Friday, June 30, 2017

I better get this post up today since it looks like we'll be moving tomorrow!
The truck is supposed to be ready somewhere this evening, so hopefully we'll be able pick it up tomorrow morning, return the rental, pack everything up and head out.
If the truck for some reason is still having problems, we have to move anyway, since this campground is completely sold out for the (4th of July) weekend. 
So hopefully it will be at least possible to drive it to another campground here in Columbus.
But let's keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best!

As you can see in the picture above, we already had to move to another spot last week, since you can only stay for a maximum of 2 weeks here, after which you either have to move out or, if it's not busy, they might allow you to pick another spot for a week at a time.

The only spot available turned out to be a beautiful one, right on the river, with a great view of boats and what-not coming by, even from our back windows.

I say 'river' but it actually is called the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway which is a 234-mile system of canals, locks, and dams that connect the Tennessee and Tombigbee river.
Before it was build, the only river from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf was the Mississippi. With it's completion it now serves as a shorter alternative.
It's not as busy as some rivers, but it is fun to watch the large barges come by.

Of course we had to check out the local golf course while we were here, so we've played a couple of rounds at Green Oaks.

Twilight rate (after 4 pm) is a flat $20, including a cart, and for as many holes as you can play before sunset. Sounds good to us!

We also finally made some time, in between all the cleaning, fixing, re-arranging and throwing out stuff we don't use, to pay a visit to 'downtown historic' Columbus.

With three National Register Districts, the city boasts nearly 700 nationally significant properties and one of the largest collections of 19th century homes in Mississippi.
The fertile soil of this area proved ideal for growing cotton, and thanks to it's location on the river the city became a major center for the cotton trade.

Because the town never came under direct attack from the Union Army, it's beautiful Antebellum mansions survived the war unscathed.
One of the most colorful Victorian houses is the Tennessee Williams Home which was the first home of Pulitzer Price-winning playwright Tennessee Williams.

 The author made history with well-known plays such as "A streetcar named Desire", "Cat on a hot tin roof" and "The glass Menagerie"

After cruising the town for a while we took a short stroll along the 'Riverwalk', a nice shady pathway in a park-like setting, along the meandering river ...

Talking about walks: I love my daily morning hikes to the slough. There's always something of interest that catches my eye.
Like these dragonflies:

And this pair of Black-bellied Whistling ducks. They're a little 'off course' to end up around here, but I guess that happens, even to ducks ...

Every know and than I see this Anhinga (on the left) or a Little Blue Heron (on the right): 


A great Blue Heron and a Great Egret, each on his own little island ...

 Or you can share one ...

The rest of the time we've been working hard on 'spiffing' up the RV.
I've cleaned all the caulking and James re-caulked some of the old ones that had cracked and were failing.
He also re-painted the underside of the slides. Previously (7 years ago) he had done the same thing, but some of the paint was coming off. This time we decided to paint them black, because it shows less dirt.

We also made time for some R & R. Like knitting socks when it's 86F in the shade?!

So, hopefully we'll leave tomorrow and hopefully we'll end up in Coldwell, just south of Memphis. 
The plan is to take one day to visit the city, after which we'll continue to Makanda in Illinois where we'll be staying for a couple of days. 
I hope I'll have time to post somewhere next week otherwise it will be a while, probably until we'll arrive in Wisconsin.

OK, the end ..

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

So here we are, a new post, and although it's hard to see, and maybe you need to know where to look, but if you look closely you might be able to detect the results of James' hard work of this last week!
It was a job already 3 years in the planning, which is when we bought the spray paint, but life/work etc got in the way, and it never happened ... until now. 
We finally did it, we painted the bottom part of the RV green!

See, doesn't that look fantastic?!

Most 'modern' RV's aren't all white anymore but a beige or grey with a darker color at the base. It just makes sense, it doesn't show dirt as much and in our case it also breaks up all the white a little. 
Since it's not a huge area, James thought he could do it himself, and make it look good, with simple spray paint.

Prepping was the most time consuming, but the painting itself went very fast!

Most campgrounds don't like you to do too much work or maintenance on your vehicles, so he prepped and sprayed small areas at a time, and worked when nobody was around.
(Fortunately this campground is only really busy in the weekend.)

One side done!

The master at work ...

And the other side! Isn't that pretty, I think it's a masterpiece! 
We're so happy with the result. 

Before ...

And after ...

OK. One big job finished! While he was at it, he also re-painted the wheel hubs, which got busted up somewhat here and there ...

See? Much better!

And some of the striping on the truck started to peel off, so he re-did those too: 

As you can see Merlin kept a close eye on him!

He loves to hang out with James while he's working on the truck,
and than he likes to join him for a nice nap in the afternoon ...

He takes the nightstand while James takes the bed ...

I've been working on cleaning the mold of all our window frames. This climate turns everything green in the blink of an eye!
And to keep up our energy doing all this work, I baked some cinnamon rolls:


I try to take a short walk every day in the morning, while it's still somewhat cool. 
Walking the hiking trail through the forested swamp there's always lots of butterflies that flutter out of my way ...


Most of them are Pearl Crescents, but a couple of days ago I came across this rather unusual Checkered White:

The slough, at the end of my walk, is definitely turtle territory! So far I've seen three different species. 
Off course there was my exiting encounter with the Snapping Turtle and this next one is a Musk Turtle:

Much smaller (8-10") and not as feisty, although the male will bite when cornered! They also release an offensive smell hence their nickname 'stink-pots'.

And there was this cute little Mud Turtle, only about 5". He played possum in it's carapace (shell) for a while when he saw me approach, but continued his way when I walked out of his eyesight:

Ha! He (she?) doesn't know the incredible zoom capacity of my camera!


As far as the truck goes, our mechanic Greg has determined that the problem is indeed (again) injector-related and he has started the 'under-warranty' procedure. 
New ones have been ordered and will hopefully arrive soon so he can install them. Unfortunately, he is not his own boss anymore, and now works full-time for somebody else, so he can only work on the truck in his spare-time. This means of course that we'll be here for at least another week ...

Fortunately we were able to extend the rent for another week and if necessary can do another one, although we will have to move sites if that comes about.
In the meantime we've returned our rental car and retrieved the truck, since it doesn't make sense to pay for a rental when the truck isn't worked on!
Oh well, we have a lot more on our to-do list, so we won't be bored, and this campground is a very pretty place, so we'll just have to wait it out ... and enjoy the sunsets over the river:

There are worse places to get stuck!