A lengthy stop in Opp

Opp, Alabama. Does that lady look like she is balancing eyeballs?

Opp, Alabama is iconic small town America. It’s the kind of place that is struggling to keep a two-block, downtown, main street in business. There are some offices, some retail, and several barbers, all of which have outside, red, white and blue poles, reminding me of Floyd from Mayberry’s shop. It’s the kind of place in which a Winn-Dixie supermarket could not survive, but the Grocery Outlet is booming, and with good reason. The prices are shockingly low. It is the kind of place where you can get discount tobacco and a cash advance or a payday loan to tide you over. Opp is not opp-ulent, nor does it pretend to be. It is a place where every day living is simple. It is a place that I will call home for the next two weeks. I plan to enjoy the small town vibe, the Southern hospitality, and a platter or two from Hook’s Bar-B-Q joint.

Gypsy is fraying her collar, her leash and my nerve endings. She is not learning the art of heeling, or loose-leash walking. I Googled ‘pet supplies near me’ and was directed to the Opp Co-op. I trekked 2.5 miles from our campground, and found the building. After the tricky walk, which included cutting through parking lots on Florala Highway, I discovered that the co-op did not have collars or leashes, only kibble. I asked if they carried Royal Canin Labrador Puppy Food, and was told “You’re not going to find anything like that in Opp.”

Opp’s mural says it is the City of Opportunity. Apparently there is plenty of opportunity to open up a pet supply shop, perhaps in one of the vacant downtown stores?

On the outskirts of Opp is Frank Jackson State Park. It was built in 1970 on Lake Jackson, and although it shows its age, the nature trails are beautifully maintained by a volunteer group who call themselves the Trail Masters. The lake is picturesque, and dotted with die-hard fishermen who are willing to face the winter weather in order to snag a few Black Crappie, Bluegill or Channel Catfish.

There are only 30 campsites in the park, but 23 of them are large, private, and directly on the lake. All sites have full hook ups and cable TV. I don’t camp to watch TV, but on cold, rainy, blustery days I am grateful to have the option.

The Honeysuckle Trail crosses a bridge that takes you to Memorial Island, a small isle in the middle of the lake. I have noted, in past posts, that Florida is for the birds. Well, Memorial Island is for the bird houses. I’m sure there is a story behind the strange number of manmade homes for our feathered friends, I just don’t know what it is.

I love having the lake right outside the door. The views are amazing from Big Bertha’s numerous windows. I would love to be outside, but a cold front is blowing through, and even in Southern Alabama, we are expecting temperatures in the 20’s the next couple of nights. I am sure that in the next two weeks we will have ample opportunity to sit at a campfire by the lake.

Undoubtedly, you’ll all be relieved to hear that we managed to retrieve MOST of the kitchen utensils, and to (at least temporarily) repair the drawer with screws and gorilla tape. Necessity is the mother of invention.

However, this morning the Dometic 7600 vacuum toilet did not flush. No whoosh. No vacuum sound. No flushing. Gross. We read the troubleshooting instructions, replaced a fuse, said a prayer, then called the RV manufacturer. They told us to take it to a repair shop. Right. An RV repair shop in Opp? We called RV Urgent Care, a mobile repair service. A very knowledgeable and helpful Billy Harris was able to assist us but would not be able to get here until Sunday. Billy was in Florida, repairing RVs. If you are an RV tech, you are NEVER without work. Billy, did, however, give us a few pointers to consider in the meantime. Because I had no plans of running to the bathhouse in frigid temperatures if nature called in the middle of the night, I was sorting through my plastic bowls to see if one would be suitable for use as a chamber pot. When, Eureka! My hubby discovered that he had not initially replaced the correct fuse. He (and Billy) are now my heroes, and my Tupperware is safe to use for its intended purposes.

Going to get cold tonight. Stay safe and warm if you are facing the impending Nor’easter.

I’ll let you know how Hooks Bar-B-Q is. Stay tuned.

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