Tag Archives: RV Adventure

First RV Trip of the 2018 season

Waiting patiently
As many of you, we have been waiting since our  RV Thanksgiving trip last year to get out into the world again.   After winterizing the motorhome last November my wife and I sat by the window waiting for the first chance to get outside without frost bite.  We are finally going on our first RV trip for 2018 to a local campground about 20 miles away.

Lake Guntersville State Park view from our site.
View from our campsite

We unplugged from house shore power, cleaned the drains, and removed the cob webs and drove about 20 miles away to Lake Guntersville State Park RV campground.   This is our favorite local campground as well as a good place to de-bug anything that may have happened over the winter.

As expected, we had a few issues but nothing to diminish the thrill of being back outdoors.  Our site had a great look at the lake on one side and the mountain up to the Lodge and golf course out the other side.  What we didn’t plan on was this being the states “Spring Break” for schools and there were lots of others who had the same idea.

What went wrong

Our only incident that caught us by surprise was a small water leak coming from our ice maker.  My wife noticed the carpet was wet in front of the cabinet that had the ice maker and I immediately unloaded the cabinets and turned off the feed valve.   It turns out that it just needed a refresh of the silicon plumbing tape around the inlet.  I just happen to keep enough plumbing tools and spare parts with me for this very reason.  While I was at it I replaced the water pressure regulator at the faucet as well.

After we fixed the leak

We tested for other issues that may have been caused by winter’s cold temperatures.  We checked the toilet, washing machine, and all the sinks, toilet, and shower.  Then, our Ubiquiti wi-fi amplifier system  pulled in seemingly unlimited internet bandwidth for streaming our favorite news and sports channels on directvnow.com.   Our site was  .4 miles from the wireless access point and it got enough signal to browse and stream TV.   Something we do when RVing is to play games like scrabble or cards.  Those things are a lot of fun, but we don’t seem to find time when we are at home.

The wife and I went on several nature walks and saw one huge buck at the golf course late in the evening, and as much as we could in the low light we think we counted 18 deer in and around the lake area.

We didn’t do much cooking or lounging outside because it was still a little windy and cool to be comfortable.   However, we sure did enjoy our first adventure for the year.    Our wonderful experiences have made us look forward to doing this at least a couple of times per month.  The RVing season in our area is usually from late March through late November.   Until the temperatures turn back to  freezing and force us back to our homestead we are “On the Road Again”.

See you out there somewhere soon!

Arrived at Harrisburg East

Harrisburg-EastAfter leaving Arab at 4:30pm on Friday June 3rd, we stopped at a Walmart in Marion VA for a free dry-dock and it was quiet, restful, and very safe.   There were a couple of Semi trucks and other campers of all varieties, including a 5th wheel that took the liberty of using their slide-outs.  But there was plenty of room for everyone.

We ran our generator and I had loaded the tanks with water so we had running hot/cold water, microwave, shower, toilet, air-conditioner, and TV.  What else would you need for roughing it in a Walmart parking lot ?

On the 5 and half hour drive from Marion to Harrisburg we saw deer, fox, a scared little beaver that was trying to cross the interstate, and the traffic was moderate.  We also saw a lot of beautiful American Farmlands that brought back fond memories of the “good ole days”.

We encountered a small shower from the entry of PA until we reached Harrisburg East on Friday June the 4th at roughly 4:30 ( Arab time ).   We stopped several times for stretch breaks, and coffee.  Pilot, Flying J, and a couple of Cracker Barrels.  BTW – that new berry dessert is absolutely worth the price, and the photo doesn’t do it justice.  It is HUGE – enough for 2, but I struggled through it alone.  😉

The only thing I can think of that would make this trip better was if my kids, and grand-kids could join us.   There is a HUGE heated pool here and a very large playground with swings, human powered merry-go-round, teter-toter, and other things for kids to do.  Maybe next time…….

 

 

4th day -Needles Highway and Wildlife Loop

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On our 4th day (Saturday) we are still at Horse Thief Campgrounds near Hill City SD.  This allowed us to visit Mt Rushmore quickly, and also was very close to Needles Highway and the Wildlife loop.  We took the whole day just to drive and see some AMAZING sites and spectacular scenic views.

Needles Highway viewing was highly recommended to be done “IN THE CAR/toad”, not the RV !!!  You would never make it through the tunnels which are barely big enough for a standard size pick up.  We witnessed several F250 go through and had to fold in their mirrors to keep from breaking them off.

We saw buffalo, prairie dogs. antelope, deer, turkey, sheep, and a lot of magnificent scenery.   It took an entire day to drive both routes, but was well worth it.  ( see photo album below ).   Then after we returned to Horse Thief campground we connected the toad in prep for leaving on Sunday morning around 6:00am trying to not wake everyone else up.   The diesel is loud enough without the clanking of hitches and chains that early.

View the small percentage of photos actually taken below.   Sunday we drove to Yellowstone.   Come back soon to hear about the adventures getting to Yellowstone from Mt. Rushmore.

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3rd day leaving Sioux Falls to Mt. Rushmore

The Falls from the viewing tower at Sioux Falls SD.
The Falls from the viewing tower at Sioux Falls SD.
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We got up early Friday morning, and disconnected the “toad”.  We drove the car from the Wal-Mart parking lot where we dry docked just off the Southern exit of I-29 and drove up I-29 a couple of exits to the Sioux Falls Park which was spectacular.  The park and the surrounding downtown area was just as we expected.  Clean, nice  friendly people, and beautiful.

After we walked around the entire city park and purchased a few souvenirs for the grand kids, we quickly drove back to the camper at Wal-Mart, hooked up and off we went to see Mt. Rushmore.

As we typically do, we drive a couple of hours then stop to stretch, and take care of any needs we have, fuel, coffee, restroom, etc.  and then back on the road.  We typically don’t stop for longer than 15 minutes just to get our blood flowing again.  However, on this particular trip we did want to see the Corn Palace, and Wall Drugs which we had heard about and saw a lot of bill boards on the way.   So we spent a little more time than usual seeing these “tourist trap” but very nice points to see along the way.

Wall-Drug-tourist-trap

 

It took approximately 8 hours time total including stretch breaks to arrive at the “Horse Thief” campground and RV resort.  We collectively give them a 4 out of 5 “shade trees”  score because the park was convenient to everything we wanted to do, and fairly easy to get to in our big rig with a toad.  However we don’t give it a 5 due to no internet access even though they offer it as included, it did not work at all.

MtRushmore-LitUp We arrived Friday night and got setup early enough to find our way to Mt. Rushmore for the nightly lighting and flag lowering ceremony.  It was AWESOME.  They had all the military in the audience come down and participate in the flag lowering ceremony and it was an intensely reverent few minutes.  Then they lit the monument and had a film documenting the reason each president was chosen to be honored and memorialized.  We then went back to the campground and slept soundly with plans to see Needles Highway and Wildlife Loop road on Saturday…… keep tuned.

 

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