A lot has gone on during our stay at our beautiful campsite here at the Clarkco State Park, near Quitman, Mississippi. First, we decided to extend our stay here, twice! Our first extension was just for a few days, as we are anxious to move on and reach Red Bay, Alabama where the Tiffin factory is located. We wish to go there to get a growing list of things fixed. We have discovered that it is common for little, aggravating issues to pop up during one’s first year in a RV and LeuC is no exception. Apparently, all of the jingling that goes on during the first few months of driving a big RV over all kinds of roads, literally translates to a “shakedown” period.
Before our first extension was over, we called the Tiffin folks to make arraignments for our arrival. They do not make reservations as their service is on a first come, first serve basis. When we called, we learned that their onsite campground where one stays while they work on your vehicle is full and has a 2.5 week back log. Ugh! They said to get into their que, we have to come up and fill out their paperwork. Since we are still 2.5 weeks from being serviced, we decided that we would drive up in our little Fiat while extending our stay at Clarkco a second time.
When we met with the Clarkco Ranger, we learned that we could extend our stay but only until this coming Friday. It turns out because this is now Spring Break time, the park is fully booked for this coming weekend. Double Ugh.
Thus, I spent a day researching other camping options for the rest of the time we need to kill as we wait to be called up to the Tiffin factory. Since, Tiffin’s estimate of their backlog is just that: an estimate, we need to stay near their factory so that when they call, we can quickly bundle up LeuC and boogie over.
After discovering that most state parks in Alabama and Mississippi are impacted by the Spring Break crowd and do not have 2 weeks of continuous time available for us, we finally found a hidden gem. Called the Blue Bluff Campground, it is located on the Aberdeen Lake section of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in Mississippi and it is one of the most scenic recreation areas on the waterway. It is operated by the US Army Corp of Engineers and it honors the National Parks Service Senior Pass. Whoo Hoo! This means that their normal nightly fee of $20 (which by itself is very reasonable) is reduced for us to just $10 a night. This is a $140 dollar saving for us!
The campground is just a 2.5 hour drive from the Tiffin facility so it is close enough for us to just run LeuC over when they call. Triple Whoo Hoo!
To get everything in order, we did spend 8 hours yesterday, driving in our little Fiat up to Red Bay and then back to Clarkco. This allowed us to fill out the paperwork and get into the que at Tiffin. It was a long driving day so we will be spending tomorrow (Thursday) resting up before on Friday, we take LeuC up to the Blue Bluffs campground.
Since I tend to get itchy butt syndrome when we stay in one place for extended periods, Mary Margaret suggested that we leave LeuC at the campground and take the first week off and go to a nice resort. We made an agreement when we first became nomads 11 years ago and moved onto our sailboat that whenever we wanted, we could escape to a nice resort to be pampered for a while. We have not opted to do this very often because sailing around the world and now, driving around the US, is pretty darn nice, but, on rare occasion, we have done so. This has included exotic hotels or resorts in Cartagena, Columbia, high up in the Ecuadorian Andes, in New Zealand, in Australia, in Bali, in the wonderful wine district of Franschhoek, South Africa and while on Safari in Botswana. We can now add Birmingham, Alabama to that list.
Ok, ok, Birmingham. Alabama is not what most people would call “exotic” but it does have a 5-star resort that is the closest one to us. Called the Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa, it is, what its name announces, a golf and spa resort. These are our respective favorite pastimes so we are excited about spending a week there, starting this coming Monday.