Dec 13, 2012

Dec 12 - Sweet Home Alabama

Recent explorations of historic figures and events have motivated me to seek out and read more about these characters and the times in which they lived. First, it was a free biography (Robert Toombs Statesman, Speaker, Soldier, Sage [link]) on Robert Toombs, a key figure in the Confederacy. Although written as a glowing and biased biography, it held my interest and was insightful. One of only four confederates who was to be arrested and held after the Civil War (the others were Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, and another I can't recall right now), Toombs is the only one of the four who evaded capture, spending time on the run in Havana Cuba and Europe until he returned to the USA in 1867 after the risk of arrest expired. He remained an unreconstructed rebel, never requesting a pardon for his part in the war, and was bitter about the whole affair until his death.

I'm now reading an excellent biography on FDR by Doris Kearns Goodwin titled "No Ordinary Time". Focused on the 1940 to 1945 war years, she does an excellent job of weaving earlier events in FDR and Eleanor's lives that shaped who and what they were in those later years. Immensely entertaining and so pertinent considering our recent stops.

Today, December 12 we pulled the jacks at FD Roosevelt State Park and headed on down the road to a campground near Montgomery Alabama. The route was GA-18 to I-85 to US-80. Gunter Hill Corps of Engineers campground is just 8 or 10 miles west of Montgomery.

What we found at Gunter Hill COE was a real surprise. The "Catoma" loop, the larger of the two camping areas at Gunter Hill, was just re-opened in September after having been closed and totally reconstructed for more than a year. Without a doubt, it's the nicest campground we've ever stayed at. The setting is heavily wooded and the sites are widely separated... two elements that make it a campground. But the re-done sites are all new level concrete pads, new 20/30/50 amp service, new water service, and new sewer hookup... all right at the site... overshadowing many RV Parks we've stayed at over the years. For a big whale of a rig like ours it's the best of both worlds. And this time of year virtually no one is here... perhaps 6 or 8 rigs scattered among the 80 campsites in this loop during our stay. Very secluded and lots of solitude.

We're parked right next to the water... an "arm" off Woodruff Lake, a dammed up portion of the Alabama River. Egrets, ducks, and other waterfowl entertain and add to the ambiance. We share the woods with deer that we've seen every day and squirrels cause a constant ruckus on the fresh-fallen crunchy oak leaves. We might stay a while.

Beyond Branson; Pondering Future Travel

This past Tuesday, we moved from Branson to a very nice Corps of Engineer’s Park on Wappapello Lake.  We’re in the Redman Creek CG. This fac...