We left Austin on our anniversary and don't plan to return for nine to ten months. Kind of a long anniversary trip!
Before we left Texas, we bought a scooter. It was kind of a last-minute thing, but our old one was showing some wear and we weren't sure how well it would do after we added another 5-7,000 miles on it this year. We bought the same scooter, just a later model. We loved our old scooter, but we had a few items on our wish list from day one. This one took care of almost every one of those issues. The seat is longer so we have some space between us and it does not slope downward (this also makes the GPS work without the need for reading glasses - helmets are much more manageable without reading glasses). The passenger seat is a bit higher so you (Susan) can see something other than the back of the driver's (Trey's) helmet. Also, we now have passenger foot pegs so Susan doesn't get leg cramps from weird positions after riding for a while. The seat storage has one larger space, rather than two smaller ones, and you can access the trunk without a key - big bonus for quick stops! It has a larger fuel tank and more power (we went from a 400cc to a 500cc.) It also has a glove box with a built in USB charger. We are certain that will come in handy soon!
Our first stop headed east was to see Susan's mother in Bellville. Bellville is a small Central Texas town just south of Blue Bell ice cream. It has a city park with eight full hook-up RV camping spots. The park has a walking path, baseball/softball fields, soccer fields, a pond, and a very buys train track. And it is less than two miles from her mom's home. While we were there, our niece and sister-in-law drove up to meet us and we raided Susan's brother's meat freezer. It was a good visit with her mom, but we had to cut it short. We needed to get past the storms expected in the Mississippi Valley before we became trapped. It seems everytime we travel in the southeast we are dodging weather.
We hoped to get to Mississippi our first driving day, but we didn't leave Bellville until after lunch and we only made it to Central Louisiana before we stopped for the night. We were up and moving again before 6 AM the next day. We drove to Columbus, GA to rest a few days before moving on. We took a day to drive around the area and see some sights. We visited a covered bridge along the drive.
A freed slave named Horace King built this bridge in the 1840s and used 2,500 wooden pegs or trunnels.
You could drive across it, but the floor was a bit bumpy in spots, so we chose to walk it instead.
After the covered bridge, we met up with some trail riders in (FD) Roosevelt State Park.
We took back roads from the park home and saw scenery that was nicer than most of the scenery along the scenic drive recommended on the web. Country living and farm land has a beauty of its own. It was a good day for a drive, but I'm sure it will all be much prettier when the trees get leaves on them.
While in Columbus, we saw something called Scrambled Dogs at the Dinglewood Pharmacy and decided to try it.
It was an old pharmacy that had a lunch bar. We sat at a table right across from the antacid aisle. The scrambled dog was pretty good. They put an open bun on the bottom, cover it in chili, then add cut up hot dogs, onion, cheese, and crackers to the top. The chili was the best part. We were trying to figure out how many different places we've eaten hot dogs. One day we will have to make a list. While we have had some good and some interesting dogs on our journeys, our top three dogs haven't changed since 2000. If only they weren't so far away!
We are camped right outside the perimeter of Fort Benning. We didn't realize how close we were until we heard gunshots the first morning. At first we wondered if there was some kind of war reenactment going on. We then remembered the view we saw on Google Maps when we planned our visit here. Those squares are gun ranges.
That night, heavier artillery was being fired. You could see a flash in the sky to the east, then about 20 seconds later you could hear a boom. Google search and a little math told us they were about 3-4 miles away. As long as were were on the correct side of the ammo tube, it would have been cool to see close-up!
We have enjoyed staying near military bases. We've seen planes, heard artillery practice, and begun and ended our day with trumpets. Now would also be a great time to thank those who serve our country, now and in the past. You and your families have made great sacrifices in the name of freedom. May our citizens live worthy of the sacrifices made by our countrymen through the years.
The rest of our time here has been spent working. We are getting back in the groove of our regular work. Our winter schedule is a bit different than the remainder of the year because of different work obligations in Austin. This week we spent some time planning and preparing, some time organizing and catching up, and some time just getting back into the routine of this type of work. We both have some new goals for the year and hope to work together to meet them with excellence.
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected;
but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.