Headed West – Day 1


Pretty cool photo Jenni took of my camper, reflecting on the lake!

Camper Reflection

I made it just south of Birmingham, AL today, 300 miles. Traffic was not too bad; I managed to hit Atlanta right after lunch, and Birmingham before 3 pm.  We are at Tannehill Ironworks State Park in McCalla, AL.  I had planned to stop at a Passport America 50% off park, Cherokee RV Park in Helena, ($15 with the pass)  but I called and they said they were full, and that they’d been full for days!!  On a Monday in December??? I wonder if it’s snowbirds headed West, and am I going to have problems with full RV parks the whole way?  I have to stay in the cheap places but I was lucky to find this state park just a little ways farther, and for only $17.90.  In this section, there seem to be a bunch of permanent residents, or at least seasonal; they have tons of Christmas decorations and lights out, and portable garages, etc. 

When folded down, most everything in the camper has to go on the bed. When I arrived and started to redistribute stuff in the camper, it looked like it snowed in one corner.Apparently I did not secure the top of the instant mashed potatoes box. Here’s a little-known factoid FYI, mashed potato flakes are darn near impossible to remove from fleece sheets!  They REALLY like it there. Ugh.

Have been having icky mishaps for the past few days.  First I turned over a jar of cherry jelly in my Little Bitty fridge (1.9 cu. ft, no freezer).  The lid was not on tight so it drooled red jelly goo all over the bottom of the fridge.  And before I got around to cleaning it up, a little tiny container of oil turned over and oozed over the jelly.  What a mess!!  Jelly and oil, NOT a good combination.

Then when I went to dump the porta-potty, I forgot to bring my plastic gloves so I didn’t want to push in the air relief valve.  Well when tried to hit that little hole in the ground, it glugged and galooped all over the place, NOT hitting the hole!!  Ewwwww.  Finally got it emptied and grabbed the water hose.  When I turned it on it came out with more force than I’d expected and it started to splash that stuff all over! So I quickly jerked it away…..and sprayed it into my open car door. Sigh.  

The other day when Jenni was getting ready to work on my new propane line into the camper, I had to empty the outside hatch.  I ran across this little brass apple. My sister-in-law sent it to my mom when Dennis died, it’s engraved and has a little bit of his ashes in it.  So I have inherited my brother. What the heck am I supposed to do with it??!!  I don’t feel right about throwing it away. My friends said I should sprinkle his ashes in the lake where we were camped, but I can’t get the halves apart and I couldn’t throw in the whole apple; it would seem too much like drowning him.  (Though there were plenty of times growing up that I would have been happy to do that!)  So I guess he’s going on my trip with me. It doesn’t seem right to make him ride in that dark cargo hatch either, so now he has a place of honor (?) inside the camper, and on nice days I set him outside to get the view.  It just figures that my brother would weasel in on my vacation and not spend a single dime on any of the expenses!!


Have you ever heard of this…pepper jelly and cream cheese on Club crackers?  I think it’s a Southern thing.  It is amazingly good! The pepper jelly is not hot, it’s made with red and green bell peppers. Who ever thought THAT up?!!

So anyway, we’re on our way!  I think it will take six 300-mile days to get out to New Mexico, where I’ll get off I-20 and slow down a bit. One down, only 5 more to go!


10 replies on “Headed West – Day 1”

Hi Janis,
Found your blog from rvsue & crew. Wishing you much success in your travels to the southwest. It will be fun to follow along on your adventure. Best Wishes,


Great picture…..looks so peaceful. Sounds like you have had some “challenges”….but you persevered in Girl Scout style! Have a safe trip west and send lots of pictures.


Janis I laughed my head off, well almost, at your mishaps. I know they weren’t funny at the time but you make them sound that way. Especially your little apple with brothers ashes. I would find a special place somewhere and bury the apple, ashes and all. Maybe when you get back home near your mom. Safe travels as you journey west.


I love pepper jelly & cream cheese crackers… ! In ohio…. and your little mishaps were some good chuckles here 🙂 safe travels


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