October 25, 2021 – Engineer Beach Campground, Fort Rucker, AL

Interesting place, the Red Roof Inn in Birmingham!  Many of the other guests were indulging in a little recreational weed – and it seems like the gathering spot was right outside our door.  It took a little experimenting to learn that in order to operate our room TV, we had to plug it in to turn it on, and unplug it to turn it off.  It was handy though to drown out the outside noise.  After everyone retired to their rooms, the guests on the floor above us made sport of dropping items on the floor at irregular intervals throughout the night.  Others made random trips to their vehicles in the parking lot and made sure to lock them with the audible lock tone.  Apparently, several of them leave for work around 0430.  Things got quiet around 0500 – and we slept in just a tad.  After all – we drove an extra 100 miles yesterday just to get here for this special experience.

Bill was out walking Piper, so I decided to take a shower for a fresh start on the day.  All was well, until I was thoroughly soaped up – conditioner in my hair – and the smoke/fire alarm goes off!  And continues to alarm.  After exiting the shower to make sure that there really wasn’t an emergency in our room or outside our room, I hastily rinsed and dried.  By that time, the alarm was sounding intermittently.  It stopped about 2 minutes before Bill returned to the room.  Fortunately, it wasn’t wired in to the Fire Department.  Breakfast at the Red Roof was coffee and hot water.  Breakfast for the Dumont clan was about 40 miles down the road at Arby’s.

Travel was pleasant again today – light traffic, and the only big town to navigate was Montgomery.  We drove past more cotton fields.  They are so beautiful – brilliant white fluffy bolls – almost looks like snow covered fields.

My encounter with the fire ants yesterday is growing larger and itchier.  I have two ankles on the right, just one on the left.  Lesson learned!

The nice young Army soldier bid us “welcome home to Fort Rucker” at 1330 hrs., and by 1400 hrs., we were back in our spot that we enjoyed at our last visit.  83 degrees, clear blue skies (except for the Chinooks, Apaches, and Blackhawks decorating the air), and very little breeze.  Lake Tholocco is much lower than it was in the spring.  Piper has quite a bit of sniffing and marking of territory to accomplish this week.  Walter stopped in after flying to have supper with us, bringing Mara over for a visit.

We are filled with gratitude for safe and enjoyable travels, good health during those travels, and the blessings of our beautiful nation.  As we settle in for the night, we are also very pleased to be stationary for a week.

Bonus!  The automatic leveling system has decided to rejoin the living. 

Miles traveled – 180.4.  On the road at 0925, off the road at 1400.

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