Sunday, September 10, 2017

NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH BLING!

Sometimes our travel plans don't go exactly as planned, but we've learned that if you can't be  flexible, then maybe the full time RV lifestyle isn't for you.  Complaining or whining isn't going to help so you need to make the best of any situation and you will be happier and so will those around you.


So here we are, in the middle of hurricane season, 2 weeks past our plans to depart Alabama.  We departed Florida last April and we're anxious to return.   However, on the positive side, we are in our home on wheels, safe and sound, and sleeping in our own bed every night....Life is good.

Rain and wind are not what we are looking for!
We are about as northwest in Alabama as you can be... Red Bay, Alabama, where we schedule our annual RV maintenance as well as usually adding a few upgrades to our coach.  Red Bay is located very close to Belmont, MS, slightly west of Red Bay.  Belmont is known as the home to several thriving industries and the birthplace of well known country musician, Mac McAnally.

Welcome to the State of Mississippi!
This is us "Roughing It Smoothly" as Tiffin says
Red Bay is the location of Tiffin Motorhomes, and over the past 10 years of owning our motorhome we look forward to seeing our Red Bay friends every year (and many have become extensions of our family), as well as numerous private contractors that take care of any issues we may have to keep our coach in good condition.  
Fun and Fellowship at the Downtown Red Bay RV Park
Red Bay, AL
These independent contractors do beautiful woodwork, painting, diesel maintenance, general maintenance, and specialized installations.  (If you would be interested in seeing some of our coach upgrades, they are located on the UPGRADES tab of this blog).  

We learn something new every time we visit the area, and a lot of what we have picked up along the way is the importance of Alabama and Mississippi music history, i.e., the "Muscle Shoals Sound".  Within a few miles of us are several Mississippi Music Trail historical markers of country music stars from this area which have influenced all our country music, like Tammy Wynette, known as the "First Lady Of Country Music", from nearby Tremont, MS, and Mac McAnally, from Belmont, MS.  Remember one of his hits, "Where I Come From"?  

"First Lady of Country Music"
Tammy Wynette
Mississippi Country Music Trail Historical Marker
Mississippi Country Music Trail Historical Marker
Mac McAnally
Mississippi Country Music Trail Historical Marker
Mac McAnally

We will be leaving Red Bay (1) when it is safe to return to Florida and (2) as soon as a few electronic component parts on order arrive.  An item you might notice as we pass you going down the road is the new stainless accent trim on our engine compartment doors.  As RV says, "You just can't have too much bling on classic cars, motorcycles, or RVs!"

Rear Engine Doors







Tuesday, August 29, 2017

WE DID THE TENNESSEE WALTZ IN ALABAMA

Scenic Alabama US Highway 24 
McFarland Park - on the Tennessee River
Florence AL
Like so many of our RV friends, we have our favorite places, favorite cities, and favorite foods at favorite places.  In many instances we go out of our way to try new experiences, sample new foods, and attend annual regional cultural events.

Scenic Drive into McFarland Park
Florence, AL
That's why every year we look forward to spending time in northwest Alabama and parts of Mississippi, not only because of the friendly and hospitable people, but we choose to have our annual RV maintenance service done on our motorhome in Red Bay, AL.

Entrance - McFarland Park
Florence, AL
Picnic Tables and Shelters located throughout
McFarland Park

Fishing Pier at McFarland Park
Tennessee River
One of our favorites is in beautiful Florence, Alabama - on the Tennessee River, across from Muscle Shoals, AL.  There's nothing better than a couple of weeks of downtime at McFarland Park and Marina after we leave Red Bay.  McFarland Park, a full service campground with 60 sites, is conveniently located to downtown shopping and restaurants, and if we have an opportunity we enjoy going to the University of North Alabama to visit with their live lion mascots, Leo and Una, in their beautiful natural habitat.

Leo and Una - Mascots
University of North Alabama
The University of Northern Alabama has been a well-respected State university since 1830.

Campus of University of North Alabama
Florence, AL
In the past we enjoyed the character of the McFarland Park teepees along the edge of the Tennessee River,  but in the last couple of years these had to be removed after several storms and hard rains made them uninhabitable....yes, people rented these fun places!  While I never had the opportunity to sleep in one, it was on my bucket list.

McFarland Park Teepees - Florence, AL
McFarland Park - Florence AL
Unfortunately, maintenance on the bridge from Muscle Shoals to Florence made it extremely difficult for us to visit the McFarland Park for over a year.

View from Muscle Shoals, AL to
Bridge over Tennessee River at Marina at
McFarland Park - Florence, AL
 Recently we enjoyed returning to McFarland Park to do what we call a "reconnaissance visit".   A short visit told us the park was still a nice place to visit and enjoy the campground facilities, and locals and travelers like ourselves still enjoy the well kept and secure natural park setting as well as beautiful sunsets on the river.   It is also commonplace to see huge barges that continue on down the Tennessee River to other river destinations.

Barge on Tennessee River - Florence, AL
We enjoy the fact that there is so much history in this area since the area was originally occupied by Native American Indians for hundreds of years, and they left historical artifacts before they were forced on The Trail Of Tears to be forcefully re-settled in Oklahoma.  Also of note is that Florence is the home of  the recognized founder of blues, W.C. Handy.

Florence is the home of the world famous FAME Recording Studios.  Such recording artists as The Tams, Joe Tex, Etta James, Clarence Carter, Wilson Pickett, Paul Anka, Jerry Reed, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Pam Tillis, Aretha Franklin, Mac Davis and Otis Redding were just a few of the famous performers and singers with FAME Publishing.