January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dauphin Island

Dauphin Island,  AL

This morning Len, Judy and I headed out to Dauphin Island near Mobile.    Dauphin is a narrow strip of land accessed over the causeway by one bridge or by ferry.

One end of the island appears to have year round residents, the other end weekend or summer homes high up on stilts.    I found these "condos" interesting.   Each one had a canal behind it with a small boat.   The homes were a heck of a lot taller than wide.

It was a decent day for a walk along the beach so we took advantage of it, gathering seashells that we will send to our Maryland granddaughters.

At the opposite end of the island is Fort Gaines, started in 1819 and used during the Civil War.  In 1864 Mobile was one of the last ports open to Blockade runners bringing supplies to the Confederacy.

The latrine room set near the bay.  At high tide, waves would wash in and clean it out.  EWWW!

Quartermaster store:

Not far down the road is:

Len and I took a walk along this boardwalk.

To this small lake which signs say hold alligators, cottonmouths, snapping turtles and lots of fish.  We did see many bluegills swimming around.

We saw no gators, no snakes, not even a single bird.  The only wildlife we saw, aside from the fish, was this one lone turtle sunning itself on a log.

Next stop was Olive Garden back at Spanish Fort.   We got back to the campground not long before social hour/coffee time at the club house.  Too full to eat dinner tonight, too tired to stay awake much longer.  Good night!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cat ...... Food

Summerdale, AL


Our cat Lucky started acting "strange" last week.  Whining, restless, not eating much and seldom using the litter box.   On Thursday we took him nearby by to:

The Vet, Elizabeth Taylor  (!!!)  suspected either a blockage or urinary tract infection.   She suggested keeping him for the night so as to keep an eye on him.  She ended up keeping him there two nights.   He did not eat the first day but last night started eating a little and used the litter box.  We picked him up this afternoon along with antibiotics.   We will have to change his diet to one which is suitable for cats with  this type condition.

Lucky was very disagreeable when we picked him up.  He was just plain MAD.   He's happier now and spending time outside on his leash as he likes to.

Food .......

Whew!   Had enough!  For now anyway.

Yearerday we drove over to the nearby town of Elberta and had lunch at

When we walked at right after 12 noon, the owner yelled at us "grab a plate and help yourself".  On a buffet was fried catfish, fried mullet, fried chicken, green beans, corn, black eye peas, baked beans, cole slaw, green salad, ambrosia, potato salad, corn bread, biscuits, cottage cheese, mashed yams, the very best cheesy grits I have had and German chocolate cake for desert.

Got there here at the right time.  Opens around 10:30 and is closed by 12:30.  As we finished eating, they were clearing away the salad bar and the place was emptying out.   By the time we got to the truck, the sign said CLOSED.

When you pay, the owner has each customer pull a poker chip out of a bag of white and red chips.  A red one means your meal is free.   He said he gave away 5 free meals that day.   We had a coupon for a half price meal with one full price.   Our cost was just $12.75! Cheap!    Our friend Judy refused to go because of the name of the place.   Sure didn't bother us any.

Today we had breakfast at the club house   -  French toast, bacon, OJ and Coffee.

Then but a few hours later we went to Marlow United Methodist Church.   Once a month during "the season" they have a fish fry.    We got there around 11:30 and it was packed.   One of the workers said they had already fried all the fish they had, late comers would be out of luck.

For $9.00 you get fried catfish, hushpuppies, cole slaw, baked beans, a drink and choice of homemade dessert.

Len and I had Pumpkin crunch pie, Judy had pineapple upside down cake.   Judy is okay with the name of Marlow United Methodist Church so this time she came along.

This is the original church building.  The dinner was in the newer building where they hold services.

We are settled in for the night.  Expecting rain from the feel of it.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

National Naval Aviation Museum

Pensacola, FL

Today we, with Judy, toured the National Naval Aviation Museum which is only about 40 miles from the campground.  We could have spent a lot more time but we had a vet appointment for our cat, Lucky.  More on that another day!

We especially liked the older plane section.   There was a lot we did not get a chance to see due to the vet appointment.  Len said we really need to go back again.   We will within the next few days.

We did have time to ride the "trolley" which takes visitors to the outside viewing areas.

It was a plane like this that was shot down in Vietnam carrying Senator John McCain.

Everyone should recognize these planes.   What we did not know is the planes the Blue Angels fly are previously used military planes and are then retired after two or three seasons of use by the Angels.

This is one of the few planes flying immediately after 9-11.  It was used to bring supplies to Ground Zero.

Did not catch the name of this plane but the tour guide told us that they would get calls from civilians stating they saw a flying saucer that must have captured a plane and was taking it away.

This is one of the actual planes that took pictures of the missiles Russia had placed in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

This plane was designed by Howard Hughes and used for weather recon.

There is no admission cost to this museum, including the trolley tour.    There are costs for the IMAX theater or flight simulators.   Well worth stopping by!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

All Aboard!

Mobile, Al

Today Leonard and I, with our friend Judy, drove over to Mobile to tour the USS Alabama and USS Drum.


Alabama was commissioned in August 1942 and earned 9 Battle Stars and shot down 22 enemy airplanes during WWII.   She is 680 ft long and a little over 108 ft wide.  In other words, it is HUGE.

Leonard dwarfed as he's walking the deck:

Dining area:

Sleeping quarters.  Comfy looking, right?

An early "computer station"

16" 800 pound shells:


After touring the Alabama, we toured the Drum.   It was commissioned in November 1941.  The sub is over 311 long and over 27 feet wide.   She earned 12 Battle stars during WWII.

These small doorways are a challenge to these stiff bones.   And there are lots of them.  Lots and lots of them.

Even dining area is tight quarters.

Hallways even tighter.

Sleeping quarters with the torpedoes.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Good eats and good times!

Summerdale, AL

Friday night we gathered with a group from the park and had dinner nearby at

It was a tough decision on what to order.   After careful consideration both Len and I elected to try the shrimp gumbo with 1/2 a poboy sandwich.   His poboy was crawfish, mine oyster.  We both had onion rings and sweet potato fries as our sides.    The gumbo was actually pretty good. 

Then we headed over to Fish River Baptist Church for a concert by Gospel singer Ivan Parker.  I had never heard of this gentleman but was happy to hear him after learning he had toured with The Gaither Homecoming group.    This is  a poor picture even though we were in the second row.

On Saturday we took a 70 mile ride over to Moss Point, MS to check out where we will be working a NOMADS project starting January 30.  We got to meet the director/coordinator of the various relief projects NOMADS have worked on since right after Katrina hit this area.

About 40 years ago Leonard lived in the Moss Point area while working at Ingles Shipyard.    Several years ago he stopped in this area on the way to Louisiana and looked up two old friends.  He often would talk about Toby and Mac.   A few years later we heard they both had died.

Knowing this, Leonard wanted to stop in the see Gay, Mac's widow.    He found the house and went to the door.   A gentleman in a wheelchair answered the door and Len asked if Gay was there.  She was so he called me in to meet her.   Leonard was assuming the man in the wheelchair was one of their sons.   When I came in Gay hugged me and I offered my hand to the gentleman and introduced myself.   It was Len's old friend Mac!  It seems the report of his demise was greatly exaggerated.   Needless to say, Len is thrilled to find this friend is still among the living and doing quite well.

We spent about an hour visiting with the plan to get back in touch once we return to the area in two weeks.   We are so looking forward to this special reunion.

This morning we attended the local Methodsit church, only about a mile up the road.

We had an early dinner so as to enjoy the ice cream social at the clubhouse a little later.

BTW, family and friends in NJ, MD, PA and VA it was 65 here today.    Not that I am being mean or anything, just wanted you to know.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Settling in for two+ weeks.

Summerdale, AL

We left Cullman, AL on Monday morning and drove the 318 miles south to Rainbow Plantation (an Escapees) Park in Summerdale, AL

We are impressed with the size of the sites.  LOTS of room.    It rained most of Tuesday.  We needed some groceries so headed to the nearby WalMart in the town of Foley.    Then we had dinner at the clubhouse.

On Wednesday we invited our friend Judy, who we met last year Raccoon Valley Escapees Park in TN, to come over for dinner.     I needed a few things so we drove over to

Don't you just love that name?    

Today we decided to drive over to Gulf Shores and do a little sight seeing.    Route 180 is on a narrow strip of land surrounded by the gulf.    At the end is Fort Morgan.

Fort Morgan was built after the war of 1812 to control the main ship channel into Mobile Bay.    It was used during the Civil War, and again during the Spanish-American War and World Was 1.  It was recommissioned during  WW II.

It was really windy as can be seen by this picture of our friend Judy.

After we left the Fort, we stopped at the nearby Wildlife Refuge and walked a path down to the beach.  Again, very windy with blowing sand biting hard against the skin.

Len was surprised at how many oil rigs there were so close to the shore.

After a lunch at Pizza Hut, we headed on back to the campground.

For several years I have sporadically followed the blog of Ellie and Jim.  I "met" Ellie when we were both posting on a Weight Watchers RVers thread.    I found out from a mutual friend, Peggy, that Ellie was here at Rainbow Plantation.   I am glad we made a connection because this lovely couple leaves tomorrow.     When we got back to the campground,  I called Ellie and she and Jim came over for a nice visit.

What a treat!

Tonight we again had dinner at the clubhouse and got to meet another delightful couple, Sue and Charlie,  originally from Indianapolis.   Like us, they are starting their 3rd years as fulltimers.

Yup, gotta love this life style.