Trains & RVs

 Posted by at 1:39 am  Nick's Blog
Mar 092013

After our long travel day Thursday we slept like babies. I don’t think either of us even heard the trains that rolled past nearby during the night. But as RVers, we are so accustomed to railroad noise that we just accept it as part of life. I don’t know who passed the Federal law that says no RV site in the country can be more than a quarter mile away from a railroad track, but whoever enforces it seems to do a darned good job.

Before I get too far into today’s blog, the other day somebody sent me a question about traveling in a B van and staying in hotels, and we were just getting ready to hit the road and I didn’t have the time to reply. Now I can’t find it, though I have searched my mail files. If you are reading this, my apologies for not getting back to you. Please send it again.

Yesterday my son Travis took us on a tour of Tuscaloosa. The city is home to the University of Alabama, and around here football is more than a way of life; for many people it is life. You can’t drive very far down any street without seeing the slogan Roll Tide emblazoned on a car, sign, or the side of a commercial building. And this is where it all begins, Bryant–Denny Stadium on the University campus.


I’m sure that more than a few football fans considered coach Paul William "Bear" Bryant a god. Bryant came to the Crimson Tide program in December 1957 and led the team to 24 consecutive bowl appearances. Today, statues of Bryant and other famous Alabama football coaches stand in front of the stadium.

Beqr Bryant statue

Bryant once said in an interview that if he ever retired from coaching, he would "probably croak in a week" and added, "I imagine I’d go straight to the graveyard." Those words proved prophetic, just four weeks after coaching his final game, Alabama’s beloved Bear Bryant died of a heart attack on January 26, 1983.

Life changed forever in Tuscaloosa on April 27, 2011, when a EF4 multiple-vortex tornado, with maximum sustained winds of 190 miles per hour, tore through the city before continuing on to Birmingham. By the time the tornado wore itself out northeast of Birmingham, it had left behind a path of destruction of over 80 miles long, killing 64 people and leaving $2.2 billion dollars in damage in its wake.

House ruin

Geli is a nurse and was at work when the storm hit and Travis was at home. Phone lines and cell towers were destroyed and both heard rumors that the area where the other was had been hit hard. It was hours before they could reconnect and learn that both were safe and uninjured.

Even today there are huge tracts in town where the ruins of houses and commercial buildings still stand, awaiting demolition. The symbols and X on the first building were left by rescue workers searching for casualties among the debris. Even today Travis still suffers anxiety attacks when the city conducts their monthly tornado warning siren tests.

A few days ago I promised you a sneak peek at the cover for my new book, Big Lake Blizzard, and here it is, courtesy of my friend Dale Roberts. I think he did a darn good job. How about you?

Big Lake Blizzard small

Speaking of books, several of my author friends have made some of their books available as audio books and I’m thinking about trying it with my Big Lake books, in addition to the e-book and printed versions. Do you listen to audio books? How many of you would be interested?

Thought For The Day – Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors… and miss. – Robert A. Heinlein

Check Out Nick’s E-Books In Our E-Book Store

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  17 Responses to “Trains & RVs”

  1. Don’t do audio books. Love the book cover. Is that a snow-covered body? Just anticipating another murder mystery.

  2. Yes, please go with audio books. My Mother was visually impaired. When she was younger she read all of the time, but as she got older macular degeneration set in and she was no longer able to read. We bought her a large boom box and taught her how to load cassettes in it and adjust the volume. She enjoyed it immensely. When she passed, it happened that I had a customer who was also visually impaired. I asked him if he wanted the books we had on tape and he could not say ‘YES’ fast enough. He still thanks me when I meet he and his wife at the local bakery. That was in Indiana; fast forward to Missouri and I found some more books on tape and I walked into the American Legion Post and saw a visually impaired young lady. I being a rather blunt type, asked her if she would like the ones I had just found and the answer once again was YES. We you sell a lot of them? Probably not, but those you do sell will be enjoyed as much as if not more so than the hard copies or E books.

    Please be careful on the road

  3. just finished Big Lake on My Kindle, moving on to the next one. Never been much for audio books myself, but they do seem to be popular, so there is obviously a market. Would that be with actors, or just you or a professional voice reading it?

    The actors would make it like the old radio series and that might be worth giving audio books a shot.

  4. I enjoy audio books on long drives and also have visually impaired friends who would enjoy them.

    Eager to read your next Big Lake book especially after seeing the cover and thinking about your other Big Lake books.

  5. I have tried e-books in the past and I liked them except I found it hard to concentrate. After awhile just could not get into it. Cannot multi task. I just like to hold books or I-pads in my hands.

  6. When do the movies come out? That’s what I would really enjoy.

  7. Nick,
    As an author, I have considered an audio book. Time to research the endavor has been my biggest hinderance. I hope you keep us posted on the process. I am certian it would be worthwhile.

  8. Love the cover. We occasionally listen to audio books, but I like to hold my Kindle to read. We are so looking forward to the new book. Enjoy you stay with your son and just travel safe when you leave

  9. love our trains, the sound of money

  10. yes yes yes on the audio books

  11. Judy, yes that is a snow covered body. Who is it? How did it get there?

    Jim, there are bureaus that will provide a professional narrator for the books. I’m researching it now.

  12. Don’t know about Audio books, but my Mother enjoyed the free ones furnished by The Lighthouse For The Blind.

    My wife wants to downsize from a 41′ diesel pusher to a Class B as fulltimers. I would love to see a blog on the pros & cons of fulltiming in a Class B. Maybe you could include the answer to your readers question in your blog.

  13. I am legally blind and would appreciate the audio books. I have read your books on my computer via Kindle and use Microsoft Magnifier to enlarge the print. Also, for the visually impaired, the Library of Congrees provides thousands of audio books and a digital player as well absolutely free. Folks could contact their state library or the Library of Congress online. Thanks Nick for your great books. By the way, my sweet wife drives the RV. 🙂

  14. Have listened to and enjoyed audio books while we were traveling.

    What a great cover! Makes me cold just looking at it. Speaking of cold, the temperature has dropped to 49 degrees at 11:40 AM with clouds and rain in anticipation of Nick’s arrival in Arizona.

  15. Yes to the audio book.I currently download them from the library and play them on my mp3 player.

  16. Nick, the murder of the Mayor occurred behind city hall by his flacky city council woman, and the weapon was the ceremonial key to the city… or was it the Council’s gavel… or maybe it was the candlestick later found in the library. Oh well, I can’t wait to read it.

  17. Nick, I’ve heard your recorded voice, you don’t need anyone to read. You sound great. Have you been told you have a face for radio?
    The cover looks great.

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