Tag Archives: campgrounds

Plan, Prep, (pray)

We have planned. We have prepped. We now pray. And this being spring and summer of 2020 we do a lot of praying. It’s inevitable. Something will happen, it’s going to and nothing you do stops it. When the Coronovirus hit we prayed majorally. We prayed, like everyone else, for it to be some big mistake. Then school was cancelled. Being teachers we went into panic mode – they were going to cancel our summer! The very thing we looked forward to the rest of the ten months of the year. When one state after another shut down, we prayed they wouldn’t cancel our reservations in Michigan. They did. We heard that campgrounds across the nation were closed and it didn’t look like an end was in sight. We prayed for an alternative. Our prayer was finally answered in the form of Riverview Campground in Loveland, Colorado. Being a private campground they were able to open sooner than the state and national parks. Hallelujah! We were on our way.

Then the praying was kind of superficial. You pray for what you might have forgotten to pack. It can’t be helped, you will forget something. Usually, we forget something important. Our classic was when we forgot to pack coffee and the coffee pot into the Chrylser, our sailboat. You don’t just run over to the local Wal-mart from a sailboat! Coffee is Important!! That has never been forgotten by either of us and serves as a reminder every year to check twice. This year we did very well, primarily because our planning and prepping paid off. We only forgot a drill and our new “We’ve Camped There” stick on map. Livable mistakes. Make a list people; can’t stress it enough.

You pray for good weather and safe roads. We really had both this year, so far. For the most part, we have managed to steer clear of any real major rain. We had lots of wind in Kansas and one crazy storm in Limon, Colorado. Even the other day, coming back from seeing the Pawnee National Grasslands Buttes (which are amazing) we managaed to skirt around a really bad storm system. We could see it off in the distance, always keeping to the right of us. It made for some impressive skies. I don’t know why Capt’n Jim didn’t want to constantly stop for me to take pictures.

Crazy wind and rain at the Limon, Colorado KOA. Almost as bad as Kansas wind.

You pray that your travels are uneventful. Well the laugh is on you. Something always happens. Last year it was our wheel bearings seizing up on Betty Deux. We had to leave her at a rest stop overnight and Jim had to take off work to fix her just enough to get her home. The whole ordeal was awful! New axles, bearings and tires later…

This trip was no different. “Oh darn, I don’t think we turned off the water pump.” “It will be alright until we get to our stop.” No, I don’t think so. Several hours later, we stopped to get gas and turning the corner Jim saw water pouring from the camper. Water pump no problem, until something bumps against the kitchen faucet and turns the water on into the covered sink. 40 gallons of water throughout the camper. We spent the next several days soaking up as much water as possible. At one point, Jim even had to suck water out of the heater vents. As far as we can tell we got it all. Pray? Praying no further damage shows up later down the road because we didn’t follow our checklist. Of course, now it’s a joke every time we pack up and leave. “Is the water pump off?”

40 Gallons of water all over Betty’s floor, under the slides, cabinets, bedroom carpeting and even down in the floor vents.

Yes, you pray. We pray that we are making a safe choice this year due to Covid. But we are taking our precautions. We wear the dreaded mask any time we are in public. We keep our distance. Hand sanitizer is our new go to after store trips and yes we follow the arrows! Well, most of the time.

We have seen many people, for example in Missouri, not follow guidelines and it’s very disconcerting. Colorado, however, has been great. Very few people don’t follow the mandated protocol. Very few. We are outdoors, in some of the freshest air we have smelled. (Well, maybe except for Greeley, Colorado. But, that’s for another story.) It’s beautiful here and so worth it. Yes, we pray for our health, but knowing that we have partaked of the great outdoors of the Rocky Mountains and it’s surrounding area, I think we are good.

The Immensity of it All! Rocky Mountain National Park

(Plan) Prep Pray

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.

 

Cadillac Ranch

Little River Campground

Just outside of Ft. Payne, Alabama lies a quiet and most pleasing campground.  We found Little River Canyon Campground on the Passport America app.  We had driven quite a ways and was ready for a break.

The campground wasn’t hard to find and was fairly close to Ft. Payne, which made day trips to town easy.  Hardest part was some 6% grades downhill with some sharp curves.

We were fortunately met by the owner when we pulled up.  Normally it is pay by honor system, but she was there helping someone else.  Jim spoke to her telling her we wanted to use Passport America.  She made him a deal he couldn’t refuse.  We ended up getting a full week for $150 which broke down to approximately $21 a night (cheaper than Passport deal.)

We were so glad.  This campground could be the model for all campgrounds.  It was clean, had level sites, quiet and well maintained with beautiful landscaping all around.   Some of the sites even had tomato plants.  Others had daylillies, rock walls and lots of wildlife (frogs, lightening bugs). The sites were well spaced out and my favorite no blaring lights at night.  I didn’t have to Bat Cave it (towels pinned to the windows).  There was a pretty pond complete with ducks near the Back Forty.  It does look like they are expanding further and we wish them luck on their continued endeavors.

There were many activities nearby that we ventured on but one of the most important was…..laundry!  Being a camper can mean wearing outfits a few times in a row and Yuck!  Their laundry was small, but clean and inexpensive.  We were able to get it done and not have to endure a “commercial laundromat.”

Another plus was their WiFi, which was included.  This was important as Kaelin is doing an online class this summer.  Their signal was strong and took the worry off us.  He was able to get a lot done.

Tim and Janet are a hardworking couple that apparently have day jobs, but that doesn’t stop them from updating the campground weekly.  We admire what they have done with this little gem.

We went for the night and stayed the week and we’d do it all over again.  This campground is a must visit!

We give this campground a resounding 5 stars.  Again, we wish more would follow their formula.

http://littleriverrvpark.com/

On the Way to DC

Well the traveling Wallaby’s are heading to DC. We left yesterday and had a fairly good trip. We came to some slowdowns due to accidents so we decided to stop at The Comfort Inn Campground in St. George, South Carolina. Yes, a campground located at a hotel. It was okay for a one night stop over. Nothing to write home about except the warm pool. It was very nice to swim in a fairly clean and definitely warm pool after a long drive across several states.
Getting off early in the morning we headed back out and are now staying at the South Forty Campground in Petersburg, Va. This is a pretty campground with a much larger and cleaner pool. Again it was wonderful swimming after a long day in the truck, especially since we were rather sweaty. We have decided this is a must for traveling. The nearby restaurant, Nino’s Italian, though is a pass by as it was not that good. We use an app called AllStays and it is great for finding the nearest campgrounds, rest stops, truck plazas and our favorite, Walmarts that allow overnight stays. Highly recommend it!
Since most of what we are doing is traveling I don’t have much to talk about except to report that the first of the premade breakfasts we tried were pretty good. (I spent a whole day cooking and freezing to-go breakfasts for the trip.) The breakfast burritos were a hit with me and Jim, not so much for Kaelin. Tomorrow we will try the Cheesy Egg Puffs.
The other thing that made the trip good so far is a game we made up. We each pick something to find and whomever sees it first gets 5 points. Once a person gets 20 points they get to pick the next thing. When I couldn’t record our initial anymore that item was scratched off. We had things like alligators, dogs, license plate numbers that spelled actual words and many other fun things. Did you know green is not a popular car color? It really helped pass the time.
Tomorrow we only have about 3 hours to get to our final destination: Cherry Hill Campground. So excited!