Time to Move From Mississippi to Alabama

Our route includes mostly divided two lane US Highways until we drop down to Interstate 10 where I know the highway to be less congested in the Florida panhandle.

It’s raining outside so this would be a typical time for us to do the laundry, go shopping for food, watch a video or whatever as the sunny warm days are reserved for having fun. But we are moving tomorrow to Alabama for a 10 day stay west of the capital city of Montgomery so that prompted a slight change in the daily activity of this full-time traveler. No shopping or watching videos until a few other things get done such as route planning and pre-packing.

We had been watching the weather reports for the last several days, which is typical before a move. Appears we are lucky in that tomorrow turns out to be the best window of opportunity to move without rain and wind so no need to extend our stay or change the next stop. We have been parked here in Quitman Mississippi for a full month. Wow, that was nice as we had been on the move since last March, never staying anywhere for more than two weeks until now. We are looking forward to St. Augustine Florida for winter where, for only the second time in all our travels, we will be stopped for a full two months.

This morning I completed route planning for our next move. No big deal. Just 170 miles on US Highways for three hours. Check-in time for the Corp of Engineer campground we are moving to is 4:00 pm. That’s way to late for this time of year when the sun sets early. I checked and someone has our spot the day we arrive. Check out time is 3:00 pm so that’s when we plan to arrive. Here is Quitman Mississippi we arrived at the designated time for check-in, also 4:00 pm. We did not fit in the assigned spot and it was dark by the time I finally was able to back-into a different spot elsewhere in the heavily wooded campground. I’ll not repeat that mistake again. I’ll arrive early with plenty of available daylight.

I finished up route planning that includes for me, comparing the route suggested by my trip planning application (RV Trip Wizard) against what is suggested on the Garmen RV GPS. Then I check Google Earth street view for anything of concern. In this case someone had posted in a campground review the road to the park in Alabama was heavily treed with lots of limbs and it was easy to miss turns into the campground. There will be no problem as I’ve even taking Google Earth screen shots on the laptop computer showing the intersections and campground signs as needed. I also have a photo saved on the phone of the actual campground map as so often there is no one in the check-in booth when we arrive. I’ve completed the route planning to the point I can visualize the entire move. Get a 10′ pop-up trailer if you just want to hook up and go without any planning. Get a 35′ fifth wheel that’s 13′ tall and weighs 15,000 pounds and you best not slack off on route planning 🙂

I rarely plan for any fuel or rest stops anymore. I did when we first started traveling as I felt more comfortable knowing in advance where we could fit this big RV. After almost 14000 miles of towing, I’m comfortable enough with just pulling off the highway where it might fit. On interstate highways there is always a rest stop but on US highways it’s a bit tricky noticing a possible resting place in time to get the RV slowed to make a turn. It is rare that we travel over 230 miles in a day which in my planning would require researching a spot to stop for fuel. We can travel about 320 miles between refueling and it’s my rule we always have 100 miles of range left in the fuel tank wherever we are going. Hense the 230-mile limit (320-100).

Home for 30 days

I should probably get on to how we got here in central Mississippi and what we did of interest while we were here. I have a couple other points to get out first. I’ll add some RV tips later. I should report there are now more than 300 folks who follow this blog. Wow, that is amazing to me. I had only started the blog back in 2014 to record research info and later get comments and suggestions from others during our planning stages for full time travel. Although we occasionally handout a business card to special folks we meet in campgrounds, we do no advertising or pull any gimmicks to attract readership. I go back and read most posts before hitting the publish button, fearing I might leave any political or overly religious content behind which is considered a no-no for Rver’s. Some are really emotional about certain topics. I consider myself open to all opinions but definitely want a chance to state my own opinion. Then we can each walk away and think about what the other said. I hope I’ve been living up to expectations regarding blog content. I sometimes break the rule. I suspect after we leave Montgomery Alabama in a couple weeks, I’ll break the rules regarding posting my view on continued racial tension in our country. My question or topic would be “why are we still having to talking about racial issues in this country”, one of just a couple still under their original forms of government?

I could write twice as much as I’ve been doing. You would be amazed at all the amazing one-time experiences that happen on the road or the weekly lists of challenges. The blog would become a diary if I were to report all the details.

Okay, back to travel… This trip started back in maybe 2016. You read that right, 2016. We were camped in Illinois at the time when an old-timer camp host said he spends the winter in Mississippi where the prices are cheap, the weather is tolerable as are the folks that live here. We moved to this very park in Quitman Mississippi during the first weeks of the pandemic and decided we wanted to return during our fall trip. We stopped at the Dewyane Hayes Corp of Engineer Campground in Columbus Mississippi on the way here for a few nights as we headed south.

Spot #1 Dewayne Hayes COE outside Columbus MS. Harder back-in but we are getting good at it. No neighbors and big yard on paved full hookups. Not bad for being in the woods.
Some travel fulltime in boats. This one spent a couple nights just off the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, on Columbus Lake in Mississippi. Maybe a blog follower will recognize it. I understand this a popular route to/from Mobile Alabama.

Then we moved to Archusa Creek Campground near the small town of Quitman Mississippi for a much needed month stay. We were tired from the travel season, having only stopped for two weeks at a time after leaving Florida last March. Sometimes the destination is the campground itself which is the case with Archusa. The roads inside the park are narrow making the spots hard to back into. But worth it to be in the tall trees of the forest that surrounds the park. We left the kayak inflated and took the dog out wearing his new $100 life jacket with us on the small shallow lake on several occasions. Upon arrival we policed up all the extra firewood left behind by others. Took long walks. Watched the dog run the entire campground loop off leash, which was nearly vacant most of the time. We planned a day trip to Meridian Mississippi located 30 miles north but only ended up touring the local historic cemetery and doing some shopping at larger stores. Meridian is the sixth largest city in Mississippi and of significant historical value as well as having a few modern notables such as home of the father of country music. Meridian has a couple newer multi-million-dollar interactive museums and civil war sites. All in all, I would not consider Meridian a destination spot. Below are a few photos from the Rose Hill Cemetery where apparently the Queen of the Gypsies was buried with family in the early 1900’s. I’ll spare you the history lesson regarding gypsies and their country of origin other than to report a huge clan buried their “queen” here with 20,000 in attendance at the funeral.

The Queen’s grave. Legend has it if you leave something on the grave she will visit you in your sleep and tell you how to fix your problems. Karen asked me if I had a dime but never said the queen showed up.
Back in the early 1900’s some idiot publish an article stating the Queen was buried with gold coins. The cracks on the cover are from grave robbers.
Hmm. A couple folks went cheap and did not buy a concrete vault to hold their coffin which has now collapsed making it harder for folks to mow the grass or walk over the grave safely. Overhead were passing jet aircraft from the local Navel flight school.
Wonder if the kids at the local high school knew confederate soldiers from the civil war hospital were buried under the school grounds? 100 were found during construction and piled into the mound at the cemetery in a mass grave.
I still liked the historic graveyard in Natchez Mississippi more than this one, but it was worth the trip. It is a miracle they were able to terrace the rows back in the late 1800’s with no modern earth moving equipment. That’s a lot of digging to get the hills flat for graves.

In Quitman we simply enjoyed our days outside in the sun and trees. For the first time in months, I used the credit card just once to top off the truck fuel for our next drive. I’d bet it costs a good 25% more to travel than it does just sitting around at the campsite. I’ve got a good start planning our spring trip for 2022 which will be up the east coast from Florida to Washington DC then back to Missouri where we are hoping to spend three months in the Branson area. On the way we will most likely cut up into northeast Tennessee and Virginia. I’m still considering the best route west from DC to south Missouri, probably through Pennsylvania.

I have been hitting the books learning about mountain driving in the east for our 2022 spring trip. I’ll probably describe the process in a future blog when asking for route ideas.
This is just a quick attempt at planning our 2022 spring trip. Will probably go north from Florida to Charlston South Carolina, then through the hills to Asheville North Carolina then northeast on I-81 in the general direction of Washington DC as I’m wanting to stop at a few places on the way. I’m plugging seven day stops into the schedule for now so that I can come up with an approximate date we will be in Washington DC then later Branson Missouri. Then I’ll call ahead and see when we can get spots at those two places and plan accordingly. More on this later.

I’ll close with a couple RV tips. I knocked out a few maintenance items and minor RV repairs while we were stopped for the month. It’s a never-ending thing if one uses their RV enough. Had a 50′ green garden hose that was hard to roll up for years. Finally, the connections wore out so I bought the best replacement which is a 50′ Zero G hose. I cut the old green hose up into sections and put new connectors on the end. Now I have a 10-15′ shorter hose to use to flush the black tank. No more fighting to roll up the longer hose which makes just one more thing easier to do on a move day.

Cut up an old hose, added new connectors. Now it’s easier to roll up after flushing the black tank on a move day. I put the leftover hose in the truck just in case I end up needing to cut one longer.
Quick connects on the black flush a fresh water connections. Again to cut down on time to setup and tear down camp.
While in the basement of our fifth wheel, I took time to check the filter attached to the water pump. It’s the clear cap on the right side of the water pump. When they build RVs they route out plastic to connect pipes to the fresh water tank. Over time the plastic pieces will make it to the pump filter. Check yours at least once while you own the RV. I checked it a long time ago, found the plastic but nothing else this time.

See ya in sweet home Alabama. Can’t wait to visit Hank Williams in Montgomery. Also looking forward to the national civil rights memorial and much more.

10 thoughts on “Time to Move From Mississippi to Alabama

    • I’m checking lots of sources for the spring trip to include other’s blogs. Given there is mountain driving involved and I doubt we come back through some of those states again. So don’t want to bypass something super important that we might want to see. You know what it is like to start with a concept then mold it into an actual trip. We are looking forward to a longer stay than usual in one area which will be south Missouri. We want to see what its like to stay parked for three months during what would normally be a summer trip. So we picked a lake area like Table Rock outside Branson.

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  1. I’m following you on every blog. This one brings back memories. We were at Columbus AFB for a couple years and know the area (or did). It was a great first base for us. I also want to mention that PA is good for low bridges. We had a GPS that would tell us too late that there was a low bridge, so be aware. I hope you’re checking out blog for that area. I’m so glad you’re fulltime and enjoying it.

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    • Thanks Dee, means a lot knowing you guys were stationed at Columbus. I am checking out blogs for travel ideas and referring back to your spreadsheet also to see where you stopped. We have similar size rigs. I read your post about a possible move back to Florida but did not respond as I did not feel comfortable adding any advice without knowing 100% of the details. I can say this however. I did a lot of work as a police officer assigned to the community policing unit. I tried once to get a government grant to provide additional security and education for our elderly. Worked with a lot of people in elderly communities/AARP and such. I came away with the opinion most elderly live where they do to be close to the grandkids and later their own kids. So I think you are in the majority who decide to stay close to close family. For what that’s worth.

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      • I’m staying in Illinois. You’re very right at this age most people move near the kids. God has put me here for a reason, best to stay. I didn’t move here on my own, that’s for sure. hahahaha

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  2. We have stayed at DeWayne Hayes, we were headed north from the Gulf, I drove the truck while pulling for the first time that day and drove into the park but didn’t back in. Month stays are nice to have once in a while. Let us know if you’re going through central IL.

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    • Karen is worried about wrecking the truck as it’s our only form of transportation and there is a learning curve. If we keep traveling longer term I can 100% see getting a second vehicle and staying even longer in one place at times.

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