We are now at our new Winter Home in Florida. Â The trip was, for the most part, uneventful. Â We mapped a great route this year and our roads were better than the interstate routes, with a few short exceptions. Â The drive down was lovely. Â However, when we arrived last week, Florida was setting record highs for this time of year and the humidity was miserable as we toiled to set up our winter site.
We departed our summer home on Lake of the Ozarks a few days earlier than planned in order to sandwich the trip to Florida between weather fronts. Â If we had left on the day we planned (Sunday, October 15), we would have had rain most of the way to Florida. Â By moving the trip forward to Friday, October 13 (we’re not superstitious) we had clear weather for the trip.
Since we left the Lake area Friday afternoon, and because we were traveling for a number of miles on highway 5 South, a narrow, no shoulder, two lane state highway, we spent our first night at a brand new RV Park in West Plains, Missouri. Â The park name is Road Runner RV Park and it is located right on Hwy 63 as you enter West Plains. Â All sites are full hookup and 30/50 amp service. Â The entry is paved and the interior roads and sites are gravel. Â The Park has a nice office/clubhouse area and also has a cappucino machine which is available 24 hours a day. Â If you are in the area, give them a try.
On Saturday we traveled from West Plains to Natchez Trace RV Park, which is located on the Natchez Trace, just south of Tupelo, Mississippi. Â this leg of our trip also featured a few miles of winding two lane road between West Plains and Hardy, Arkansas, and several miles of really bad interstate around Memphis, Tennessee.Â This leg of our route traveled Highway 63 to Interstate 55, Interstate 55/240 around the west and south side of Memphis to Highway 78 south into Mississippi. Â Highway 78 is nice four lane divided road to Tupelo. Â On this leg of the trip, we lost the exterior lower hatch cover for refrigerator access. Â On our arrival at Natchez Trace RV Park, a small, beautiful, family owned RV Park right on the Natchez Trace, we noticed the missing access panel. Â Quick trips to a couple of RV supply houses failed to locate a replacement, so I rigged a cover from a cardboard box from a nearby restaurant, a white plastic trash bag and good old duct tape. Â After a very pleasant evening (and visiting with other travelers around a large camp fire), we departed Natchez Trace for our next stop.
Sunday had us traveling Highway 45 to Columbus, Mississippi and Highways 82 and 231 to Ozark Travel Park just outside Ozark, Alabama. Â The roads were a pleasure to drive and Ozark RV Park was yet another really nice, family owned RV Park in a small quiet setting just off Highway 231. Â The park features free cable service and available wi-fi service.
Monday, October 16 represented our last travel day and we had a bit of rain early in the day which dissipated by the time we left Ozark Travel Park. Â There was a large Camping World in Ozark so we stopped to see if we could replace the missing refrigerator access, with no luck! Â By now, we are becoming somewhat irritated we are not able to find a replacement for this pretty common part. Â In fact, about half the new RV’s in the lot of this sales outlet had the same hatch cover we were seeking, and Cathy and I were beginning to discuss Midnight RV Salvage as a possible strategy… just kidding!). Â Later in the day, we tried one other location to find this part (again, no success) and decided to abandon the effort until we reached our Tampa Bay area destination. Â This leg of our trip had us traveling Highway 231 to Interstate 10 east. Â Just east of Tallahassee we dropped down on Highway 59 to Highway 19 for the rest of our trip to our winter home Three Lakes RV Resort in Hudson, Florida.
Three Lakes RV Resort is a beautiful, security gated RV community in the greater Tampa Bay metropolitan area. Hudson itself is an older developed area which, typical of Florida development, features a mix of old homesteads (many very unpleasing to the eye) which are rapidly being replaced by new home development to satisfy the needs of a rapidly expanding Tampa Bay community. Â Three Lakes has been developed as a Park Home and RV community. with half the resort offering Park Model space and the other half offering space for a bit over 300 RV sites. Â The Park is an adult park, with no one under 33 years of age permitted for more than a few days. Â It offers daily, monthly, seasonal and annual rates, with advantages for seasonal and annual leases. Â All sites are sized for big rigs, and the smallest sites are 40′ X 65′, with 20′ X 50′ concrete pads. Â All sites are full hookup and feature both 30/50 amp wiring. Â There is a very nice 7,000 square foot clubhouse and a pool. Â There are a couple of laundry facilities and a separate lounge and firepit area for social gatherings.
Cathy and I have been very busy since our arrival with daily trips to Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart and several RV outlets (still in pursuit of the !@#$% refrigerator access door). Â We did, finally, locate the needed door yesterday, and it should arrive via UPS sometime today. Â I will update the blog in a few days to cover this activity, and also post pics of our trip down and our new site in a few days.