Filed under: Campgrounds & RV Parks, Uncategorized
Postcards From The Road
Snowbirds Migrating Back North Early – On this month’s trip from our new home in Tenessee to Florida and back, in order to satisfy our Spring Fever and visit friends and family members in Florida, we noticed many RVs heading north; more than we thought was normal for early March.
During stopovers at RV parks in Georgia and Florida we met several RVers who confirmed the earlier-than-normal migrations back north by many RVers. “We been getting calls from friends and family back north, asking why we’re still paying peak rates down in Florida when the weather was the same in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, etc.”
As many of the RV snowbirds were paying $1,000+ a month, or more, for their winter layovers in the Sunshine State, they were happy to pack up early and head home. Global warming? Who said that? Not me. And yet…
Too Much of a Good Thing – We visited my youngest son’s new townhome just outside of Disneyworld. It’s a beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood. It is so close to Disneyworld that you can sit in your backyard and watch the nightly fireworks displays taking place in the Magic Kingdom.
And that’s the problem. Every night, from 9PM to 9:15 PM, Disney launches its massive fireworks display. The sight is beautiful, but the SOUND can be something else. The low decibel BOOM! BOOM! BOOOOM! of the explosions causes neighborhood windows to rattle and dogs to bark in a frenzy or hide under a bed. We asked our son if he was aware of the problem before he signed his lease – he wasn’t.
Another Too Much of a Good Thing – On the way home to Tennessee we stayed in an RV Park that will go unnamed. Boasting 4 Ws in our Woodall guide, we were anxious to give it a try as a place we might want to visit for a more extended stay. Nicely landscaped, with large RV sites located in an old growth forest with views of a beautiful lake, the spot seemed to live up to its rating. Especially if you were a freight train fan.
The first indication I had of a possible problem occurred as I plugged in my umbilicals shortly after arriving. There was a rumbling noise that seemed to be getting closer and closer, and then a bone-shaking WAAH! WAAH! WAAAAH! as a very long freight train rumbled by no more than 100 yards from where I was standing. “What was THAT?” my wife cried from within our trailer. “A TRAIN!” I yelled, raising my voice high enough to be heard above the loud noise of the train that was rumbling by.
When I asked my neighbor if the train passed by frequently, she said, “Oh sure! I’ve heard that its the most heavily used freight line in the United States!” Oh, Goody! As the evening progressed, the time came to hand out the blame: “Didn’t you notice the train tracks that we crossed before we drove in here?” my wife asked. “Well, yes,” I replied (while asking silently, “Didn’t you?”), but how was I to know that every train within a hundred miles seemed to pass by every 20 minutes or so?
We later gave up trying to drown out the train horns by closing all the trailer’s windows, running the air conditioner and turning up the TV’s volume to maximum; nothing seemed to help; the tracks were just too close by. Telling ourselves that we were only there for one night and would be gone by the morning, we went to bed, praying that the trains would stop running soon. Afterall, they couldn’t run all night, could they? Yes, they could…
Sleep deprived and grouchy the next morning, we briefly considered complaining about the noise to the management before we left, but then we realized, what could they do about it? Blockade the tracks? Pull up the ties? Hand out ear plugs to their guests? It was hopeless… And then we realized that the owners of the campground already knew about the train “problem” and the impact is was probably having on their bottom line. I mean, who else but the deaf would come here more than once?
Train lovers; that’s who else would come here. And so we left, hoping that all train lovers in the RVng population would discover this place; knowing that many of them would come from across the country, just to set up their lawnchairs at the trackside so that they could take pictures, discuss the fine points of deisel locomotive evolution and bask in the WAAH! WAAH! WAAAAHs of passing trains! As for the rest of us, we decided to begin packing industrial grade ear muffs, like the ones used by NASCAR fans, for all our future trips. Just in case…
The Grapes of Wrath – My wife and I, in our search for reasonable campgrounds to stay in, have noticed what seems to be a growing population of out-of-state trailers accompanied or towed by work trucks of various trades: plumbers, carpenters, handymen, etc. who have taken up long term residence at RV campgrounds around the country. Having spoken to a number of these folks recently and during our trip around the country during 2010, we’ve seen and heard first hand how the economic problems this country is experiencing is affecting many now displaced people; all on a constant hunt for work; however far it takes them.
By the Way – That RV trip we took this month to visit friends and family in Florida cost us about $600 for gasoline to travel about 1,500 miles roundtrip. That’s probably the longest trip we’ll take in the near future. It’s just too expensive. But that gives us a reason to explore our new state and nearby attractions.
Till Next Time,