Home Again

Saturday afternoon we arrived at site 127 in Fontainebleau State Park outside Mandeville, LA.  The place feels familiar, and should: this was our very first campsite a year ago.  The camp host, John Deere, and his wife, Grumley, are back doing their duties.  Pink remembers the best dog walking routes.  I know where the grocery stores are, and remember which ones won’t make change for the coin-op laundry.  Our neighbors again are mostly from New Orleans and south Louisiana, although we do have a few snowbird plates here and there as well.

 

John Deere Driving One
John Deere Driving One
Story of Fontainebleau Plantation Sugar Mill
Kids Effigy of John Deere

Last spring we chased winter north.  Now winter has driven us south.  Winter Storm Hercules – a fitting name for such a bad one – is going to knock temperatures here all the way down to 15 degrees Tuesday morning.  We’ll disconnect our water supply Monday afternoon and use a full 50 gallon fresh water tank.  We’ll run the furnace to warm the Airstream from the bottom up.  And we’ll look forward to Tuesday afternoon when our predicted 18 hours below freezing ends in bright sunshine.

But weather-wise we’re among the fortunate.  Were Kat still working in Campbellsville, our cold weather preparations might not survive the 36 consecutive hours of single digit (several hours below zero!) temperatures they’ll endure over the next three days.  Newport, TN will have a high of 22 Monday after a low of just 7.  Mandeville’s 36 and 15 sounds positively balmy in comparison.

 

The Story of Marigny's Sugar Mill
The Story of Marigny’s Sugar Mill
Fontainbleau  Plantation Sugar Mill Ruins
Fontainbleau Plantation Sugar Mill Ruins

Again we have good network television reception, and the local news faces are mostly the same, even though Karen Swenson appears to have had a facelift.  Saturday night we got to watch the Saints game in our own trailer, as they slipped past Philadelphia in an NFC Wild Card game.  Today’s a Sunday, and as usual, it’s checkout day for at least half the campers here.  A year ago our camp routines were strange, new, and uncertain.  Now we’re comfortable and confident.  What a difference a year makes.

 

We are back in the land of the shrimp po-boy and reasonably priced fresh seafood.  We’re looking for the bald eagles that wintered here last year.  And now and then we hear that familiar New Orleans regionally accented English.   On the walk back from the showers, Kat overheard somebody’s grandma hollerin’ this at her young-uns:  “Ya’ll don’t go in dem woods.  Stay right dere!”

10 thoughts on “Home Again

  1. Ahh. It must be good to feel at home. 🙂

    Even though it’s been many decades since I was back there, I can just hear the accent now.

    The cold temps down your way are really something.

    If it makes you feel any better, where I live it’s now minus 1℉, with a wind chill of -19℉.

    Winds are whipping around at about 30 mph.

    According to the online source I use at Wunderground dot com, it’s not much better in Del Rio, and only marginally better in Newport.

    FYI, I’m in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York.

    Congrats on now being seasoned RVers.

    Glad to hear you are feeling at ease.

    I hope you all enjoy all of the familiar comforts in Mandeville.

    If you have any eagle sightings, I hope Kat can get some pictures. 🙂

    K.

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    1. P.S. For some reason when I was on here before, the pictures did not come through (probably due to my slow connection).

      Now that I see them, I wanted to comment on how much I have enjoyed them. 😀

      Great photos. Thanks!

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    2. Eagles don’t have to try to be fast, they just are. Usually by the time you see one, run a few steps into the A/S to fetch the camera, find the bird and focus, it’s too late. But if we get lucky with them, they will be posted on Life on the Bluehighways.

      Jackson

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      1. Ha ha. I hear you. 😀

        It’s tough to catch a decent photo here of the birds who feed on the front porch.

        Even my careful approach to the window is enough to spook some of them.

        Never mind simply getting my cell from my pocket to use that camera.

        Here is a little something on the eagles around this area:

        http://delawarehighlands.org/eagles

        Eagles have come close to the house, but other than once many years ago, I have not seen any land in the yard.

        Cheers,

        KD

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  2. We are in Corpus Christi at the moment, where it has stayed much warmer than just about anywhere else in the US during the unprecedented arctic cold airmass. I don’t watch the Weather Channel regularly so can’t keep up with storm names, but even with windchills in the 20s, nothing compared to what most are dealing with, it’s felt seriously, bone-chilling COLD. It’s very windy here, and it bites.

    I’m curious how many RVers were taken by surprise by this storm, thinking they were well below where freezing could be an issue and were un-winterized. If that’s the case, what are the repercussions?

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    1. Em, winterizing is something full-timers cannot do. We need to drink our water, so putting antifreeze in it could be lethal. We count on the impurities in the gray and black tanks to lower the freeze point, and one of the benefits of poor insulation is that any and all heat inside that leaves for the outside warms stuff on the way out.

      We were about as far south as you can get and the weather was still dangerous for our plumbing. Those is Florida and maybe far south Texas had it easier, but so many were further north and caught tougher weather. Don’t know how they all fared, but so far, it’s so good. Seems like most heard the cold was coming, and disconnected their water and burned a lot of propane in their furnaces to keep it all warm enough to not freeze.

      Hang in there: summer is just three months away if you’re in Texas.

      Jackson

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      1. Hi Jackson ~ Just by coinkydinky, I read a blog post about traveling while winterized tonight. Thought you might find it interesting: http://roadtrek190popular.blogspot.com/2014/01/traveling-in-winter-in-your-roadtrek.html. Glad you fared okay in the arctic blast.

        Unfortunately we’re just visiting south coastal Texas this month so don’t think we’ll be experiencing summer quite so soon, but it is supposed to be 70+ for the next few days, which will feel AMAZING!

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      2. Good blog about another way to cope, Em. To me it just seems easier to stay south until it’s safe to go north, and for most years, we should be fine. The 15 degrees in Mandeville was the coldest it’s been here for nearly 40 years: I bet we’re all right for the rest of this one.

        Jackson

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  3. Awesome to find a fellow local airstreamer! Well my wife and I are still in the dreaming stages, but it’s nice to have found you guys! Ill be following y’all’s adventures!

    PS by local I mean Lafayette.

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    1. Are you looking for an A/S, or have one and are looking for a way to use it more?

      Either way, we think they’re the way to go – don’t need a TOAD and if something goes wrong with your engine, you can put the engine in the shop and sleep in your house somewhere else. And there’s resale, if this proves to be less fun than billed. Plus a generally lower investment to get rolling.

      You’ll love it.

      Thanks for reading us,

      Jackson

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