After leaving Kentucky, we headed south to see family in Florida. We took the familiar route of I-65 towards Montgomery, Alabama.
A favorite stop has always been the Welcome Center in Alabama. Not many rest areas in the US can boast having a full scale Saturn IB rocket. This is the type of rocket that the crew of Apollo 7 took into Earth orbit. It is the smaller cousin of the Saturn V that took the US to the moon.
Once we got to Montgomery, we took a different route, as we wanted to stop in Crestview, Florida to check out a mail forwarding service we are considering using during our travels. On the way there, we came upon this little gem:
This is the day use area at Blue Pond in the Conecuh National Forest in southern Alabama. Too bad there wasn’t any camping, as it was ideal!
We arrived in Crestview and met with the folks at My RV Mail. They were very friendly and extremely helpful. Once we finished in Crestwood, we continued on to Ft Walton Beach. When we arrived, we discovered a huge benefit to shoulder season travel: no huge crowds! We drove into a large public lot at the beach and had no trouble at all finding a parking spot. We had a wonderful grouper meal overlooking the gulf and then we walked the beach.
This is some of the best sand in Florida, and we were happy to see that there were no visible after effects from the BP spill.
Once we left the beach, we headed east towards Leesburg to see family. Diana’s brother lives there, and our niece and her family live in Fruitland Park. Along the way, we discovered the importance of doing a rig walk around. Jim thought he heard a noise on the road, and he noticed the fuel mileage decreasing. We pulled into a rest area and noticed the right front wheel was considerably warmer than the others. Turns out that we had a “stuck” caliper. This happened to us one other time on a different truck, and is a result of the right front wheel catching so much curb slush and salt in the Michigan winters. We found a garage in Tallahassee that got us in and out in a flash. A special shout out to Al Bass and Bass Automotive for the prompt service. This event really drove home the fact that we need to be aware of our rig. A simple walk around at each stop can save a lot of headaches down the road.