We aren’t so much as laying down Jello plans quite yet, but it is time to start thinking about our return to Wisconsin for our summer gig. I won’t feel comfortable with anything more than mental notes on a cosmic calendar until our toppers have been installed. Even after a talk with the Service Manager I can’t say I’m really confident that they’ll get the job done right the first time. That may not be fair to them — it may be that what they do they do well — and that they just don’t communicate well. Maybe it’s just a “southern thing.” Nevertheless, that install is scheduled for another week into the future and I do feel the urge to start looking for a route home.
Trip planning is always something that I enter into with mixed feelings. What I want is enough, but not too much, if you get my meaning. We like to have overnights roughed out (reservations made if it’s peak season and availability is an issue) without locking into a rigid schedule. The goal remains: Life Unscripted.
One place we enjoyed on a auto visit a few years ago is Callaway Gardens near Pine Mountain Georgia. With an early April departure from Ocala I’m not sure how many flowers we may see but the gardens are good for a visit any time of the year. There is a State Park nearby, F.D. Roosevelt State Park. We have never stayed there, it’s not our preference in that they assign your site once you arrive rather than allowing the camper to choose their site but it’s close to the gardens. That has been a strong draw in our thoughts about the return to Wisconsin. I’ve been half-heartedly thinking about a way to visit there without running up on I-75 — a route that I have traveled too many times and don’t much care for in the first place.
Making this route north in early April means that overnight camping facilities won’t be open particularly in KY, IL, IN — at least not most of the state and federal parks. Our idea is to putter along between the Florida and Kentucky borders for a couple weeks, and then make a mad 2 day dash to Wisconsin for a quick stop in Milwaukee with the doctor before heading to Highland Ridge.
Our arrival time in Highland Ridge is purposely up in the air. Last year the campground experienced a heavy late spring snowfall that brought down trees and iced over the camp roads, delaying opening the park by 2 weeks. The plan we agreed upon was to call our boss about the April 15 to see whether May 1 is doable. That will gives us about three weeks from Florida to Milwaukee, a week there, and a one day drive from there.
We’ve only ever stayed at one Corps of Engineers campground in Alabama and one in Mississippi. The idea of a slow wander through two states and several two or three night stops to check out the campgrounds is attractive. I have research to do. before making any jello plans but that’s a route that might be fun.
Peg wasn’t interested in running up the GA coast; that had been another possibility. That would keep us in higher population areas. After the stay in Florida I think we’re ready for some solitude.
We had been considering the coastal road West from Perry (US-98) when we leave the state. That was road we missed on the way South because of our cancelled stay at Fort Pickens. You may recall that in December we had been evacuated from the park because of high water, which evacuation caused us to scramble for campgrounds right around the new year.
The CORPS exploration route above will take us on new roads for Peggy and we can stay off the Interstate for much of the trip. Avoiding the Interstate is always desirable; we don’t need to be in that much of a hurry. 1200-1500 miles in 3 weeks is a nice lazy trip. We could stop at 4 or 5 places for 3 nights or more and still be home in plenty of time. I’ll keep you posted on our plan.
Thanks for stopping by, and let’s talk again tomorrow.