Tag Archives: camping

Singing Hills Campground Cave City 6-17-18

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.

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/

Cherokee Rock

After a great fail trying to get to Chief Ladiga campground Captain Jim used freecampsites.net and found Cherokee Rock Campgrounds (Alabama.)  It wasn’t far from where we were and had promising reviews.  Hmmm?

Although we did not encounter anymore Bridge Out signs we did have to endure a quite steep, narrow entrance road to the park.  Once we got to the park our initial impression was quite positive.  It was very clean with almost new pavilion and office.  It was based on the honor system, however the prices did not match with what the website stated.  The website and the envelope stated $10 a night, the sign stated $20.  There were no maps to the campground and we had to just guess where to go.

As we drove through the park we could see tent camping along huge rock outcroppings.  It was obvious this was strictly for tents only.  We headed into the wooded area in search of RV camping.  There were, I repeat, NO road signs!  We ended up on a dead end and a dead end definitely means a dead end, NO TURN AROUND!!!  Captain Jim had to back Betty and Bertha up in a narrow, crooked area.

We were, at this time, then met by the “Campground Host,” which then proceeded to help us back up and find a site.  And they had to do this because NO SITES were MARKED!  They got us into a site not too far from them.  Was it a great site? NO.  It was so unlevel that we had to pull out every leveling tool we could find and warned the Boy, NO Jumping!

I will give it this, it was quiet.  No lights blaring in the window.  Some campers came and went, but we have a feeling they were camping on the sly (coming after dark and leaving before sunrise.)  I will admit we only paid the price that was marked on the envelope as this campground in no way warranted $20 per night price tag.  There was no water, electric, sewer and trash was definitely not in walking distance.

The campground host sounded like he and his wife had been there quite a while.  There were promises of future improvements, but it doesn’t seem like it has made it to the back forty of Cherokee Rock, including cutting the grass (which he said he was going to do the next day.)  Funny thing was Jim said he’s pretty sure he was “cutting grass” just not the kind we wanted cut.  He noticed quite a few “plants” in a tent on their site.  Perhaps this was why the “host” seemed so happy to be there.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad.  The rocks were amazing to walk through and climb on.  They were massive and parts overlooked a beautiful valley.  We were able to get some amazing photos, although we were disappointed that the sunrise did not cooperate with us.  It was quite misleading.

I’m sure there was quite a lot of history there.  It was a shame, however, to see so many of these beautiful wonders of nature defaced by senseless graffiti.  Really people?  Get a grip.  This is not a chalkboard and nobody cares that you were there.

Overall, we feel that this campground was good for tent campers and young people as their sites set next to the valley or rocks, not nestled in the bug infested woods.  We decided this was not a place to where we would back.

Captain Jim gives this place a  2 mostly because of the rocks if it were a day trip (no camping).  If you are a tent camper and young it would get a 4 or 5.  I agree with his conclusion.

Flat Tires and Jonathan Dickinson State Park (Old Post, Never Published!)

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We headed to Jonathan Dickinson State Park via 95 then in Jupiter switched over to the turnpike. Most of this trip was unevenful except that near Titusville we had a flat tire on the camper. I say flat but truthfully it didn’t go flat. The outer tread was stripped completely off the tire, hanging by a thread. Like peeling a banana. Jim says he’s never seen anything like it. Jim remained extremely calm in this situation. Me, I would have been cussing up a storm. Luckily we were able to get two new tires at a nearby Walmart. Jim wants to thank them for providing him with a large jack as we forgot to bring the hydraulic jack. $300 later and we were on our way.
It took a few more hours for us to arrive at Jonathan Dickinson State Park. This was definitely just a stop over spot as it was not a “comfortable” camping area. It was very open, no trees for shade. I’m sure there was things to enjoy further into the park but not at the camp ground. It did however, allow us to rest for the night. The trip to the Keys is a long trip and I would recommend this park if nothing else as a way to break the trip in half.
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Continue reading Flat Tires and Jonathan Dickinson State Park (Old Post, Never Published!)

Campground Nowhere

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.

On the Road Again

Another school year done, another summer to begin.  This year promises to be quite interesting as we are changing things up a bit.  Normally, Capt. Jim prefers to make reservations for the whole summer.  This year we are “winging it.”  NO RESERVATIONS!  We plan on heading north, northish.  (Originally we were to go to Colorado but alas, that will have to wait another year.)

Our first stop on our plan with no plan, should be the Panhandle.  One of our dear former students just had his high school graduation near the Florida Caverns.  Unfortunately, due to some important appointments and lagging behind on prepping “Betty” and “Bertha,”  we missed the graduation.  However, the idea of camping near the Caverns seemed appealing.  Our hopes are to meander around finding campsites (or boondocking sites) near caverns or places like that.  We went last year to Linnville Caverns in North Carolina.  That was really cool!  For information about Linnville Caverns visit their website:   http://www.linvillecaverns.com/   

The ultimate stop will be Mammoth Caves if we can make it there.  I went as a child and remember being awed by the immensity and beauty.  Here’s hoping weather and roads are kind to us  as I am excited about the prospect

For information about Mammoth Caves visit their site at: https://www.nps.gov/maca/index.htm

We really cleaned up Betty (our RV) including polishing it with Zep floor polish.   Yes, floor polish!  Capt. Jim saw how to do it on YouTube and wow did it work.  I even used in on the wood floors in the camper.  Betty is so happy!

This will be our first trip with Bertha (last name Big Butt as she is a big ol’ diesel.)  Capt. Jim has done many upgrades to her as well and we are anxious to see how well she does.  The Ford did her job well, but it was time for Bertha to move in and take over.

We are also doing something new with Little Man.  He is going into fifth grade next school year and we don’t want him to get too bored during the summer vacation so we signed him up to take keyboarding through Florida Virtual.  He’s already started and doing well.  The best thing we can do as parents is to keep him engaged in a routine and to introduce him to many experiences that only travel can provide.

To do Little Man’s class online we needed to get a WiFi hotspot.  I went with Verizon’s Jetpack.  This should also allow me to do a better job of blogging.  Hopefully!  So, follow us again this summer as we once again say, “Always an Adventure!”

Sadler State Park South Carolina June 4th 2017

Sadler State Park turned out to be quite a gem, 395 Acres of beautiful forests on a peninsula of Lake Hartwell (56,000 acres).  We stayed on Loop #1, site # 1, a pull through that abutts up to the water.

After quickly setting up, little man and I took a walk down to the beach area. He and I, loaded with our cameras, partook in a few photography lessons. I talked to him about composition and foreground and background. He caught on quickly; took a few of his own shots on his Kodak camera his dad had given him and then took off to run the beach. Lessons over, I took many beautiful landscape shots of the lake and its shores. I practiced what I learned in the book Perfect Exposure (I’ll edit with the authors name later.) Using the sand as my midtones, I got perfect shots. Can’t wait to see them on my Surface.

When we checked into the campground little man decided, for some odd reason, that he was afraid to fall in the water! He didn’t want to stay at the site we had chosen. Of course, we didn’t listen to him and number one it was. After seeing how shallow the water was at the shore he decided it was quite safe to play knee-deep for several hours.

We had a lovely evening and slept very well. The next morning, little man earned his level 1 Junior Ranger badge. We had a nice chat with Ranger Austin who suggested we come in the fall. I do believe our Thanksgiving week plans have been made.