The 2017 Road Trip … What’s Been Going On and Where Have We Been?

It was high time to visit with our (grown) children and our grandchildren. For some reason, Nina and I do all the traveling. The children seldom come to see us! So, after the house building project was well underway and summer was in full swing, we made preparations to make the 2017 Road Trip. The actual itinerary was to be very flexible. We would first go to Kentucky and we would end up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina with Daryl and family. In between we would visit with Nina’s sister-in-law Marion in Pickerington, Ohio, Nina’s sister Pam in Kirtland, Ohio, Nina’s cousin Priscilla in Glenmont, New York, Nina’s cousins Linda and Chris in North Branford, Connecticut, Nina’s son Peter and his wife in Connecticut, and Nina’s brother-in-law Billy in Ninety-Six, South Carolina.

Jim’s daughter Shaundra had plans to be in Logan, Utah for an Especially for Youth activity the third week in July. Originally Jim and the rest of the family were coming out west to visit with family and Shaundra would go back with them. However, life intervened, Jim spent a couple of weeks in the hospital with a very serious infection, and their trip west was cancelled. Rather than have Shaundra give up her EFY experience, we planned our trip so that she could ride back with us. That all worked out very well.

We left Utah on Tuesday, July 25th headed east. So far we’ve visited Jim and his family in Kentucky, Nina’s sister-in-law Marion in Pickerington, Ohio, Nina’s sister Pam in Kirtland, Ohio, and Nina’s cousin Priscilla in Glenmont, NY. We’ve just arrived in Connecticut to spend some time with cousins and Nina’s son Peter. After that we’ll spend the Labor Day weekend in New Jersey and meet up with Daryl, along with his family and his in-laws on Monday, September 4th at a house Daryl has rented on the North Carolina Outer Banks. After that? Who knows!

We had a very special experience while we were in Kirtland last Friday. Pam (Nina’s sister) and Nina had spent the morning and early afternoon together. We had wanted to visit some of the church history sites in Kirtland, so they decided we should go to the Kirtland Temple on Friday late afternoon and then do the rest of the sites on Saturday morning.

When we arrived at the Community of Christ Visitors’ Center for the Kirtland Temple, we learned that the next tour would be combined with a Church History tour from Utah and that our very good friend Karl Andersen would be conducting the tour! I had wanted to somehow get together with Karl but there just didn’t seem to be time in the schedule. This was a golden opportunity not only to have a brief visit, but to have him lead the tour and teach us the history at the same time. He made the visit very spiritual and enlightening. This was one of those “coincidences” to be treasured. I’ve long maintained that there are no coincidences, only appointments made by God and kept by man. This was another example to proves the rule.

We’ve had some interesting problems on the trip. Grandson-in-law loaned us a car dolly so we could tow Nina’s Toyota Avalon and not have to rent cars at various stops along the way. We rented cars on our last Big Trip three years ago and, while that was very convenient, it was Very Expensive.

The passenger side tire came off the car dolly as we were coming into Columbus, Ohio. It looks like the spindle disintegrated. Fortunately, no one was affected other than us. The day after picking up the newly repaired dolly, the driver’s side tire on the dolly had a blowout. Both times the tail lights on the dolly were blown off the vehicle. I’ve gotten very good at replacing tail lights! We also managed to tear half the front bumper cover off Nina’s Toyota Avalon. That’s currently being held together with wire and a couple of bolts. This is a repair job that’ll eventually have to go through the insurance to get fully replaced. Meanwhile, I hope to further secure the bumper cover enough so that it’ll get us back home. Knock on wood….

Since the tire issue, the dolly has performed quite well. It’s good to have a car with us. I’m thinking it would be a good idea to buy a car dolly so we can do these kinds of trips more often.

Life is good. We’re currently in a campground in southern Connecticut near the beach. It’s cool and very humid. The rain should move out by about midnight and tomorrow should be a great day.

Ta ta for now!

Schenectady, NY — Frosty Acres Campground

This was another nice campground, but like most campgrounds, it was situated well away in the wilds of New York. Getting there follows a very winding and hilly road.

There was no wifi available but good cellular service from AT&T. We were there a total of three nights. We’d leave to go visit family at about 8:30am and get back about 8:30pm at night. As a result, we saw very little of the actual campground. What we did see confirmed that this was primarily a seasonal campground with people settling their trailer or motor home in place for months at a time so they could come up on weekends to play.

The route that Google Maps gives to get to the turnpike going eastbound, however, means passing through a tunnel under some railroad tracks where the ceiling is about 10 feet. No way could the motor home get through that tunnel, but there was no place nearby to turn around! Some investigating turned up a couple of alternative routes that would bypass the tunnels and get us out of there safely.

The campground had good cellular service but no wifi service was available.

Three out of five stars.

 

 

What: July – September 2017 Road Trip
When: 15 August – 18 August
Where: Schenectady, NY
Campground: Frost Acres Campground
1560 Skyline Drive
Schenectady, NY 12306
Phone: (518) 864-5352
Email: frostyacrescampground@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.frostyacres.camp/
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Windsor, New York — Lakeside Campground

This was to be a one-night-stand so that we could visit the Priesthood Restoration Site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We got a late start as we had one last visit to make before driving away. We got four miles east on I-90 when the driver’s side tire on the car dolly had a blowout. We were just exiting the freeway anyway to buy gasoline. We took the car off the dolly and, as luck would have it, there was a tire store on the exit! I took the motor home and dolly over to the tire store and they put a new tire on the dolly while we went across the street to Wendy’s for lunch.

Putting the car back on the dolly, however, turned out to be a serious problem. Nina was driving and gunned the car to get over the past hump. Since it was a front-wheel drive, the car pulled the dolly platform out of kelter. Nina immediately backed off the dolly, but it caught the front bumper cover and almost ripped it off the car! The mechanic looked at it and felt he could wire it back together enough for us to get to a real garage to be repaired. So far the repair has held up without any problems (knock on wood). Eventually we were underway for real in the late afternoon. We arrived at the campground right a dark.

The GPS took us over hill and dale, big hills, twisty windy road. I mentioned this to the clerk as I was checking in and she said there is a much nicer way, but because it’s a little bit longer, the GPS’s don’t select the route.

We had an additional GPS issue when we went the next morning down to the Priesthood Restoration Site. It put us “at our destination” a good four or five miles short of our planned stop. Nina pulled over to turn around ina business parking lot when the owner came out and, seeing our Utah license plates, knew where we needed to go and clarified the directions.

The campground is a delight. Most sites seemed to be seasonal. The campground sits by a nice lake for swiming, boating, and fishing. My problems were that we didn’t have any cell phone service there and no WIFI was available.

 

 

What: July – September 2017 Road Trip
When: 14 August – 15 August
Where: Windsor, NY
Campground: Lakeside Campground
336 Hargrave Road
Windsor, NY 13865
Phone: 607-655-13865
Email: Theresa@ILoveCamping.com
Website: http://www.lakesidecampground.com/LakesideCampground/Welcome.html
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Thompson, Ohio — Richards Campground

We had hoped to stay at a mobile home park in Chardon, Ohio however, they either didn’t have space or neglected to call back with confirmation. By then there wasn’t anything available except at Richards Campground (also known as Lillies of the Field Campground) in Thompson, Ohio (just south of the Madison exit on I-90 east towards Erie, PA).

The campground is &quait& (to say the least). Very inexpensive … less than $12 a night. We had electricity and water along with a sump where I could dump the grey water. The campground is very run down. Plenty of derelict trailers, vehicles, and tractors abound. No WIFI. The owner/operator was very nice and quite concerned about us having a pretty good stay.

The car dolly was finally finished on Monday, August 7th, so we drove the motor home down on Tuesday to pick up the dolly and bring it back to the campground.

Fortunately, we spent very little time at the campground. We were there a total of ten nights.

One out of five stars. This campground is a “last resort” place to stay.

 

 

What: July – September 2017 Road Trip
When: 4 August – 14 August 2017
Where: Thompson, OH
Campground: Fichards Campground
 
Thompson, OH 43021
Phone: 440-298-3870
Email: Unknown
Website: None
Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

Galena, Ohio — Berkshire Lake Campground

We pulled into this campground fairly late in the afternoon after what should have been a short drive up I-71 through Columbus and to this delightful campground north of town and close to I-71. As we were coming into Columbus, right at the I-270 / I-71 interchange, the passenger rear wheel on the car dolly literally came off. That side of the frame hit the ground with a bang. Nina was driving and quickly pulled over. We took the car off the dolly and pulled the motorhome with dolly attached well off the freeway. Google said there was a commercial tire shop at the next exit … one mile further north. They said they could fix the problem but it would take a couple of days.

Wheelless Dolly
Wheelless Dolly
We arranged for a tow truck to pick up the dolly and deliver it to the tire store. This was on a Tuesday afternoon. The repair was fairly complicated and took until the following Monday afternoon to complete. By that time we were in a campground up in Thompson, Ohio, so we drove the motor home down on the following Tuesday, picked up the dolly, and brought it back.

The Berkshire Lake Campground is primarily for longer-term guests. They do have a few campsites available for short-time campers. It is a very big facility with most sites having a fairly permanent setup. There was no WIFI. Our site was a pull-thru with hookups in very good condition.

Three out of five stars. No wifi was a downer.

 

 

What: July – September 2017 Road Trip
When: 1 August – 4 August 2017
Where: Galena, OH
Campground: Berkshire lake Campground
1848 Alexander Road
Galena, OH 43021
Phone: 740-965-2321
Email: Unknown
Website: https://berkshirelakecampground.com
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Pictures:

North Bend, Ohio

We’re staying several days at the Indian Springs Campground in North Bend, Ohio. The campground is located in the southwest corner of Ohio on State Line Road, the border between Ohio and Indiana and about two miles north of the Ohio River dividing Ohio from Kentucky. Folks here can chose to shop in any of three states based on where the best tax advantage is. One thing I’ve noticed is that gasoline is the least expensive in Indiana and by far the most expensive in Kentucky.

This is a nice jewel of a campground. It’s somewhat expensive (base rate for full hookups is $49/night). Several discounts are available with being a veteran worth a 10% discount. The sites are fairly close together, but do have a plot of green grass, a fire ring, and a picnic table between the sites. The sites are also not nose to tail so the motorhome door doesn’t open out to someone else’s door. There are a limited number of pull-throughs. Most sites are back-in and most of them line two sides of a medium-sized lake. Paddle boats and canoes are available to rent. The lake is well populated with fish, ducks, and geese. The kids also can enjoy a nice little playground.

The wifi is available and very limited. If anyone in the campground is streaming a movie or something from YouTube, the wifi crawls to a stop.

The office / store has limited hours. It doesn’t open until about 10am and closes around 6pm. The campground is very popular and generally full. Reservations ahead of time would have been helpful as we needed to move to a different site a couple of days after we arrived. There is a father-son-operated barber shop on site (haircuts $14). I had my hair cut there to a delightful conversation. The barber shop is very busy and the barbers are also the campground owners / operators.

Access to the campground is Very Easy … unless one uses TomTom GPS! Our TomTom put us on a narrow, no-outlet road about 15 miles from where we really should have been after leading us over hill and dale for about 20 minutes after exiting I-74 some twenty miles before the real exit. Fortunately there was a large farm complex at the end of the road with room for us to turn around and let Google Maps get us to the right place a half-hour later.

Five out of five stars.

 

 

What: July – September 2017 Road Trip
When: 27 July – 1 August 2017
Where: North Bend, OH
Campground: Indian Springs Campground
3306 State Line Rd
North Bend, OH 45052
Phone: 513-353-9244 or 888-550-9244
Email: Unknown
Website: https://indianaspringscampground.com
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Photos

Waukee, Iowa

We left the campground in Ogallala, Nebraska around 9:30am. The weather was cool, humid, with heavy overcast. About noon the rain started. It was very heavy through Lincoln and Omaha and in some parts of western Iowa. We had lunch at a Wendy’s restaurant in Grand Island. We got off at the 2nd Grand Island exit and the drive into town was Very Long! Very few choices for gasoline. We arrived in Waukee (Exit 117 on I-80 Eastbound) at about 5:15pm, stopped at a HyVee store to pick up dinner and a few items. Checked into the campground at 6:30pm.

The campground is in a wooded, rural area on the west side of a small lake. The trees in the campground are lovely, old, and very tall. Some sites are not very level. Several of the pull-through sites are water / electricity only, no sewer. The dump station is close and convenient on the way out.

Wifi is just OK. 0.5mb up and down. Strong signal at our campsite.

We camped in site 29, a pull-through with water and electric. Hookups were convenient and in good shape. Marta, the check-in clerk, is a delight.

What is needed to get to 5 stars: More level sites, better wifi, more pull-through sites with sewer.

 

 

What: July – September 2017 Road Trip
When: 26 July 2017
Where: Waukee, Iowa
Campground: Timerline RV Campground
31635 Ashworth Rd
Waukee, IA 50263
Phone: 515-987-1714
Email: timberlinedesmoines@gmail.com
Website: https://www.timerlineiowa.com
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Pictures

Ogallala, Nebraska

We drove away from Heather’s house in North Salt Lake at 7:30 am. We stopped for gas in Green River and Laramie, Wyoming. Lunch was was out of the fridge in the RV at a pull-over area west of Laramie. We arrived in Ogallala about 7:30pm, but for some reason the cell system had already put us in the Central Time Zone. Nina was very tired.

The campground is just south of the freeway. It’s a nice, well maintained campground. All sites are level. The center area of the campground is all gravel. Pull-throughs are side-by-side opposing. That is, head to tail. The sites are very close together. New picnic tables are at each site.

The three stars are due to the closeness of the sites to each other. We didn’t use the wifi, so no report on that.

The price was excellent and they gave us a 10% veteran’s discount.

 

 

What: July – September 2017 Road Trip Night 2
When: 25 July 2017
Where: Ogallala, Nebraska
Campground: Sleepy Sunflower RV Park
221 Road East 85
Ogallala, NE 69153
Phone: 55-987-1714
Email: sleepysunflowerrvpark@yahoo.com
Website: https://sleepysunflower.com
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars