Beginning The Adventure – Deep South Part 1

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The Oz campground

There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So, love the people who treat you right. Think good thoughts for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is part of life, getting back up is living.


In that light my husband left his job for a traveling sabbatical and had a half day as his last. By mid afternoon we were on the road and on our way. Arriving in Jensen Beach before evening traffic we unloaded Jake into Heath, packed the refrigerator and freezer, stowed clothing and equipment for travel and greased the fifth wheel hitch. Just in time for sunset we leashed up Buckley and trekked over to Snappers on the Indian River for dinner and a beer. They let doggies accompany humans on the deck and Buckley spent his happy hour hoping for a sip of beer or a handout.


Jake is the pickup truck. He is a big strong guy who never hesitates to haul a load while his occupants reside in quiet luxury; or as quiet as a big truck allows. Heath is the trailer. He is a thirty five foot fifth wheel, 12,500 pound, 350 square foot condo on wheels complete with leather recliners, fireplace, 42 inch flat screen, island kitchen, full bath with washer and dryer and a king size bed.


A fifth wheel trailer hitches in the bed of a pickup truck, much like a semi truck, unlike a typical travel trailer that hitches to the bumper. The tow vehicle and trailer operate as one unit unlike a bumper pull trailer. There is a quiet confidence in the connection of a well weighted fifth wheel trailer and a good truck.


At dawn we hitched up and headed north with no real destination. Perhaps we would stop in Ocala, maybe Gainesville where John went to school or even at Oz in Georgia since we managed such an early start.


Three hours pass and a decision is required. We opt for the obvious and head to Sawmill, well short of even our earliest destination though a favorite gay campground. There is little happening at Sawmill on a Thursday yet it is a quiet place to reconnect with friends we haven’t seen since the last visit.


The next morning finds us on the road early. We plan to limit daily travel to a few hundred miles but today the trip is almost three hundred and delivers us to Oz, a gay campground in central Georgia. Oz is a few miles east of I-75, a vast undulating green field spotted with modular homes, seasonal campers, RV parking spots and a bathhouse near a pool and bar.


Setting up camp in a cold driving rain is no picnic though a warm fireplace, a cold beer and tapping of rain on the roof is a certain comfort. Dark follows dusk leading us to the dance hall which just received a new liquor license.


The place is big and the crowd not so much yet there is smoke enough to choke a smoker. Our new friends wonder why we left the dance hall so quickly. We have gotten used to smoke free places and this one was one big cloud of the stuff. They even offered to open the doors though the doors are small and the place is huge, it wouldn't have helped!


Furthermore, tomorrow is also an early day. There is never a good day for Jake to drag Heath through Atlanta but Sunday is better than most and early is better than later.










Ric Reily is the author of two books, Money Is The Root Of All - Skip The Debt Habit, and Gregory’s Hero; and two blogs, LGBT Opinion In A Gay World and LGBT Personal Finance In A Gay World. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of Stonewall National Museum and Archives serving as Treasurer. His firm CFO On Call provides small business finance and operations consulting. Ric is married to John, his partner of 26 years, and lives in South Florida. You can reach Ric at 

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