Wally World Resort Parking Lot

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Looks like we’re going to spend some hours resting here tonight. Seems like a nice quiet community, Watseka, IL.

This has been the longest day of driving on this trip yet. We left at 7:45 this morning. So it’s been like almost 11 hours.  Didn’t seem to bad. Perhaps we’re getting used to it. Main reason to stop now is because of location and Simon seems hungry.

Four states today

And now we are in a New York State of mind. Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. We’re staying in Gloversville Walmart Super Center tonight. We’re starting to get in traveling mode and didn’t want to spend too much time setting up a campsite. We’ve parked the trailer and car in each their own parking spot to be less conspicuous. We’re thinking of naming our trailer “Lucky Dog T@G” because Simon always gets to sleep with us.

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Tbis serms like a really quiet Walmart. At least we’re hoping so. We’re planning on getting an early start in the morning.

Moved our spot

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Our new spot

Couldn’t believe that another camper parked very close to us! Finally, just before sunset, we decided to move into another spot. There were plenty available. That was one of the reasons we found their choice so irritating. All the open space and they picked one right near us. They were practically on top of us with the way they parked across instead of parallel.

We’re happy we chose to move. We don’t really understand why the CG attendant put us down there in the first place. We’re much happier with this site.
This was a very windy CG. Nice grass though. Not too many other campers probably due to late season. Sites are close together typical of RV parks.

Anyway we are on our way to Fort Kent today.

Ready for day 17

 

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We’re ready to start today’s adventure. Last night was the sixteenth straight night in the trailer.

Acadia NP is pretty cool. The drive up route one had been awesome. We were lucky to get the last trailer site the camp lady said. It’s fairly quiet, but it’s getting close to the end of their season. We imagine this place is very busy during season. Even now there are lots of people here in the park and on the park roads.

Great meal last night cooked on the fire. That’s codfish, fresh.

Backyard camping

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We arrived yesterday early evening. This is our spot for next 4 or 5 days in my mom’s backyard. It’s nice to be able to not disturb everybody’s sleeping arrangements just for our trip. It’s very comfortable back here.

Wendy and Matt’s House in Iowa

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Lots of rain and moisture on our drive today. This is where we are spending tonight and maybe tomorrow night. Nice and peaceful and quieter than last night that’s for sure. There is an extensive bicycle trail system in Adel and we’re hoping to explore them a little. There are covered bridges here that inspired the novel and movie Bridges of Madison County. And it is very near the birthplace of John Wayne! Sure is nice to have friends along the way.

Early start

IMG_3133.JPGI decided to move to a different spot in the parking lot at about 1:00 o’clock in the morning to try and find a little more quiet. This is a very noisy location. It was like being in a truck stop. The million dollar RV we were near had some sort of machinery (air conditioning, generator, or something ) running all night long, non-stop! Do I sound irritated?

I threw our step stools into the back of the car and drove around the separate parking lot with my window open searching. I discovered sound can be blocked by other vehicles.

Not a great night of sleep. But an early start of getting back on the road. I’m wondering if I-80 is just characteristically lots of truckers.

TIP: When spending some sleep time in parking lots be prepared to move at a moments notice.

Oglala, NE Super Walmart

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Not much of a campsite but we are tired and just want to get s little sleep. There are two lots here. One specially for semi’s and RVs.

Saw a huge rainbow on Interstate 80. We listened to the whole Bronco’s and Dallas Cowboys game on the AM radio.

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Simon is riding well but he’s nervous tonight and didn’t eat much.

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Parry Peak CG in September

This was the last weekend that Parry Peak CG was to be open for 2017. Just a short trip was all we intended, but we ended up spending three nights here.

The leaves were literally changing by the hour it seemed. On the way up, looking up at the Aspens I thought they would surely be changing soon. As it turned out, we kept saying to each other, “can you believe how fast those leaves are changing?”

Coffee is important to us. But wouldn’t you know it, we brought the wrong kind of coffee. These were whole beans! We figured out you can use something like a pan and spoon to grind ’em up. The coffee was a little weak, but still satisfying.

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Camping close to home again

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This our set up at Mt Shavano Campground in July 2017. We spent like 5 days here. You’ll notice there are two vehicles parked in the space. That’s because we were making trips back and forth to town. We’d go back to town for appointments or new supplies or from a bike ride then come back up for the evenings. It was really quite comfortable. It rained almost everyday. I think this was one of our better setups. Even during the rain we were able to move about the site and stay dry. You could go from the back of the truck through the 5 x 7 and into the kitchen dining area without getting wet.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison, South Rim CG

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This view is from within our site. Pretty tight but made it work.

 

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View of our site from the “front.” This is what people saw when they walked by our site on the loop. We’ve decided we don’t really like this look. We thought it was kind of “trashy.”
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We used our privacy popup as a shower this time. Worked pretty well. It also added privacy to our site since there was a family right next door that looked directly into our space. By strategically placing our popup we were able to block some of the view.

 

 

Camping close to home

We’ve been wanting to stay at the Angel of Shavano campground ever since we checked it out this spring before it opened. We had our favorite spots pre-selected and were happy when we got site 10. It’s right on the creek which is running big right now because of the snow melt.
We’re stocked and paid for for the next three nights and may just stay longer. Rick made a run into town this morning to do a little work and come back with some things we forgot. It’s 15 miles back to the house.
The bike ride four miles back to highway 50 is steeper than we thought. 1600 vertical for the 10 miles Rick rode our first day here. I’m still working up the courage to just do it.
We enjoyed a tasty meal and fell asleep to the sound of the creek and rain. Life is good.
Friends John and sherry plan to join us tomorrow. There’s lots of open spots but more campers tonight than last night. We wonder if it’s ever full.

These two guys walked through our campsite on the first day we were here. Moose One and Moose Two!

Day 8 — Pagosa Riverside Campground

We had heard good things about this campground from online reviews and folks at our last stop.  It didn’t disappoint.  This is site 55. Nice hot showers with clean bathrooms. Good thing we set up the canopy cuz the skies opened up all of a sudden around 6 pm and it rained and hailed hard for about 15 minutes. We enjoyed peace and quiet again on our last night for this trip.  In our haste to get to bed, we forgot our bin of bread, english muffins and other goodies.  The racoon had a feast.  You think we would know better!

Day 7 — Riana Campground, Abiquiu Lake

Finally we decided to try and get to Pagosa Spring today via the backroads. Once out of the campgrounds we headed up 14 north, to Santa Fe then I-25, to 84 north. When we got to the top of this hill and saw there was a National Park service campground we decided to investigate. It was another 100 miles to Pagosa and we were starting to get a little tired. This place appears well kept and we are delighted to stumble upon it. There are hot showers, flush toilets, and very spacious and spread out sites.  This is site #23.

View from our campsite
No. 23 at Lake Abiquiu, NM.

Beautiful views over the lake. But it’s very windy right now.

View out the door this morning

It was a quiet evening, after the kid on the 4-wheeler stopped making laps around the campgrounds. All we could do is try to drown out the noise by turning up our stereo as loud as it would go. We left a comment card at the gate to suggest they not allow 4-wheeling in the campgrounds for no good reason. He even took a bunch of laps this morning right after this picture was taken. Sheesh. We left camp this morning about 9 o’clock with no real destination. Just headed north looking for a grocery store. Our supplies are running low. We’re surprised at how long they lasted. We have not been in a restaurant or shopped for groceries until today.

Day 5 — White’s RV Park and Carlsbad Caverns

If you like desert camping then you’d probably like this place. Hot, dry, and windy. This is a private campground. There seemed to be no one here until very late in the day when some other tent campers showed up. At least there was plenty of sunshine for our solar panel. The fridge started showing an error light probably due to the heat. In reality it wasn’t that hot, it was only 87 degrees. But for us that was hot. We kept hitting our heads on the metal awning, so we put our table and strung a cloths line to keep us from walking that way. Susan kept walking into the other side.  Hot showers and clean bathrooms.  We do have sketchy wifi though.

There’s this drumming kind of sound in the distance that we can hear when mostly everything else is quiet. We can’t quite figure out what it is. Sort of sounds like a pressure release valve, or an angry, rhythmically challenged, adolescent trying to express himself. We could hear it all night. If it had had some sort of rhythm to it we probably could have gotten used to it.

Carlsbad Caverns is a site to see. You can take an elevator down to the really good stuff, but we chose to walk the original path. This is well worth the stop.  The kennels for Simon were filled and not very nice anyway.  Since there was a strong wind blowing and not very warm, he was happy to stay in the truck and wait for us. I have so many pictures that I’ll have to come back here and create a gallery.

Note: on the way north the next day, we saw a gas pressure release valve that was most likely the cause of the drumming sound.

Site 18 in Black Canyon Campground Santa Fe NM

This USFS Campground was a pleasant surprise. We were heading to Hyde Memorial State Park right next door. But after finding all of the RV sites taken and the regular sites were muddy and snowy we hopefully went back to this campground ⛺️. We’d recommend it again. Nice flat sites. Wooded. Paved. Clean. Quiet this night. Vault bathrooms. Priced right with our senior pass at $5 per night. At least this time of year it was great. We imagine lots of folks would be here more in season.

This is site number 18. One reason we chose it, sunshine.

Back Front Chef

Our first outing of the year. Packed up in less than 45 minutes and we were on our way to Penitente Canyon Campground in the San Luis Valley. Going to see Sandhill Cranes tomorrow. This is sort of a shake down cruise for us. We forgot a few small things but we are amazed at how self contained we are. Set up our new 5×7 side room fairly quickly but had to adjust a couple times to figure it out.

Camping on Thanksgiving

Even though we winterized our T@G we took advantage of the mild warm November weather. We joined our friends at the valley view hot springs in the San Luis valley for turkey, trimmings and of course soaking. The weather was “balmy” for November but we knew it would be cold at night. Two down comforters and thermal layers and Simon kept us warm too. We opened the vent and cracked one window but moisture inside turned to frost by morning. We know now that we can survive down to probably 20 degrees and may just do it once more before the snow flies!

Camp Land, Burlington, Colorado

Not too many places to choose from which seems to be the way it goes for us on our last day of sleep on the road. This place had great reviews so we called ahead and told her we were coming. It’s basically a parking lot with electric hookups and wifi. But be warned, byob (bring your own bathroom.) Good thing we brought our porta potty which we hadn’t used until this place. If we had known, we would have stayed in goodland Kansas at the KOA we stayed in last summer. For $5 more dollars we could have had it all. We didn’t even take a picture.
We are road weary and with just 250 miles to go we are ready to see our lovely town of Salida again.

Marysville, Kansas Super Walmart

We stayed in this exact spot three years ago in our Silver Shadow. This pic however was taken on October 13, 2016.

It is a nice quiet spot in their lot, well as far as traffic goes anyway. No cars drive by this corner. After staying in a few Wally Worlds this trip we’ve learned that the way to tell if a Walmart is good to stay in or not is if there are other campers or RVs parked there as well. If there are none, there might be a reason. There were a couple tractor trailers and a camper van already parked in this lot when we arrived. By morning there were like eight new trucks. Some leave their engines idling, but it’s become white noise to us by now.
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Finger Lakes State Park, Columbia, Missouri

Campsite 32 is a primitive site and cost is $11. We bought $6 worth of firewood which ended up being enough to last all night. It felt heavy like it was still green, and it was difficult to get stated but seemed to burn a long time. We even threw a couple of pieces on it in the middle of the night and it was still burning in the morning. The temps that night got down into the was into the 30s. The campground is back in the woods and like the other places, hardly anyone here. Nice bathhouse with hot showers. Simon liked it here cuz he disregarded the leash law and followed Susan to the bathhouse. Guess he’s learning to be a criminal on this trip. We are heading west and south to meet up with Dana parsons at Missouri teardrop trailers where we got our T@G last summer. Maybe he’ll help us with a couple of “mods” we want to make to the trailer. It’s Rick’s birthday after all.

Weldon Springs State Park, Clinton Illinois

$20 for electric hookup and picnic table. Again hardly anyone else here.
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I seem to have a system where we back up to the end of a picnic table and set up the umbrella tied to the table and small bungees to the latches of the galley lid.

We were surprised it stated raining right after we settled in for the night. I jumped out and threw Simons bed back in the car and propped up the chairs so they wouldn’t get filled with water. The rain lasted maybe 10 minutes but repeated through the night with short bursts.

Over all a pleasant park. There’s a large pond nearby that we rode our bikes to, running Simon.

We stopped at the Clinton IGA grocery store before heading to camp. We thought the prices were a little high, a perspective we attributed to having shopped at Walmart’s most of the trip.

Susan thinks the town of Clinton feels like a step back in time. Old, tired, stuck in their ways. The camp host said he’s lived here his whole life. It seems like the sort of place kids would move away from and where you’d not want to move to. Guess living a farming life is just foreign to us.
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The sunset was pretty though. This pic doesn’t do it justice.

Timber Woods Camping Resort, Van Wert, Ohio

While driving in we sarcastically wondered if we’d find a level place to park at this campground. Obviously it would not a problem based on the surrounding terrain. Lots of farm land here with no horizon, at least like we’re used to, as far as the eye can see.
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Beautiful grassy primitive camp sites. We’re the only ones here. There are lots of RVs over in the full hook up section but there seem to be very few people around.

We did get a visitor that stopped by for no apparent reason. Kevin just sort of pulled up and started talking to us. He asked where we were from and had lots of the usual questions about our trailer, how many does it sleep, how much did it cost. He did leave after a while.
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Overall this was a nice place to stay. Firewood from a high pile was available and it was quiet and peaceful. The only thing that bothered a little was the light smoke from a nearby smoldering pile. I doubt it would’ve been burning during regular camping season. And the smell of cigarette smoke in the bathroom/showers was a little offensive.

Clay’s Park Resort, Canal Fulton

After two nights in Four Mile Creek State Park it was hard to stay in a Walmart parking lot last night. So we decided to head down to Clay’s Park. It’s a little pricey but not too bad for a “primitively site” at $35. But sure could not beat the peaceful, quite serenity of our surroundings. We discovered that parking under the trees alleviated the damp wetness of the morning dew. When we stayed here a few years ago we woke up to much condensation inside our cabin. Not this time though.
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Here’s looking out our doors this morning after a super great nights sleep.
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The peacefulness was only disturbed by our watching the presidential debate last night. Fortunately our surroundings allowed us to relax and forget about the craziness.

Since we didn’t even unhook last night it was easy packing up this morning. We headed on down early to Pleasant Valley Tear Drop Trailers. They’ve got a beautiful new location sort of near where they were before, but that’s another post.

Four Mile Creek State Park, NY

Here’s our site number 177. It’s a back in with no hook ups. We don’t need em anyway. The expansive lawn is nice.
They require proof of rabies vaccination for Simon. We’re waiting for Mt Shavano Animal Hospital to send verification to Susan’s email. Then we’ll tell them we have our Simon with us or we might just wait until they ask us.
Lake Ontario is beautiful. Pics to come. It’s nice to stop and rest in such a beautiful place.
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Shopping for Walmart

Left Terryville and Rick’s family today around noon. Our intended destination was Pittsfield, MA with a couple of sites to see along the way. The drive was beautiful with typical New England towns along the route.
When we arrived in Pittsfield we planned to stay at Walmart. No deal. No overnight parking. A quick check with Siri showed another store 38 miles away in Troy, NY. Another beautiful route through the Berkshires but alas no overnight parking at this store either. Another Siri check and one more store 45 minutes away. This time we called and yes, you can park in the back for just one night. Works for us. Arrived by 7 pm and found our spot. Next time we will call ahead!
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Tip: Call ahead if you can.

Day 7 – Roanoke to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

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Woke up to partly cloudy skies and headed for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Skies quickly socked in and we found ourselves in thick fog. Every now and then the skies cleared and we could see the beauty of the mountains and Shenandoah national park. But it was frustrating not to have the sunny days we are used to so we got off the parkway and decided to go further than we thought to shorten our day tomorrow.
When we got to Chambersburg it was deja vu. We had been to this Walmart before! Checking our blog confirmed this. Shortly after we arrived a big RV parked behind of us. Same thing happened the last time we were here!

We are road weary and ready to reach our destination. Simon’s ear hurts him now so we want to take care of that.

Chambersburg, Walmart “Resort”

We didn’t realize it until We got here but we stayed here three years ago in our Silver Shadow tear drop. I think we’re parked in the very same spot even.

We wanted to tour the Blue Ridge Parkway National Park today but it was so foggy we didn’t get to see much of it. We considered staying in one of the campgrounds but thought it wouldn’t have been worth the hassle with mud and rain and not far enough along to where we are going. So another Walmart it is for the night. We were surprised to discover we’d stayed here before. We’re even able to verify it by reading past posts (See it here).

Here’s a pic I took today hoping it will work for our blog header.

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Here’s a pic of Simon scratching himself. See how he can balance on three legs while using a back leg to scratch his ear. Well now that I look at it he isn’t balancing on three legs in this picture, but I did see him do it today.

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He’s traveling well, but we think he has an ear infection . We’re thinking of taking him to a vet.

Roanoke VA Walmart

Found a pretty nice spot at this Walmart parking lot. It’s quiet. We are way on the other side near the home and garden parts. Not too many people over here because they close that section for the night. The 24 hour part of the store is on the other side of the parking lot.
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Met a guy from my home town parked right next to us about my same age. He must be doing better than me. Here’s his rig.
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Actually he said he has a hard time finding places to park. I kind of like our set up better I think.

Day 6 – Frozen Head state park to Roanoke, VA

Late start after taking long hot showers in the campground. Finally on the road by 9:30 but we soon realized we were now in the eastern time zone so it was really 10:30.
Took the back roads to Bristol VA enjoying the scenery and conversations. Ricks back was bothering him so we decided to stop for a while and decide where to stop got the night. Losing that hour made for a short travel day. Campgrounds were expensive so we headed for Roanoke and hopefully a friendly Walmart. Got lucky again and we’re all tucked in a rear corner of the parking lot.
We’re starting to be concerned about Simon’s ear which we think is infected. He still has a good appetite and is as active as he can be while traveling but his ear is clearly bothering him. Keeping an eye on it and him. Poor guy. Heading for the skyline drive and Shenandoah national park tomorrow.

Day 5 – Milan to Frozen Head State Park

Started out by 8:00. Walmart parking lot was a bit noisy. Made our way through small towns along Route 70 until we got to Nashville around noon. Made the obligatory stop at the Grand Old Opry House but opted out of the 45 minute tour ($24😳). Stopped in the Opry Mill mall for a quick lunch and awesome people watching. Back on the road by 1:30 heading east towards Knoxville. Decided to stay where we could get a shower before moving on. Getting here from I-40 was some serious back roads with sharp hairpin curves and miles of wondering if Siri directed us right. It’s worth it. We are sharing the campground with just two other parties. Quiet indeed.
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We were lucky enough to have lots of food in the frig and dined on our own tomatoes and other leftovers. We entered the eastern time zone just as we got in the park so it’s later than we think. We’ve not had any trouble sleeping though.
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Frozen Head State Park Tennessee site no. 1

Kind of far off the beaten path but we picked a great night to be here. Only one other camper right now. Looks like all the sites are reserved for this weekend, but we will be long gone. Looks like they’ve made lots of improvements here recently. Nice looking campgrounds. I bet it would get noisy when there are lots of people here. Sounds seem to carry.
There are some sort of nuts all over the ground. Gonna have to take a few with us and figure out what they are. They look kind of like chestnuts but that can’t be right.
Much nicer here than Walmart parking lot. I think we’ll sleep in in the morning.
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Milan Tennessee Walmart Parking Lot

Much quieter here than the one in Jackson. That Walmart was right on I-40 and the parking lot was very sloped. At least this one is relatively flat and much less crowded.

I think I failed to plugin the trailer completely this morning. The T@G battery showed low voltage. Had to buy a styrofoam cooler and ice to save the milk and yogurt. Just glad to be settled in for the night.
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Bull Shoals State Park

Just arrived here. Simple set up. Simon is fed. Now our turn. We’re in site number 90. $8.96 per nite. The showers are a short walk. 74 degrees. Nice evening.
I find the driving a little nerving in this part of the country. I’m used to seeing the mountains and the ability to see long distances. Here we’re in the trees most of the time and no telling what’s up ahead. 😳 if it wasn’t for Siri I’m sure we’d be lost.
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Black Canyon of the Gunnison

We had such a good time in the spring at this national park that we wanted to go back.  Our favorite site A-9 was already booked so we reserved site A-34.  Not as nice but we made it work.  Set up in the rain – white canopy and patio mat first.  Good system.IMG_7189

IMG_7202 We spent three nights here riding our road bikes on the rim, hiking the trail that allows dogs and checking out the diversion tunnel set up to send water to the Uncompaghre Valley.  We saw a young bear on the road back from the diversion tunnel! Also went to the Montrose Aquatic Center for a short swim and showers.  All in all, a fun weekend and not too far from home.

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We are tightening up our “systems” for future travels, getting rid of things we really don’t use.  We left the umbrella at home and will not bring the small aluminum table any more.  We really like the additional space we have after taking out the air conditioner.