Our Last Night

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 162017

After the nice folks at Cummins in Bossier City, Louisiana solved our fuel problems, we left there Wednesday afternoon heading east on Interstate 20. We only drove about 90 miles, stopping at Pavilion RV Park in West Monroe for the night. It’s a nice park, with easy access on and off the highway. We stayed there several years ago when it was a Passport America affiliate but they have dropped that since then. But when Terry called to see if they would have room for us they were quick to offer discounts for things like being a veteran, a member of AARP, or Escapees.

West Monroe is the home of Duck Commander, and fans of the Duck Dynasty television series visit from all over the world. We didn’t bother to stop by their store because we didn’t have a lot of time. And besides, if I want to talk to rednecks, I just call my buddy Greg White.

We were awake by 7:30 the next morning (yesterday) and on the road a little after nine. We motored east across the rest of Louisiana, and then crossed the Mississippi River at Vicksburg. We visited this historic town that was laid siege during the Civil War a while back and wrote about it in the May – June, 2013 issue of the Gypsy Journal.

In Jackson, Mississippi we left the interstate and picked up U.S. Highway 49, following it southeast 84 miles to Hattiesburg. The road ranged from bumpy with lots of traffic to a good divided highway. Along the way we passed a terrible accident on the opposite side of the road, with police, ambulances, and tow trucks on the scene, and a long line of traffic backed up.

From Hattiesburg we continued southeast on U.S. Highway 98, which was an excellent divided four-lane road that went up and down some gentle hills and passed through a couple of small towns along the way.

As soon as we crossed the state line into Alabama, everything changed. The highway narrowed down to a bumpy two lane road with a lot of construction going on. Before too long we got to Interstate 65, just as the sporadic showers we had had off and on all day turned into a hard rain. A short distance later the freeway ended and we found ourselves on a detour onto surface streets in downtown Mobile. Signage wasn’t great, but we followed the eighteen wheelers, figuring they knew where they were going. And sure enough, before we knew it we were going into the tunnel under the city. I told Terry the reflection of all of the taillights and brake lights reminded me of the light show in Glitter Gulch in downtown Las Vegas.

The rain eased up as we crossed Mobile Bay on the causeway, and it didn’t take long until we were back in Florida. It felt good to be back in our newly adopted home state.

Oh gee, road construction and a bridge. What fun! At least it wasn’t high.

We pulled into Eagle’s Landing RV Park in Holt at 5:30 PM, with 395 miles behind us. Yes, that’s a long day, but we are in “go home” mode and just want to get there.

We have stayed at this nice campground several times over the years. They also offer a veteran’s discount, which is always appreciated.

We are 430 miles from home and we will make that long drive today and park it. Unless something drastic and unforeseen happens to change our current mindset, this was our last night in an RV, and it was somewhat bittersweet. And ironically, and totally unplanned, today is eighteen years to the day that we hit the road as fulltime RVers. How did that happen? When Terry realized that, it gave us both goose bumps.

We appreciate everyone’s blog comments, emails, and messages about our decision to scuttle our summer travels and return home. We have been doing a lot of talking about what will and what won’t work for us, which direction we want to go with our lives from this point onward, and we’ve come to some conclusions.

Our spirit of adventure hasn’t died by any means, and our travels are not over. Going forward they will just be on a smaller scale and in a smaller vehicle. We really don’t need a 40 foot diesel pusher for one trip out west every year or two to see family, and for shorter trips closer to home. We plan to look at vans and other options once we get home and get our wits about us.

As for the blog and the Gypsy Journal, it’s business as usual. As I have said before, I have several years of stories banked from our previous travels, and we will be having more adventures on the road, in one way or another.

Thought For The Day – If you want an accounting of your worth, count your friends. – Merry Browne

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Nick Russell

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  22 Responses to “Our Last Night”

  1. Sorry to hear of your decision, but I totally understand. We are only into our second year, but you and Ms Terry’s ages, and we are considering the same….except we are still looking for “the” place.

    God bless you both and I enjoy your blog whether you are traveling or not!

  2. Nick, I took the liberty of sharing your blog about Coach Net with their FB page. They responded with an invitation to call them to discuss your concerns!
    I am in the middle of dealing with the frustrations of finishing up a rebuild of the interior of our winter place here in the Pan Handle about 20 miles from Holt. Antsy to get on the road and hoping our 17 year old DP doesn’t put us in a situation like you just experienced.
    Hope you enjoy tonight in your new home. Best of luck to you.

  3. Considering your decision welcome home

  4. Welcome home Nick. I’ve followed your travels everyday for years and enjoy your-day-to day adventures at home just as much as your traveling adventures.

    We purchased a new motorhome last August. It’s our forth coach in 15 years and was supposed to take some stress out of our travel. Our previous Newmar was 10 years old and had been very dependable but I was starting to worry because of its age. The new, 39 foot Winnebago has not lessened stress but added to it. The slide mechanisms are just not dependable and I hold my breath every time i extend or retract them. It’s in the shop again at Camping World St. Augustine. Every service event there is at least a month. Maybe it’s time for us to take our lumps on a sale and hang up the keys.

    With that said Nick, life is short and at a certain age things that used to be a “pot hole” become “sink holes.” Getting on a smoother road makes a lot of sense to me.

  5. Be safe out there and bring her home. Downsizing sounds
    Iike a good idea. Have fun looking.

  6. Good luck and God Bless you both Nick. You’ve had a great ride so far. Just time now for a refreshing change in direction. Looking forward to hearing about your future plans and travels.

  7. What are the odds of having your last night in your MH 18 years to the day!

    After thirteen years of traveling full time, we have partially hung up our keys since we bought our home in Cocoa and since we put a park model on our camp site up in the Berkshires in western MA. We downsized our 39′ MH to a 26′ Class C that is a joy to drive for our road trips now. Yes, everything in is it smaller but we’re not living in it full time or traveling/living in it for half the year but it suits our life style at this stage. Safe travels on your way home. You can almost fill an issue of the Gypsy Journal with your adventures on this last trip!

  8. There is nothing in life more constant than change. I love your daily musings and have commented only once before, but we also recently made our change due to our age and what we could maintain. It isn’t easy and to make that decision and implement it more or less in a public spotlight takes some courage. We have also chosen Florida (south of you in Cape Canaveral) and we are finding a sense peace and relief that we have downsized into what is needed at this stage of our lives. As another said in comments before mine: “Welcome Home!”

  9. Nick,
    You and Greg sure have had some rough days in the last weeks. Stay safe on the way back home.

  10. Good luck and God bless you both. Can’t wait to read your future posts!

  11. So glad to hear you’re keeping the blog I would miss talking to you every morning.
    We have changed our Dream from traveling in an RV to buying a beach house. So just goes to show that your paths and dreams are always changing.

  12. Wow! How much I truly understand. In December we purchased our home in Alabama. Took the month of March to be on the road. Could not wait to get back home. We are now in PA after leaving Alabama on May 15. We pick up granddaughters this afternoon. Then it’s touring a little in Illinois, SD and down to Branson before getting back to Alabama on June 11. So far I am doing ok traveling. Just ok. Not great. I am thinking this will be our last long trip. So…. it’s not just me wanting roots and perhaps a smaller rig for shorter trips.

  13. We made it full timing for 23 years. Now it’s good to be in a place we love and call home. The best for you both for the future. Ah, what memories we have made and will keep making, on a different scale!

  14. It is amazing that there is an “event” that says that is time to reevaluate full time. We had had an RV since we had been married a year. Full behinds,motor homes, and fifth wheels. We full timed for 10 years loving all of it even though there were some incidents but the time came. Hung up the keys, sold RV, bought a stick and stone place. Missed RVing and bought a 24′ Born Free that is easy to drive for shorter trips.
    Good luck to you and Miss Terry as you evaluate your position.

  15. All you need is a comfortble place to sleep … and a comfortable place to sit. If you find that combination in a small, easy to drive unit you will be thrilled at the different options that are suddenly open to you when traveling! State parks and some Nat’l parks that did not have sites large enough for a 40′ are suddenly no problem! Fuel stops are a breeze! You don’t always need to pull a towed behind you, because you can use your small rig for everything with just a bit of planning. The favorite kitchen stuff goes right intot he new rig … if you get one with an actual shower, life is good … boondocking sites are easier to find … the list goes on. Take a breather and mull things over. In the grand scheme ot things, this is just another gift. Enjoy!!

  16. There appear to be a lot of people downsizing their travel rigs plus quite a few moving to part-time travel. You’re just part of the wave. Which hopefully means your audience is moving right along with you. Sure glad you don’t plan to stop blogging.

  17. Ours is a similar story: full.timed for 9 years and loved every day of it, bought a stix and brix. Sold the big coach, bought a little 24′ motorhome. Now we’re back to “camping” and loving it.
    Everyday is a new adventure.

  18. Here we are just getting excited about traveling. I retire in a week. Husband was making plans to always look for Flying J for the discount. How often does this fuel problem happen? Is it a climate thing or suppliers issue?
    Last night I was telling him about this and he said, that’s usually a gas problem. Wait until I let him know it was diesel. Our kind of fuel too.

  19. I know what mode of travel you and Ms Terry decide you two will enjoy, We are on the road now for 3 months that was the plan but we also have a house in South west Fl.. And we may cut our trip short. It be safe and God Bless you and Ms Terry

  20. We’ve been following you for years Nick and totally relate. 2015 was our decision year and it was a good decision! In retrospect that three-month trip across country feels like a drive from one repair shop to another. Finally got home, got it all fixed up, sold it, no regrets. Nineteen years of safe traveling and great memories. We’re much older than you and Miss Terry so now our travels are limited to a little yellow Mini Cooper! Quite a change from a 40′ Phaeton! Miss the bathroom though!!! Keep on truckin’! We’ll keep following.

  21. Our fulltime RV life ended in 2012, after 13 years of living in a travel trailer. I wasn’t ready for it yet, but my health wouldn’t let us continue. I still miss the life. This is a new phase of your life, and you can make it anything you want it to be. Good luck!

  22. Enjoy your next stage of life as it is always a journey. We will miss seeing you and Terry at rallies across the country.Enjoy your new home and your new state of adoption. So happy to hear you will continue to blog about your great travels. The Best of Luck.

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