April 3 to 5, 2008 - From North Carolina to Louisiana

We had a plan for how we were going to get to Colorado to visit friends, then Oregon for motorhome service and then Washington State for family, friend and doctor visits.  The plan was to travel from North Carolina to Memphis, Tennessee for a short visit, then on to Branson, Missouri for a few days, then finally to Wichita, Kansas before moving into Colorado.  Paying attention to the weather changed our minds.  Memphis and Branson were having flood issues and severe weather was coming.  We decided to take two long days to get us to I-20 and cross the Mississippi at Vicksburg, Mississippi on the high bridges.

Onto I-40 we went as early as we could.  We drove through rain into Tennessee but it had stopped by the time we fueled up just west of Knoxville.  Then we took I-75 south.  The redbuds were blooming, but hard to photograph from the moving RV.

At Chattanooga we took I-59 south.

At the Alabama Welcome Center we saw these beautiful flowering trees so Diane went inside to find out what these trees were:

The ladies in the visitors center were very helpful and told her where we could camp, where we could fuel up and loaded her up with information.  The trees were crabapples.

Diane called ahead for a campground close to Birmingham and they saved us a space.  When we got there the young woman took our money and we headed to the campsite.  It was a wild ride through the campground on narrow roads and when we finally got to the campsite we knew it would not hold us.  We worked our way back to the office and the mother was also there, who looked at our motorhome and told her daughter that there was no way we would fit in that campsite.  We got our money back and started calling campgrounds further on.  After 405 miles, only the third time we had ever driven over 400 miles, we ended up at Sunset Travel Park in Cottondale, Alabama just east of Tuscaloosa.  It was a very nice place with big sites. 

The car hood is up since the battery was still having problems and needed charging.

April 4th we woke up to find out the weather was going further south than expected so I-20 through Vicksburg was out of the question.  We had another long day ahead  heading even further south to I-10.

Here we are crossing the Mississippi at Baton Rouge, Louisiana:

After 411 miles, another 400+ day, we were camped at Bayou Wilderness RV Park in Lafayette, Louisiana for two nights.   Now we had done our 2nd and 4th longest driving days in a two day period.

There were tornados and other severe weather behind us, we had been smart to leave early and drive a long day.  The weather here was going to be fine.

The campground had pampas grass growing almost out of control:

Because of Diane's food allergies we could not sample the local cuisine, since it mostly consists of shellfish.  But we could at least do some sightseeing.

April 5th tour of the Tabasco Factory

Then we visited Jungle Gardens, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

On the way back we stopped at Sam's Club and got a new battery in the car along with some groceries.  Now we could trust the car battery to stay charged while we towed the car.

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