Adventureland to Amazon to Home 2017 travel blog

Heading south

It was my dad's sweet home until he was 19 when the...

A rainbow was trying hard to emerge

Not very picturesque and it was a dreary crossing over the Tennessee...

Jay Landings Marina and RV Park

6:45 a.m. Christmas morning in Decatur, Alabama

The RV part of Jay Landings - didn't count, but maybe around...

On days other than Christmas, one can see barges going up and...

Decatur City Cemetery

My pal had relatives in Coffeyville...hey, Deb and Kev, do you have...

My second visit to graves of Confederates. This was only a small...

 

 

 

That's all this one said. Thomas William was the only one I...

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Yep, I think he's my great grandfather. Searching is in my future...

Where oh where are the others??

 

Rhodes Ferry Park

 

Such a sad era in our history

 

 

 

A little Alabama football trivia

Where the train delivered hundreds of Cherokee. (See Trail of Tears historic...

 

I threw Boots' rat up onto the bedroom slide before it was...

He thought that was great fun!

Oh Grandma, look! I dropped it onto the bed! No I AM...

Yep, that old rat is down there all right. I'm such a...


Had a mild panic attack as I hooked up Christmas Eve to head south. My brake controller

wasn't coming alive as it usually does. It has a readout that displays info and it was blank. I pulled out, hoping I'd feel the brake working, and I did, but still no display. Talked to a fellow RVer near the office and we noticed my tires were also low. Lordy, it was one p.m. and I had a trip to make. Anyway, we agreed it was just the display that wasn't working - my brakes worked and the blinkers and lights worked so off I went.

I stayed at 55 mph on the highway and it wasn't too many miles before I came upon a Love's Travel Stop. I parked up by the big boys and walked down and asked if there was anyone who could air all my tires. Wesley came to my rescue and spent 35 minutes airing up all ten tires and putting stickers on truck and RV in case I stopped at a Love's and was told they didn't do us little guys. He said my stickers would get me through any of their tire lines, and when scanned would tell them how much, when, etc. I now love Love's.

The road leading into Jay Landings Marina and RV Park in Decatur, Alabama was full of holes and I just crept in. The sites were gravel and too narrow to even have a picnic table, but boy oh boy, the location was fantastic and the many picnic areas on the point by the water more than made up for no space at the inn, er, the site. And the wifi was the best/fastest wifi I've ever had at a park. I bet it's wonderful in the summer.

I had one mission on Christmas Day and I failed. I had photos of my grandfather's (Jesse Smelser Billings) and grandmother's (Moneta Rognon Billings) gravestones, and even one of an aunt who had died at 18 months. I wanted to say hello. I had the cemetery, Section # and Lot #. Should be easy, right? However, there were no signs, markers or map IDing the sections and there were 11,400 grave sites. I had searched the web previously for a map and had not found one and had assumed (should never do that) I'd find info at the cemetery. So after I drove every road, while searching for names on the monuments and finding nothing, I went back to the RV park and my computer to see if I had missed something. I found many maps TO the cemetery, but not OF the cemetery, so I returned to search some more.

Fortunately, I also had a picture of the gravestone of a Thomas William Billings 1855-1918, but didn't have the slightest idea of who he was. After my day there, I'm hoping he is my great grandfather because I found his grave! His picture had just enough background info for me to identify his location. That was exciting because there were many roads and turns and intersections to examine as I looked for a unique little urn type statue. I was very lucky, as his monument faced away from the road and I never would have spied it from the truck. Per the photograph, he was in Section 16, Lot 8 and the ones whom I know are my relatives are supposed to be in Section 16, Lot 7. You'd think they'd be close, right? I knew the shape and textures to look for and wandered among the gravestones and searched for 90 minutes. But since it was 36 degrees and I was freezing, I decided that Thomas William had to be a relative and I promised him I'd return one day to find the rest of the bunch. I'll certainly call the Decatur Parks and Rec. Dept and ask for a map. I was born a blonde, so that surely must explain why I was ill-prepared.

I drove down to the Rhodes Ferry Park to see the Trail of Tears monument. A sad tale of our treatment of the Cherokee. One of the stops on 'the trail' was Decatur.

Today, the 26th of December, I awoke to beautiful sunshine on our little inlet off the Tennessee River. Got a decent start (I don't do mornings quickly) and headed WNW, crossed the top of Mississippi, and arrived safely in Memphis. I bet you can guess what I'm going to do tomorrow.

It'll be 24 degrees tonight...and the darn weather channel says it's going to get worse and worse.

Got some Boots pictures for his kitty fans.



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