Fishing on Anyone’s Mind?

Southern Leisure Travelers
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The Dixie Leisure Travelers were on the road again, this time headed to the fishing hotspot of North Alabama. During October 14-17, we gathered at Lake Guntersville State Park in Guntersville, Alabama. The lake was formed when the Guntersville Dam, one of the nine hydroelectric dams on the Tennessee River, was built by, and is still operated by, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as part of the New Deal of the 1930s. Lake Guntersville is the largest lake in Alabama and is known for its excellent fishing, hosting several major fishing tournaments – mainly bass – each year.

By Sunday, when the rally began, 10 couples had already arrived at the park in anticipation of another fun Dixie Leisure Travelers gathering. As those arriving Sunday got set up and settled in, the visiting began. How great it is to meet new people and catch up with old friends. We had 40 participants at this rally arriving in 20 coaches. It was quite a sight seeing this many LTV coaches in one place.

People talked in small and larger groups, and, on Sunday evening, we had a campfire chat.

While we had five new couples at Davis Bayou in May, we had nine new couples at Lake Guntersville. Our family is growing, and we are loving the new additions. What is so phenomenal about LTV chapter rallies is being able to introduce the new people to new friends with like interests, and also to experience beautiful sunsets, vistas, wildlife and just chillin’ out.

These are congenial, fun people, some are even a tad bit mischievous, who love sharing their RVing stories.

The seasoned RVers love helping the “newbies” by answering questions and providing tips and tricks for the wonderful LTV coaches. It’s also fun and interesting to “tour” each other’s coaches to see what’s changed in the newer models and what modifications some have made. In fact, it took some wrangling to get people together and stop visiting so we could make our group photo in the campground.

For our group visiting is the most popular activity, but eating comes in as a close second. Monday afternoon, we had lunch at the Park Lodge. While a few people ordered off the menu, the majority elected to go to the buffet. With a great selection of Southern favorites, fried chicken, fried catfish, baked fish, meatloaf, with all the trimmings, everyone seemed pleased with their choices.

When we were finished with our lunch we kept our seats and enjoyed a very interesting program given by the Park Naturalist. It was an informative presentation on the Alabama State Park system and the amazing natural diversity within Alabama.

He then offered, for those interested, a short hike to identify native trees, shrubs and wildflowers. The hike was about 3/4 of a mile, and it was amazing how many different plants we saw. One interesting thing that we learned on this hike is that by splitting the pit of the persimmon, you will be able to predict the type of winter coming. If the seed core is knife shaped, it will be a cutting cold winter, if it is spoon shaped you will be shoveling a lot of snow, and if it is fork shaped a mild winter can be expected. Since the pit has an extremely hard covering that is difficult to remove we learned to be sure to use a tool to hold it, mainly if you are interested in keeping all of your fingers. Get my point?

After the lunch and the program, but before we hiked, we gathered for another group picture on the lodge deck overlooking the Tennessee River and the campground. Such a gorgeous view.

Between lunch and dinner, as we were visiting and talking, someone looked up and saw a storm coming across the lake in our direction. It was all hands on deck to get the picnic tables organized and under canopies. Luckily the rain did not last long and by dinnertime, it was gone. That evening instead of dinner, because we had a really large meal at noontime, we had potluck heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts prepared by our members. What a spread we had. We gathered in our circle enjoying delicious food and interesting conversations. We all went back to our coaches very happy and full. It can be said this group knows how to cook, and from what was served, they like to cook.

Tuesday saw light rain off and on most of the day, but it takes more than a little water to keep us from having fun, and it brought up the question, “Just how many people will fit under an LTV awning?” P.S. that is not plastic surrounding the awning, it is rainwater.

Five couples decided to go into Guntersville for lunch, in between the rain showers, at the Rock House Eatery, a hidden jewel, serving gourmet southern food. No one was disappointed. Also, it was thought that a little shopping in the downtown area might be enjoyable. One group headed to Fant’s, (an old-old store that’s been around forever, now in transition from a general merchandise store dating back to the early 1800s, to a more up-scale home decorating and clothing store. Over that time span, the store has seen a series of name changes, but there has been a small-town, general merchandise store in that location for the whole time. Here again, you have a small town main street, maintaining its history with older storefronts housing updated merchandise. It is always enjoyable to leisurely browse and see what stores have to offer.

That evening we took another trip up the mountain to the Park Lodge for the dinner buffet. Another fine meal with lively conversations.

On Wednesday, while two or three couples were spending another day or two in the park, most were packing up to get on the road. Hard to believe three days had passed so quickly. Knowing we would be meeting in May at Harrison Bay State Park in Tennessee made saying goodbye a little easier this trip.

As a side note, because we focused so much on visiting, eating, and chillin’ we did not have time to fish. Maybe next time.

Southern Leisure Travelers

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