We arrived here in Bainbridge GA to visit old friends after a long but easy drive on New Year’s Day. There was little traffic and we both drove three hours to share the stress of the trip. It was getting dark when we arrived at Flint River RV Park but we have been here before so we hooked up at a nice big pull through site, walked the dogs, ate dinner and turned in for the night.
We have spent three days catching up with our friend Mary Ann,sharing lunches and dinners. We have had some fun times at local hot spots: The Bean Cafe, Issac’s Bakery and of course – Zaxby’s ~they do have good chicken. We returned with Mary Ann & her son, and several friends to The Laredo Cafe, a Mexican restaurant with giant margaritas, a great menu, and terrific service. The best part of these experiences was spending time with people we love and enjoy. Bainbridge is a classic southern town grappling with the economic changes of the 21st century and yet still trying to maintain the sweet small town character. The residents here are welcoming and friendly and we always enjoy our stops here.
However, the second night we experienced several terrific thunder storms with strong thunder and lightening. The situation deteriorated into a tornado watch that became a warning followed by an alert on all our phones to “Take shelter immediately.” So after unhooking electric power, and closing the coach window awnings, we took the dogs to the RV Park restrooms/laundry room building which is constructed of cement blocks. We hunkered down there with other park visitors and waited until our phone mobile weather apps showed the dangerous red and purple areas moving away from our location.
The heavy thunderstorms continued through the night and no one (human or dog) got much sleep. In the morning local news stations reported that an EF 1 tornado had touched down with a few miles of our location. Pretty scary but we did what is required – the coach is replaceable but our dogs and us…not so much. The extensive damage that the surrounding counties suffered made us feel very lucky! Prior to being RVers, we often thought of motor homes, campers, and trailers as tornado magnets, so now as owners we understand it is vital to appreciate weather’s impact. It is important to monitor weather reports, to have the alerts set up on your phones, and to take action when the situation demands it. We have adopted The 3 A’s of survival – Pay Attention, Stay Alert, Take Action!
Tomorrow we leave for a six week stay in Lillian, Alabama at a large KOA on the Gulf Coast. Having never been to Alabama, this visit will mean checking off a new state on our list. Friends in GA tell us it is a beautiful area, and we hope to get to Mobile, perhaps New Orleans during our stay. The winter adventure has begun!