RV Travels across America – Traveling to Alabama

On our Road Trip Adventure across America traveling to Alabama from Florida was going to take two travel days.

Since the Florida-Alabama state line was 400 miles away from our current dwelling in St. Augustine, Florida, Gary and I knew we needed time to plan our travel days to reach our chosen destination in Alabama.

Our road trip adventure across America consisted of more than sightseeing adventures.

Our Road Trip :

  • depended on Planning like Mapping a Route and Scheduling Stops,
  • involved Travel Days,
  • required RV Camping, and
  • demanded a Down Day before Departing to our next Destination.

Two consecutive days of travel required finding a campground to park our home on wheels for a night as we traveled across the panhandle of Florida and headed into Alabama.

By the time Travel Days 32 and 33 arrived, we had four months of living on the road experience.  By this time, I had finally developed a methodical system for researching and choosing campgrounds for us to temporarily call home.

Once we had chosen a destination and a campground, it was time to map the route.

After four months of experiencing and experimenting with mapping routes, Gary and I finally developed a workable plan.

Using MapQuest and Rand McNally Motor Carriers’ Road Atlas, I would choose a route.   Using MapQuest and Google Earth, Gary would choose a route.

Then we would get together and compare our chosen routes and pick the best one.

When picking the best route, Gary and I had to keep in mind our big rig status and our budgeted fuel dollars.

Once we had chosen a destination, a campground, and a route, it was time to hit the road again.  As we traveled across the panhandle of Florida and finally arrived in Alabama,

  • we had encountered gray skies for most of our journey.  Unfortunately, we could not plan for or alter the weather.
  • we had stopped and spent one night in Holt, Florida.
  • we had looked and stopped for fuel twice.  As much as we plan and prepare, we were never quite prepared for fueling up the dually with a big rig in tow.
  • we had traveled across bridges and through a tunnel.  But this time we were prepared.  (Remember Fort Pitt Tunnel in Pittsburgh?)
  • we had witnessed natural beauty and city skylines.  While traveling across America AND towing a big rig, we never picked the scenic route.  Fortunately, many of our chosen travel routes were scenic.

Since words and pictures paint a clearer picture,
here’s a photographic glimpse into our Road Trip Adventure on Travel Days 32 and 33.

on the road again
Buddy had music to enjoy on this long travel day. Belle did too. But she is harder to photograph since she sits behind me in the dually.
FL travel day
Surprise! A scenic drive
tallahassee sign
We thought about spending a few days in Tallahassee to tour the State Capitol Building.
But after a week in Florida, our family was ready to move on.

Travel Day # 32 had been uneventful,
until it was time to find fuel.

gas station - big rig friendly?big rig and gas stations

“Does that station look big rig friendly?  Does anyone see the price for diesel?”
“Too late now, I’m in the wrong lane to find out!”

Staying on course but needing to stop for fuel, we approach another gas station.

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Being the first one to see the sign, Buddy immediately shouts out the price for diesel.
My Knight liked the price.
Well, he would have preferred that price to be lower,
but that price was lower than we had budgeted.

Each of us commented that the station looked wide enough;
however, no one could find the sign indicating the clearance height.

But have no fear,
my Knight was prepared.

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My Knight had packed a tool which uses a laser to measure distances.
With a distance of more than 14 feet, we could fuel up.

After filling up, we were back on the road.

long bridges in FL
Across bridges
with no concern to clearance height!
travel day from FL to AL - tunnels
Through a tunnel
which (this time) we had marked on our route.
FL-AL state line
Across state lines.
Did you hear the celebratory HONK?
Moblie skyline
Through the haze
we barely saw the skyline of Mobile,
our next sightseeing destination.
travel day from FL to AL
On Travel Day # 33,
Buddy gets a glimpse of the USS Alabama.

Since I was unable to find a campground for us in Mobile,
our travel day continued another 14 miles south of Mobile.

Our road trip adventure across America consisted of more than sightseeing adventures.  Our Road Trip :

  • depended on Planning like Mapping a Route and Scheduling Stops,
  • involved Travel Days,
  • required RV Camping, and
  • demanded a Down Day before Departing to our next Destination.

Road Trip Adventure – Down Day

On our Road Trip Adventure, a down day was needed before departing to our next destination:

As I have previously stated. our road trip adventure consisted on more than sightseeing adventures. The adventure

  • depended on Planning,
  • involved Travel Days,
  • required RV Camping, and
  • demanded a Down Days

Despite spending an entire week sightseeing in St. Augustine,
we didn’t spend much time at our temporary dwelling in St. Augustine.

pacetti's marina rv park, st augustine, FLI was relieved that I didn’t have to spend all my time at Pacetti’s Marina RV-Park Fishing Resort.

Throughout our road trip adventure, Pacetti’s wasn’t our favorite campground.

On the other hand, this campground wasn’t our least favorite temporary address either.

temporary dwelling in st augustine
Be sure to notice the wood deck and shed. We couldn’t help but notice!

The campground site we were assigned at Pacetti’s was long enough for our big rig, but the site required Gary backing our home on wheels into the site.

Thankfully, the site in front of us was unoccupied when we arrived,

DSCN9529

which provided Gary extra room to back our big rig into our assigned spot.

Throughout our stay, I worried that we might come home from a sightseeing adventure one day and find a neighbor’s home parked across the street.   An RV parked in that spot would make pulling our big rig out of our site on departure day more difficult. Fortunately, no one moved in during our stay.

Our site may have been long enough for our big rig,

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but the site was barely wide enough for our big rig and our dually.
(Barely wide enough?  Look how close we are parked to that tree!)

DSCN9539
I must point out our neighbor’s fishing boat too.

  Even though I was relieved that I didn’t have to spend all my time at Pacetti’s,
I was eager to take a down day before departing St. Augustine.

Gary and I discovered that our entire family of four fought fatigue and frustration better when we scheduled days without a sightseeing adventure.
When we realized the benefits, Down Days before Departure became our routine.

On down days,
Belle and Buddy would complete their school assignments,
and I would prepare and schedule new material.

On down days,
Gary or I or both of us would tackle the laundry.
Much to our surprise, not every campground has laundry facilities.
We learned through experience to confirm big rig status and check the amenities.

Throughout our road trip adventure,
Pacetti’s wins the prize for the most washers and dryers.

DSCN0125

Pacetti’s RV Park always wins the prize for requiring the longest walk.
Our assigned site was so far away from the laundry room . . .

laundry facilities at pacetti's marina rv park, FL

that Gary decided to drive and drop me off.
Having the laundry room to myself that day,
I filled four washers with clothes. And then I waited.

While I waited for the washers (and then the dryers),
I would often fill my time mapping the route to our next destination
or researching our next sightseeing adventures.

However, sitting outside under the pavilion that day at Pacetti’s,
I was quite distracted by my surroundings.
Instead of planning ahead, I decided to live in the moment.

I walked around and found the St.John’s River a peaceful and photographic spot.

view from laundry room at pacetti's rv park, FL

st john's river at pacetti's rv park, FL

a bird

st john's river, FL

close-up water plant

In no time at all, my time of waiting was over.
Four loads of laundry were complete and my Knight had returned to pick me up.

Back in our home on wheels,
school assignments were complete and clean clothes were stored away,
but there was one more chore to complete on that down day.

Fannie needed a bath,
which was quite a chore in a small RV shower.

the dog has fleas bathing the dog sm RV showers

Our pup-pup needed a bath because at our last temporary address,
Cedar Ridge RV Park,
Fannie picked up some hitchhikers in Georgia.

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Apparently, while she lived with dogs and chickens  at our temporary address
in Folkston, Georgia, Fannie picked up hitchhiking fleas.
Like I mentioned before,
Pacetti’s Marina RV-Park Fishing Resort wasn’t our least favorite campground
as we moved and traveled across America.

A Road Trip across America consisted of more than sightseeing adventures.
Some days were filled with everyday routines and common chores.

St. Augustine, Florida

St Augustine, Florida – Capturing the sites, the beauty, and our memories in pictures

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Enjoying the Views of St. Augustine from Castillo de San Marcos

castillo de san marcos

 

After temporarily dwelling in St. Augustine for a week, it was time for us to leave the Sunshine State.

However, we had enough time to return to Castillo de San Marcos before we left St. Augustine behind.

 

Buddy was the one who had tabbed a sightseeing adventure at Castillo de San Marcos.  However, our entire family enjoyed exploring the fort, listening to costumed park rangers, and learning about the history of St. Augustine.

view from castillo de san marcosBut throughout the afternoon, I found my family taking the time to enjoy the views from the fort.

Here they are looking out into Matanzas Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

From this vantage point, we saw and identified the Bridge of Lions.

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We took the time that day to watch a draw bridge in action. . .

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and to remember our drive across the Bridge of Lions. . .

lion bridge

which is guarded by a pair of Medici Lions.

on lion bridge, st augustine FL

The Bridge of Lions carried us across Matanzas Bay
away from St. Augustine and onto Anastasia Island.
On that day, we had a sightseeing adventure
at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum.

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(If you look look closely in the picture above,
you can see the St. Augustine lighthouse in the distance.)

From a different spot at the fort,

view of matanzas bay

we took the time that day to soak up the sun, to feel the wind against our faces,
and to watch the boats in the bay.
matanzas bay from castillod de san marcos, FL

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Since we had learned about the shrimping industry in St. Augustine at the Lighthouse Museum, we were particularly entertained by the shrimp boats in Matanzas Bay.

Remembering the Views of St. Augustine from the Lighthouse

Belle and I may have tabbed the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, but our entire family enjoyed our sightseeing adventure on Anastasia Island.

We climbed 219 steps to enjoy the views from 165 feet off the ground.

intercostal waterway and ocean, florida

Not only were the views spectacular, but they were also reflective.
As we stood atop the lighthouse,
we could see and recognize the sites we had explored in St. Augustine.

view st augustine from lighthouse, FL

When we took a closer look . . .

view from st augustine lighthouse

from this vantage point, we could see . . .

great cross, FL

the Great Cross at the Mission of Nombre de Dios.
We took the time that day to talk about what we learned and enjoyed
during our sightseeing adventure at the first mission in America.

From another vantage point,

view of st augustine from lighthouse, FL

a closer look revealed . . .

taking a close-up view of st augustine from lighthouse

view of lion bridge from lighthouse

the Bridge of Lions;

view of flagler college and church from lighthouse

 

 

 

 

Flagler College and the dome of Flagler Memorial Presbyterian Church (remember our walking tour of St. Augustine?)

view of castillo de san marcos from lighthouse, FL

 

 

 

and the fort – Castillo de San Marcos.

 

 

Back at the fort that day, I took the time to take one last picture from our viewing platform looking out into the bay.  But for this last picture, I turned my back to the bay.

DSCN0066

 I snapped a picture of the skyline and beauty of St. Augustine
and captured that moment in time in the Oldest City in the United States.

Unfortunately, our time in St. Augustine had come to an end.
Fortunately, we had more cites and sites to see and more memories to make
on our road trip adventure across the USA.

A Walking Tour of St. Augustine – the Second Loop

My Top 16 Posts for 2016 – this Post ranked # 8
My Top 15 Posts for 2015 – this Post ranked # 11

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