January 2015 – Auburn, Alabama

Happy New Year! It is now the beginning of a new year and we have come full circle.  Over the past year our journey began with week long trips with our Flagstaff pop-up with one extended journey to visit William in Maryland.  While we enjoyed these excursions our main focus was to put the house back on the market and live the full time RV life style.  In July we successfully sold the house for just enough money to make our dream come true.  The same day we closed on the house we bought our huge F350 King Ranch and headed to my sister’s in Tennessee to buy the RV.  We were very lucky that they were looking to sell a 2014 Winslow that was exactly the unit we were hoping for with some great extras we probably would not have added ourselves.  Since the unit was their floor model that they needed to sell for the 2015 model, we got the RV at an incredible price.  By mid-August we had our dream set-up and we were on the road.  Beginning with a few weeks in Tennessee to learn about our RV, we were ready to travel.  Initially we headed to the North Carolina coast at Kill Devil Hills and proceeded down the coast.  Over the next three months we saw some incredible seashores, marshes, and a lot of Coastal Forts from throughout our history from Colonial Days through World War II.  We broke off our trip down the coast to head across the peninsula of Florida to an Escapees community in Foley, Alabama for Thanksgiving.  After three weeks communing with other full-time RVers, we headed to Birmingham for the holidays, with a week layover in Auburn to see old friends.  Two weeks in Birmingham visiting family and we are now ready to continue our journey.  Our goals for this winter are to continue down the eastern coast of Florida to the Florida Keys and then back north up the west coast over the next two months.  Beginning in March we will push as fast as the weather will permit with the objective of Maine this summer.  I don’t know if one summer will be sufficient to see all of the northeast, but we are going to find out!  So the 2015 Long Haul, began where we began in 2014 at Auburn, Alabama.

We decided to stay for a couple of more nights at Eagles Landing RV Park in Auburn, Alabama as it was on the way to Daytona Beach, our first stop in Florida.  So on Tuesday, January 6, 2015, we traveled from Cherokee Campground near Birmingham to Auburn.  The only comment I have about the trip is it was COLD!!  One of the advantages of living full time in an RV is that you can avoid extreme temperatures for the most part.  We knew staying in Birmingham in December was taking a risk and except for the rains two days our of three while we were there, it was warm.  We obviously stayed too long, because our last night in Birmingham was in the 20s and only warmed up to just above freezing.  Unfortunately, Auburn was not going to be much better with temperatures in the teens both nights we were there.  In addition, the starlings that we had enjoyed every evening at dusk so much earlier in the month, had now left for warmer climates.

CampsiteTheSecondTime

On Wednesday we dropped by the Golden’s home to see our favorite dog, Katie who we had watched for years since she was a pup.  Katie is now over 16 years old and having problems breathing and moving around, but she was still the friendly dog we loved and enjoyed over the years.  We had a nice visit again with Mike and Bets and watched a doe just outside the window looking for some corn that Mike had put out earlier in the day.  In the afternoon, Laura Zutter, our next door neighbor for the past 25 years dropped by to see the RV.  For those of you that do not know the Zutters our friendship goes back long before being next door neighbors since Bruce and I attended graduate school together at Virginia Tech in the 70s where we both majored in Forest Biometrics.  After graduate school we went separate ways with Bruce coming to Auburn and I worked for International Paper in Georgia for 5 years.  I accepted a position on the faculty at Auburn in 1986 and two years later moved in next door to Bruce and Laura.   They have been great neighbors with children the same age as our own.  They joined us for dinner at Cancuns where we got to chat with our favorite server, Mateo one last time.

Thursday morning was COLD with a wind chill factor near zero degrees, but we managed to close up the RV and get on the road by 11:00.  We are off on our search for warmer weather!!

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