Thursday, January 31, 2019

#LeapFrogs on the Move: On the Way to San Antonio

I finally uploaded a brief video that tried to capture some of the winds we were dealing with at Lake Corpus Christi, detailed in the last post. This video was taken just a few short moments before stronger winds hit. At this point, one tent pole was already broken, and I'd already re-staked the closest corner of the tarp. Within 30 minutes of this video shot, we'd lost another larger tent pole and one wall of the tent had ripped.



Amazingly, we managed to get some dinner (and our breakfast for the next day) cooked before the tent collapsed and we started packing the car.


For dinner, we had these "flappin' jacks in the wind" with some bacon, and then, the next morning, we ate the rest of the bacon with some hard-boiled eggs. Yes, Tim travels with bacon and hot sauce. (It's Tabasco, the Garlic variety - wonder if they'd sponsor the #LeapFrogs? He just told me to try for a bacon sponsorship, too! Ha!)



After leaving the lake, we took the backroads into San Antonio, taking our time and soaking in the countryside.

We drove into the Choke Canyon Reservoir area to see if it might be a good camping area for any future trips to the area. As we drove around, we spotted a wild hog. Photo is not great, because it was taken with my phone and so far away, but I was glad not to be any closer!



Small towns always intrigue me, so we usually stop and take a few photos of their main street areas.

The town of George West had a cute little square with red street lamps, and a bbq place across the street that smelled heavenly - but we'd just finished breakfast!


The Atascosa County Courthouse in Jourdanton is on the National Historic Register.

The town of Calliham had a post office almost smaller than the sign pointing to it.




We eventually got to San Antonio, but the small towns along the way help me remember that life isn't just about the final destination but about the journey there, too - the places we see and the people (and critters) we meet along the way.

We're #LeapFrogs on the move again!




Recent Posts:

#LeapFrogs on the Move: Rockport and Mathis
#LeapFrogs on the Move: Kemah, Houston, Wharton
#LeapFrogs on the Road: Fort Anahuac Texas
Technology on the Road
Crossing Louisiana
From Alabama through Mississippi
First Leg of our #LeapFrog Journey
Preparing for Camping on a Long Road Trip
The Beginning of a Dream Realized

Recent Posts from TMP Books:








Get your #LeapFrogs Merchandise here:















Wednesday, January 30, 2019

#LeapFrogs on the Move: Rockport and Mathis

After our overnight at the Victoria Rest Stop (previous post), we made the decision to head south to the Goose Island State Park. The website said the rate would be $10 per night, so I thought three nights at the coast would be good. There are some free sites in the area, but most of them are on the beach, and I’m not yet confident enough about setting up a tent with all that blowing wind. (Ha – see post in a few paragraphs!) We thought the state park might offer more of a wind break and we wouldn’t have to drive on the sand.

But when we arrived, the gatekeeper told us the fees would be $10 a day for camping, plus $5 per person per day entry fee. No discounts, no passes. My budget just didn’t allow that, so I told her we’d have to go elsewhere. She told me to be sure and check out the Big Oak at the end of the road and gave us directions.

TIP: If you’re going to spend time at any of the Texas State Parks, I highly recommend buying a State Park Pass for $70. The pass is good for a carload of up to 8 people, instead of the per person per day fee so it will pay for itself quickly.

We followed the road around and around until we came to the end of it – at The Big
Tree. A 1,000-year old Big Coastal Oak tree that has withstood all those massive hurricanes through the years. It was gnarled and twisted and had been given support in some areas – and every inch of it was beautiful. I walked around it, snapping photos, and enjoying the way the sunlight poured through the branches leaving shadows. On one side, as I neared the full circle, I was greeted a frisky orange and black butterfly that landed in front of me on a railing, then on some grass, then landed on me for a few moments. I tried to snap a photo, but it was never quite still enough for me to get a good one.




Due to the high winds we were experiencing at the coast, we made the decision to head more inland. Tim was ready for “cowboy country” and that didn’t include coastal destinations.

We picked a road and started driving. Windmills as far as the eye could see on one stretch of road. And they were massive!



I stay in touch with my kids and prayer team as we travel. While we were driving, my son called and said we had a reservation for two nights at Lake Corpus Christi State Park, but that their reservation system wouldn’t allow for same day reservation, but they had room for us that night if we wanted.

The park is deserted and beautiful. Tiny yellow flowers cover most the land, and the moment we got out of the car, we could smell them.

But the wind. Oh my goodness, the wind.

Have you ever set up camp in the Texas wind?

Tim finally checked the weather and learned that this wind, 25-30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph, was something that should last only until midnight, and thankfully, it died down a few hours before that. But it was fierce. Our campsite has a covered picnic table, so we were able to wrap two sides of it with a tarp to block that wind. (The wind the next two days change directions, so while the tarp helped immensely the first day, it didn’t help as much the rest of the time.)

How strong is 25-30 mph winds with gusts up to 40? It broke every string we tried to use. It broke a tent pole. It even broke one strip of duct tape – but hadn’t broken any more since I started doubling it.

And yes, we even pulled out zip ties, but even our longest weren’t long enough and before Tim could join them together, I’d pulled out the duct tape.

The facilities here are very nice. The lake is gorgeous and overall the park is very clean. The bathrooms could be a bit cleaner, but after discovering someone used the restroom to dye her hair and smeared hair dye all over the walls just because – well, the bathrooms are in pretty good shape if that’s what they’re dealt regularly. Water is hot and pressure is great. Two sinks with a vanity top in the bathroom and a real mirror – things I don’t take for granted these days. The showers are large and have a small bench to put your belongings on while staying within site but out of water’s reach. Something else I don’t take for granted.

My only complaint about the bathhouse in our particular area is that the stall door locks aren’t operational. They’re in place, but don’t fit properly on any of the stalls.

The campground is divided into several sections: two water-only sections (where we camp), a full hook-ups section with pull-through sites for RVs, and some water & election sections that are back-in. Surrounding it all is the gorgeous Lake Corpus Christi.

I was so incredibly happy to see the sun at one point, I just snapped photos of the sun - so I could look at them later to be happy.





Old Pavilion built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933-34
We explored the park yesterday and found it quite beautiful. I even got to pull out my fly rod late afternoon but didn’t get a single nibble.

Tomorrow we head out to parts unknown again, #LeapFrogs on the Move.

I wrote all of the above in present tense, as we were sitting in camp. Right after I closed down the computer on that last sentence, the winds hit again.

Before it was over, the winds had destroyed our tent, breaking two tent poles and ripping one wall. The winds also pulled up and sent flying four of our 8" heavy-duty tent stakes. I'm so grateful no one was hurt as they flailed through the air. Some I was able to catch midair, others fell out of the whipping grommets and hit the ground without further damage.

With the tent caved in, we began packing the car as quickly as possible. I just thought setting up camp in the wind was bad - breaking down seems like it might have been worse.

We couldn't fold our tarps or sleeping bags properly, so our packing was a disaster. We managed to literally squeeze everything into the car - minus the tent - and we slept in the car overnight. We'll car camp our way for the next few days as we decide our next move.

We're considering a low-profile pop-up camper, but budget is our main concern at this point, so it won't be something we do right away. But we won't be getting a used tent again - that was a disaster from the beginning. Now we just have to decide what best fits our needs and our budget.

Have you ever had a pop-up? I'd love to hear your experiences.

So now we're on the road again, #LeapFrogs on the Move.


Recent Posts:

#LeapFrogs on the Move: Kemah, Houston, Wharton
#LeapFrogs on the Road: Fort Anahuac Texas
Technology on the Road
Crossing Louisiana
From Alabama through Mississippi
First Leg of our #LeapFrog Journey
Preparing for Camping on a Long Road Trip
The Beginning of a Dream Realized

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Get your #LeapFrogs Merchandise here:
















Tuesday, January 29, 2019

#LeapFrogs on the Move: Kemah, Houston, and Wharton

I've decided to start blogging five days a week for awhile, so I can include more photos and share more of our journey.

After Fort Anahuac, I picked Kemah, Texas for our next on-the-way stop because I began writing a script a few years ago and my character landed on the Boardwalk there. I’d never heard of it before writing and researching for the script, but I ended up falling in love with the place. I wanted to see if my imagination – and Google Earth – had given me a good representation of the area.

Kemah is located diagonally opposite of Anahuac (our previous stop) on Trinity Bay. We arrived early morning, before the Boardwalk opened at noon, so we were able to see the buildings and layout instead of throngs of people. A light misty rain started as we parked.

The businesses and residences in the surrounding blocks all had that beachy, tropical look – something that made me want to stay for a while. I even picked out the perfect house! (apologies to the owner for posting the photo, but your home is too lovely not to share.)

The one thing that surprised me about the boardwalk was the ginormous rollercoaster. I’m not sure if it was new since Google last visited, or if I just missed it in all my research. I love the Dahlonega Mine Train at Six Flags and the Alpha and Omega and Disney, but that’s the extent of my roller coaster bravery, so I may not have paid it much attention. But in person, you sure can’t miss it!



I loved the marina next to the boardwalk, too, with all the sleek sailboats and beautiful yachts.



We were still trying to outrun the cold and rain (and you can tell from the photos we're not there yet!), so we didn’t stay at Kemah long before we hit the road again. (The next morning, I saw Kemah’s temperature was 31 degrees. It had been 55 when we were there.)

We had originally planned to go into Houston to visit a family member, but plans changed so we just hit the outskirts. When Texans tell you how big that city is, believe them. We got on Hwy 80 on the east side and seemed to drive all day long. Eventually we saw a “leaving Houston City Limits” sign. An hour later, we saw another one.

We drove toward a free camping spot near Wharton, Texas. The whole drive, the name of the town bugged me, because I felt I wasn't pronouncing it properly. When I tried to say it one way, it came out "Horton" but I knew that wasn't right. When I really tried to sound it with the "Whar" sound, it just garbled.

Before going to the camp site, we stopped in town so I could introduce Tim to some Texas barbecue. I’d done some research online at some point and found that Hinze’s BBQ had been in business since the 1970s and knew their stuff. The beef brisket was calling my name.

On the way, we spotted the coolest place – if my budget would have allowed, we’d have stayed at the TeePee Motel that night. What a fun place. They even offered free wifi.



But we kept driving toward the food and Hinze’s BBQ did not disappoint. Tim was instantly at home: two framed images with John Wayne greeted him as we walked to the register. We could tell instantly that the place was truly a local joint because when we walked in, all talk stopped and heads turned. The crowd was all ages, all races, but mostly local, so our arrival seemed to surprise them all.

My order was some of the best beef brisket I’ve ever eaten, two delicious pork ribs, two sides, a slice of onion, a pile of pickles, and a slice of white bread. Tim got chopped beef (he said he’d listen to me and next time get the brisket) and smoked sausage. We ended up trading out sides, but they were all delicious. Blackeyed pea salad (except they looked more like crowder peas or lady peas than blackeyes) that was sweet, vinegary, and with a slight hint of jalapeno, cucumber salad in a light creamy dill dressing, mashed/chopped potatoes mixed with bacon and onion – I was told similar to German potato salad, but I felt it missed that mark – but Tim loved them, so I got his pea salad. And mustard greens – Tim got those, but I could have eaten a pot of them, too. The best part, well, after the brisket, was the price – only $10.50 per plate. I love finding such great food at bargain prices. Tim was already chowing down on his before I could get a picture of both plates.





After our tummies were full, we stopped in at a local store down the street, only because of its name: TNT Western Wear. (TNT - Tim N Tracy?) The employees were friendly and beautiful, and fitted Tim for a cowboy hat. Some guys at a rodeo fitted and sold him one several years ago, and he said it never fit right. So these ladies sized him up and proved that the rodeo guys had been wrong. Tim was content to know his correct size and I was relieved he didn't want to break the budget!

While we were there, I also asked them about the pronunciation of the town's name and found out they all pronounce it Warton (or more like Wertn). I feel better. Ha!

Too late in the afternoon, we finally turned toward the free camping site out in the country. Way, way, way out in the country. We drove 10 miles without seeing a car or even a business. On the final turn to the park, we turned onto a dirt road that was all washboard. It seemed treacherous, and with the coming storm, we were afraid the road would wash out and leave us stranded out in the boonies. We weren’t sure how long our cell signal would last, so we decided to get out of there and head toward Victoria, but our camping destination still unknown at that point.

The countryside was gorgeous, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the farmers who have worked that land for generations. The soil was rich, and the vastness of it all went on as far as the eye could see in every direction.

I took a couple of panorama shots on either side of the car from the same location, trying to capture the vastness of it all. (And again, you can see just how dreary the day was.)





Just before we got to Victoria, our tire sensor light flashed on and off a few times, so we decided to go into the town and have our tires check. Walmart Auto Center was almost ready to close, but they pulled us in and aired up our tires, told us which one was low, and sent us on our way.

By this time, it was dark. We’d passed a rest stop a few miles back, so we checked online, learned that overnights were okay, so we went back there and car camped for the night.

But the next morning, we had some decisions to make.


Recent Posts:

#LeapFrogs on the Road: Fort Anahuac TexasTechnology on the Road
Crossing Louisiana
From Alabama through Mississippi
First Leg of our #LeapFrog Journey
Preparing for Camping on a Long Road Trip
The Beginning of a Dream Realized

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Get your #LeapFrogs Merchandise here:












Monday, January 28, 2019

#LeapFrogs on the Move: Fort Anahuac Texas

Right after I wrote that last blog post on technology on the open road, we entered Texas, and suddenly, our cell service and WiFi issues cleared up. We still haven’t purchased the mobile hotspot and haven’t really needed it since we left LA. It may have provided a better signal where we already had one, but we haven’t been totally without since we crossed the state line. Not sure if that has to do with Texas or with my call to MetroPCS, but I’ll take it without complaint.

We’re in Texas!




For those of you who don’t know my husband very well – Tim is a lifelong wannabe cowboy. He can quote almost every John Wayne movie from start to finish, and most other westerns too. There aren’t many westerns he hasn’t viewed more than once – some of them dozens of times each. He wore cowboy boots every day until he retired, and his dream is to one day own a “two-pound Stetson with a six-inch brim” (I think I got that right – a quote from McClintock, if I remember correctly.)

But Tim had never been to Texas, and I couldn’t wait to introduce him.

In "downtown" Anahuac
Our first camping site in Texas was a free one at Fort Anahuac Park in Anahuac, Texas.
Loved the overall park layout because we had almost the whole place to ourselves (although the bathrooms were quite awful!) One nature conservancy group had already picked out the best spot in the place, so we landed smack in the middle of the park, and because there were no boundaries on campsites, we just spread out.

The restrooms were quite a hike though, but we picked the site closest that we could get without landing in water. We stayed dry the entire time there, which was a relief after all the rain we'd experienced since leaving.

Although the campsite was free, we had to get a three-day permit from the local commissioner’s office, and could have renewed it for three more days, but the cold front was moving in, so we left to keep from having to deal with 30 degree overnight temps. The same commissioner's office oversees the Double Bayou Park a few miles away, with the same three-day permit required. We drove over to that park one day, to see what we were missing, and decided that Fort Anahuac was the best option. Double Bayou was totally secluded, and basically just a large chunk of land. One bathhouse, next to the deputy's house on the property, but that was it. Roads weren't developed, basically just paths.

TIP: If you go to Fort Anahuac, try to get the site at the back of the park, next to the monument. The site has a couple of picnic tables, under some large trees, overlooking the marsh, with views of the water. Best place around.

But it felt good to settle in somewhere for a few days. The town is tiny – population of Anahuac was 2339. Driving around, we discovered a bank, Dairy Queen, Dollar General, a steak restaurant, and a Mexican restaurant. We also used their washeteria, which was only $2.00 per wash and took $1.50 to dry. (Cheapest laundromat so far.)

My favorite part of Fort Anahuac was walking out on the point and seeing Trinity Bay.

While we were in camp, we realized the need for some groceries. The Dollar General there was basic, so we asked a customer where the nearest larger town was located. She laughed and said if we meant real groceries, that there was a new H.E.B. store located in Mont Belvieu about 10 minutes away. H.E.B was on my lists of “must visit” sites while in Texas, because of their kindness, compassion, and generosity to residents during and after Hurricane Harvey.

 


The store was great and exceeded my expectations. Great prices, good service, delicious and cheap pastries for our breakfast, and free coffee. What’s not to love about that?


Recent Posts:

Technology on the Road
Crossing Louisiana
From Alabama through Mississippi
First Leg of our #LeapFrog Journey
Preparing for Camping on a Long Road Trip
The Beginning of a Dream Realized

Recent Posts from TMP Books:








Get your #LeapFrogs Merchandise here:










Friday, January 25, 2019

Technology on the Open Road

This post will be short and sweet because daylight is fading and we have to find tonight's campsite.

Flag on the Mississippi River
in Alexandria, LA
While living in metro Atlanta, we never worried about having cell or internet service. We knew we'd lose service in some of the mountainous areas, and in certain spots here and there, but for the most part, we knew we could connect either way almost anywhere.

That hasn't been the case on the road, though. We've use MetroPCS for our phone service for many years - they're now part of the T-mobile network. We've been extremely happy with the service, so we never gave it a thought before we left home, expecting to continue using them as phone and internet hot spot. But once we left my Mom's house, service became almost non-existent all through Mississippi and Louisiana. Our first hours in Texas have been immensely better.

We don't want to stay glued to our phones on this trip - we want to experience our travels. But since I'm still working, I must have reliable service pretty consistently.

I'm still researching - right now, it's a tossup between a Verizon Jetpack and Walmart's Smart Talk Hotspot, but I have many factors to consider and trying to figure out how I'll use either with our current plan, or whether I need to change plans altogether.

Such is life on the go.

(Still looking for a better solution for my fly rod. The last few places I've looked haven't had the solid tube that will let me keep my reel attached.)




Recent Posts:

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From Alabama through Mississippi
First Leg of our #LeapFrog Journey
Preparing for Camping on a Long Road Trip
The Beginning of a Dream Realized
Do You Have Vivid Dreams? Do You Record Them?


Recent Posts from TMP Books:








Get your #LeapFrogs Merchandise here:









Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Crossing Louisiana

Still trying to get into warmer temps and less rain, we continue our journey southwest without too much lingering. We'd thought about staying overnight at the Natchez Visitor's Center, but it was still early enough in the day that we decided to push west a little more before stopping just over the Mississippi Louisiana state line.

TIP: the drive through Frogmore, Louisiana (state road 84) is gorgeous at sunset.

We car camped near Jonesville for the first time, at the Little River Closure. The listing said there were "pit toilets" available and picnic tables, and that fit our basic needs so we decided to check it out. The pit toilets were actually a thousand times cleaner and nicer than a gas station restroom I'd run from earlier in the day.

We'd already had dinner, so we just settled in and snuggled into our seats, not bothering to set up our tent. We knew it would be another cold night, with possible rain, so we chose to stay dry and warm. That worked well for us. Dreary day = dreary photo.

The place was dark, but we never felt unsafe. We could see cars as they came and went, but there weren't many. One guy had been night fishing, so he pulled his boat out of the water around midnight - that was the most action we saw all night.

We saw a beautiful shooting star, too.

The next morning, we made our way to Alexandria, Louisiana, where we found a laundromat that advertised wifi - but they had none. But we did manage to dry our blankets and coats, and pick up some lunch fixins at an IGA store. While we were there, we realized we needed to explore some local groceries more in depth. So we plan to do that as we continue traveling.

For our third night out, we'd planned to stay in a campground that offered $4 per night tent sites. When we arrived, the entrance looked beautiful, so we drove around to check things out. We saw the tent camping area, but something about the place just didn't feel right. We knocked on the door and the host answered, telling us he was too sick to fool with us. So we left.

We made our way to another place on the Intracoastal Waterway in Sulphur, LA. The listing said they had $4 tent sites available. We pulled in, saw they had gravel sites. We stopped and talked to the host, told her we were tent camping. She said the ground was too soggy to pitch tents right now, but we were welcomed to car camp for the night if we wanted. She pointed to an area where we could pick a spot, and said she wouldn't even charge us for the night.

A bathhouse with showers (where I'm headed the moment I finish writing this post), and a picnic table where we could cook our own food. A huge bonus is being able to watch the tugboats and barges float up and down the river. I'm now waiting to hear the whistle for the draw bridge and hope to capture some photos of it, too.

Our first night here was peaceful and delicious. Tim cooked pork chops that we'd brought
from home that were finally starting to thaw a little. We also prepared some potatoes and onions to pan fry. This morning, he cooked bacon and eggs, then after breakfast, he sauteed some chicken that was beginning to thaw, too. We'll eat that for our lunch and dinner tonight.

I was pleased to finally snap a photo of one of the barges and tugboats, and had to smile when I saw its name: the Blessed Trinity.




We're going to stay here one more night, then tomorrow, we'll head into Texas.

Family and friends have asked for ways to help us and participate in our journey. I've set up two buttons in the right column to do just that: the Feed the Frogs button is for Paypal donations, and the Wish / Needs List is our "registry" on Amazon. If you'd love to be part of the journey, we'd love to have you along. We greatly appreciate your support!


Recent Posts:

From Alabama through Mississippi
First Leg of our #LeapFrog Journey
Preparing for Camping on a Long Road Trip
The Beginning of a Dream Realized
Do You Have Vivid Dreams? Do You Record Them?


Recent Posts from TMP Books:








Get your #LeapFrogs Merchandise here:








Monday, January 21, 2019

From Alabama through Mississippi

Finally, the #LeapFrogs are on the move!



We left Lake Guntersville, Alabama early in the morning.

Our original destination was Aberdeen, MS to camp at a freecamping site there. But because we'd gotten an early start, we stopped for lunch in Aberdeen to discuss staying put or moving on.

For years, we've used Trip Advisor to help us find local restaurants when traveling. This
time, Tim found The Burger Shack. The quarter pound burgers were massive and tasty, and the home fries were salted well. Just under $11 for all of it, so my budget was as happy as our tummies.

The restroom had a fun surprise, too.

Something I'm fascinated by - our rooftop suitcase seems to attract attention in these small towns, and everyone wants to chat about our travels - even without us saying a word. I asked Tim if he'd put a "Road Trip Junkie" sign on my back or something.

When we share that we're camping our way cross-country, reactions have all been positive but mixed. Most say they could never do it, many say they've always wanted to do it.

Take the leap and just hit the road. You won't be sorry.

During lunch, we decided to push on to the Rocky Springs Campground on the Natchez Trace.

One of the primary reasons we wanted to push through was to get ahead of the weather, to get out of the cold and the rain. But instead, we landed smack in the middle of the wet stuff.

The Natchez Trace is beautiful, even in the dead of winter. The campground was great, but because it is part of the National Park system, it was affected by the government shut-down, which meant no services were available, including open restrooms.

Before we left, we'd purchased a used tent on OfferUp because 1) it fit our budget, and 2) it met our needs. Unfortunately, I trusted the seller to be honest in his dealings, and when I asked if all the parts were included, and he told me they were, I believed him. I didn't bother unpacking the tent before we left home, but we did purchase some tent stakes, because you can never have too many of those.

Unfortunately, when we got to the Rocky Springs Campground on the Natchez Trace, we discovered the seller wasn't honest. Not only were tent stakes missing, but so was the canopy for the tent - that keeps out all the rain - and the room divider that Tim had really wanted. The room divider we can live without (I never understood them anyway), but the canopy, not so much. We had two smaller tarps that we used to cover part of the tent, but they weren't big enough to cover it all.

The forecast called for clear skies for the next few days, so I wasn't too worried about getting wet. But at 3 a.m., the rain hit. At 5 a.m., I woke with a puddle of water at my feet - inside my sleeping bag.

We quickly packed up important stuff, and left blankets and Tim's chair inside the tent, and retreated to the car. At 5:30, we decided to head into town for some coffee and figure out our next move. We stopped in at the McDonald's in Port Gibson. Again, people seemed to gravitate to us, asking about our travels. One elderly gentleman came over and shook our hand, told us he appreciated us visiting Port Gibson and hoped we had a great journey. We hadn't told anyone we were traveling at that point, and we were talking softly, so he couldn't have overheard us. Tim decided he must be the mayor of the town. Zach looked up the population and said the town was so small, everyone knew everyone else, so they knew we had to be strangers passing through.

Once we had internet service again, we learned the rain was settling in there for four days, so we went back to camp, packed up everything soaking wet, and hit the road again.

Before we went back to camp, I decided we'd venture out to a Roadside America
recommendation in the area - one of the reasons we'd come that direction anyway! Unfortunately, The Frog Farm was not in operation. It appeared to have been abandoned. The ground was too soggy to park, so Tim dropped me off, and I made my way to a locked gate where I snapped these photos. You can see a couple of the large frogs in the distance. Disappointed that we couldn't explore more.

After we packed up camp, we headed for the Natchez Visitor's Center, hoping to get some maps and general information. The place is huge, and allows overnight parking (with electric hookups for 2 nights) for RVs. At the Visitor's Center, we changed into dry, clean clothes (still wet from the morning rains) and then went exploring.

We found a small, local restaurant, called Southern Style, where we feasted on the best
catfish I've had in years, and some of the most affordable. The green beans, mac & cheese, and corn were all specially prepared and seasoned perfectly - not canned or boxed anything. It was so good, I want more. The service was friendly, too. The ladies there all take pride in what they do. I was texting Zach while we were there, and he informed me that Natchez was a dangerous place. When the ladies at the restaurant learned we were traveling through, they told us to just be sure to carry weapons and not be afraid to use them around there if need be. Not once did we ever feel unsafe.

What I found so interesting was that two different races were warning me of the same dangers.

To make our trip as affordable as possible, we're camping for free as often as we can. When I can find an internet connection, I'm scouring websites like freecampsites.net and Campendium.com, looking for random places to land. The first night was the Rocky Springs site, but after realizing the government shutdown would keep us from having bathroom facilities, we began looking outside the national park options.

We left Natchez and headed for another free campsite just across the Louisiana state line.

We'll share Louisiana in our next post.

Family and friends have asked for ways to help us and participate in our journey. I've set up two buttons in the right column to do just that: the Feed the Frogs button is for Paypal donations, and the Wish / Needs List is our "registry" on Amazon. If you'd love to be part of the journey, we'd love to have you along. We greatly appreciate your support!

Recent Posts:

First Leg of our #LeapFrog Journey
Preparing for Camping on a Long Road Trip
The Beginning of a Dream Realized
Do You Have Vivid Dreams? Do You Record Them?


Recent Posts from TMP Books:








Get your #LeapFrogs Merchandise here: