Campground review: Cherry Glen Campground – Saylorville Lake – Army Corps of Engineers

You can read a follow up review of this campground here.

In addition to the lake being near by, a wonderful, paved trail passes right by the campground.  The Neal Smith trail is something special.  It passes through beautiful woods and extends for miles and miles.  Our campground is at mile 16 and the campground is no where near the end of the trail.  What with family activity and the weather, Jackie and I have only explored a small portion of the trail, but the trail does call to you.  There are lots of bicycles on the trail and exploring it by bike is inviting.  I confess that it’s pretty hilly.  We flat-landers might find that somewhat intimidating.

We give Cherry Glen two thumbs up.  If you plan on coming just be aware that this is dry camping and it’s a busy place on summer weekends.  Otherwise, you’ll enjoy this nice, wooded campground just minutes from all the amenities of the city.

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Campground review: Green Valley State Park, Creston, IA

Our third longest planned travel day of the entire summer took us from east central Kansas to southwestern Iowa. We left our beautiful Kansas campground and headed north on I35. We’ve been driving up and down I35 for years so this is very familiar territory for us. Not seeing new things and traveling with a “destination oriented” mindset (“let’s just get there”) made the 280 mile day feel longer than it was.

The pickup pulled fine. However, the rolling hills were hard on our fuel mileage. We’re doing better than the 8mpg that I budgeted, but not much better.

The main stop of the day was in the town where Jackie was born, Mt. Ayr, so we could pay respects at the graves of her mother and father, grandmother and grandfather. She laid roses at each headstone.

One interesting camping feature was “buddy electric sites” in which two campers basically share one camping spot. All I can say is that you had better like your neighbor and also, you had better be good at backing a camper in!

Our stay here was just one night. If we got the right site, I wouldn’t mind returning to this pleasant, out-of-the-way spot.

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Campground Review: Outlet Park at Lake Melvern, KS

The main attraction here, aside from the beauty of the place, is fishing.  The state is encouraging fishing, in fact, there are fish feeders stationed around the lake.  We’ve seen lots of people fishing and with some success.  There’s a nice trail the circles the lake, probably an hour’s walk all the way around.  The roads here are excellent and just right for bike riding.

This park is a real winner and we recommend it to folks traveling up I35 between Emporia and Kansas City.  It will go on our “let’s go back” list.

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Campground review: Lake Texoma Thousand Trails

Just down the road about 10 minutes is Cedar Mills Resort and Marina – it’s a really nice spot with a restaurant, gift shop, and a big marina. This is where people with boats here at Thousand Trails go to launch (and go to lunch too come to think of it).

All Lake Texoma Thousand Trails reviews are here

Today we got our first mail shipment via General Delivery.  It went perfect and Jackie was relieved to receive some meds we had on order.  We’re here till Sunday afternoon when we’ll begin our trek north toward Des Moines with a few shorter stops along the way. We’ll attend services here at the campground so we can make a quick exit afterwards. I don’t like moving on Sunday and, if things go as planned, this will be our only Sunday move all year.

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Whitesboro, TX Public Library

Location: Whitesboro, Texas 76273

Name: Whitesboro Public Library

Whitesboro Public Library is a City Library. This friendly branch is in a lovely building on Main Street. It is well laid out with good signage. The staff is ready and registering for the the upcoming Summer Reading Program “Get Fired Up For Reading”. They Plan to have 52 programs in 6 weeks including a Lock-In with a late pizza party supper and a walk to the nearby donut shop for breakfast. They have many incentives for reading including the two bicycles shown below. The library has a lot to offer the community. People can apply for Passports at the library including getting their picture taken. There is wireless internet available for those with their own devices or public access computers for those who need internet access including a visitors pass for people who do not have a library card. Two computers are dedicated to the children. There is a History/Genealogy corner for those wanting to do research and two study spaces if someone needs a quiet place to work. The study spaces can be reserved or are available if no is using them. There is also a Conference Room available to the public for meetings and receptions by reservation. Outside the library next to the parking lot is a lovely gazebo open to the public as a place to come sit, read and enjoy. The Library is also involved in Project Linus to help provide security through handmade blankets. The quilt shown is one the children helped make in 2010.

Some days are better than others

Our trip from Lake Conroe to Lake Texoma should have taken around 5 hours. Instead it took 10. As we headed north on I45 the pickup began to shake, rattle, and roll. Rolling part was just fine but the shaking and rattling caused us a bit of concern. My hope was that a wheel was unbalanced but I kind of knew something more was going on.

When we came to Corsicana we decided to stop of the local Walmart and have them check the tires. The stop didn’t work out very well. For one thing the Walmart was clear across town. For another I went one exit too far. That shouldn’t be a big deal, after all Corsicana isn’t that big of a town. After a couple of misfires on direction we got onto the right road, the main street through town. To our dismay, the street was all torn up, under construction. We had to take a detour and what a detour it was. It took us at least 5 miles around the half mile of construction. Finally we arrived at Walmart. I had to unhook the camper so they could put the truck into the bay. After a few minutes one of the guys said, “Here’s your problem.” One of the front tires was separating. It was nothing like round anymore. After checking they told me that they didn’t have that size of tire. They were nice enough to not charge me anything. Meanwhile, I called all over town, but no luck.

Finally, I decided to take another detour, this to the Discount Tire Store in Waxahachie. It was around 20 miles out of my way, but the nearest place with my size of tires. After re-hitching the camper I headed northwest. When I arrived, they showed me where I could unhitch the camper. Forty-five minutes later and several hundred dollars poorer I re-hitched the camper for the third time of the day and we headed north.

By now we were well inside the Dallas rush hour. I took the loop around Dallas hoping to miss some of the traffic. That worked okay till we hit Highway 75. It was a parking lot. Here I was with my big camper trying to work my way through traffic. At one point the motor temperature began to climb to the point I feared I would have to pull over (but where?). Thankfully, just as the temperature would reach the danger zone we would get to move at around 40 miles per hour for a mile or so. The temp would drop and then, as we inched along, it would start inching higher. However, we survived and made it to the campground 5 hours behind schedule but happily with enough daylight left for us to find a nice campsite and get settled in before dark. The heating problem will be addressed another day.

For now, we’re glad to be at Lake Texoma Thousand Trails. Photos and a campground review to follow.

R. F. Meador Branch Library

Name: R. F. Meador Branch Library

Location: Willis, TX

  The R. F. Meador Branch is part of the Montogomery County Memorial Library System. It is located at 709 West Montgomery, Willis, Texas  77378.  As you come through the door you can see the main desk and are welcomed by friendly staff. Inside the doors on your  left there are audio books and videos available along with a paperback collection organized by author to be checked out.   On the right side the Friends of the  Library have a tasteful well organized display of books for sale.    Although the building is not large the signage is clear and each collection is easily found. There are public access computers available for adults and teens.  It is obvious that all all ages are welcome here.  There is a Young Adult area set aside  with two tables to study at or meet with friends. Two computers are set up in this area. To encourage reading there is a truck of New YA books as well one of graphic novels available for the young people to read. There is an office with a window next to this room so the there is supervision if needed.

The Children’s Department is well stocked and ready for Summer Reading Program. They have a fire engine bookshelf seating area donated by the local fire department.  A unique feature in the adult area is a Coupon Exchange near the magazine/newspaper section with coupons separated, organized and ready for use.  This is a place where the Community can come to study, do research or find fun materials to read, watch or listen to.

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Campground Review: Lake Conroe Thousand Trails

With all of that, there’s plenty of full hookup sites for short term visitors like us.  There’s WiFi but it’s not that great.  We have a five bar connect but it’s still sluggish at best.  My Verizon 4G, though, is 3 bars and not bad at all.  We’re in a 30 amp site, but for an extra $3 there are plenty of 50 amp sites available.  When we were here in February we went to a Valentine’s dinner at the Activity Center.  A talented fellow played the keyboard and the steak dinner was very good.  Now, though, we’re into May and most of the seasonal people have headed north.  We went to a scheduled potluck and were out of luck, as no one showed up.  It think the lack of attendance was due to the number of departures coupled with a local tragedy that resulted in the death of one of the long time residents.  Nearly every “long timer” we talked to mentioned it.  I think that speaks well of the sense of community here.  The park has it’s share of trees, but not so much that there’s any problem getting satellite TV.  Also, our rooftop antenna is sufficient for us to get most of the Houston TV stations.  I think most of the area attractions are Houston oriented; around 40 to 60 minutes to the south.  Since Houston has been local to us for the past many years we’re not inclined to fight the traffic so our time here is more being used for decompression from the intense events of our lives the past few weeks.  That’s okay with us but we are starting to think about the next parts of our big adventure.

Let me also mention that just a few minutes from the preserve, on Little Egypt Road, is John Burge Park. It’s a county park with some nice wooded trails and a nifty frisbee golf course out through the deep woods. If you like to enjoy a 30 minute hike through the woods you’ll enjoy this park.

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