11/29/18 Opp, AL

DAY #40

Left the space heater on last night and when I woke this morning (10:30 am-late start), I thought, man it’s hot. Got up and checked the thermostat, it was reading 79 degrees.  I thought, pretty good bet it’s nice outside, turned off the space heater and began to prepare for the day.  After visiting the little boys room (yes, it was nice outside), I decided to start by taking a couple more pictures of the lake.

It really is a quaint little park, Nice amenities, full hookups, and all the while tucked away on the edge of Opp, seemingly far away from the outside world.

The plan for the day was just to putz around.  I started by lubricating the locks on the storage doors,  charged the batteries for the drill, and lined the edges (not finished the best-rough edges) of the trailer storage compartment with duct tape.  Then I played around with what size hitch height to use to bring the trailer more level when towing.  By turning the hitch I currently have around, I gain 2″ of height.  When I went to Camping World in Dothan, I purchased a hitch that would give me a 4″ height increase.  After doing a dry run to see if it would work, I came to the conclusion that the 2″ will work.  I’m still unsure if I can go higher by using the 4.”  I’m going to try the 2″ and see how that works.  One step at a time.

My next project was to hook up the water to the trailer.  the campsite has water and it also has a hookup for  black/grey water at the site, which you don’t see that often.  I thought super, Now I can test the black/grey water as well.  But first, I headed into Opp for lunch at a place called Benton’s.  Play before work, isn’t that how it goes?

Benton’s began in 1957 and is a walk-up (Ala Dairy Queen) restaurant with a small sit-in area.  The google reviews are positive, with more than one reviewer noting how busy they could get.  When I got there there was no cars in the lot and my first thought was maybe their closed.  So often you see a business listed on google map and when you get there, it’s closed.  They were open and I ordered a cheeseburger, fries and chocolate shake.  It was a good all american meal, better than corporate fast food and I felt satisfied about eating at a local place.

After lunch I decided, hey I’m here in town, let’s check it out.  Opp has a population of approx. 6000.

While the downtown area survives, it is in a state of morbid decline.  Unlike other city downtown’s that have been given new life with restaurant and entertainment venues (e.g. Pensacola, FL), Opp remains a “working mans” downtown.  After driving around town, I came away feeling that Opp itself, not just its downtown, is in decline.

This is the major shopping area in Opp.  There are no Walmart or even McDonald’s.  The nearest ones are in Andalusia, about fifteen minutes away.  And the worst of all…NO WAFFLE HOUSE.  If there’s any town where a Waffle House would fit in, it’s here!

I bought some “Cheese Straws” at the IGA.  Kind of like eating a soft cracker with a cheesy taste,  bet you can’t eat just one…

Lots of second hand stores, and dollar stores, and on the other side of town a rent-a-center, all businesses you don’t normally associate with prosperity.  I’m also surprised by all the title loan places I’ve seen and not just in this area.

Opp also has a couple of motels and to be honest, I’m not sure they’re even open.

Saw this building and I had to take a look twice before getting its full meaning.

Not sure of the history of the building but it’s there, you can just see it.  Today it’s being used for recycling.

The housing in the city is typical of the style of homes in this part of the state.  Here are some examples;

Now in all fairness, most of the homes are in better shape than what I’ve shown.  Most are simple, single story homes, some in need of a little TLC. 

Actually, a lot of the homes are nice.

Bonus section with today’s posting.  Opp has a peanut buying business in town and thought it fun to check out.  

Here you can see peanuts in the trailers.  

Those are blowers attached to the trailers which in turn are filled with peanuts.  I think they have to bring the moisture content to a given percentage before shipping.  With all those blowers going, IT IS LOUD.

After checking out the city of Opp, Alabama, I aimlessly cruised around the area for awhile before heading back to the camp.  While driving along, I noticed a lot of helicopters in the area and they looked to be landing so I followed to see if I could find where they were touching down. I found it and it was cool to see four or five helicopters taking off and landing doing training.  the site was like a big field in the middle of nowhere that had asphalt strips (like narrow runways), and a couple of control towers. The sign at the road called it a staging area.   I know that Fort Rucker is in the area, and that’s where army helicopter pilots are taught.  OK, Got my bearings reset and headed back to the campsite.  got back in time to do some touch-up (painting) of the steps but it got too late to do the water.  Oh well, another day, another day.

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