Woke up to a beautiful blue sky this morning and we were able to get on the road fairly early. But…. we didn’t get too far before the AC went out again. 🙁 We located an auto parts store on the way and Harold got what we needed to refuel and be on our way again. Unfortunately it didn’t last too long and went out again.
I could really tell a difference in how the truck pulled with the new hitch. It was 100% better! Even on rough roads it didn’t jerk us around like it had before.
I’m just so thankful the Lord was watching over us and allowed us to catch the broken hitch before it broke running down the road.
We were so happy to cross from Mississippi into Alabama,heading toward Florida.
As we passed around Mobile, Alabama Stormy got such a big kick out of going through the tunnel….
seeing the battleship….
and crossing the bridge on our way to Florida.
Florida met us with a nasty thunderstorm, but quickly passed. Stormy was so excited she couldn’t wait to tell everyone about it.
After a few more thunderstorms we were finally in the home stretch! Just one more hour to go and as we turned on to Hwy 20 from 331 we heard this awful popping and cracking noise, almost like blackcat fireworks going off. We thought maybe we lost a tire, but when we were finally able to pull over a few miles later, it wasn’t a tire…. but the main belt in our truck engine was starting to shred. So we prayed and babied our truck the last 45 minutes to the RV park. We made it, thankfully, and got our trailer situated and made a beeline for the local O’Reilly’s store. Belt, sealant and more Freon for the AC in hand, we are set for the evening. A few repairs to the truck in the am and we will hopefully get to enjoy our week here.
Wow this day was filled with quite an adventure! The roads thru Jackson were so awful it felt as though we were riding in a really bad boat on rough seas. We stopped for gas just past Collins, MS on Hwy 49 and as we were filling up my husband noticed that the trailer looked like it was riding a little low and when he looked a little further, low and behold one side of the trailer hitch under our pick-up had sheared one bolt and snapped the hitch itself and was just dangling under our truck. All the bouncing had actually broke our hitch! Thank goodness the gas station we were at had truck parking so we were able to park the truck and try to locate somewhere to get a new hitch and get it installed. Little to say I was a little more than frustrated. So far if it could have gone wrong it has. But I am extremely thankful we caught it before the other side gave way and caused our trailer to nose dive into the pavement behind us.
We first stopped at one old boy’s place that builds trailers, Custom Trailers of Mississippi in Seminary along Hwy 49, but he didn’t have what we needed so he referred us to Camper City Truck Accessories in Hattiesburg a little further down Hwy 49, so we headed off again. Well after about thirty minutes of calling around Todd was able to find one hitch back in Jackson, but it would not be able to get here until tomorrow around noon and then he could put it on, but it was going to be later in the afternoon by the time we were done.
It was so incredibly frustrating and I was ready to just pack up and go home, but we weren’t going anywhere at this point. So we were stuck here for at least another one to two days no matter what. But we knew we had to get our trailer out of the truck stop and find somewhere to put it for the night. The guy at Camper City referred us to Sam’s Welding and Fabrication Shopback up the road, which happens to be about the only welder in the area, so that we could at least get the broke hitch patched up enough to tow the trailer to a local campground. So we head over to Sam’s shop and no one is there! Thankfully there were some numbers spray painted on the doors, so I called and spoke with Sam and he came back up and got us fixed up.
I made a phone call and pushed our reservation in Panama City Beach till Friday, then I googled local RV parks and found one close by, Okatoma Resort & RV Park just off Hwy 49, and between the truck stop in Collins where the trailer was and Hattiesburg where we need to be tomorrow, so I called and made a reservation for two nights and once we got back to our trailer we headed right out there. The lady I spoke with was really friendly and helpful and the daily fee was only $24.00 so it was a great deal.
The park is a little off the beaten path and a few miles off Hwy 49. The road is narrow and windy on the way out to the park and once inside the park it was very narrow. But we were able to navigate fairly reasonably. The road in the park is mud and gravel and it had just rained quite heavily, and from the looks of it they really needed the rain, but it made the roads muddy. There are no concrete pads in the spaces; you park right on the grass and muddy gravel so it is quite a soupy mess. But it is very quiet and peaceful out here.
There are several stocked ponds you can fish at and they have a nice pool and clubhouse. There are also showers and a laundry area available. They also rent cabins and have tent spaces for rent. At seven each evening kids can bring bread and crackers to feed the ducks. Stormy got to hold a two day old baby duck at this time and was just thrilled. We will be here till Friday morning if everything goes as planned tomorrow.
Today was definitely a rough day and we really considered just getting the repairs and going home, but we just never knows what lies ahead. Maybe something else will go wrong, or maybe we will have just an awesome time. You never know, but we opted to continue our journey and see what happens.
My hubby finally got the seals all swapped out and everything greased and brakes put back together so we could head out. It was about 8:40 pm when we finally left Kilgore. Brakes were working and we were hoping to arrive in Vicksburg, MS about 1 am. I was able to call and confirm our late arrival, and I’m so glad we did.
We made it almost to Waskom when we got hit by one heck of a storm. Wow! It was really coming down, hard and fast. We could barely make out the road in front of us and it slowed us down to a mere 25 mph on the interstate. So we exited off the next exit which took us around to Hwy 80 to bring us up to a truck parking area just off the Interstate, but when we arrived the lot was a small lake. We decided to stay on 80 coming into Waskom to try and find somewhere to pull over, but everything was flooded or we couldn’t get into it.
So we continued to crawl along at about 20 mph until we suddenly hit a low lying area flooded from the massive amounts of fast falling rain that we couldn’t see was flooded because of the sheets of water masking the road in front of us. All of a sudden a giant wave completely engulfed us. We couldn’t see anything at all and could feel the truck tires sliding off the road. My heart leaped into my throat, we could see nothing at all and could only hope and pray we weren’t heading straight off the road and try not to panic and scare our daughters any more than they already were. Finally we emerged from the wall of water and caught a glimpse of the road again. That had to be the longest minute I have experienced in a long time! My husband was able to keep control of everything, get back on the road, and keep us going. Unfortunately we hit two more low lying areas, thankfully not as bad as the first, before we were finally able to find a place to pull over and wait out the rest of the storm. After about an hour we were able to resume our journey.
We could definitely tell when we passed into Louisiana! My goodness, the roads were awful. Our trailer about beat us to death from bouncing up and down on the roads. I think Holly and I got a bit of motion sickness. Fortunately we came out of all the rain and finally arrived in Vicksburg, MS at 3:30am to get some much needed rest. But, that had to wait! Once we got the trailer hooked up to the power and got the girls in bed we had to pull all of our bedding and take it up to be dried. Evidently in the downpour earlier water snuck its way into our bedroom and soaked all our bedding. Lovely! So we took advantage of the situation and were able to freshen up a bit, finally getting to bed about 4:30am.
Well it’s fitting that the first vacation we have gotten to take in a long time starts off a little rough. When we pulled out from our campground here in Kilgore we drove to our storage facility to park our RV for a few hours to run some last minute errands. Well on the way over one of the brakes on the RV overheated. So my poor hubby has been sweating in this Texas heat all afternoon trying to get it fixed so we can get on the road. To be on the safe side I confirmed with our planned stop for this evening and we will be able to arrive late without a problem. So we can still get on our way. Hopefully soon. 🙂