For the October NARV’ers club rally, we left Arab Alabama about 7:00 pm Thursday to drive down to Gulf Shores to stay at a brand new resort named Sugar Sands. We wanted to be safe and take our time getting there and the plan was to go through all the malfunction junctions in Birmingham while it was off peak traffic time. We were successful even though there was still plenty of traffic on I-65, I-20, I-59, and all other roads that merge onto I-65. We drove down to about mile marker 231 near Calera and Montevallo College area. We pulled off there because there was a Cracker Barrel and we thought we would have a bite to eat and cup of coffee to keep me awake while driving. But our plans changed when we saw that Cracker Barrel was adjoined to a Wal Mart parking lot that had a lot of over night boon dockers already setup for the night.
We went into the Wal Mart to get a few items, and asked if we could park over night, and they very kindly said we could but asked if we would setup in one of the far corners of their lot so as not to affect shoppers parking. SO, When we checked out and returned to our motor home, we proceeded to get in, crank up and pull out to a far corner spot to setup, and I pulled to the edge of a row where I could easily get out. Norma immediately asks “are you going to park here”? I thought was one of those women’s ways of saying ” I don’t want to park here”, so I just shrugged my shoulders and said “yes”. She pointed out that I had pulled up to a light post that had a sign big as life that stated “NO OVER NIGHT PARKING ! VIOLATORS WILL BE TOWED” – so with what the lady in Wal Mart said, I was willing to dare someone to tow me away while we were sleeping. We went to bed and rested well for the next day 4 hour drive to Gulf Shores.
We stopped once more on the second day at a Cracker Barrel, mostly just to stretch and walk around a bit, but found some neat camping do-dads in the store, and used their convenience rooms. It ALWAYS pays to watch signs as you are pulling into the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel. Twice, I have gotten myself into a bind by not paying attention. This time I did follow the signs to the RV parking only to find that it was all taken by pick up trucks and small family sized vans. This was frustrating because it left me to manoeuvre around the car parking areas with a 42 foot motor coach, and towing a Honda Civic. ( not fun )…. Any way, I made it around to a 2nd side row that was empty and took the whole row to myself. This ended up being an advantage since we were able to push the slides out and enjoy a short rest in full space comfort.
We had already selected the route to get to the campground and arrived at around 4:30 with no incidents of any kind and we are always very thankful for that. We got checked in and they escorted us to our lot, and I was amazed at how wide the sites are and brand new facilities. I was able to back in on the first go ! no second or third attempts needed. There is enough space that we are able to park our car under the awning and the slide outs on the opposite side are not even hanging off the concrete pad. Very Nice Campground.
The next item was to get setup, and make sure we were at the clubhouse for this 10 foot long banana split that I kept dreaming about ever since I heard about it in the newsletter. The hosts very ingeniously put together a 10 foot long piece of brand new gutter for the boat, and lined it with tin foil. Then all the ladies and guys were invited to come get an item of their choice to line inside the boat. Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry ice creams, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, pineapple, cherries, and bananas were added quickly. Then a young lady topped it off with whipped cream. It was very good, and more than enough to feed the 20+ people there for the welcoming event.