Echo.....Echo....Echo...Echo .....Bluff.....Bluff....Bluff...Bluff

We recently had the pleasure of visiting one of Missouri's newer state parks, Echo Bluff, for 5 weeknights in our beloved travel trailer.  Echo Bluff, formerly Camp Zoe, is near the town of Eminence where the land is hilly,  the roads are curvy, and the trees are aplenty.

The first part of our week was hot, hot, hot.  Who would have expected it to be 95 degrees on October 1st?  On these days, we did our hiking and walking well before breakfast because by 10 am, it was time for the A/C to come on and the trailer awning to come out.  We spent a couple afternoons playing Scrabble (big surprise!), reading, watching the Cardinals, and having our  meals.

One of the days, we took a day trip to the Eminence area where we visited Round Spring and Alley Spring.  Eminence is about a 35 minute drive from the park.  After we saw the 2 springs, we went to a couple shops in Eminence, had dinner at Martin's Country Cafe, and got gas.   Ha ha.  No, not that kind of gas.  The meal was actually…

DC in an RV & Pittsburgh, too!

Last Christmas, my daughter, Talia, gave us tickets for a riverboat cruise in Washington, D.C.  I really liked this gift because it meant she wanted us to visit her.   When we started thinking and planning this trip, we realized we could visit her in D.C. and also watch our St. Louis Cardinals play in Pittsburgh.  Thus a trip was born and an itinerary set.  D.C. first and then Pittsburgh which turned out to be a really good way to do it.  During this trip, we stayed at 4 different types of campgrounds.  Come along, and read about what we did and my thoughts about each type of campground.

Our first campground was the Ohio State Fair Campgrounds in Columbus.  This was a full hook up site but a no frills stop.  There are hundreds of sites so no reservations are needed, unless it is during the state fair.  Turns out, we were the only campers in our field.  There were 2 other campgrounds, but we could only see a couple of other campers far in the distance.  I would describe it as utilitar…

Dumping Our Honey Wagon

When we travel in our travel trailer, we like the full hook ups.   This is what we search for in  campgrounds, and this is what we choose, even though it costs a little more.  We have made a few exceptions to our full hook up policy - for example:  when we boon docked for a night or when we stayed in a  beautiful Corps of Engineer campground with only water and electric.  We managed, but these were short stays.  Also, we do camp with a self-imposed restriction of no solids in our black tank which prevents many potential and yucky problems.  So, far all has worked out.

However, when we make our annual pilgrimage to Michigan to meet up with family and friends, there are no RV full hook up camp sites available near the town we visit.  We could stay in a full hook up campground - 2 miles away, but then we wouldn't be able to walk or ride our bikes everywhere, and most importantly, we wouldn't be near those we came to be with.

With this being our first year going to Michigan in our…

Making Michigan Memories

I've been going to Michigan my whole life.  That's because my dad was from Grand Rapids.  Growing up, my parents would pack us kids into our giant station wagon and off we'd go every summer to stay with my dear Aunt Edna.  Even though she put too much pepper on our fried eggs, we loved it and were in heaven.  My mom loved the lake, so in 1973, she asked Gene and Sharon, my Michigan cousin and his wife, where we could go in Michigan and stay on the Lake.  Gene and Sharon looked at each other and simultaneously said one word - "Pentwater", and thus a tradition was born.

Most years, we've stayed at the only motel in town, Channel Lane Inn - which is on the channel, of course, such a pretty spot, but this year, we have our new travel trailer, so I made reservations for Dan and I to stay in Charles Mears State Park.  I was only able to get our reservation by checking repeatedly for cancellations, and after several weeks of trying, I was rewarded with 10 days on s…

RV Bike Rack Battles

This post will take a different spin than my regular posts.  Rather than discussing a trip we've taken, I will describe the route we've taken to achieve our goal of being able to take our bikes with us on our trips.  We've gone round and round with different options.

Take 1:
The story begins with us at Middleton RV last fall where we purchased the many accessories for our new RV; this included the Jack-It bike rack.  We paid $250 for the Jack-It which is about $50 over the Amazon price; however, we were happy to pay this as Middleton put this baby together and mounted it on our RV as part of the deal.  It ended up that we did not use the new bike rack until the following April when we went to Arrow Rock state park.  In April, we had some trouble figuring out how to mount our bikes, but after help from our local bike shop to move the pegs and much effort on our part, we were finally able to hoist the bikes up onto the rack and off we went.  It seemed hard.

Take 2:

While vi…