Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sweet Home Alabama Parks - Spanish Fort

Morty was determined to make camp in Alabama, even though we were crossing it the short way and very early in the day. So we looked up the Alabama State Parks site on the web and found Meaher State Park in Spanish Fort just East of Mobile. If you were relying on the 2009 AAA Southeastern Campbook, you would probably never pick this park because it is substantially upgraded and tripled in size from their listing. We have a paved pad, full hookups including 50 amp power, a strong cellphone signal from Sprint, a few TV channels over the air, a waterfront on Mobile Bay, automatic senior discount, and lots of wildlife with wetland boardwalks for $26 per night. Just no plastic payments, thank you.

So instead of a 99 mile leg, we only got about 50. Perhaps we should take an overview of what is required mileage-wise to make it to Yosemite on this trip. In round numbers we have 5,000 miles to go there and return home by mid-March. We'll also say that on average we drive every second day so that we can count on 30 driving days. That means that for this trip we need to up our driving chunks to 170 miles. [Also every time we miss that drive on the second day, the remaining chunks increase in size.] Pre -reitrement that would have been a very slow day. Now, it's very doable without getting crazy, it's something we will have to keep in mind when Morty starts whining about camping in every state possible.

Today is Sunday, and we have only a marginal TV signal, perhaps we will get to see some NFL playoff action. We hiked the park and found a couple of boardwalks that we had all to ourselves for wildlife spotting -- no gators but a couple of very photogenic birds. I took the Nikon D90 along with the 70-300  zoom lens and was glad to have the fast frame rate and quick focusing that this combo gives me. Despite the dreary day with only a few sunny rays peaking through, I got some interesting shots.

We're seeing more and more parks removing all convenient trash containers as a cost savings. This has the unintended consequence of having more trash tossed in inappropriate places where it will be very expensive to clean up. I hope our park managers are in line to get some of that free stimulus money and use it to return the trash containers.

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