Alabama + Mississippi Travels

Alabama + Mississippi Travels

After leaving the Florida panhandle, our sights were set on Arkansas. The original plan to go through Louisiana was ditched. Turns out the free camps in the Desoto National forest were no longer open to camping. Alabama through Mississippi became our route.

Boondockers Welcome Property

I found this Boondockers Welcome spot in Alabama that turned out to be a real gem. A 1400 acre property complete with a cattle farm, trails throughout the woods, hay bale art, a calf named Daisy, and two friendly resident dogs, Shadow and Lady. It also had gorgeous views of the Tombigbee River with lovely sunsets each evening.

The place had one house rule “must be willing to visit with a 95 year old retired farmer and artist”.

Upon arrival we were greeted by Archie and his two dogs. First thing he said, “well it’s about happy hour time, you guys want a beer?”. I knew right away this place would fit us just fine. He took us down to the pavilion overlooking the river and we cracked open a few beers.

Later, we had the pleasure of meeting the aforementioned 95 year old, Jim, Archie’s dad. He turned out to be quite a hoot. With lots of stories and I loved how he drove his golf cart over from the house. He was a pretty sharp guy, especially given his age. He joined us for happy hour with his daily cup of whiskey.

We were also joined by a calf named Daisy. Daisy’s mother died while giving birth to her. Archie bottle fed her and she was now hanging out at the pavilion with no desire to join the herd. She was a sweet girl and Josie was curious about her.

During our stay we enjoyed happy hours and sunsets complete with a nice deck fire, all while overlooking the river.

To top things off, we went on a nice tour of the property via golf carts. Shane laughed and said “guess I’m old, traded in the four wheeler for a golf cart.”

We spent a little time exploring the hay bale art at the entrance to the property. All started by Jim back in 1993 and now maintained by his family and friends. The art is made from old metal, other discarded items, and hay bales. The tin man is 32 feet tall!

This was by far our favorite Boondockers Welcome host/property. We enjoyed five days here before moving on to Arkansas via Mississippi.

Jeff Busby Park

While scouring Campendium looking for our next spot, I stumbled upon a campground right off the Natchez Trail Parkway. Turns out it was at the halfway point to our first spot in Arkansas. When you find a free spot, right along your route you go with it.

The Jeff Busby Park also turned out to be a nice stopover for a couple of days. Located right off the parkway with restrooms, trash cans, and some nice hiking trails.

Upon arrival we met our neighbor, Liberty from Maine. Liberty is in her 70’s and travels part time in her van. She asked us two questions. “Do you run a generator? Do you have outdoor lights on all night?” Of course our answer to both was a resounding no. We liked her instantly. She was right to the point and she actually reminded me of our dear friend, Anne. (Spunky little thing – much like you Anne:-))

We hit it off from the start. In fact, we ran into her at the overlook and hiked back with her. We invited her to our camp spot and enjoyed an early evening of good conversation.

Before making our way to Hot Springs we made one more stop for the weekend just over the border into Arkansas. A free spot we had completely to ourselves right along the mighty Mississippi River.

We found wild radishes growing right outside the RV.

While out exploring one afternoon we ran across this herd of free roaming cattle. They seemed intrigued by us.

The Mississippi River transformed with the changing light of day or with a layer of fog.

This spot along the Mississippi was just out side of Arkansas City, a once thriving city. However the flood of 1927 devastated the city and it never recovered. Today it’s home to only 370 people.

Next up: A Month in Arkansas

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