Friday, September 16, 2016

We finally got out of Starkville. Yahoo! It was a rather 'rough' ride back to Hammond though and we didn't end up where we thought we would, but we're back and sitting pretty in another great spot, as you can see in the above picture.
About that rough ride; first of all, due to a missing part for the new air-pump (not enough hose), that was supposed to be overnight-ed to us but took 3 days to arrive, we didn't get on our way until Tuesday.

Secondly, we took a little bit of a risk getting on the road, since after the injectors had been replaced, the truck developed some 'episodes' where it would all of a sudden loose half of it's power while driving. After pulling over and restart, it would be fine again.
But since our savings were getting low, due to the unexpected truck problems, we needed to get back to Hammond and make some money. We also decided to skip the scouting of the gulf coast for now, and drive straight back.

All in all, we didn't do too bad, 'only' had to pull over 4 times, but it was a little nerve-wrecking .... 
Before we left, we'd already found out Hidden Oaks was still closed, so we'd made reservations at Indian Creek in Independence, about 17 miles north of Hammond.

Our site is # 184, all the way up and to the right
With Labor Day weekend coming up and flood-victims taking up the rest of the sites, this was the only campground that had some sites available in the area.

It did also flood a couple of weeks ago, but not as bad as Hidden Oaks and they're up and running already.

It's a nice campground, alongside the Natalbany River, very woodsy and with a creek running through it.

I'm so happy to be back in nature again! I've already walked some of the nature trails that wind all around the grounds.

I found some of my favorite wildlife ... birds:



And a lot of very inquisitive little (Eastern Grey) squirrels ...

This is a Luna Moth, a new one for me. It's huge (4") and supposed to be nocturnal. I think it got a little confused, hanging in the dark shade right under the awning.

And this is a Red-spotted Purple. Not the most creative name, but very pretty. That blue (purple?) is almost iridescent!

Like most Americans, we BBQ-ed on Labor Day:

I guess it's a male (bonding?) thing ...

And afterward we walked over to the band that was playing at the campground. It was called 'Monster Crawfish' ..... only in Louisiana!

OK, so far so good, now for the not-so-good ... the truck is still misbehaving and during a side-trip James had to make to Houston, it got worse and worse. 
Eventually, he got stranded on the way back in Lafayette, after he couldn't drive more than a mile or two before having problems again. He made it to a hotel and overnight-ed there, left the truck in a parking lot and came back to Baton Rouge the next day with a Greyhound bus, and from there to Ponchatoula, with a guy I found on Craigslist that provides rides for a reasonable fee.

His boss Ronny (what a great guy!), loaned him a truck and trailer and the next day we drove back to Lafayette, picked up the truck and brought it back.
As you can see, it only just fit!

Since the mechanic who fixed the truck guaranteed the work (and the parts), James drove the whole shebang back to Columbus (MS) yesterday. 
So while I'm writing this, I'm anxiously waiting to hear from him, to find out how things are going ... cross your fingers!