Are you ready for the movies?

We have been contacted by a film production company in Canada that’s on the verge of filming a documentary for the CBC about work camping – the people and their jobs and their back stories. Are you or do you know a Canadian workamping couple who would like to share their stories on film? They are looking for the outgoing, larger-than-life type people who love life and are enjoying it to the fullest. Email us at to let us know and we will put the movie people in touch with you. Sounds like fun and it is for real. -Jack

Day 9 and 10 – 2016 Fall Snowbird RV Route South to Florida – Sevierville, Tennessee

Welcome to Ripplin’ Waters RV Resort

Welcome to Ripplin’ Waters Campground in Sevierville, Tennessee
We’re arrived in Dolly Parton’s hometown!

Ripplin’ Waters Office & check-in

Located on a branch of the Pigeon River, this family campground is convenient to all area attractions. Access roads through the campground are black top. Each graveled site has a grass area with a picnic table. There are pull-through spots with full hookups. Amenities include free WiFi (which is slow) and satellite TV (18 channels) with cable access, swimming pool, bathhouse (showers, commodes, sinks, electric outlets) and when needed, a coin-operated Laundromat and small supply store. The personnel we ran into were all friendly and helpful.

Gravel pads and grass!

This campground is a perfect base from which to explore all there is to see in the connected Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg area. First off this campground is easily accessible from I-40 without entering the extremely heavy traffic of the commercial areas.

Some sites bordering the Little Pigeon River

The last time I visited Pigeon Forge at least 25 years ago it was just a small town and home to a rising Country star named “Dolly”. She had purchased the local theme park and had begun enlisting her family and others to begin building a true fun destination in this corner of the Smoky Mountains.

That was then but much has been added in the 25 years. In this visit we find six lane highways packed with tourists traveling through the three towns to visit the venues, shows and restaurants that line the roadsides from end to end.

So many things to see and do!

Name a restaurant chain and you will probably find a franchise here, as well as country shows, comedy and magic shows and more, as well as some of Dolly’s own stage shows (dinner included!) and the expanded Dollywood Theme Park with added water park.

Our first evening we had dinner at the local Cracker Barrel. Niki has to have her vegetable plate fix every so often. The food is always good no matter what you choose. No wonder so many of us old-timers enjoy going there!

We had planned to possibly see the Hatfield and McCoys dinner theater show (Niki is a Hatfield descendant) but Niki’s cold had taken a turn for the worse with fever, chills and overall just feeling tired and poorly. Instead we opted for a visit to the pharmacy for some recommended fixes and took a day of rest, which we both needed.

The day was sunny and warmer so I took my usual hike around the campground to take some photos. It’s really a very nice campground and we recommend it as a good place to spend a few days when you visit the area.

Bathhouse, laundry and pool area

When you visit be sure to stop by Walmart or any local supermarket and pick up some of the free coupon books. You’ll find big racks in the entryways and avoid spending unnecessary $$$ at the so-called “Official Welcome Centers”.

Ripplin’ Waters RV Park in Sevierville,Tennessee

Find this entire
Snowbird RV Route Plan
with facts, links and costs
on our website & updated
as we travel.

See our printable listing of
Interstate Rest Areas
for this entire RV Route
and suitable for
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Day 7 and 8 – 2016 Fall Snowbird RV Route South to Florida – Fort Chiswell, VA

Fort Chiswell RV Park fills every night

We enjoy our meandering along different Snowbird routes – each trip we take time to explore new places and try to soak up some of the local sights, food and culture. Every single city, town and hamlet has special places they are proud of – they remain hidden if we speed by too quickly – Fort Chiswell RV Park and Wytheville, Virginia are no exception.

Fort Chiswell RV Park empties most mornings

The name Fort Chiswell comes from a frontier fort built in 1758 as an outpost during the French and Indian War. The fort, which was of strategic importance during the American Revolution, was the guard-post over a small deposit of lead used to mold bullets. Unfortunately, they covered over the fort when they built the I-77 Interstate in the 70’s but there are two other significant places worth seeing in the vicinity.

One is BIG WALKER LOOKOUT located at 8711 Stoney Fork Road in Wytheville.
It’s the designated overlook of the Big Walker Mountain National Forest Scenic Byway. This is one of the few accessable places in the east where you have a 360 degree view of the mountain valleys and farm-scapes of the Appalachian Mountains. Big Walker Lookout features the BW Country Store with 25+ artisans & crafters’ handmade works. Big Walker is a historic pass where, during the Civil War, Molly Tynes traveled to Wytheville to warn of the impending Toland’s Raid. It is a Virginia Birding and Wildlife view area and a raptor migration path. Located just 21 Miles from the campground.

Big Walker Lookout

Another place to visit is WOLF CREEK INDIAN VILLAGE & MUSEUM at 6394 N Scenic Highway in Bastian, VA.
The Wolf Creek Indian Village will introduce you to the life led by the Eastern Woodland Indians who inhabited the land 500 years ago. The recreated village is the size and layout of an actual archeological evacuation known as the Brown-Johnston site. Interpretive guides lead you on an exploration of skills needed by the inhabits to survive and thrive.
Located 25 Miles from the Fort Chiswell Campground.

Wolf Creek Indian Village

Just down the road from Fort Chiswell is the County Seat – the Town of Wytheville (with-vil) – with a couple of big attractions worth noting like the really BIG PENCIL located on the Wytheville Office Supply building at 146 W Main Street in Wytheville.

For almost 50 years visitors have made it a “point” to see Wytheville’s Main Street landmark. The late John Campbell Findlay (the original owner of Wytheville Office Supply) had the “Big Pencil” constructed in the early 60’s. Made of metal, it is approximately 30 feet long.

The Big Pencil in Wytheville, Virginia

Wytheville is also the birthplace of EDITH BOLLING WILSON, First Lady and wife of President Woodrow Wilson. There is an Edith Bolling Museum located at 145 E Main Street in Wytheville.

Edit Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum

Many people are unaware that while she was caregiver to the President when he suffered a stroke in 1919 leaving him partially paralyzed, and though the First Lady publicly minimized her involvement in the affairs of state, her stewardship of government duties earned her such titles as “The First Woman President” and “The Secret President.”

Unfortunately, on this stopover the rain and cooler weather finally caught up with us and especially to Niki’s degenerative osteoarthritis so we were limited on our exploring and picture taking.

We did have dinner the first night at the Denny’s in Fort Chiswell which was mostly forgettable with my bland spaghetti and meatballs and Niki’s “second” so-so chicken avocado Caesar salad (the first came with spoiled avocado and a testy waitress!). We have found Denny’s restaurants can run hot and cold and we wouldn’t recommend this one – though the gasoline from the local Flying J was quite economical.

We’re back home in Bob Evans Country! Many restaurants to choose from in the area but one of our favorite chains in the South is Bob Evans and this being the first one we have found since heading back South, we had to go. We enjoyed a couple of our favorite meals – the service was good – and we also happened to have a 30% coupon to make it all taste even better!.

Bob Evans is the place for me…

Final word – Wytheville is an important point on both I-77 and I-81 and lies amidst a wrong-way concurrency of I-77 and I-81. In the near future, Interstate 74 will go through Wytheville in addition to the two other interstates. (A road “concurrency” occurs when two or more numbered highway routes are signed in opposite, conflicting directions on the same stretch of physical roadway.)

A wrong way concurrency

Click our entire
Snowbird RV Route Plan
with facts, links and costs
on our website & updated
as we travel.

See our printable listing of
Interstate Rest Areas
for this entire RV Route.

Day 5 and 6 – 2016 Fall Snowbird RV Route South to Florida – New Market, VA

Welcome to Endless Caverns Resort

A campground built on the side of a mountain – a Blue Ridge Mountain. The climb is not a problem and we have seen all manner of motorhomes, trailers and toads come and go.

Elbow room on Endless Caverns campsites

The sites are graveled, fairly level and all have 30/50A, water and sewer connections. No cable but a good antenna brings in the major network TV stations. Free Wi-Fi is available near the shower building. There is also a nice pool and a catch & release fishing pond.

We’re set up at Endless Caverns Resort

Most sites are pull-throughs and all have a picnic table and fire ring. Check-in at the office was pleasant and personable and first-timers are led to their site by a hostess that has a trailer in the campground.

Endless Cavern Resort “pull-throughs”

Nice shower facility and a coin operated laundry. There is a gate with code access making it a safe as well as a tranquil stopover. Campers receive a discount on the cave tour. Town is approximately 4 miles away with restaurants – including Mexican and Chinese – and service stations.

Endless Caverns Resort campsites

We had lunch at the Jalisco Mexican Restaurant on the Historic Main Street of New Market among its several antique, art and Civil War memorabilia shops. Many items to choose from on the menu and our choices were prepared well and were tasty. Not the best Mexican we have found and definitely not the worst.

Jalisco Mexican Restaurant in New Market, Virginia

Endless Caverns is well worth a visit, especially if you enjoy caves!

View from the Endless Caverns parking area

Find our entire
Snowbird RV Route Plan
with facts, links and costs
on our website & updated
as we travel.

See our printable listing of
Interstate Rest Areas
for this entire RV Route.

Day 3 and 4 – 2016 Fall Snowbird RV Route South to Florida

Welcome to PA Dutch Campground

Day 3 and 4 of our Southbound RV trip places us at the Pennsylvania Dutch Campground – a little over 200 miles from our first stop in Saugerties, NY. The route takes us down I-87 to I-287 around NY City to I-78 and West for 110 miles (+/-) to I-81. The route has heavy traffic but is fairly smooth and doable for the most part. The worst stretch of roadway to date is several rough frost heaved, patched and re-patched miles through the Allentown area. This patched stretch – though shorter – is much worse than I-88 which we chose to avoid on this trip for the same reason – roughness.

First off, though the campground is close to the Interstate (I-78), as the crow flies but that’s just not so by RV. It’s a winding path of narrow backroads to get here.

Narrow country roads lead the way

They advertised they are open until 9pm on weekends but the office was closed for the day when we arrived at 3pm.

Gated entrance to PA Dutch Campground

They had taped our paperwork on the office door with a map to our site, which was at the farthest end of a gravel “field” apparently made to hold transients. It appears that the majority of the 233 sites in the campground are occupied by Seasonals with decks, flowers and a definite semblance of permanence.

Autumn is in the air at PA Dutch Campground

The campground home page boasts of cable TV, WiFi and a full service restaurant. After monkeying with the cable connection for a long time I gave up on it working and used our antenna which was more than adequate. Local WiFi service is non-existent and the included paperwork alluded to the fact that the restaurant was only open on weekends.

A nice children’s play area at PA Dutch Campground

The next morning I visited the “Hostess” in the office to inquire about my misconceptions. She told me that “the WiFi is only receivable near the office area, the restaurant closed two weeks ago and your cable should be working fine!” As far as the cable goes Abbott and Costello worked on it for a little over an hour and discovered that our neighbors had disconnected us at the junction box so they could have cable but never mentioned to the office that they had trouble. Just like anyplace else there are neighbors who are thoughtful and sometimes you run into the other kind.

Putt-Putt golf at PA Dutch Campground

Pennsylvania Dutch Campground is a Passport America campground which purports to offer half-price camping Sundays through Thursdays but the fine print reads “*$3 additional charge for 30/50 Amp, pull thrus, Direct TV and A/C & electric heat.” There are many Passport America member campgrounds that we have visited which are nice and totally satisfactory and a great value at half-price. This is not one of them and falls into the minority that some RVers point out as reason for not joining PA. We are lifetime members and shall continue to root out the good, the bad and the deplorable (which Niki calls the “Deliverance” campgrounds) as we find them.

We make it a point to ask the office staff wherever we stop for suggestions of their favorite Mom & Pop restaurant but since the office staff had gone home early we Googled our options and chose a multi “starred” Mario’s Pizzeria in the Village of Bernville. Though the campground is listed as being in Bernville we quickly found out just how large a “small” township can be and how many twisting and winding, narrow backroads can be linked together to get from point A – our campground – to point B – destination Mario’s Pizzeria.

Mario’s in Bernville, PA

Thank goodness for the invention of the GPS or we would still be trying to find our way back to the campground! In summary the service and pizza at Mario’s was quite good but probably not worth the excursion on the backroads after dark.

Oregon Dairy Restaurant in Lititz, PA

One bright spot in our stopover at Bernville, PA was a trip on day two to Oregon Dairy Restaurant & Buffet in Lititz, PA. Why would we drive an hour for lunch you would ask? Because we stopped there once before and rate it in the top three buffets we have had on the East Coast. Home cooking with a definite PA Dutch influence and everything fresh and well prepared. If you are ever in the Lititz or Lancaster area we do highly recommend it.


As the sunsets on day 4 of our trip we prepare to bid a fond farewell to the Town of Bernville, PA because we doubt we will be stopping here again – at least not at the Pennsylvania Dutch Campground.

Sunset in Bernville, Pennsylvania

Find our entire trip
Planned Itinerary
with facts, links and costs
on our website

See a printable listing of
Interstate Rest Areas
for this entire RV Route

Day 1 & 2 – 2016 Fall Snowbird RV Route South to Florida


2016 Fall Snowbird RV Route
South to Florida

Days 1 and 2 – Friday & Saturday

A first day uneventful trip down the 187 miles of I-87 from Lewis, NY to our first stopover in Saugerties, NY.

The day was sunny though cool and the Fall foliage was at its spectacular peak and accompanied us for most of the trip.

First stop is Saugerties / Woodstock KOA Journey at 882 New York 212, Saugerties, NY.
It is off-season for this campground as they close on October 30th but we did expect a little better since it is a KOA and charging KOA prices. The roads are narrow, lumpy and care must be taken to avoid low hanging branches. The sites are gravel and nearly level.
The owners themselves were on duty to check us in and to escort us to our site (and avoid the low hanging branches that we were told other less fortunate 5th wheels owners had not missed)..

When I asked about any favorite local “Mom & Pop” eateries the only one that came to our Host’s mind after a long minute’s pondering was the Saugerties Diner near the I-87 exit 20 where we came in.
We were pleasantly surprised with both the food and service at the Diner. They have many reasonably priced specials to choose from – all with a trip to a nice soup and salad bar. Niki had the Chicken Francaise and I had the Crab Stuffed Tilapia followed by a huge piece of homemade cake for both – coconut for Milady and a decadent chocolate for myself.
Our first dilemma of the trip was the propane detector going off last evening after arriving and set-up. Propane is nothing to take lightly, in an RV or anyplace else for that matter, so the tanks were shut off and we used the electric fireplace and an electric heater through a night that dipped into the 30’s. Again reminding us why we’re more than happy to be heading South!

It can always be worse and a for instance is the people in the sites just across from us. One couple spent the night in a tent and the other couple somewhat better off in a pop-up camper. Hardy souls of a younger age group and mindset than us for sure!
Our furnace problem will be looked at and fixed in due course. All part of the Great Adventure that is RVing.

What’s to do in the area? Hyde Park is about 1/2 hour away. The famous site of the ’69 Woodstock Festival and Museum is close-by and there is also a train into NYC about 45 minutes away. Also interesting are the Saugerties Lighthouse and the Main Street in Catskill with their cat sculptures. Lots of little shops in the town, great places to eat – even a movie theater.

Being cat lovers we chose to take a ride to the Village of Catskill to see the cat sculptures. Though it was a scenic trip on the area back roads there were no felines to be found. Perhaps it’s becoming too chilly and they were brought indoors for the Winter Season?

Stay tuned as we continue our meander toward warmer latitudes and attitudes.

See our entire trip
Planned Itinerary
with facts, links and costs
on our website

Find a listing of the
Interstate Rest Areas
for this entire RV Route



Fall 2016 New Snowbird RV Route South

Fall RV route New England to Florida

We had planned a new RV route South along the Atlantic Coast but the continuing devastation and flooding from Hurricane Matthew has caused us to reconsider.

The new route avoids the flooding and offers some interesting stopovers along the way. We are retired and in no rush as we enjoy the trip as much as any destination. We’ll spend two nights at each stop and do a little exploring. We love to see what any new area has to offer and are always on the lookout for great new “Mom & Pop” restaurants.

The rig is washed, waxed and packed and we are on standby for departure. We invite you to ride along with us for a few miles as we post photos, reviews and costs – just choose to “follow” us here on our daily trip Blog or by “Friending” us on Facebook at

We’ll try to keep it interesting as we once again visit new places, find friendly faces & enjoy life along the Snowbird RV Trails!

Jack, Niki and The Kids

We’re on the road again!

Color it Autumn in New York and the Northeast

Friday was a beautiful Fall day and we took full advantage with a trip to a huge book sale in Shelburne, Vermont,
a stop at the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in,
lunch at the famous Bridge Restaurant in West Addison, Vermont,
an Autumn photo-stop at Historic Ironville, NY – Birthplace of the Electrical Age in mining and
a final stop to see the good folks (and the bison) at the Buffalo Farm in North Hudson, NY.
The Buffalo Farm is the place we stock up on their mighty fine Vermont-made corn relish and Amish-made preserves for our upcoming Snowbird trip back South.

An excellent day shared with Niki and regretfully our last weekend outing with our Summer sidekick Brother Ken.

Hop Aboard and follow our Blog as we visit new places, find friendly faces and enjoy life along the Snowbird RV Trails at

Homosassa Florida – Gulf Coast Work Camper(s) Wanted

Working RVers needed on Florida’s Gulf Coast

Groundskeeping, cleaning bathrooms, pool upkeep for a small RV park

1/2 mile to boat ramp, can launch your canoe or kayak from the park

Available now. FHU, WiFi and electricity. Approximately 15 hours/week.

Singles or couples please contact Wendi at (352) 628 4441


Received by J. Armstrong –  10/4/2016