Finding the best RV routes, good campgrounds, friendly people, great local "Mom & Pop" restaurants and posting our RV route maps, reviews, tips, prices & photos both here and on our website – snowbirdrvtrails.com
We are always interested in new ideas, approaches, and ways to make RVing even more fun. I recently stumbled upon an interesting website and talked with owner Scott Krupa who created RV with ME.
If you enjoy meeting nice people and have space for parking one or more RV’s – or if you are an RVer who enjoys boondocking in new, safe and interesting places this might be of interest to you. This is what he told me.
RVwithME is about giving RVers access to RVing experiences they never had access to before. I like to call it Local RV Hospitality. There is more out there to experience than just RV parks. There is a large group of RVers that know and understand boondocking but there is even a larger number of RVers that would like to have the enjoyment of boondocking but do not know how to access it. RVwithME will allow these people to find safe and private locations – very similar to boondocking but on private land where they know it is safe to park. These locations will be priced by the landowner and operated as a second source of income for them.
If you have room to park an RV then you can list your space on RVwithME.com. It is all self serve; you create your own listing and manage the reservations requests yourself. When a request comes in the site hosts review can review the RVer’s history and read what other hosts have said about them. They have the option to accept or reject the reservation. A 5% fee is taken from the full amount of the reservation cost to cover online payment and credit card (Visa, Master Card, American Express and Stripe) fees. At the point of check out the RVer is charged a 10% reservation fee.
The site is mobile compatible as well for RVers travelling down the highway, and if they use the site search results will be listed from the nearest park to their current location. This will also give small to medium size RV parks and campgrounds a great way to get RVers to their place without having to rely solely on their own website and will be the start of consolidating all available RV sites on one platform.
Thanks for the information Scott. We at snowbirdrvtrails.com wish you the best in this interestingand viable new direction for boondocking. -Jack
We have listed all of our facts, figures and costs of this trip as well as links to our campground and restaurant reviews, photos, and our daily “Blogbook” entries.
We are retired and no longer have the need or inclination to rush anywhere. We try to keep the distance between our stops under 200 miles and we normally spend at least 2 nights at each campground to see what is special about an area. There is always something new and interesting for us.
We arrived here in the Panhandle of Florida yesterday afternoon. Mexico Beach is located on the Gulf between Panama City and Port St. Joe.
Our friendly GPS lady, “Thomasina”, ran us through Panama City to get here, much to Niki’s dismay. Niki does not like us to pull the trailer through cities and other high traffic areas when it can be avoided. There has been a history of dissent between Niki and Thomasina from the get-go. Our GPS lady is forever interrupting Niki when she is trying to say something. Thomasina may end up in the Gulf before this trip is over.
We are spending 2 nights in the Rustic Sands RV Resort and Campground. Nothing too fancy but great amenities including FHU, a Tiki Bar, and a swimming pool. The sites are sandy, fairly level, and are located among the palm and magnolia trees. It’s quiet, shady, and only a short distance from the beach and tourist areas.
We went to dinner the first evening at a restaurant recommended to us by our campground hosts. “Killer Seafood” was far from the best we have ever had. (Perhaps it was named “Killer” for another reason?) We both chose the crab-cake basket which came with slaw and FF or hush puppies. Everything was heavy with grease and caused a lot of heartburn throughout the night for Niki.
After dinner we stopped to take some pictures of the sunset on the Gulf. There is free access to the beaches along much of the Panhandle in between the condos, hotels and other high rises. I talked with a lady who ventures down about every evening to see the sunset. She said the days having a few clouds make the sunset really spectacular.
We were both pretty tired and turned in early. This morning we heard that we had “missed all of the excitement”! It seems a black bear had taken its time ambling through the campground. Probably just Yogi looking for what the pic-a-nickers were having. No trouble – he/she took its time and left after having a look around.
Today we took a trip over to Port St Joe for a better coastal restaurant (or so the reviews had claimed) and this time we did agree! We enjoyed a visit to a small restaurant named Provisions. We thoroughly enjoyed Chicken Piccata and Betty Spaghetti. (How come no one has ever told me about Betty Spaghetti before?)
This being in the heart of a coastal tourist area the chance for cheaper gas was nil. The best we could do was $3.249/Gal.
We have just crossed the 3,000 mile mark for this trip. Still a few miles to go.
Tomorrow we head out to Lake City (for 2 nights) to a campground we normally stop at both coming and going. Then we head for “home” on Sunday.
Directions: Take Exit 85 from I-10 E. to Route 98/Business through Panama City to Mexico Beach, turn north on 15th St.
Rustic Sands Campground Information:
97 RV sites, all with full hookups including free Cable and Wi-Fi. Accommodate RVs up to 45, air conditioned bath house and recreation hall, WiFi, shuffleboard, tiki hut & snack bar, horseshoes, basketball, heated swimming pool, kids fishing pond, playground, campstore. LP gas available, planned activities, game room. Only 1/2 mile to beautiful white beaches. Located 22 miles from Panama City and 10 miles from Port St Joe.
Grenada, Mississippi to Hammond, Louisiana – 248 Miles Days 22 and 23 – 11th & 12th (Sat/Sun)
Calloway RV and Campground
14154 W Club Deluxe Rd
Hammond, LA 70403
Phone: 985 542-8094
$29/night w/Good Sam Club Discount
Located within a mile from LA Exit 28 of I-55 making it a natural choice as a stopover whether you are headed South to New Orleans (45 minutes away) or East/West on I-12.
Calloway is a former KOA campground. The pull-thrus are mostly level with concrete patios. Some sites have picnic tables. Both 30 and 50 Amp outlets are available.
There is a deep lake on the property stocked with bass and catch-and-release fishing is allowed. A fishing license is not required.
This was a good rest stop for us after the longer than usual road trip from Grenada. We had dinner the first night at Cracker Barrel and both agreed it was the worst experience at any CB we have had. (Service was slow, atmosphere was beyond noisy, and the food was only so-so.)
We had lunch on day 2 at the local CiCi’s and it turned out to be a very good experience. Great crew, fresh and well prepared pizza and sides. The one drawback was no Senior Discount but can’t win them all.
Directions: I-55 to LA Exit 28, left on West Club Deluxe Rd
Campground info: 30/50 Amp Sites, Full Hook-ups, pull-thrus Available, extended stay sites available, free Wi-Fi, primitive tent sites, dumping station, laundry room, restrooms and showers, propane, rec room and game room, lake with fishing – no license required, playground, fenced in dog park, swimming pool, horseshoes and volleyball, camping cabins at lakeside with A/C and heat, concession stand and a small store.
Jonesboro, Arkansas to Grenada, Mississippi – 156 miles
Days 20 and 21 – Oct 9th & 10th – Thurs/Fri
Frog Hollow Camp Ground and RV Park
601 Mississippi 7, Grenada, MS 38901
We were somewhat concerned when we made the reservation for this campground. To say we haven’t had good luck with Mississippi campgrounds in the past would be an understatement.
We finally found a winner! Frog Hollow is half-way between Memphis, Tennessee and Jackson, Mississippi. It’s an easy off/on for anyone traveling North or South on I-55.
Larry and his wife have a clean and well-kept facility – and a lot of frogs. We have yet to see or hear a live frog but inanimate frogs of every type, size and shape abound. They just seem to like frogs and it appears that people have added to their collection over the years.
The city of Grenada is 8 miles down the road and offers about every type of store and restaurant you could want. Trip Advisor had great reviews for 2 restaurants that we wanted to try. The first, Carmella’s Restorante, seems to have gone out of business. We asked for suggestions from one of the locals we met and he suggested “Jake and Rip’s Steakhouse.” We tried it and enjoyed a BBQ pulled pork platter for me and Niki ordered the catfish platter. Both came with tasty sides and we also enjoyed some adult beverages to aid our digestion. Our desserts were from “Sonic” as we explored the city.
Undeterred by our first dead end suggestion from Trip Advisor we picked their second suggestion for lunch on our second day. “Orleans Bistro” is located on Main Street in Grenada and it was a hit with both of us. When we think of the Deep South and New Orleans, among other things we think of good, fresh, Gulf seafood Po-Boys. They had them and were they ever good! Niki had a shrimp Po-Boy and I had the oyster selection. We both agreed that it was probably the second best meal we have had on this trip. They were so good we had to try dessert. The Limoncello cake for Niki and the warm bread pudding with caramel sauce for me. Umm, umm, good!
We had planned to ride out to Lake Grenada but a thunderstorm was rolling in and we decided to leave that excursion for another time.
Local gas is $3.069.
Tomorrow we continue South to Hammond, Louisiana.
Frog Hollow Campground:
Open all year. Level sites, full hook up (water, electric, sewer) with concrete patio, and free WiFi. 49 total sites, 27 pull-thru sites (30/50 amp), tent to large rig sites available
Directions: Driving south on I-55, take exit #211 (Coffeeville). Turn left, drive slow as the campground is the first driveway on your right.
Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Blytheville, Arkansas 113 Miles Days 18 and 19 – Oct 7th & 8th – Tues/Weds
Shearin’s RV Park
2953 U.S. 61 N
Blytheville, AR 72315
We have wanted to make a stop in Arkansas because neither Niki nor I had ever visited Arkansas before. I-55 is taking us through it so what better time?
By the way, so far, I-55 has been the best stretch of Interstate we have been on. Smooth sailing down from St Louis to date.
This is the Mississippi Delta and agriculture is huge in this area. We had not known that cotton was a big crop this far North, in addition to corn and soybeans; we also saw cotton fields on our way through Southern Missouri. Our campground is just across the highway from large fields of cotton. That’s the kind of white we like to see on the ground – not that other white stuff that blankets the North each Winter.
Admittedly there isn’t a whole lot to see and do in Blytheville but in talking with people we think they kind of like it just the way it is. They were proud to tell us about the historic Greyhound Bus Depot they restored downtown. We did stop by to visit it but found it closed. From the outside they appear to have done a beautiful job with it though.
They also closed off a section downtown to make a shopping area but it still needs a little work as does the new bypass. The long trains, which are plentiful, pass right through the center of Town so they decided to build a bypass over it. Perhaps it will be completed when we next visit.
As you may have noted we do like to dine out every chance we get to get a feel for the local flavor of a community from the food, the service, and the people we meet. We try to find the local “Mom & Pop” places that locals can recommend to us. It wasn’t so easy here. We ended up having dinner at the local Perkins the first afternoon. The food was typical franchise fare. Not the best nor the worst. Actually the worst came our second afternoon when we decided to give “Pizza Inn Blytheville” located at 1035 E. Main Street a try. It advertised a pizza buffet. We are fans of the “CiCi’s” pizza places we find in Florida and were expecting similar food. Wrong! The pizzas were dried out and tasteless. The greens were wilted on the salad bar. The pasta sauce was watery and without flavor. Now we will cut any restaurant some slack if it’s one or 2 items that are “off” but in this case the only items we could say we liked were the soft drinks and the salad dressings. There were some items on the salad bar that we simply couldn’t identify. We opted for dessert at a Baskin-Robbins on our way back to the RV Park and that was also a mistake and another story for our reviews page when we have time to post it.
The best part of this stopover was the scenery. We could see the cotton fields from inside our rig and lo and behold this was the day it was time for picking the cotton. I have edited a small video of the men, their equipment, and how they actually do it. Neither Niki nor I are from cotton country so we found the operation quite interesting and educational to watch. I just can’t imagine how many people and man-hours it would have taken to pick this field back in the day.
We are finally getting back South! Last night was the first night we had the AC on all night instead of the furnace. The outside temp was pushing 80*+ today. I phoned our next stop for tomorrow down in Mississippi and they expect to be in the 90’s for the weekend. We’ll take it!
Our neighbors last night were from Abilene, Texas and were on their way early this morning headed for “good trout fishing” up North of here.
Tomorrow we head for Grenada, Mississippi and Frog Hollow Campground for 2 nights and then we have Saturday and Sunday nights in Hammond, Louisiana. We plan to take a day trip into New Orleans on Sunday for some café au lait and beignets at Cafe Du Monde (if the Saints aren’t playing a home game!)
Shearin’s RV Park information:
$35/night. 52 Campsites, 19 large pull-through sites, 30/50 AMP service, free WiFi, 70′ RV length limit, open year-round, bathhouse, no cable but numerous local TV stations.
Directions: Take AR Exit 63 from I-55 and turn South on US-61. Campground will be on the right.
Mulberry Grove, IL to Cape Girardeau, MO Days 16 & 17 – Oct 5th & 6th – Sun/Mon – 174 Miles
Cape Camping & RV Park
1900 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701
Phone: 573-332-8888 Toll Free: 1-800-335-1178
($34/night w/Good Sam discount. Pull-thru, FHU, 50Amp, Cable, WiFi)
The town of Cape Girardeau was incorporated in 1808, prior to Missouri statehood, and was reincorporated as a city in 1843. The advent of the steamboat in 1835 led it to become the biggest port on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Memphis. The Civil War Battle of Cape Girardeau took place April 26, 1863. The Union and Confederate armies collided in a fierce, four-hour artillery barrage on this day in which 23 Union and 30 Confederate soldiers were killed.
In December 2003, a new four-lane cable-stay bridge crossing the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau was opened. Its official name is “The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge.” The two towers of the bridge reach a height of approximately 298′.
Also known as “Cape Girardeau: Where the River Turns a Thousand Tales,” due to the history of the town and the bend in the Mississippi River. Beautiful portrait paintings span the seawall along the river walk.
Another section of the seawall holds portraits of the famous people who are either from Missouri or who have lived in Missouri.
We noted a lot of construction and refurbishing going on near the waterfront to revitalize this beautiful area they have.
The recent movie “Gone Girl” with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, was filmed in Cape Girardeau.
A visit to this area would not be complete without a visit to Lambert’s Cafe, “Home of the Throwed Rolls” and “pass-arounds.” Very much a fun atmosphere and a full-house. You can order a sandwich or an entree’ from off the menu with as many as 3 sides. Niki ordered the deep-fried frogs legs with turnip greens and carrots. I ordered the BBQ pork steak with baked beans, marinated cucumbers & onions, and potato salad. Then the fun began when a particularly accurate roll pitcher comes out of the kitchen and throws a huge roll to anyone with their hand up. The rolls are huge, hot from the oven, and delicious. Ace catcher Niki caught 4 for us during our meal.
Other employees circulate around the room and spoon out the “pass-arounds” like macaroni & tomatoes, fried okra, fried potatoes with onions, black-eyed peas and even sorghum & molasses. You can have as much or none at all – whatever you like.
They only have one dessert on the menu, banana pudding, and we soon knew why. If you have room left for dessert at the end of the meal, you’ve done something wrong. The young lady who took care of our table couldn’t remember the last time she had a customer order dessert!
Cape Girardeau, both the campground and the area, is a great stopover which we would recommend on your way up or down I-55.
Cape Camping & RV Park
90 Pull Thru Sites (75×24 with full hookups) – 50/30/20 amps w/CATV, picnic table, and fire ring, Wireless Internet at all sites is included, Handicap Sites, Laundromat, LP Tank Refills, Walking Trail, 2 Acre Fishing Pond, Open All Year.
This campground is located minutes from the center of Cape Girardeau and Southeast Missouri State University, Isle Casino, Riverfront Bridge Park, Cape Rock Park, and the River Walk.
Indianapolis, IN to Mulberry Grove, IL
Days 14 & 15 – Oct 3rd & 4th – Fri/Sat – 183 Miles
Timber Trails Campground (I-70, IL Exit 52)
1276 Matts Ln, Mulberry Grove, IL 62262
(Passport America: $17/30Amp or $20/50Amp)
Located about 2 miles from I-70, Exit 52. This is definitely in the country with cornfields in all directions. Very personable owners that show they care about their campers. I also think that this campground has the most private golf carts of any stopovers we’ve visited.
There is a small pub & grill in town recommended by the campground owner but we chose to travel the 6 miles up Hwy 140 to a busy 4-corners in Greenville with several restaurants to choose from including KFC, Taco Bell and Subway. We like the “Mom & Pop” establishments so we picked “Lu-Bob’s Restaurant” and were surprised once again at the good home-cooking you can find on the road . Their menu offers homemade soups, desserts, and daily specials (always with 2 sides from a very long list). Our bill came to $26 with tip.
We took a day trip on day 2 for about an hour leading West from this stopover. We were amazed by the huge fields of corn and soybeans as far as the eye could see. This was our first drive through this part of Illinois and we had no idea the extent of agriculture so close to St. Louis.
In the little town of Bethalto, IL we had lunch with a very good friend and neighbor from our earlier days in the Tampa area. The 3 of us had a great visit and it was so good to see Byron again.
The gasoline locally is $3.359.
Timber Trails has 162 total RV sites and pull-throughs that are over 100’ long, can accommodate any size motorhome, 30/50Amp service, full hookup, showers, dump station, 3 fishing lakes, in-ground swimming pool, municipal (city) water, playground, easy access in & out, and Free Wi-Fi. It is conveniently located on the way to Branson, MO. Closes November 15th.
PA rates not valid holiday weekends. Cash or Check only (for PA).
Lake Haven Retreat
1951 W Edgewood Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46217-9678
($174/wk) 203.58 w/tax or $29.08/day w/tax
Directions: Take Hwy 37 from the I-465 loop around Indy then left onto Edgewood. First Rt turn off Edgewood. Located about 1 hour from Bloomington to the South and 1 hour from Anderson to the North.
Level gravel pull-thrus, full hook-ups (FHU), cable, free WiFi, fishing pond, and laundry facility. Rate includes: 2 adults & 3 children. Anything more is an additional fee. No tents allowed on RV sites (unless approved by management). Limit of 2 cars per lot, must fit on the gravel. Sewer fittings must have a sealed connection. No parking on the grass or empty lots.
This makes a good home-base for everything you want to see and do in the Indianapolis area. It is in a light industrial/warehouse area but secure and located behind a beautiful firehouse complex. The trucks did go on call several times but the noise was minimal. There are many permanent/Seasonal rigs here but the people are friendly and the sites are all well kept.
We have enjoyed a week here visiting restaurants, RV Parks, and other interesting places including the huge annual book sale in Bloomington. We’ve taken many notes and photos and our reviews and comments will be added to the website as we have time to complete them.