It’s been a few days since my last posting and so much has happened. I am torn if I want to start writing from the past, last week, or the present, today Sunday the 15th. Either way, you get a set of pictures capturing the beauty and the nasty.
We are home! Yes, we cut our stay short in Alabama by a week. While the southern states only had some rain in the forecast, the northern states and especially here in Canada, we have to battle far worse conditions with heavy and above normal rainfalls, ice rain and even sleet in addition to very strong winds. Our area had a major flood warning and we thought it to be prudent to get home in case that would happen. We made it just in the nick of time.
When we arrived everything seemed to be still ok in our area but overnight the Lake Erie came onshore as well the heavy rain flooded all drainage pipes and the fields around us look like they are part of Lake Erie. Our camper is parked high and dry and the house and the garage are on dry ground too. Benno’s shed is dry inside although it doesn’t look like it from afar. My shed is waterlogged and I’m hoping the John Deere lawn mower plus everything else in there will be ok. It is a mess everywhere you look.
picture is courtesy of Teresa Warren
We are not done yet because it is still raining and the wind that is blowing 45 km/28miles per hour from the East, is pushing the waves of Lake Erie with the high water level from the snow melt of the upper Great Lakes over the break walls destroying waterfront properties and flooding basements and homes. Debris, trash cans, whole porches and fences I have seen afloat in the neighborhood. We have a reverse flow of water from the Lake Erie coming out of the road storm drain in our area. I went outside donning my new pair of high rubber boots (which I bought this morning in a hurry at the TSC store) to take a few pictures. There were ducks swimming on the submerged lawn of our neighbors. We now own a waterfront property!!
So, now that you’ve seen the nasty, here are some nicer and funny pictures of better times. On my to do and see agenda I had a day on the beach planned and we were waiting for the right day to go. Finally last week it looked to be the perfect time. Not all beaches allow dogs, but the Gulf Shores along the way to Fort Morgan are pet friendly and that is where we went. At this time of year the area is mostly deserted and 90% of all houses had a “For Rent” sign posted. There are public beach access roads in-between the developments but we discovered there were no public parking areas for our truck to park. After driving parallel to the beach for several miles without seeing anywhere to park, Benno decided to pull the truck next to the road on a bare spot. He got out to test the ground condition and thought it was packed pretty hard. Well, it had seemed that way. The moment our tires left the paved road we knew we were in trouble. Nope, the ground was not firm it had only a hard crust over very soft sand and you guessed it, the more we tried to get out, the more we dug in. Actually, it was funny.
Five minutes after burrowing the truck deeper and deeper, rescue arrived in the form of three friendly construction guys on their way to lunch with their 4x4 pickup truck and a chain. It was no big deal to them and after a few laughs all around in no time at all we were back on firm ground.
We then got smart and parked the truck on the grass at a side road and walked up to the beach to have some fun. It turned out to be a lot of fun for the dogs. I had thought we would take the dogs by the leash and walk nicely along the water. Well, both dogs discovered that it was more exciting to get totally wet and then to run off into the sand. Oh man, Benno and I ended up carrying each a pitch wet and sand covered dog back to the truck.
The beach sure was beautiful and clean. Note to self, next time going to the beach with dogs bring more towels. Since we left Alabama earlier than planned, I did not get everything crossed off my list of things to see and do, hopefully there’ll be a next time.
On our drive back home to Canada we took the I-65 North passing through Birmingham, AL. We were thinking about Bill from "On Our Way" and his road rating of 1-10, when we hit a section of the I-65 in need of serious fixing. A real shock absorber and tire killer. I mentioned to Benno that I would give this section a number 5 rating. Benno said he was leaning more to a #4 rating. However, it was pretty bad. Actually we like Bill’s road rating, it is a great help and one knows what to expect! We overnighted at Camping World’s parking lot in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Next day we followed the I-65 to Louisville, Kentucky, then the I-71 to Cincinnati, Ohio, merging onto the I-75N. For a leg stretch and lunch of Swedish Meatballs, we stopped for an hour and a half at IKEA, which is located right beside the highway at Exit 19. Afterwards we continued on I-75 to Wapakoneta where we made a coffee stop at McDonalds and used their wifi to reset our home thermostat to jiggle the heat up for our later arrival. Past Toledo right at the Ohio-Michigan state line we hit the worse road section of the whole travel. We bounced and hopped so that our dogs had to hang on not to get airborne. I personally would give this section of the I-75 which is screaming for improvement a #3-minus rating and this is where our 29” flat screen TV fell off the bedroom wall complete with mount. Thank goodness the soft carpet saved it. The motion had pulled the screws right out of the thin wall with Jayco backing. We drove 1655 km, a bit over 1000 miles to get home.
We hope everyone had a good week and weekend. Thanks for stopping by and please stay tuned for more news.