Our Trip Continues: Cape Girardeau, MO to Tampa, FL

Notes from the road!

From Timber Trails Campground
1276 Matts Lane, Mulberry Grove, IL

2 1/2 hrs/170 miles to

Stopover #6 on our RV trip – a “loop” from Clearwater to Terre Haute, Indiana

terre haute loop map

Cape Camping & RV Park
1900 N. Kings Highway, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
(1.5 miles from I-55, Exit 99)
573-332-8888 Toll Free: 1-800-335-1178
$34/night with Good Sam 10% discount.
https://www.goodsam.com/campgrounds-rv-parks/details/default.aspx?cgid=250000347

Blogbook Entry
Restaurants: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g44207-Cape_Girardeau_Missouri.html
Lambert’s Cafe I,
2305 E. Malone, Sikeston, MO
https://throwedrolls.com/lamberts-cafe-i/
capecampground4
Very friendly and accomodating Hostess who parked us beside the restroom/shower facility – very clean and comfortable – when we asked. We have stayed here in the past and liked it. The FHU sites are drive-throughs with good TV and WiFi reception. There are many restaurants a short drive away (Mexican within walking distance) and a short drive to downtown and the Mississippi riverfront for shopping and sightseeing. If you are up for a short road excursion you’ll find a Lambert’s Cafe – “The Home of Throwed Rolls” and some pretty good down-home cooking. Lambert’s is not only a restaurant it’s an experience. We had planned a trip to Lambert’s but it was too blooming hot (feels like 105!) we opted for KFC instead and stayed indoors at our site. August is not the optimum time of year for Rving in the South as is February camping in the North. Heat wave passing through here currently.

This is a review and notes from a previous visit we made to Cape Girardeau on the

Mississippi River. www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/capegirardeau.html
and our previous
Blogbook Entry
More about Lambert’s (unique) Cafe: Lambert’s Cafe I,
2305 E. Malone, Sikeston, MO
https://throwedrolls.com/lamberts-cafe-i/

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3 hrs/208 miles to

Stopover #7 on our RV trip – a “loop” from Clearwater, FL to Terre Haute, Indiana –
Notes from the road!

Memphis South RV Park And Campground
256 Campground Drive, Coldwater, MS 38618
Passport America $25/Cash
https://www.passportamerica.com/campgrounds/data/2856/Memphis-South-RV-Park-And-Campground/0#top
Restaurants:
https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=restaurants&find_loc=Coldwater%2C+MS+38618

coldwatercollage

We have stayed in several campgrounds in Mississippi in the past and when we found Memphis South in 2012 I thought we had a winner for this stretch of road. That was then and this is now. The long road in and around the Park is pitted with potholes so badly you cannot find a path where one or more wheels and we were thankful we weren’t towing Big Bertha this time. The long entrance road is horrible. The Passport price is cheap at $25/cash per night but no longer worth it. One of very few Passport America campgrounds we would not stay at again. The WiFi was non-existent even though we had a line of sight to the repeater less than 50 yards away. The over-the-air TV channels consisted of PBS and children’s programs unless your antenna was directed just so. Ours is fixed so it meant we would have to park backwards on the site. We did that the second night were able to receive the Network channels.

coldwater2

The staff was cheerful and friendly before and now it’s lacsidaisical at best (being kind) – and showing little interest in our TV or WiFi problems. This could be and once was a great little stopover on I-55 but enter at your own axle’s risk. There is a Subway and Shell gas near the entrance and we can’t honestly recommend either of those either.

Observation: Trying to write on the road has its obstacles like when I glance over and Stanley has a paw in my fresh brewed coffee. Yes, he likes coffee too when he can get away with it.

Normally we head South from here on I-55 toward New Orleans and Bay St. Louis (two of our very favorite places to visit) and then East towards Florida. I-55 through Mississippi is one of the nicer Interstates we travel but this time we will be angling in a Southeasterly direction to pick up I-75 again just above what was our first stopover on this trip near Valdosta Georgia.

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2 1/2hrs/164 miles to

Stopover #8 on our RV trip – a “loop” from Clearwater, FL to Terre Haute, Indiana –
Notes from the road!

Togetherness Works RV Park
3161 State Hwy 253,Guin, Alabama
Reservation: 205-487-6092
$25/Cash
tg2
Every now and then we find a gem – a treasure hidden in plain sight waiting for anyone to find it. On this trip it’s clearly “Togetherness Works RV Park”. Rv Park building is not Junior’s real job. He calls it more of a hobby that started 20 years ago on a piece of Alabama mountainside his Mom called home. Just forest on 20 acres when he began to turn it into a beautiful, rural retreat it is today.

tg2

Junior turned lumberjack for part of the “hobby” carefully turning the acerage into some beautiful camping spots. He did some road building to assure good gravel roadways and drainage. He ran city water and sewer lines to each site as well as power. He turned sawyer and built a small sawmill to build a deck and bench for each site. He built a very nice cabin for their kids when they came to visit. His wife, the Alabama Gardener in the family, planted flowers and gardens throughout.

tg3

He had lumber left over after he built the cabin and his wife mentioned it would really be nice to have a shower house – so he built one. The shower house (all knotty pine and tongue and groove inside) turned out large and spacious so his wife said it would be even better if they could have a laundy room. Sure enough you’ll find washer and dryer in the building.

Junior doesn’t advertise so it’s mostly word-of-mouth and not the easiest place to find on the ‘Net but it’s off Alabama Exit 26 from I-22. Then turn right to the stop sign, then left to a “Y” in the road. Left at the Y for 3 miles to the campground.. Phone 205-412-7554 from the stop sign and the owner will meet you at the end of his road.

tg6

This one took some research! Though there are campgrounds along I-22 in Alabama there are very few with good reviews near our stopping point. So it was this one with good reviews or a Walmart Super Center parking lot nearby. We made the right choice and if ever you find yourself RVing on I-22 near Guin Alabama you’d do well to give Junior and his wife a phone call and stop on in. This place also has to be gorgeous when the Fall foliage breaks out!

Now it’s on to Troy, Alabama.

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Notes from the road:

3 1/2 hrs/225 miles to

Stopover #9 on our RV trip – a “loop” from Clearwater, FL to Terre Haute, Indiana and back again.

 

Walnut Creek RV Park

222 County Road 5516

Troy, Alabama 36081 334-482-3532

Passport America $17

https://www.passportamerica.com/campgrounds/data/3767/Walnut-Creek-RV-Park/0#top

Restaurants: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g30887-Troy_Alabama.html

Things to Do: https://www.thecrazytourist.com/15-best-things-to-do-in-troy-al/

150 RV sites, can accommodate any size RV, 20/30/50 amp, dump station, water, sewer, full hookups, pull thrus, tent sites, restrooms, showers, Cable TV, biking, ATV, picnic area, nature watching, fishing, 10,000 square foot indoor pavilion w/stage, sound system, handicap facilities, full kitchen, ice machine, and tables and chairs. Lighted and secure area, 20 acre stocked spring fed lake with daily fishing permits available. 29 sites overlooking Lake Promise. Covered picnic area adjacent to pavilion. Peaceful and country atmosphere minutes from Troy.

We do recommend

walnut5

Sisters Restaurant 13153 US-231, Troy, AL

It’s a Southern style buffet filled with “homemades” and totally delicious. The $12.50 pp price can’t be beat either!

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3 ½ hrs/200 miles to

Stopover #10 on our RV trip – a “loop” from Clearwater, FL to Terre Haute, Indiana –

Loop complete and back to our first stopover 3 weeks ago.

Eagles Roost RV Resort

5465 Mill Store Road, Lake Park, GA 31636

229-559-5192

$32/Night. Good Sam -10%.

4 hrs./225 miles

Stop # 11 Back at Home Base – Clearwater, Florida.- with Jasmine the new addition to our family.

You will be able to trace our entire loop by visiting our Blog at

https://snowbirdrvtrails.wordpress.com/2019/08/10/travels-with-niki-new-3-week-adventure/

SUMMARY:

walnut4

Our Roadtrek Simplicity SRT “Sunset Princess” completed the journey with no issues or malfunctions of any kind.

Total Miles: 2,678

Total Camping Cost: $608.

Saved $225 with Passport America

Saved $21 with Good Sam discount.

Total Gas cost: $489.

Average MPG: 13 (The roof AC really hurts the mileage!)

Restaurant Cost: $568.

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To start this 3 week loop from Tampa to Terre Haute, IN from the beginning click here:
https://snowbirdrvtrails.wordpress.com/2019/08/10/travels-with-niki-new-3-week-adventure/
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Stopover #4 on our RV trip a “loop” from Clearwater, FL to Terre Haute, Indiana

2 ½ hours/160 miles to our next stop

Stopover #4 on our RV trip a “loop” from Clearwater to Terre Haute, Indiana –
Notes from the road – Mission: Jasmine

raintree lake
Yogi Bear Jellystone Resort at Raintree Lake

4577 West State Road 56
Scottsburg, IN  47170
Passport America: $26/Cash
Toll Free: (800) 437-0566
Local:
(812) 752-4062
Located 4 easy miles off from I-65.
Website: www.jellystoneraintreelake.com
Email:
yogisburg@gmail.com https://www.passportamerica.com/campgrounds/data/1260/Yogi-Bear-Jellystone-Camp-Resort/0#top
Restaurants locally:
Cracker Barrel
Puerto Vallarta Mexican – Very good Mexican food.
Ponderosa
Roadhouse USA (Skip this one – not worth the price.)
raintree lake1
raintree lake2
This is a beautiful RV Park, well maintained by owners Erik & Kari Leander. From a big Yogi Bear welcome to the fairly level FHU, drive through sites. The restroom/shower rooms are clean and of good size and there is a clean laundry room. There’s plenty of weekend activities for the kids.
raintree lake8
They have a nice stretch of greenspace along the very small but attractive Rainbow Lake where fishing is allowed. There’s a large gazebo and playgrounds for both toddlers and older children.

raintree lake9
They have lakeside cabins to rent as well. Wi-Fi is free and reception is excellent.

Next stop – the big day has arrived!?!?

Planning the Next RV Trip – How To!

Quite regularly we are asked how we go about planning a road trip. We have one coming up and thought we might share how we put it together..

Our first tip is to always have a Roadside Assistance plan before you leave your driveway. Help will always be only a phone call away. Believe us when we tell you from experience that a breakdown will usually happen in the worst of places at the wrong time of day and in totally unfamiliar country. Roadside Assistance gives you peace of mind. There are several to choose from and we use AAA.

terre haute trip

Okay let’s plot!
Our goal is always to make the trip as much fun as the destination and the planning as much fun as the trip. This time our destination is Terre Haute, Indiana with a stop off to see a good friend near Louisville, Kentucky.

According to Google Maps (https://www.google.com/maps/) that’s 1,120+ miles from our starting point near Tampa, Florida.

Niki and I made a pact after our first trip 10 years ago (when we covered 1440 miles in 3 days) and that was no more rushing to get anywhere. That was nearly our first and last RV trip! We now try to keep a travel day to 200 to 250 miles. We also spend 2 nights at each stopover and spend that second day to explore a new area.

Using our own rules this next trip turns into six stopovers and ten days.

1. We use Google Maps to plot our course, first choosing a start and finish address.

2. Next we use a simple, free calculator called “Distance Between Cities” (https://www.distance-cities.com/) in conjunction with our Google Map. After awhile, with use, you will be able to guess your distances fairly close and can verify with the calculator. Using our own rule of 200-250 miles we see that our first Stopover would land us in Lake Park, GA at 242 miles. Works for us! We usually call ahead about 48 hours prior to reserve a site for our next stopover.

3. Finding that next stopover. We are lifetime members of Passport America (https://passportamerica.com?rfsn=2873446) so we always check them first for a possible campground near our stopover city choice. We actually use PA 50 to 75% of the time. We also check Harvest Hosts of which we are also members – free is always better than half price! Neither at this first stop. We do end up with three Passport America stops (half price), two Good Sam stops (-10%) and one Harvest Host (free) stopover on this route to Terre Haute!

4. Checking stopovers ahead of time – some free sources we like to use.
First off Google Maps can also give you an actual street view of an address which can tell you a lot. You can see what an entrance looks like, also where the nearest fuel stop is as well which can be important if you have a big rig. Very important to us when we were towing our 38′ “Big Bertha”!

RV Parky (https://www.rvparky.com/search…)
Gives us all kinds of info by State and City about campgrounds, reviews, others in nearby towns, fuel stops. It’s definitely a gem worth learning how to use.

Allstays (https://www.allstays.com/Campgro…/Georgia-campground-map.htm) is another great source you can use to drill down to exactly the type of stopover you like.

Campground Reviews (http://www.campgroundreviews.com/) A great source and you’ll soon learn to read between the lines and rule out the plain sour grapes reviews.

Best restaurants in (Lake Park, GA) (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g35053-Lake_Park_Ge…) Because we love to find great Mom & Pop restaurants in any new area.

Things to do in (Lake Park, GA) (https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g35053-Activities-L…)

Don’t forget to ask your campground hosts about the “must-see” local attractions as well as the locals favorite restaurant. We’ve found some real gems that way in our travels!

That said we are always only an email away if you have any questions we can help with and we also invite you to hop aboard here on our FB page and travel with us as we post all trips as we go. This one will be quite soon.

Safe travels and enjoy every journey,

Jack and Niki
abcadventuretime@gmail.com
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/

We invite you to pull up a stump and join us around the campfire at
https://www.facebook.com/OurSnowbirdRVTrails
where your comments are always invited.

It’s Winter – let’s talk Summer camping!

Jack asks, if you have a minute won’t you come sit by the campfire and we’ll chat? It’s Winter and the perfect time to talk about camping next Summer.

I’ll start. As kids growing up in the Northeast we endured Winter. We couldn’t afford snowmobiles and ATV’s but we made our own fun.

After high school, fun with the Military and entering the work civilian force Winter took on a whole different meaning – like starting out every morning in a cold car, always looking forward to going to work in the dark and coming home from work in the dark. All  while trying to stay warm and keeping the car on the road.

Yes my friend, “cabin fever” can be a very real threat.

But that’s when I learned I had a love for golf!

Well, actually not for the game of golf itself but rather the sunny, blue sky days and green grass venues from where they always broadcast the tourneys. I admit I spent a considerable amount of Sunday time watching them and daydreaming while it was snowing and blowing outside my windows.

I guess at some point in my life I really and truly decided I did not care for Winter at all!

Unfortunately my career was based in the Northeast and Winter was really hard to ignore. It usually begins to slowly creep up on you from every direction and by late February it has taken up entirely to much space in your mind – my mind at least.

Fortunately for the last few years before I retired I shared office space with a like-minded individual named (don’t call me Ronnie) Ron. Ron and I both loved Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Though we vacationed at different times we would spend countless hours each Winter planning the perfect Myrtle Beach getaway – what to see, where to go, what restaurants to try, etc. To make a long story short we spent many more hours planning the next trip than we actually spent going on the trip. You know what though? It got us through the worst parts of Winters.

Once I retired and Niki and I started RVing, Winters took on a whole different meaning. In fact we started looking forward to each Winter as much as the Summer. That of course is because when the leaves started falling we started packing our little home on wheels for the trip South to a warmer Winter, old friends and familiar places.

You may have heard or seen me mention on our website (snowbirdrvtrails.com) that we always took our time coming or going. No quick three days down and three days back for us. At one time we did have to scurry like that but soon decided it’s really not what retirement should be about.

In our travels North and South we normally take a month coming and going. A different route each time and normally different campgrounds in different areas to explore. One motto we have pretty much followed is “Last out of a campground in the morning and first to arrive at a new campground in the afternoon!”

After our first 1,500 mile trip where we spent a night in each campground and put in as many miles as we could each day, we arrived at our destination so tired we were ready to sell the trailer! That’s when we decided that on the return trip we would travel no more than 250 – 300 miles each travel day and spend at least two nights in each campground to explore a bit of the area. Eight years later that’s how we still do it.

That brings us up to today and this very Winter of 2018. No doubt it may be sub-zero and  snowing and blowing where you are. You may be at work, you may be at home snowed in or you may be retired and actually enjoying warmer weather. Wherever you are let’s you and me do some planning and looking forward to the warmer weather to come. You know that time when the snow is gone and you can air out your camper or your tent and get ready for the fun to come.

I know many of you are still working and have to plan your vacation days with the destination in mind rather than the trip. I understand that. We were also there as well not so long ago.

With that in mind let’s just talk about areas and campgrounds past, present and future. We have over 38,000 miles on the road and are closing in on nights spent at 200 campgrounds so far. I am going to start posting some of our favorite campgrounds and areas we have visited in our travels. It may be an area you have visited or that you might be interested in visiting one day. Maybe you know a special place we need to visit near there or elsewhere. Maybe you are thinking about where you plan to RV, camp or visit on your next adventure. What ever the case you are among friends around this campfire and we invite you to join the conversation.

Fellow campers we’ll get through this Winter thing together!

I do apologize in advance for any writing errors. Niki usually edits my articles but I am just winging this one and we’ll talk about whatever makes you happy.

The first campground I would like to bring up that we like is somewhat centrally located on the East Coast. It’s located in Mt Airy, North Carolina and called “Mayberry Campground”. The name is appropriate as the town is the birthplace of Andy Griffith. We have camped there several times coming and going and we find something different and interesting each time. The people are friendly, the food is good and the prices are right.

Mayberry Campground is open year-around and located off Exit 11 of I-74 at 114 Bunker Road, Mount Airy, NC. The campground is gravel, full amenities and has both pull-through and back-in sites. It is a Passport America “half-price” campground.

mayberrycampground1

Before I go further let me say I am not a paid spokesperson for Passport America but I talk about them a lot because we are lifetime members and stay at PA campgrounds at least 75% of the time. The club is not for everyone but if you travel a lot it is definitely worth it (or I wouldn’t be suggesting it.)

Mount Airy and Mayberry Campground are both located on what we feel is our favorite route South from the Northeast.

(Our video pulling into Mayberry Campground.)

Mayberry Campground is located on part of the former 2,000 acre farm belonging to Chang and Eng Bunker, famous Siamese twins of the 1800’s. The twins – forever conjoined – had a prosperous farm as well as 2 separate and prosperous families. They married 2 sisters and had 21 children between them. They kept 2 separate homes, alternating 3 days at each home.

mayberrycampground2

THINGS TO DO IN MT AIRY:
Visit Andy Griffith’s “homeplace” at 711 East Haymore Street. Less than a mile away you’ll find the real “Snappy Lunch” and still making the “famous pork chop sandwiches”. It’s next door to “Floyd’s Barbershop” and “Opie’s Candy Store”. Just a little farther down Main Street you’ll find “Wally’s Garage” and “The Courthouse” with a recreation of the jail set office and cells we remember from The Andy Griffith Show. That’s also the place to sign-up for a real “Andy Griffith Squad Car Tour” of Town in a vintage Mayberry Police Car like Barney and Andy drove.

344x344mayberryandyopie

Not far away you’ll find the Andy and Opie statues in front of the “Andy Griffith Theatre” and the Andy Griffith Museum where they have hundreds (perhaps thousands) of artifacts and memorabilia from Andy’s career on stage, TV and in the movies and as a singer and comedian. The Museum’s lower level has an exhibition of material from Eng and Chang’s life as well.

We do dine out a lot on our trips. We like to find the local “Mom and Pop” restaurants that the locals rave about. You may have seen me mention this before but we have two questions we ask of the hosts or locals at any new stopover – What is the “must-see” thing or place locally that you must show your friends and family when they come to visit? The other question is “What is your favorite locally owned restaurant with great homecooking?” The answers usually supply us with much to see and do on our next day.

If the following sound a tad like reviews it’s because they are. It’s what we also do on our website. We put our own two cents in on the good, the bad and the ugly in campgrounds and restaurants that we find. If we have not eaten there or not camped there we don’t review them. I am happy to say we have only found two of Niki’s “Deliverance” campgrounds in our travels.

On our very first visit to Mount Airy we had dinner at “The Copper Pot”. Real Southern home-cooking served by cheerful ladies with lovely North Carolina accents so thick you almost need an interpreter. Good food and Great people – the feeling is real down-home friendliness.

We also have tried a lunch spot suggested by the campground and backed by many good reviews on the Net. It’s called “Little Richard’s Smokehouse BBQ”. We like BBQ and have sampled it in about every State East of the Mississippi. This place is our new favorite for BBQ done right. Tender and juicy – slow cooked over hickory coals for 16 hours and truly finger lickin’ good. The sides are homemade as well. For sides we both tried the mac & cheese and turnip greens accompanied by a large basket of hush puppies. They have a soft drink – new to us – called “Cheerwine” which is cherry flavored and also tasty as were the warm blackberry cobblers we had for dessert with vanilla ice cream (of course!).

We can also recommend Tlaquepaque Mexican Restaurant & Grill at 2123 Rockford Street. I can’t pronounce it either but it’s a small restaurant with a talented chef. Both of our meals, traditional Mexican combos, were really delicious.

So have you been to Mount Airy and/or Mayberry Campground? What did you like or didn’t like. Did we miss something?

Where are you headed on your next adventure. Come pull up a stump by the campfire. The coffee pot is on and we have your cup waiting.

Jack
(To be continued.)

Snowbird Journey Complete – New Port Richey, FL to The Adirondack Mountains

Part 2 of our Snowbird Trip North – Indianapolis, IN to Lewis, NY and The Adirondack Mountains is complete. It totaled 25 days and 2,819 miles from New Port Richey, FL to Lewis, NY Gateway to The Adirondacks, Canada and New England.

We have trip reports from the 10 campground stopovers.  There is a summary with costs at the final stopover and additional trip photos on our Pinterest page at https://www.pinterest.com/snowbirdrvtrail/spring-2016-snowbird-trip-north/.

Part I – New Port Richey, Florida to Indianapolis, Indiana
17 days, five campgrounds and 1,034 miles. Photos, costs, links to our Day Trips and other information about the trip and stopovers on the following pages on our website:

05b184eefedd9a50a3a3a20a5e5615ca

Interstate Rest Areas List on I-75, I-64 and I-65 in Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee.
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/northboundi75restareas.htm

Stopover #1 – Lake Park, Georgia (221 miles)
Eagles Roost RV Resort $32.
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/2016rvtripnorthday1and2.htm

Highlights: Good food and a visit to three local campgrounds.
https://snowbirdrvtrails.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/on-the-rv-road-again-new-port-richey-florida-to-the-northeast/

Stopover #2 – Perry, Georgia (131 miles)
*Fair Harbor RV Park – PA $19.50-24.50
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/fairharborrvpark.htm
* Passport America Campground

Highlights: Memorial Day trip to Andersonville – The Prison – The National Cemetery – The National Prisoner of War Museum.
https://snowbirdrvtrails.wordpress.com/2016/06/03/day-trip-to-andersonville-national-historic-site/
Previous 2013 Visit: https://snowbirdrvtrails.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/2013-trip-south-days-20-21-perry-georgia/

Stopover #3 – Chattanooga, Tennessee (221 miles)
Holiday Travel Park $39.
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/holidaytravelpark.htm

Highlights: The International Towing & Recovery Museum and The Southern Belle. More good food!
https://snowbirdrvtrails.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/stopover-chattanooga-tennessee/

Previous Visit: https://snowbirdrvtrails.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/2013-fall-trip-south-days-18-19-chattanooga-tennessee/

Stopover #4 – Mount Vernon, Kentucky (222 miles)
*Renfro Valley Creekside Campground $14.50-$19.
* Passport America Campground
Highlights: Pics and Southern BBQ.
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/renfrovalleyrvpark.htm
Previous Visit: https://snowbirdrvtrails.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/2013-fall-trip-south-days-16-17-renfro-valley-kentucky/

Stopover #5- Indianapolis, Indiana (239 miles)
Lake Haven Retreat
Highlights: Three museums and what else but more good food.
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/lakehavenretreat.htm

Total: 1,034 Miles
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lakehaventomagicpines

Part II – Indianapolis, Indiana to The Adirondack Mountains
REST AREAS
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/northboundi70toi87restareas.htm.

Stop #6 Marengo, Ohio (213 miles)
Cardinal Center Campground $35
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/cardinalcentercampground.htm

Highlights: We found Waldo and Johnny Appleseed and a President –
It was a good day!
https://snowbirdrvtrails.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/we-found-waldo-and-johnny-appleseed-and-a-president-it-was-a-good-day/

Stop #7 Conneaut, Ohio (210 miles)
*Evergreen Lake Park Campground $22
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/evergreenlakepark.htm
* Passport America Campground

Highlights: Covered Bridges, Beef & Beer.

Stop #8 Campbell, NY (200 miles)
*Camp Bell Campground $16
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/campbell.htm
* Passport America Campground

Highlights: Corning Museum of Glass, Fingerlakes Wine Trail.

Stop #9 Oswego, NY (157 miles)
*Susquehanna Trail Campground $25
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/susquehanna.htm
* Passport America Campground.
Nice owner, good rate, convenient stopover on I-88.

Stop #10 Lewis, NY (205 miles)
*Magic Pines Campground $15
http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/magicpines.htm
* Passport America Campground.
Gateway to The Adirondacks, Canada and New England.

Part Two Total: 985 Miles

As always we invite your comments and questions,
Jack & Niki
and our furry kids
snowbirdrvtrails@gmail.com

 

JUST A FEW DAYS LEFT TO ENTER

Free Passport America Membership Drawing

… Only 10 more days to be exact!

Nothing to buy and nothing to do except email your name and email address to us at snowbirdrvtrails@gmail.com. On Thanksgiving Day, November 26th, we will randomly draw 2 lucky names from the hat – each for a free one year membership in Passport America.

As a member of Passport America you can camp at over 1,900 campgrounds across the U.S., Canada and Mexico for half the normal campsite price.

Niki and I have been members from our very first RV trip and will probably be with them for life.

Free Passport America Membership Drawing
Free Passport America
Membership Drawing

This drawing is for NEW, FIRST TIME MEMBERS ONLY and cannot be used for renewals.

Learn more about Passport America at
http://www.passportamerica.com/

 

Day 21 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada & Trip Summary

Day 21 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada & Trip Summary
Oneonta, NY to Schroon Lake, NY 167 miles
5/21 Wednesday

We have reached our final destination, Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground & RV Park Resort in Schroon Lake, New York on the Eastern edge of the Adirondack Mountains.

Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground & RV Park Resort in Schroon Lake, NY
Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground & RV Park Resort in Schroon Lake, NY

Medcalf is a perfect stopover to explore the Eastern Adirondacks and the Lake George/Lake Champlain Region. Easy day trips to Vermont, Lake Placid, The Adirondack Museum, Fort Ticonderoga and numerous ponds and hiking trails. The campground offers guided hikes of area mountain trails on weekends.

It’s also our Summer destination where we will be “Workamping” through September. We will be blogging about the Workamping experience on and off all Summer. If you would like to know more about it just click the “follow” button (if you haven’t already) and we’ll be posting info and photos of what the work entails as well as some of the many day trips you can
make in this beautiful area.

More about:
*Medcalf Acres Riverfront Campground & RV Park Resort
231 River Rd, Schroon Lake, NY 12870
(518) 461-1730
30Amp, FHU, Free WiFi, Free Cable, PT, Back-ins, with some sites on the River. Weekend activities all Season long.

Medcalf Acres website:
http://medcalfacres.com/content.php

Passport America information:
https://www.passportamerica.com/campgrounds/ny/medcalfacresriverfrontcampgroundandrvparkresort2966

From Medcalf Acres Campground:
87 miles to Canada
263 miles to Boston
321 miles to Niagara Falls

Have a great Summer and we thank you for riding along with us on our latest Snowbird RV Trail North.

Summary of the trip:
Tampa Bay to the Adirondack Mountains
21 days May 1 – May 21, 2014
Miles Towing – 1,684
Miles Sightseeing – 714
Total Miles: 2,399
Ten campgrounds:
9/Passport America & 1/SC State Campground

Total Costs:
Campgrounds- $529.01 (Avg $21.45/Night)
Restaurants- $637.83
Gasoline- $832.48

Highlights:
Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center
Suwannee River
Jekyll Island
Santee State Park
Blue Ridge Parkway
Shenandoah National Forest
Mayberry (Mt Airy)
Five New Campgrounds Visited

Route Mileages:
Tampa,FL to Lake City, FL – 179
Lake City, FL to Brunswick, GA – 119
Brunswick, GA to St. George, SC -165
St. George, SC to Murrells Inlet, SC – 111
Murrells Inlet, SC to Asheboro, NC – 193
Asheboro, NC to Mount Airy, NC – 93
Mount Airy, NC to Mount Jackson, VA – 231
Mount Jackson, VA to Dover, PA – 161
Dover, PA to Oneonta, NY – 265
Oneonta, NY to Schroon Lake, NY – 166.5

To follow this trip from the beginning:
https://snowbirdrvtrails.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/day-1-and-2-snowbird-rv-trip-florida-to-canada/

 

 

Day 18 and 19 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada

Day 18 and 19 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada
Mount Jackson, VA to Dover, PA 161 miles
5/18-5/19 Sunday-Monday

We are both readers and love to visit library book sales around the Country as we travel. We also sell out-of-print books that interest us on Amazon and on our other website, northwoodsbookshop.com.

That said, Lancaster, PA just happens to be having their weeklong Spring Super Library Book Sale when we are passing nearby. This sale offers 250,000 “gently used” books for sale in all genres and many are just fifty cents for softcover or $2 for hardcovers. It’s almost always well worth our time for a side trip whenever we know of a library book sale. We’ll attend many up in the Northeast this Summer.

Gettysburg Farm RV Resort in Dover Pennsylvania
Gettysburg Farm RV Resort in Dover Pennsylvania

In researching for a Passport America or Good Sam campground nearby, we narrowed it down through reviews, photos, and websites to the Gettysburg Farm RV Resort. It’s our first time dealing with a Thousand Trails “Club Resort” though we have talked with their representatives at RV Shows in the past.
We did receive an invitation to a no-obligation orientation to hear about the Thousand Trails program. In essence a “Zone Park Pass” would entitle us to 30 nights of free camping a year and additional nights would cost only $3 each. The cost of membership is $545 per year but at this time we could join for $425 for the year. I believe this can be used at other member campgrounds in whatever “Zone” we would choose. We looked and there don’t seem to be many members where we want to go. We will pass but would really like to hear from anyone who has joined and has had good experience with the Club.

Farm animals at Gettysburg Farm RV Resort
Farm animals at Gettysburg Farm RV Resort

This is actually a working farm and it is probably great for families. There are ducks and turkeys running loose, donkeys and llamas to watch, as well as a petting zoo. They have miniature golf, a playground, and an activity center.

We started having concerns about the place when we phoned to make a reservation. They do accept Passport America but if you are not a Thousand Trails or Encore member you are considered a “Retail” and listed as such. I found the lady on the desk curt on the phone and even more so in person. Now I definitely know what it feels like to be a second class “Retail” citizen.

They take your reservation and your money but all sites are on a first come – first served basis. You arrive and drive around to find an open site and then you tell the desk which one you picked. We asked if there was a pull-thru and were told, “Well there might be. Not sure. You’ll have to look.” They really don’t seem to know “who’s on first” or any other site for that matter! Do they really care? Now we are talking $45/night campsites here (soon to be $52 with Memorial Day and the start of “The Season”). Does anyone else get the feeling that customer service has become a lost art?

So we drove around the farm for about 30 minutes, towing, looking for what was available. The only pull-thrus were if 2 back-to-back sites were open then you could pull into one. Most of the sites are very close together. We ended up on site #123 which is a 30Amp, FHU, back-in, but with plenty of space and an open field on one side. Should you happen to stop here we do recommend #123 though we doubt if we will come back to this or any other Thousand Trails campground in the future. It was not the fun experience we look for when we are paying for the privilege.

On Monday we drove to the book sale and found it quite uncrowded, which is unusual but enjoyable. We ended up with 2 large bags of books for under $20.

Silver Spring Family Restaurant in Lancaster. Pennsylvania
Silver Spring Family Restaurant in Lancaster. Pennsylvania

The day got even better when we took a chance on a Trip Advisor recommendation for dinner at the Silver Spring Family Restaurant at 3653 Marietta Avenue in Lancaster on our way back from the book sale. Very good food and great service from happy, smiling young ladies who took and served our orders. Try the “Grilled Sticky Bun Sundae”. That’s a large, warm, sticky bun, your flavor choice, topped with ice cream and whipped cream. Suggestion: Order only one but with 2 spoons. It’s just that big, as Jack soon found out.

The local price we paid

 

for gas was $3.699 at the local Sheetz. Average is $3.739 in the area.

Next stop: Oswego, New York

More info about:
Gettysburg Farm Rv, A Thousand Trails & Encore Resort PA/$24.18, Sun-Thurs only.
6200 Big Mount Rd, Dover PA, 17315
Reservations: (888) 318-1243
30/50Amp, water. Some FHU sites w/sewer. WiFi available. Pool, laundry, propane.

Nearby: American Civil War Museum, Antique Auto Museum, Battlefield Tours, Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, Hershey’s Chocolate World, Utz Potato Chip Factory, Harley-Davidson Vehicle Operations Plant, and Sturgis Pretzel House.

Gettysburg Farm RV Website:
http://www.thousandtrails.com/pennsylvania/gettysburg-farm-rv-campground/

Passport America information:
http://www.passportamerica.com/campgrounds/pa/gettysburgfarmrvanencoreresort3060
http://www.rvparkreviews.com/regions/Pennsylvania/Dover.html

Trip Advisor and Things To Do & Restaurants:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g52508-Dover_Pennsylvania-Vacations.html

Day 16 and 17 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada

Day 16 and 17 – Snowbird RV Trip Florida to Canada
Mt Airy, NC to Mt. Jackson, VA 231 miles
5/16-5/17 Friday-Saturday

Shenandoah Valley Campground - Mount Jackson, Virginia
Shenandoah Valley Campground – Mount Jackson, Virginia

Shenandoah Family Campground is located just off I-81, VA Exit 269. This campground is only a year old and already popular with RVers looking for an overnight spot on their way North or South. The young couple running the place are very personable and ready to answer any questions.

This stopover deserves a little more attention than just a quick night off the road. To begin with the Town of New Market is the next Exit South and an easy drive to visit the well known site of the Battle of New Market during the War between the States. In fact on this particular weekend they are having a reenactment of the battle. There are hundreds of the small white tents set up in various areas of the Park and blue and gray uniforms are everywhere.

North Entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway
North Entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway

Since we had only the one full day we opted for one of the other big area attractions and that is the Shenandoah National Park and a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This most Northern section runs for 30 miles along the crest from the Thornton Gap Entrance near our campground to the Northern Entrance at Front Royal, Virginia.

Admission is free with an America the Beautiful or Senior National Park Pass.

Blue Ridge Parkway -Jeremys Run Overlook
Blue Ridge Parkway – Pass Mountain Overlook

We were fortunate in that it was one of those beautiful sunny days when you can see forever. There are wide, paved “pull-offs” at regular intervals with names like Jeremys Run Overlook at 2,410 ft that we stopped at along the way.

Elk Wallow Visitors Area Blue Ridge Parkway
Elk Wallow Visitors Area

We stopped at “Elk Wallow” where they have a large picnic area, gift shop, and snack bar. We had lunch there and we have to say that the hot dog and grilled chicken sandwich were prepared fresh and were quite good. I might mention that if you are on a tight budget you may want to bring your own picnic lunch. Same goes for the souvenirs and camping supplies. They are the only source for miles around and the prices reflect this.

We did enjoy sitting and watching the crowd. This is a junction in the Appalachian Trail as well and there were hikers and bikers and tourists from all over the World. The bikers were talking about a wildcat and a bear cub they had seen on their journey.

Hogback Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Hogback Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway

“Hogback Overlook” was our next stop and it is the highest on this part of the Parkway at 3,385ft.

Blue Ridge Parkway Overlook
Blue Ridge Parkway Overlook

 

There are views from other overlooks with names like Gimlet Ridge (2,655ft), Hogwallow Flats (2,665ft), Jenkins Gap (2,355ft), and Gooney Run Overlook (2,085ft).

Dickey Ridge Visitor Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Dickey Ridge Visitor Center

On our way down toward the Front Royal Northern exit/entrance we stopped at the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (1,940ft) where Rangers are on hand to answer questions and, of course, there’s another gift/souvenir shop. This was perhaps the most relaxing place to view the Shenandoah Valley.

Shenandoah Valley Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Shenandoah Valley Overlook

The last was the Shenandoah Valley Overlook (1,390ft). This stop had signs explaining what we were viewing as did many of the other Overlooks.

We had dinner in New Market our first evening here, at the suggestion of our campground host. The restaurant is called the Southern Kitchen and is located on South Congress Street. It has a 50’s/60’s style with a soda fountain and the jukebox selection boxes at the tables along the walls. We didn’t really enjoy the food that much and it is rather pricey. Again, we don’t complain about price if the food quality and service merit it. This place is not a good value. However we do recommend a frozen custard stand also in New Market on US-211 just as you start out of town toward the Blue Ridge Parkway. They have a hot fudge brownie creation that you won’t soon forget!

Home of Route 11 Potato Chips
Home of Route 11 Potato Chips

Other reasons to make this campground a stopover? On the same street as the campground is the Route 11 Potato Chip Factory. They do give tours during the week with samples and they do have a retail outlet.

This is also a great starting point for a visit to either the Luray or Shenandoah Caverns nearby.

Gas at this Exit is $3.359.

Our next stop will be Dover, Pennsylvania.

More information about:
Shenandoah Family Campground
168 Industrial Park Road, Mt. Jackson (Quicksburg), Virginia 22842
(540) 477-3080 PA/$23.50
PT, 20/30/50Amp, FHU, Free WiFi & Cable. Passport America/1 night – Sunday through Thursday only.
43 total RV sites, can accommodate RV’s up to 70ft, 30/50 amp, dump station, back-ins, pull-thrus, full hookups, tent sites, Cable TV, Wi-Fi, restrooms, showers, laundry, handicap accessible, swimming pool, playground, BBQ, fire rings, picnic tables, horseshoes, recycling, security, restaurant, store, propane and ice.

Shenandoah Campground website:
http://www.shenandoahfamilycampground.com/Campground_Map.html

Passport America information:
http://www.passportamerica.com/campgrounds/va/shenandoahvalleycampground3546

Route 11 Potato Chip Factory
http://www.rt11.com/cfmodules/ObjMgr.cfm?Obj=home