Monthly Archives: October 2015

Campground Review: Natchez Trace Thousand Trails near Hohenwald, TN

100_4824.JPG At the conclusion of my previous review of Natchez Trace Thousand Trails near Hohenwald, TN a couple of years ago I commented that on a future visit I hoped to see some of the maintenance issues of this campground addressed. Frankly, as we finish up our second stay here, I have to report that my previous review is still accurate. If nothing else, I’d say the mile and a half road back into the campground has even more potholes than it did two years ago. I mentioned that good WiFi was one of the real bright spots, but this stay it wasn’t working well with lots of dropouts even with a strong signal. I mentioned it at the office a couple of times and near the end of our stay someone may have looked at it because it finally settled down and disappeared less often.

100_4825.JPG As we arrived there were two other rigs just ahead of us. We found out they were a mom and dad from the northeastern part of the country meeting their son and his family from Texas for a two week stay together. They were very disappointed in the campground. The son wasn’t a member and had paid the “rack rate” for a two week stay in his brand new 5th wheel. After walking around the campground for a long time, looking at every available site and digesting the news that there were no 50 amp sites at all, they settled on a couple of rougher sites next to one another. The next day they pulled out, looking for a nicer campground. I don’t know if they got a refund or not.

Let me say that I think that was a bit of an over-reaction. Anyone who looks online can see that there is only 30 amp service here. Still, for someone looking for a nice campground with some amenities I can understand the feeling of disappointment. For us, the campground itself is at the low end of “acceptable” and not a place I would look forward to visiting aside from it being easy on my camping budget as a fulltime traveler. The primary other positive is that our stay coincided with the peak of the fall foliage here and the colors were glorious.

I don’t understand the layout here. At the front gate there’s a store, pool, min-golf, and lake access. However there are no campsites. The campground for members is a mile and a half away, over a very rough and hilly road. There’s plenty of room for a campground in a big, wide open area near the amenities and I have no idea of why anyone ever thought isolating the primary campground as it is would be a good idea. Aside from that I know the long term residents and the staff of this Thousand Trails are still hoping cooperate will finally turn its attention to this long neglected campground. I suggest that happen sooner and not later.

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Sightseeing Review: Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

PHOTO_20151020_154127.jpg We had a fun time revisiting Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave. Many years ago we took the long tour. I remember enjoying the many rooms, colors, drapes and other formations. I also remembered the long walk back out up the many stairs. This time we took the Domes and Dripstones tour, the moderate tour and “only” had about 500 stairs to hike. Still, it was fun going down the steep winding, narrow and sometimes very low passages. We saw domes, pits, and dripstones along with stalagmites and stalactites and drapes. Our guides were very good and even took time to show us a patch of crickets that live in the cave. It was so good to see that God made the inside of the earth is beautiful as he made the outside.

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Shortstop Review: Baileys Point CoE Campground – Glasgow, KY

100_4806.JPG We’ve enjoyed our short stop at Bailey’s Point CoE Campground on Barren Lake near Glasgow, KY. The campsites are terraced along the lake and most of the sites have nice views of the lake – in fact, many are right along the lake. The campground is on a finger of land, so driving to it means traveling down some country roads. The roads are okay, but are rather narrow and hilly. The sites are mainly water with 50 amp electric although there are some that were obviously designed for tents and smaller campers. Parking in most every site includes backing up a sometimes steep entry ramp. Once you get to the top of the paved ramp the sites, themselves, are level gravel. Several of the site ramps are long enough and steep enough that I wouldn’t want to back my 5th wheel up them for fear that the back bumper of the camper would scrape the paved surface of the ramp. When you make camping reservations online you can see photos of the individual campsites. You might want to pay attention to the photos to get an idea of just what it would take to back into the sites. I had no problem getting satellite TV and my Verizon 4G as weak but usable. The campground is well cared for and the scenery is great. We’d be happy to have a longer stay here in the future.

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Campground review: City Campground – Madison, IN

IMG_4226.JPG The City Campground in Madison, IN is all about the river view. While there are sites on the north side of the one campground road, the sites on the river side are by far the most popular. The Ohio River is right outside your rear window (or if you pull a motor home in nose first, it’s right outside your front window). A short distance from the campground is a very nice city river-front walking area. Historic downtown Madison is also a short distance away with interesting shops and nicely preserved architecture, hearkening back to the day when riverboats plied the waters. Again, it’s all about the river.

100_4775.JPG The campsites, themselves, aren’t anything to brag about. They are way too close together putting your neighbors on either side just a few steps away. If there’s any redeeming point about the spacing it’s that each site is at a pretty hard angle making your “front” yard also your neighbor’s “back” yard. If everyone just uses their front yard there’s enough room for you to use the picnic table and set out some lawn chairs to watch the river. However, if your neighbor in a motorhome happens to want to pull in nose first that scheme is messed up and you end up with the front door of their RV matching up with the front door of yours – creating a shared front yard. On the other hand, the utility hookups actually support this approach because the water/electric hookups are on every other site. If you get an even numbered site they are on the normal, driver’s side of the rig (when backing in). Otherwise, you either pull in nose first or you have to pass the hose/electric under the camper.

100_4773.JPG There are no sewer hookups in the campground, but there is a dump station. The campground has for-pay WiFi. We didn’t use it as our Verizon signal was a strong 4G. Also satellite TV was easy to get – after all you are basically aiming it out over the river and there are no trees in play. The bathrooms are old and worn but reasonably clean and in working condition. Because of the public nature of the campground (right along a city street) you pay a $5 deposit to get a bathroom key.

The number of sites is limited so if you are coming during the busy time of the year I strongly suggest you call ahead for reservations – especially if you want a riverside spot.

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Sightseeing Review: Madison, Indiana and area

IMG_4237.JPG Madison, Indiana is a lovely town set on the banks of the Ohio River. There are many stately homes that were built in the 1800s. Some were part of the Underground Railroad that was active here. The downtown has shops in many buildings from the same era. The Broadway Fountain is a perfect setting for pictures. It has been a Madison landmark since 1886. It was recast in bronze to commemorate the Nation’s Bicentennial in 1976. There is a beautiful park/walking area along the river with benches where one can relax and watch the river traffic. The bridge across the river to Kentucky also has a walkway and many people walk across the river and back.

100_4771.JPG Our primary reason for visiting was because Scott was raised in this area and he wanted to revisit places from his growing up years. Madison is his grandmother’s home town and he grew up about 15 miles south and west of the town. He enjoyed driving around the area, reviving old memories.

100_4791.JPG On Saturday we drove to the “Autumn on the River” festival in Bethlehem, IN, close to where Scott grew up. We parked in a clover field and could smell the clover as we got out. There was lots of food and music. We enjoyed some homemade bean soup and cornbread. My favorite event of the Festival was the parade. Although it wasn’t large there was an antique firetruck, restored tractors, and beautiful antique trucks and cars. The American Legion was there with several veterans riding along waving to family and friends. It was fun way to spend a fall southern Indiana day.

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