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2019 – Kenisee Lake Thousand Trails, Jefferson, OH

A bit of creative photography overlooking Kenisee Lake

Our stay here this year has been the longest stop of our 2019 Adventure. We were ready to slow down, do a few small projects, and get ready for our slow move back to Texas. The very fact that we planned on a longer stay at Kenisee is a clue as to how much we like this campground.

This is our third stay at Kenisee Lake Thousand Trails in Jefferson, OH. Since I reviewed the campground after both previous stays so I’ll just post some new photos and pretty much let that be my review.

The previous reviews are: 20132018

This stay, we have been in one of the big pull-throughs in the rear of the campground. These sites are long enough for the biggest of rigs and easy to get and and out of. We like the size of the sites, and at times we like being a bit isolated from the activity in the rest of the campground. We think it is both good and bad that these sites are quite a ways from the Activity Center, pool, and bath houses.

The last time we were at Kenisee we had lots of rain and our site sometimes felt a bit like an island surrounded by water. This stay we have had good weather most of the time. When it did rain, we noticed that the same sites we were in last time got muddy but work that has been done cleaning out drainage ditches behind them has made a difference. Overall, we have enjoyed the cool temps and sunny days.


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2019 – Pine Ridge Campground, Roebuck, SC

Pine Ridge Campground is near I26, just south of Spartanburg, SC in the town of Roebuck.  The route in includes a few zig zags on decent roads.  The campground road itself is rather narrow and has a steeper, but very short hill.  It is another of those campground entry roads that leave you hoping you don’t meet a RV coming in the opposite direction.  Be careful, slow down, and look ahead to avoid a problem.

Once in, the campground is nice with pretty good spacing for a private campground.  There are some nice amenities: a good fishing lake, pool, playground, communal fire pit, and a jump pad for the kids.  There is also a laundry and public area with comfortable chairs at the office.

Most of the campsites have trees that provide some nice shade.  I managed to bump into one and do some glass damage to the motorhome.  It was driver error and not a fault to the campground.  We will get the damage fixed on down the road in a week or so.

Spartanburg has most any shopping you might want – and it is only a few minutes away.   I got satellite TV easily and our Verizon signal was good.  The campground WiFi was okay, but it got pretty slow during the busy weekend.

Aside from the too narrow road in and the trees that reach out and grab you (!) this is a nice spot for those traveling through the Spartanburg area.


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2017 – The Year of the Dog

Some full time traveling RVers set out to visit all the National Parks. Others plan their journeys to see as many minor league ball parks as they can and more than a few focus on seeing the grandkids who are scattered around the country. I think, though, that we have a corner on doing animal highway sketching! At least this year, we did a pretty good drawing of a dog.

Honestly, it was only after I began planning our 2017 Adventure and I started mapping it out that I realized we were drawing a dog. Next year we’ll likely go back to drawing nondescript maps of amoebas.

Check out our 2017 Adventure Map page for links to reviews of all our stops during this “year of the dog.”

2017 – Eisenhower State Park, Denison, TX

 We have had a nice stay at Eisenhower State Park, Denison, TX.  We came to Denison so I could fill in for a pastor friend while he took Sabbatical leave.  The park is located on Lake Texoma and features a large marina and multiple camping areas.  However, only the Bois D’Arc Ridge loop has full hookups.

We enjoyed the beautiful wooded campground with its herd of deer and other assorted wildlife.  The neighborhood roadrunners are comical birds that are especially fun to watch.  The campsites in this area are all pull-throughs, with each site a small loop off the road.  That means everyone’s back is to the road, creating a sense of privacy even when the campground is full.

The biggest negative is that many of the sites are rather unlevel both side to side and front to back.  Some are so bad that only a small camper has any reasonable hope of getting level.  Also, in addition to bringing along plenty of leveling blocks be sure to bring extra sewer hose as the connection is seldom in a spot that will let you get level and be close to the sewer connection at the same time.  And, even though the lake is very close by, there are no lake views to speak of.  Toward the end of our stay the trees had dropped enough leaves that the lake could be seen through the forest from a few spots but there was nothing like a real lake view from this camping loop.

I really should mention the hedge apples.  Some of the sites have trees with this softball sized fruit on them.  You certainly don’t want to park your RV under one of those trees in the fall!

I really don’t mean for this to be a negative sounding review.  We like this park a lot.  The staff is friendly and easy to work with.  Unless you arrive on a busy weekend, they will let you drive around and pick a site rather than stay in the one assigned.  Also, if they know you are in a bigger rig they will try to assign you one of the longer, somewhat more level spots.

The campground is just a few minutes from Denison with its restaurants, Walmart, and about any other business you might need.

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See individual photos with captions here.

2017 – Coon Creek Cove Campground – Kaw City, OK

Coon Creek Cove Campground is a Corps of Engineers campground located on Kaw Lake, just east of Ponca City, OK. The campground is situated on a finger of land, affording water views to nearly every campsite. Several have water access. The campground roads are paved and the sites are gravel. Each site has a covered picnic table and fire pit. They are reasonably level, mostly with shade, and 30 amp electric and water. There are no full hookup spots. We arrived on a weekend and the place was nearly full with lots of people fishing, boating, and jet skiing. Several children were playing in the water. By Sunday night most everyone had left and there were lots of prime sites available to travelers. Generally speaking, the sites looking out over the lake itself are on a bluff. Those on the cove are closer to water level. We were mildly disappointed that the weeds between us and the lake on our bluff side spot were tall enough to obstruct what would have been great lake views.

I had no problem getting satellite TV and my Verizon 4G was weak but usable.

Probably the biggest negative to this campground is getting to it. It is about 30 miles from I35 and the roads get increasingly rough, narrow, and hilly as you travel. Whether or not traveling these roads is worthwhile for you depends on how long you plan to stay and how much you enjoy a lakeside campground.

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See individual photos with captions here.

Reflections on our 2015 Adventure

We enjoyed our 2015 Adventure very much! It took us to the northern Midwest with an emphasis on Wisconsin and Michigan and included some great stops along the way, both coming and going.

100_4806.JPG Our favorite campgrounds are Corps of Engineers. They almost always offer great campsites in pretty settings. Our America the Beautiful pass gives us half-price camping at these parks, making them not only great spots to camp but also provide a real savings too. Some of these campgrounds only offer water/electric hookups but others offer full hookup sites. You probably need to plan ahead and make reservations if you want to stay at these popular campgrounds on busy summer weekends.

Topping our list this year in order of our visits are these Corps of Engineers Campgrounds:

PHOTO_20150727_142048.jpg We also found some great city and county parks like Castle Rock, Friendship, WI (people kept asking us how we found this local, but out-of-the-way camping gem), Holtwood Campground, Oconto, WI, and Finn Road Campground at Essexville, MI. While these campgrounds don’t offer us the great America the Beautiful pass prices, they are still economical, great campgrounds that beat most private campgrounds we visit.

IMG_4220.JPG Our membership in Thousand Trails is our best choice when it comes to finances and we stay in them whenever we can. However, we don’t want to limit our travels to only Thousand Trails. Depending on the parts of the country we visit they are more or less a part of our plans. This year we were in areas where there aren’t as many Thousand Trails so we didn’t use our membership as much. Also, these campgrounds are generally not our favorite places to camp. Some are quite nice and others aren’t nice at all. We are glad we have our membership and plan to use it a lot in the future, although there are a few Thousand Trails we would likely skip all together.

P8129962.JPG I think the sightseeing highlight of the year for us was Pictured Rocks National Seashore at Munising, MI at Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The natural beauty is amazing. Running a close second was Mackinac Island, MI, just a couple of hours east of Pictured Rocks. This is a world class tourist destination that shouldn’t be missed.

I think Michigan in general, and the Upper Peninsula specifically was our most pleasant surprise of the Adventure. The area is interesting and beautiful. I don’t know what I expected, but the UP was a fun place to visit and I’ll happily return in years to come.

2015 - Cundiff Family on a rainy day at Silver Dollar City - Branson, MO.jpg One lesson learned in this Adventure is how much fun it is to rekindle old friendships. Since Jackie and I met while in college at Olivet Nazarene in Illinois, and thanks to Facebook reconnects, we were able to visit with people from those days. It was so good to get together in person. Also, we met up with RV friends, both old and new, as we traveled. We even enjoyed a weekend with Jackie’s brother and sister-in-law plus time with my sister. Our son and his family joined us for a fun, if wet, time in Branson, MO. While we love traveling, there’s something special about these friendship connections that does nothing but add to the joy of our journeys.

20150327_142949.jpg We have yet to have a full-scale mechanical breakdown while on the road but this year we came very close, not once, but twice. Both times Good Samaritans came to my rescue and repairs were made. I’m very thankful for help beyond the call of duty. Also, I was reminded this year of just how much I dislike threatening weather while in the 5th wheel. We had multiple instances of severe thunderstorms with rain, wind, lightening, and hail. I try to not overreact to these storms, but I spent too many nights watching weather radar and listening to the weather radio.

100_3734.JPG In 2015 we decided to try out volunteering at the San Jacinto Monument Texas State Historical park in the Houston, TX area. We spent the first months of the year there, helping out at both the Monument and on the Battleship Texas which is on the same property. In return for volunteering 25 hours a week we were given “free parking” there. We enjoyed the experience enough that we signed up for another stay in the new year. For us, this is a great win: it is interesting and fun, close to family and many friends, and a real money saver. We also enjoyed being part of the community of volunteers and staff. That’s not to say there are no negatives, but overall, it’s a positive experience.

As you can see we had a good 2015 Adventure and, yes, we’re already working on the 2016 Adventure. We plan to head for the Rocky Mountains – Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and then across to the Black Hills of South Dakota!

Unique use of an old card Catalog at Munising, MI Schools Public Library

Munising Schools Public Library

Munising Schools Public Library
810 West M-28, Suite A
Munising, Michigan 49862

 

Another unique find while traveling this summer. We stopped to use the Internet at the  Munising Schools Public Library while there I saw a card catalog that looked to be in use. On closer inspection I saw that it is a Seed Library. There are envelopes of seeds in the drawers with instructions on planting. They offer instructions for saving seeds to keep the Seed Library going. There is an instructional flyer on top of the catalog with websites that provide more information.

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2015 little Free Library near Friendship, WI

Castle Rock County Park

2397 County Rd Z, Friendship, WI 53934

I came across this Free Library at the Castle Rock County Park near Friendship, WI.  This library is part of the Little Free Library movement  that was started Wisconsin in 2009. It has now become an international program. I will keep watching for more to share as we travel.

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