Day 1. Jacksonville, FL to Gautier, MS. 466 miles,  8 hours.

Day 1. August 22, 2020. We woke up at 6AM and had to deflate the air mattress we’ve been sleeping on since the POD left,  clean the last couple rooms in the house, and load the cats into the RV. It was an incredibly stressful couple of hours, and the cats were totally stressed out being transported from their home and into the RV. Smuckers is over 15 years old and has lived there her whole life, and Pentax is 14 and lived there his whole life. It was stressful for us,  as well,  leaving our home of almost 19 years that we designed and had built in 2001-2002. Very emotional.

We got under way and left Jacksonville via I-10. My last Duval county bird (ever?) was an Anhinga way out on the western edge of the county.

I was still getting used to the rattle trap, and was driving pretty slow. I got passed by a house (above). The first half of the day, Marie spent in the back calming the cats down. Leaving Florida is a long journey, as it takes like 6 hours just to get from Jacksonville to Alabama.

The trip was otherwise uneventful,  and we pulled into Santa Maria RV Resort (Gautier, MS) on the Pascagoula river late in the afternoon. The front of the grounds was a little sparse,  but the middle area had a large field (below). Being new to RV life, we performed the first hook up with the “shoreline” (30 amp power), water, and the dreaded “doo doo hose”. All went well. A view of the lot is below. 

We left the cats to relax and went for a walk. There were Eastern Bluebirds everywhere,  along with a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Eastern Kingbirds, and a handful of other species.  Along the back of the RV park there are permanent residences… the poverty level and conditions we saw back there were troubling.

Santa Maria RV resort

Below is a view from the dinette window.  After a Belvedere Bloody Mary, I had a cold IPA in my favorite tulip glass.  Really roughing it!

We slept that night in the back bed,  which is probably about a full sized mattress, and with the cats it was pretty miserable.

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