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  • J.F. Rowan

Gator,..Or Not To Gator.

After a great nights sleep at Fort Toulouse, we awoke even before the sun had a chance to show its gleaming face. A very chilly start because someone (me) didn't recycle the furnace at some point during the night. Our furnace is a diesel-fueled unit from Germany and is very efficient. Since it takes fuel directly from our fuel tank, we always have an ample supply of fuel and unlike other RV's or campers that usually use propane, we can save our propane for other uses. When in use, we burn a meager 2.5 ounces of fuel per hour which heats the entire truck and coach at below freezing. However, the creators of this great furnace also decided that it should never run indefinitely and designed it so that the furnace will only run for 10 hours at a time, at which point it has to be reset to continue to operate. So, if you decide at say 5 PM, it's getting a bit nippy and you turn the furnace on unless you reset it before you go to bed, sometime early in the following morning, say around 3 AM it's going to turn off. It has been something we have adapted to and at some point, when I can understand enough German, I'll be able to re-program it so that perhaps it will run longer...or perhaps not.

The Turtle and The Tiger. Montgomery to Mobile...or beyond.

Our destination today is a small alligator farm just west of Mobile Alabama in a small coastal town called Moss Point. This particular stop along with other select farms, wineries, and historic places belong to a group called the "Harvest Host Group" which I'll get into at later date but suffice it to say an overnight stay at this destination is free.

Gulf Coast Gator Ranch

Or drive is pleasant. Driving the back roads of Alabama and most of the south, you really see a lot of churches. I mean a LOT of churches. People seem to be very religious here, more so than I've seen elsewhere. I suppose you could have a huge discussion about religion and this region, all I know is there are a lot of churches here. I will say one thing though, drive on Sunday and go by those same churches and those ladies and gentleman, young and old, dress to the nines. It makes you smile. And any day of the week when you stop at a gas station or store, people are nice, really genuinely nice. They always have a smile on their face and they make sure you have one too. I like that. I like that fact that a perfect stranger will walk up to you, give you a real old school handshake and say hello. I've watched Yvette respond to it as well. During most of my adolescence, I spent my Sundays going to church and as I drive by these churches, there is a slight urge to stop in an open the good book. I certainly don't have the wardrobe for it, but I don't think Jesus would care.

We arrive at the alligator farm around 1 PM and notice that the farms parking area was located right next to the highway. That, coupled with the fact that it was so cold that they decided to close for the next couple of says, we decided to keep heading down the road to "plan B". We really didn't have a plan "B" per say, but some quick scanning of the map, yours truly picked a spot called Buccaneer State Park in Mississippi right on the coast. That should good, right? A quick phone call confirmed that were not busy and that they had plenty of room. Yea, and the checks in the mail. It wasn't packed, but it was busy. Cramped quarters, and not so great facilities definitely lead us both to agree to put this campground on our "do not return list". Among other attributes, every 2 hours, a very long freight train would pass through on tracks located just on the back side of the park. Guess where our spot was? Yep, at the back of the park. There's always tomorrow. (There, see if you can get that song out of your head!) Needless to say, it pays to do your homework.

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