanted to), but alas, after two nights we thought it would be best to move west. On the move again, we landed in Laurel, Mississippi At the Sleepy Hollow RV Park. Once again, there were many RVs from Florida. We had a nice spot here and could not wait to see what tomorrow would bring.
Irma was now moving up towards Atlanta, so we packed up again and headed to Bonifay, Florida (90 miles or so west of Tallahassee). We continued to take back roads to avoid the congestion on the interstates. We continued to see gorgeous countryside.
And got our first look of Mobile, Alabama and then the Mississippi River.
The next morning we headed home. Again on back roads. It was amazing to find power out almost everywhere from Tallahassee to Orlando. Almost no stations had gas. Fortunately, we ran on diesel and found more of that. However, when the power is off there is no way to pump it. In Gainesville we happen to see a Murphy gas station with a relatively short line so we got in it. After a few minutes wait they announced that gas would not be available for 30 – 40 minutes. However, they had diesel! A couple of wonderful patrons helped us back our RV into the station so we could fill up and be worry free. Good thing we did as we did not see a station with fuel for hours.
We could not have asked for better road worthy accommodations. The 24 ft RV is easy to park and very easy to set up and unhook. The interior is perfect for two and is as comfortable as they come. It holds enough provisions and clothes for an extended trip and operates on 30 amp, 12v batteries, generator & even solar panels.
Can’t wait for our next trip (CAN wait for the next hurricane!)