Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama
Our son, David, came up on Tuesday, November 1st and stayed with us through the week. He helped out here at the park with the Frontier Days event that started on Wednesday. He and Malcolm directed traffic and parked cars all four days of the event. Val helped with the school buses, loading and unloading children on Wednesday through Friday and worked at the entrance booth on Saturday.
The weather was hot and dry for the entire event. Unfortunately, Alabama enacted a burn ban just before the event week, so none of the re-enacters could cook over fires or use them for heat. Fires in the campground were prohibited, as well. We’ve only had 1/10th of an inch of rain here since we arrived on October 6th. It is terribly dry and dusty.
The Frontier Days event here is a reenactment event held each year at the two forts here – Fort Toulouse and Fort Jackson. There is a contingent of British and French re-enacters who come in each year. There is also a group of Creek Indians that come in and set up camp, as well.
School children from across the state visit the event on the three weekdays (Wednesday through Friday). Most of them are fourth graders since that is the grade when Alabama history is taught. We also get local homeschool groups and private school groups as well. Between the three weekdays, there are usually around 10,000 schoolchildren and usually a lot of parents and teachers, as well.
All in all, it is a fun but tiring week. The extreme drought conditions took their toll a bit with all the dust kicked up by vehicles and busses. We had scratchy throats the last several days, but that’s pretty much gone away.
In other news, we finally found a replacement for our family physician that retired three years ago. We’ve tried off and on to find another medical practice that is taking new patients and takes our insurance. In the interim, we’ve fallen behind on things such as physical exams and such.
This Wednesday, we both went in and met our new nurse practitioner who gave us both exams and caught up with our medical histories. We’ll both be getting various catch-up tests, scans, etc. over the coming weeks.
After discussions over the last year or more, and with our travel schedule settling down to where we are stationary here in Alabama more and more, we decided to pick up a more fuel efficient second vehicle to drive around on a regular basis. Malcolm found a really nice 2012 Ford Escape Limited nearby at a small used car dealer. It only has 32,000 miles on it and literally was driven by a “little old lady” who bought it locally and had it serviced regularly.
The hope is that we can help offset the wear, tear and advanced depreciation on the truck due to the number of miles we put on it (it’s a little over a year old and is already over 41,000 miles), not to mention save some money on fuel (the car got 26 mpg this evening on a round trip to church and back, the truck has been averaging 14-15 mpg around town).
We’re hoping to drive the car instead of the truck when we’re in the area and might drive it along on some trips. We won’t take the car all the way out west when we travel out there, as it wouldn’t make sense to do so. We’ll leave it with friends here while we are away.
We’ll be here another few days, then we’re heading down to visit David for Thanksgiving before heading back here for the remainder of the year.