Ending 2020 On The Road

I've been really lucky in 2020 - have managed to avoid COVID-19, my family has stayed safe and healthy, and we've all remained employed. Grateful would be an understatement.

As part of our year-end festivities, I was able to recruit my oldest son (currently 4 years old) to be my partner as we collected the rest of the north Alabama counties and grabbed a few in Mississippi as well.

Collecting with a Partner

County collecting for me - barring a few day trips - has been a solitary affair. Things just hadn't worked out to have family or friends along for the ride. As part of Christmas, we got my son a sleeping bag and told him to get ready for a car camping adventure - he was elated!

Since this was his first overnight county collecting journey, there were a lot of unknowns. How would car camping logistics work? Can we successfully socially distance? Would things be less fun since we can't do as many museums or tourist-focused attractions?

We were about to find out!

The Route

Like I advise, we had a general route that we wanted to follow: drive south to Decatur, AL, make our way across to Mississippi, loop around and finish in Florence, AL before driving back to Nashville.

We didn't have any set timeline for when we hit all the counties, so there was no pressure to hustle. We were game for any diversion or fun aside - of which we found many!

Kicking Things Off

We got a late start on Day 1 and didn't get on the road until 1PM! With Decatur being about 1.5hrs south of our starting point, we made tracks to get in what we could before camping out.

Morgan County (Decatur)

Lawrence County (Moulton)

Franklin County (Russellville)

With our 2 playground stops knocked out, we had just enough time and some off-roading at Little Bear Dam.

The only thing left to do was head to Fulton, MS and find a place to get out the sleeping bags and car camp for the night.

Completing the Loop

Day 2, we were up with the sun - starting with Fulton. By breakfast we had seen Tupelo, MS. By mid-morning we had added the rest of the Mississippi county seats of Booneville, Corinth, and Iuka...

...including the old county seat of Tishomingo County, Jacinto!

It was quite the change to have to hunt for local playgrounds and pack twice as much food and drink (4 year olds just need their chocolate milk!) in the cooler, but the extra walking and running made the post-trip recovery much easier.

After making such good time, we ate lunch on the Tennessee River in McFarland Park in Florence, AL.

All-in, we covered close to 700 miles - time for an oil change!