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STOP #253

The middle of this week will mark a total of 44 months since we started traveling fulltime in our Airstream. Astonishingly 9 of those months have been spent in Florida, more than triple what we have spent in our next most visited state of Massachusetts. The only reason we have so much time in Massachusetts is because we waited out 10 weeks of pandemic lockdowns in 2020 from Tricia's families backyards.

Every year that we have been on the road we have rung in the New Year from a Florida State Park. Well all that is about to change! If all goes according to plan, we won't be returning to Florida until New Years of 2025. It's time we travel west and explore all that it has to offer.

Campsite #51 at Paul B. Johnson State Park outside of Hattiesburg, MS.

The lake levels were extremely low while we were here.

Sunrise over Geiger Lake behind our campsite.

Look at that ceramic coating shine!

WEDNESDAY - After a longer than usual (258 miles) travel day on Monday we never even left the campsite on Tuesday. We are using these three days at Paul B. Johnson State Park in Mississippi to just chill out and recover from two weeks of pretty much non-stop social activities during the Canopener Rally.

But the chores and errands won't take care of themselves, so today we have to get out and get some things accomplished.

First up is to go grab some lunch! During our travels on Monday we passed a "new to us" burger chain, Ward's Restuarant. Ward's has 39 locations and they are all located in Central and Southern Mississippi. The parking lot was full (always a good sign) when we arrived and the drive thru was also busy.

Ward's is famous for three things, Chili Covered Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, plus their homemade Root Beer in a chilled mug.

We each ordered one of their Regular Burgers (no chili on top) and we both upgraded to their Sweet Potato Fries. Both of us sampled their Homemade Root Beer and I also added a Chili Dog to my order.

OUR REVIEW OF WARD'S: Maybe we should of ordered a "Big One Burger" because both of our Regular Burger's were cold to the touch like they had been cooked hours ago. The Sweet Potato Fries were good and hot, but not worth the $2.98 upgrade added to the Combo Meal price. The Chili Dog was OK, but not a top shelf hotdog, I would know. It was steamed and left the bun soggy when the Chili Sauce was added. The shining star of the whole meal was the Homemade Root Beer. It had a good, but not too sweet unique taste.

Will we revisit Ward's again when back in Mississippi? Not likely!

Next item on the list to do is to find some reasonably priced gasoline. I'm always looking to save a few cents when purchasing gas, it's our third highest monthly expense, behind camping fees and food.

I always use the Gas Buddy app on my phone when trying to find cheap fuel near us. Today we are in luck! There is a Marathon Station outside of Hattiesburg, MS with gas for just $2.77 when purchasing with a credit card. Most stations in this area are over $3.00, some as high as $3.15. It sure pays to compare!

As an added bonus I just joined the Marathon "Make It Count" Rewards program and as a Welcome Gift they have a $.10 per gallon discount your first 20 gallons of gas, that's $2 in my pocket. I was surprised when I pumped another 14 gallons and recieved the $.10 discount on that purchase too, that's another $1.40 in my pocket. The best thing is I get to charge all this gas on my FNBO Ducks Unlimited VISA card which rewards me with a 5% cash rebate on gasoline.

5% of the $90.79 worth of gas I purchased is $4.54, so I saved a total of $7.94 filling my tank today. It may not sound like much, but consider we fill up once and sometimes twice a week.

Last on the list is groceries. We are leaving this campground tomorrow to go spend 18 days in five different National Forests. Not expecting to be near any real towns or grocery stores we decided to "load up" and spent $232 at Walmart on just groceries. Not to worry, I used my Walmart Pay app, connected to my Walmart Capital One credit card and will receive a 5% cash rebate in the amount of $11.60 at the end of the month.

By the way we used a US BANK credit card that gives us 4% back on dining out to pay for our lunch today. Hey, every little bit helps and it all adds up at the end of the month.

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