I have decided to change my format of my blogs. Keeping it simple. One photo, a tid-bit of information and a personal connection. Nothing more, nothing less.
Willie Nelson sings that “If you don’t like this rainy weather you better pack your bags and move.”
The wind howls and screams past our little home, rocking her uncomfortably. Rain and hail pelt the windows as we wonder at the difficulty of packing up and leaving during a crazy prairie storm.
Limon KOA is located on the Colorado’s High Plains. A beautiful, clean and quiet park, 90 minutes from Denver and Colorado Springs along I-70. We stopped there on our way from Kansas. They provide a playground, bike rentals and swimming pool (seasonal). Many of these things were being worked on or were closed due to Covid-19. Pets are welcome. Sites are pull-Thru RV sites, a little close but easy access. The store has some RV supplies, groceries and gifts. Our most memorable moments? JackaLopes. We had Kaelin believing jackalopes were real. https://koa.com/campgrounds/limon/
This photo, taken at the beginning of our Summer 2020 adventures, represents how I feel right now. Sad to be no longer traveling in our little home. Sad to be back in the oppressive heat of Florida. Sad and watchful of how things are in our world today and scared of the upcoming storms.
Planning for a normal camping trip can be daunting. Planning for a two month adventure is beyond intimidating. So many things to do.
Months before a trip, Capt’n Jim will haul out the navigational charts (Google Earth and Allstays) and plan our destination. This takes hours and days, months even, of careful contemplation. Virtual field trips help kindle the fires. It was to be the Michigan shores of the great lakes this year. That is until covid 19 put a halt to those plans and almost to the summer. After much watchful consideration we decided to veer westward again, back to previously charted waters, Colorado.
The creation of list become a daily habit. Jim writes his on small pieces of paper or on the back of personal business cards created with him in mind. He writes , scratches off and adds more until departure day. His lists keeps him motivated and organized. My list takes place on excel. I have created a comprehensive checklist that covers everything from inside to outside. We even have a take-down and set-up list. Since we are gone for an extensive bit of time I have included a checklist for leaving the house. My list were combinations of list found online and tweaked for our type of camping and camper.
Making lists is an essential part of trip planning. I cannot stress enough to find your way of list making, whether it be on post-its or computer. Life will be much easier. There is such a sense of accomplisment when something is marked off as done! And, that being said, make sure you follow the list. We skipped that step a few times and regretted it, but that’s for another post.
Think about your trip, plan it out. Don’t just wing it. Have steps in place and allow for times that you can wing it. Even that is part of the plan. Know a basic direction you want to go. If you veer from that plan because, hey, there’s Cadillac Ranch or a cool yarn shop, it’s okay! Just get back on the path and enjoy the journey.
We used Passport America to find a campground near Mammoth Caves in Cave City, Ky. Singing Hills Campground http://www.singinghillsrvpark.com/ was fairly nice campground very near the many touristy attractions in the area. We were surprised at how many there were. However, we were there for the caves!
Singing Hills is run by a very nice couple. The wife, Beth Brown, we discovered was a retired teacher. We ended up chatting with her for quite some time as we cooled off from our excursions. She told me about a children’s book series, “Mrs. Piggle Wiggle” perfect for my first graders and introduced herself as the author of her own book, “Parenting is Rocket Science.” Listening to her stories about meeting Mr. Brown and raising their family were definitely uplifting. https://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Is-Rocket-Science/dp/0929540093
The campground sites are clean, but too close for Captain Jim and my comfort and very little shade. Shade was much needed as it was hot as Hades or the according to Jim, “the 4th level of Dante’s inferno!” We spent very little time outside; it just wasn’t possible.
We stayed 3 nights, but only because it was cheap (with the Passport America discount) and we would be going to the caves. It would have been too much trouble to find another campground.
Kaelin was happy with that decision because he could ride his bike and he even met a little boy he played with for short while. He also enjoyed that Mrs. Beth allowed him to take a couple of books with him. He’s now a fan of the “Warriors” book series.
I give Singing Hills a 3.5 rating. They really need some shade and cutting the grass would have been helpful. Also sites too close. I hate to give it such a low rating as the Brown’s are lovely people. Perhaps the cooler months?
Captain Jim would only give it a 3. He was not happy with not being able to hang out in the great outdoors. Of course, the heat was not the campground’s fault, but shade would have really helped that issue.
Our stop in Midland, Georgia was precipitated by the use of Passport America. We had a mostly pleasant drive (except Columbus) through quiet State highways. We decided to stop at Lake Pines RV and Campground for some much-needed rest. The campground overall is very pleasant. It is fairly clean, however the sites are very close together. We were in sight 15 a corner site in the back of the campground. We found this much to our liking as there was very little traffic and the corner allowed us some privacy.
Due to the privacy and the temperate mornings we decided to stay more than one night. On our second day the temperatures were so comfortable we decided to cook out all day making our famous roast potatoes and carrots in the Dutch oven over a fire. Captain Jim got out the Panda and proceeded to do laundry in our little bathroom while we cooked the roast. He really enjoys using his Little Panda. All was going well until late in the evening when we decided to go for a swim and to dry clothes. Kaelin and I settled at the pool and Jim brought wet clothes to put in the dryer only to find out the dryers weren’t working. A woman swimming in the pool offered advice in going to a local laundromat. Captain Jim loaded up Bertha and headed towards said laundromat. The laundromat was clean and got the laundry done. Unfortunately, this and some very rude people at the laundromat did put a damper on the evening, but that’s life. Overall, the campground was okay.
I give the campground a 3.5. I could have done better if it had kept up with the laundromat, cleaned the pool better and wasn’t so close in space. It’s more of a city RV park rather than country.
Captain Jim agrees with my assessment. He did like site 15.
Last night we stopped at a county park campground in Bastom, Alabama, called Neal’s Landing. This campground was an unmarked almost free campground. We found it on the site https://freecampsites.net/. We had to use their directions because Google tried to take us somewhere else. That somewhere was an exercise in determination and patience for Capt. Jim as he had to turn the camper around in a tight space. He did well!
Neal’s Landing was very pretty with tall pines throughout, surrounded by a thick wooded wildlife management area. We chose a site next to the river although we could not get to the river from our site due to a steep embankment. There was a boat ramp further up. We chose not to put the canoe in as the river was fast moving. Kaelin had fun running through the campground. It would have been perfect for his trike however, a flat tire flattened those plans.
We had many sites to choose from as there was only the campground host as a neighbor. Quite empty. Although it was very pretty and cost us a whopping $5, we stayed only the one night. The biggest drawback, besides the relentless bugs, was NO WATER. Anywhere! This is truly some boondocking!! We did enjoy a very quiet, dark nights sleep.
This campground could be such a gem with a little more management. Add even just water spigots and you might increase the camper population.
I give it a 3 star rating for cleanliness, quiet and layout.
Captain Jim gives it a 4 star rating for it’s boondocking mystique.
Gordonia State Park was hard to find due to poor signage. We almost missed it. There was a separate entrance that we happened on while heading to Walmart. We followed the GPS even though the sign on the road said “Dead End.” It wasn’t a Dead End. Go figure.
It has a lot to offer; golf course, splash pad, lake, canoe rental. The sites were clean although oddly set up. Gnats were absolutely relentless, so be aware you might decide to stay in your camper.
The office was at the golf course club house, however that too was not clearly marked. We had to guess (although correctly) that was where we were to sign in. And there was no RV turn around. It was very difficult on Captain Jim to have to flip flop the camper and avoid golf carts. So if, dear readers, you choose to go here please note that it’s a kinda hunt and peck situation.
Lil Man probably would say that the splash pad was the best part of the park. I got some terrific shots there. We didn’t stay long though, because it wasn’t very parent friendly. There were lots of kids, but only so many hot, metal benches for parents to sit on and not efficient shading.
All in all, probably wouldn’t go back to camp there, however, I could see where it’s a good day park to visit.
Father’s day brunch. Haven’t eaten yet but what an interesting place. Ecletic decor in what appears to be an 1800s building. Playing 60s music at a nice conversational friendly volume. LP album covers adorn the wall above original dark wood paneling. The waitresses are very friendly. If the food (breakfast all day on Sunday) is as good as the rest we are in for a nice treat. Attached are other shops and a salon
; Perhaps we will pick up a few New Hampshire souvenirs on this rainy day.
Addendum: the food was stupendous, more than adequate to quench our hunger. We even left with a loaf of homemade black olive bread and peach amaretto jam.
So we are in this little town of Conway, NH, having a refreshing ice-cream break. A steady stream of bikers rumble by. It’s New Hampshire’s version of bike week. For such a small town it is quite busy and a little noisy.
But, hey, the ice-cream is delicious!