Category Archives: Trips

Guess It Is Time For An Update!

We are on vacation!  I know that sounds strange when you consider that we live full time in an RV.  But Disney and Universal have us on black out until August so we decided to put the rig in storage and travel North for a couple of months and free load off the family 🙂

That lasted almost a month!  So bored and out of it.  Daisy and I borrowed the pickup truck from out Son-in-law and the popup from our Son and headed to NJ for a couple of weeks.  We are staying at Chestnut Lake.

Campground is ok.  I was concerned about all the trash around the dumpsters.  They were finally emptied on Friday, just before the next rush.  We have a nice site, in the trees and it is cooler than in the open fields.  Since we are using a popup we only need electric and water.

Pool area is nice and so is the lounge. Staff have been friendly as are the campers that we have met.  There are no activities that we know of.

The campground itself is North of Atlantic City about 10 miles I would guess.

VA called this week, they wanted me to come in for some testing.  Told them we were on vacation and would have to reschedule.

 

Well time to do the laundry and check out the pool.  Have a great weekend.

Harry Potter!

Not much has been happening this Winter.  Christmas was spent with our friends from the military (Sandy and Ron).  News Years is being spent with Ann and Dennis from Maryland.

We also spent a day with JoAnn and Jim traveling around the Disney hotels.  Kind of neat having some ‘experts’ available that know their way around the Disney properties.  Thanks guys.

Here are some pictures of our Christmas:1 - Christmas Tree 1 - Daisy Decorated the Rig 1 - Ginger Bread House 1 - Gingerbread HouseAnn and Dennis came down from Maryland for the Christmas week.  Part of the time they stayed with us and the four of us went to Universal Studios and Harry Potter World.  Daisy wasn’t into Harry Potter but she did it for me 🙂  We have 3 day tickets and you need more than that to see all of the two parks.

Here are some pictures of the visit.

2 - Harry Potter Bank 2 - Harry Potter Bus 2 - Harry Potter Dragon 2 - Harry Potter Elder Wand 2 - Harry Potter Express 2 - Harry Potter Wand Interactive 2 - Macy Character 2 - Macy Parade Float 2 2 - Macy Parade Float 2 - Macy Parade Snow Man 2 - Macy Rockets 2 - Universal Christmas Tree 2 - Wheslies

 

Dickens RV Park, Moncure, NC

We are in NC to visit the grand daughter and our first great grand child. The campground is Dickens RV in Moncure, NC. Talk about in the boon docks. My Verizon signal is 1 bar at 1X.
Now, the people at the campground are really nice, the facilities are fairly new. What facilities they have. There is one building which houses the laundromat, bath house, game room. That is it, no store, no office. This used to be a field that they have made into a campground. Pretty level sites, 50 amp service, all full hookup. Passport America rate is $20 a night. Basically from what I have heard it is mainly here for the electric plant and other businesses near by. A truly no frills campground. They do offer free WIFI. No fire-pits, no tables, no grills.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is a nice place. Quite, clean and very economical. But definitely not your normal commercial campground. Would I stay here again? Yes. It serves it purpose. I have a good Satellite signal, their WIFI is OK, it is clean and appears to be safe and it is cheap.

Williamsburg, VA… need more than a week

We arrived in Williamsburg, VA.  We have been here several times before and have seen most of the sights over the years.  But this is one area where you need to plan more than a week to see just the major attractions.  This area has four major themes.  First, is naturally, Williamsburg.  This is the old city pre civil war.  Included in this attraction I also include trips to the outlaying plantations.  Several days will be required to see it all.  In fact, you could spend a week there all by itself.  The old city has many different attractions.  Start with a visit to the Visitor Center, to learn the background and history.  Also pickup the guides and schedule.  Then take the bus to Williamsburg.  Williamsburg is a walk through historical district with many rebuilt homes, building and settings from its past.

Many of the areas within Williamsburg have reenactments that vary during the week and by seasons.  There are many different shops and restaurants as well. Kids will enjoy the Revolutionary War Boot Camp.  The whole family should take a guided tour by horse and buggy around Williamsburg.  The excitement does end at dusk either.  Plays, dancing and more reenactment happen after dark.

From Williamsburg you can take Colonial Drive either East or West.  West will take you to Jamestown Settlement and back further in time.  Jamestown has a great setup of the early days of the founding of our country.  The first settlement in this area as well as how the Indians lived prior to the settlers arrival.  This is an indoor and outdoor attraction and will take a good part of the day to complete.

Heading East takes you forward in time to Yorktown and the Navel attractions.  Yorktown is both the old and the new.  Starting with the Revolutionary War to present day US Navy.   Yorktown has several great attractions to visit.  Some of which are Yorktown Battlefield, Colonial National Historical Park, Victory Center and the Colonial Drive.

You are going to have to eat while here so here are two places to add to the list.  First is Peking Restaurant.  This is a Chinese Buffet and you will not be disappointed.  Second is Captain Georges Seafood Buffet, This has been a favorite for years.  Although the prices have  gone up ($36 a person), you will not regret a visit here.  Sunday from 1-4 PM is early bird special only $27 per person.

I hope you take some time to come visit this wonder area.  It will be worth the time.

 

Life is slowing down…

Well we moved from PA Dutch Country to Hershey Thousand Trails until Oct 21.  Then we will be on the road again heading south to FL.  Going to be a slow trip.  Won’t make it to FL until beginning of Jan 2015.

While at Hershey, I hope to get some of the little maintenance things done.  Need to replace the springs on the levelers and the awning material.  After that the only open issue is the air horn.  Tried looking into it the other day and can’t seem to figure out what is wrong.  May have to call my son-in-law for some help.  Once he fixes it will take him to Shady Maple for dinner.  Have to keep him willing to work on the rig as much as possible.

Been on the road now for 3 months and still haven’t pulled out the guitar.  So today is the day.  I have the books and stuff, just have to make time.  Will post a picture to prove I did it.  It is a nice guitar.  Thank you Dr Gerry!  I promise to get a picture to you soon.

Hershey Thousand Trails is a nice park.  They are wired for 50 Amps on most sites.  However, only one section is free (for 50 amp service), the others you have to pay for 50 amps if you want to use it.  We are in the H section and have SATELLITE!!!!  Been over a month since I have been able to watch satellite TV.  Our site is pretty level and gravel covered.  Even at the end of the season, they have quite a few events scheduled, which is nice.

Until we move again, not much is going on.  Have camped in this area for so long we have seen most of the sights.  Friday we will go to Green Dragon Flea Market, Tuesday we go to Rices.

Daisy’s Birthday is coming up so we will be going to Shady Maple for dinner and then on Saturday will get with the kids.  She celebrates her 10th anniversary of turning 50!

Oh, I am now a Certified RV Inspector.  I will be writing more about that in the coming weeks.  Hoping to get the advance class done while in FL.  Will be putting up an new website for the RV Inspection stuff as well.  Hope to write some articles to help people understand their rigs that they might be buying as well as promote the RV inspection business.

Well, that is it for now.  Sign up for notifications when new articles are posted.  The newsletter will be coming out soon as well.

BTW, if you have an RV or camping related business, I am looking for advertisers.  Send me an email or IM me on Facebook.

 

Back in the arms of Thousand Trails

We are back in Thousand Trails network and camping basically free ($3.50 a night). Arrived at Horseshoe Lakes in Clinton, IN on Thursday. Sitting in the B sections where we were just a couple of months ago. Rain followed us from out West so last night was stormy. Today was a great day. Highs in the mid 70’s, sunshine and a nice breeze.

We are suppose to be here for a week, but, Daisy and I were talking about leaving early and cutting the stays shorter so we can spend some more time in PA before heading South to FL. Will discuss it more tonight.

You can tell the kids are back in school. Hardly anyone here except the full-timers and retired folks. Went to the Coffee Social yesterday and the Adult Social last night. Would be nice to have some of these folks travel with us. Hopefully, as we travel we will get to meet some more travelers.

Posted on Facebook that I was looking for a few good RV Techs to travel with us, it got a lot of laughs.

Well, since I have reviewed this campground before and we hit the major hot spots last time here, there isn’t much to review. If we find anything during our wanderings, I will be sure to let you know.

R&R Campground Review

R&R Campground is located in Mitchell, SD right off the Interstate.  Finding it with GPS is a little difficult but if you keep your eyes open it is not a problem.

All sites are pull through and have plenty of room to get around.  The sites are fairly level and our gravel based.  Some of the sites have southern exposure, but the campground has cable TV (free).  R&R is close to shopping and has some pretty good places to eat.

Entertainment at the campground is null as are any activities.  This seems to be a transient campground with short stays.

Staff was friendly and helpful.  Rates are reasonable and the campground clean and well maintained.  This is a public campground and not part of Thousand Trails, RPI, Enjoy America etc.  They do offer discounts for Good Sam and Passport America.

Tuesday and four more attactions visited

This is our second trip out from the campground to visit some of the attractions in the Rapid City area.  On Tuesday we managed to visit Needles Highway, Mt Rushmore, Black Hills and Chief Crazy Horse.

Let me say that one week here is not enough to see and really enjoy everything.  We started off the day by going back towards Custer State Park to finish up with Needles Highway, which was a fantastic drive.  This trip took us through 3 great stone tunnels, past rock spires, along some pretty narrow roadways and into some of the most beautiful overlooks I have ever seen.  It was literally a different and magnificent view around every corner.

Here is what we saw while eating lunch
Here is what we saw while eating lunch
Beautiful views
Beautiful views
Daisy in front of the tunnel.
Daisy in front of the tunnel.

After leaving Needles Highway we headed to Crazy Horse Monument.  This is a work in progress since 1948. The original artist has passed away and his kids are taking up the challenge.  No date has been set for completion.  They are currently working on the horses head.

Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse
Model of what the completed monument will look like.
Model of what the completed monument will look like.

While at the Crazy Horse exhibit, they had a live demonstration and talk about Indian folklore.

Indian Demonstration and Dance
Indian Demonstration and Dance

Our last stop for the day was Mt Rushmore.  I found that the information was more interesting than then actual monument.   Having visited both Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore on the same day was quite an experience.  Mt. Rushmore is actually quite a bit smaller than Crazy Horse.  All four heads would fit in the headdress of Crazy Horse.  Mt Rushmore only took 14 years to carve and originally only had three heads.  Teddy was added last.

Entering Mt. Rushmore
Entering Mt. Rushmore
Shirley, Daisy and I at Mt. Rushmore.
Shirley, Daisy and I at Mt. Rushmore.

 

What do bears and Custer have in common?

There is so much to see and do in Rapid City that on Monday we decided to try and get in at least 2 destinations per trip.  So our first day of sightseeing we did 3!

There is so much to do here that a week will not be enough.  But to make the most of it, we started with a visit to Bear Country USA.

Bear Country USA
Bear Country USA

This is a drive through park that takes about 45 minutes.  Within the park are deer, bear, wolves, cougars, goats and a smaller walk through area where you will find the infants born at the park and some of the smaller animals like fox.

Artic Wolf
Artic Wolf
Cougars
Cougars
Bear Cubs
Bear Cubs

Leaving Bear Country we headed towards Custer State Park.  Along the way we stopped and had lunch in a neat little town called Keystone.  All the buildings in this town are fashioned after the old west.  A population of 327 and they all must work in the  tourist industry.  I do want to go back here for the 1880 train ride, if time permits.

Custer State Park has BUFFALO!

Our trip continued with a drive through Custer State Park.  I don’t have a lot to say about the park other than it would be a great place to live.  The views from different parts of the park were outstanding.

I have selected a few pictures to show some of the activities at the park.

Mt Rushmore from Custer State Park
Mt Rushmore from Custer State Park
Rock Formations
Rock Formations
More rock formations
More rock formations
Another view of Mt Rushmore.
Another view of Mt Rushmore.
Deer
Deer
This poor buffalo must have a headache
This poor buffalo must have a headache
Within 10 feet of the car
Within 10 feet of the car
Herd of buffalo
Herd of buffalo
This is what happens when you feed the animals.
This is what happens when you feed the animals.

 

Thoughts on our travels

I was looking over what has been written about our travels and thought I would expand on it some more. We left Denver, PA on July 7th and headed West.  We are traveling about 200-300 miles per trip and staying from 3-7 days per location.

Most of our stays are at private club campgrounds (Thousand Trails).  However, once we hit the mid west everything changes as Thousand Trails does not have any campgrounds west of Mississippi until you get to the West Coast area.

Our stays have all been great (other than the breakdown).  We have seen a lot of the country side, taken day trips around each campground and tried different things.

Highlights so far have to be the County Fair in IL, Air Force Museum in OH and a toss up between Vinegar Pie and Sweet Cream Pie in IN.  Mall of America in MN was ok and a definite bucket list to visit once.

South Dakota is a huge state to travel across.  We stayed in Sioux Falls area for 3 days.  KOA in Sioux Falls is a very nice campground.  Open sky to the South for satellite, great crew greeting and escort to your site.  Site was level and we have full hook ups with 50 Amp service.  Walked around and meet several nice people and talked for hours.  Again staff was very friendly.  If money were not a concern, I could easily stay at KOA for extended periods of time.

We arrived at Harts Ranch in Rapid City today around 3 PM (Mountain time).  This is a great campground.  Large as well with over 400 campsites.  No pull troughs.  We have 50 amp full hook ups but did have to pay a utility fee along with our RPI fee.  But $15 per night with full hook-up and 50 amps was well worth it.  Lots of activities every day for when we are traveling around the area.  Bible study, aquatic exercise, Bingo, Poker night and more.  However, I am not sure what kind of free time we will have.  This area is full of things to do.  We want to visit Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore, Bad Lands, Wall Drug Store (again), as well as other attractions.  Blog updates will be every couple of days while we are here.  Make sure you sign up so you will be notified.