Tag Archives: weather

2018 – Shenandoah Valley Campground – Verona, VA


We only intended on spending three nights at Shenandoah Valley Campground, Verona, VA. It turned out that our stay was shortened by a day. The campground is reasonably near I81, nestled in the Middle River valley. The campground is all about that river, which is a gentle stream, perfect for tubing most of the time. Then, near the popular tenting area is the real gem of the campground: a beautiful waterfall dropping in from the higher ground opposite the campground. Again, our stay was brief and in the week following heavy rains from what was Hurricane Florence. With the river running high (and it was flooding the campground in the days prior to our arrival), the waterfall was stunning.

There is a camping area on the plateau above the large camping area on the river; that’s where we stayed. Really, we were glad to be a bit higher, knowing that the river was pretty full and that more rain was forecast. My thinking was that even if the river overflowed its banks again we would be high enough to be clear of any danger. After the Hurricane Florence related flooding the campground staff worked many hours putting fresh gravel down throughout the large water-front area of the campground which is all gravel – roads and campsites.

This is a destination campground with a large, heated pool and several hot tubs located indoors. There’s also a nice fishing lake and a couple of playgrounds. The kids have a blast bike riding, fishing, tubing, swimming, and feeding the many mostly-tame rabbits.

WiFi is slow and only available in the campground store.  My Verizon signal was poor to zero.  I got a satellite signal but not many people would.  Having a homestyle dish on a tripod let me set up in the only sweet spot, just peeking over the trees to the south of us.  The sites themselves are pretty tight with neighbors very close in on both sides.

As I said, our stay was supposed to be three nights but after a night of rain on Saturday night a staff member knocked on our door telling us that the entire campground was being evicted by the sheriff’s office. The issue wasn’t flooding in the campground. Rather, it was the county road leading to the campground that was in danger of going underwater. We were told that we needed to be out within the hour.

So, we skipped breakfast and gave up on attending church and began preparing to move. It usually takes us a bit less than an hour to be ready to pull out. In this case, we were ready to go in around 40 minutes. The road out was fine, but there is one section that dips down right beside the river for a 100 yards or so. Water was lapping against the pavement as we came through.

For us, it was more of an inconvenience than anything else and we just moved down the highway to our next scheduled stop. I do feel sorry for the campground especially in light of all the work they did to get open again following the flooding.


See individual photos with captions here.

2018 – Kenisee Lake Thousand Trails – Jefferson, Ohio

Kenisee Lake Thousand Trails at Jefferson, Ohio has a lot going for it. There are many nice campsites. The big rigs have some really long pull through, 50 amp, FHU sites that are out in the open. There are also a number of back in sites suitable for most any sized rig. Other areas of the campground have more trees. Most of those sites are 30 amp FHU sites. Many are big enough for bigger rigs, but are popular with those with smaller rigs. Kenisee Lake is an unusual Thousand Trails in that campsites are assigned rather than the usual pick-your-own site approach. It works here because those with larger RVs are happy to park in the big 50 amp sites. Those with the smaller rigs are happy to park in the prettier sites near the lake. Everyone likes the set up with people being assigned suitable sites. If there was a mixture of FHU and W/E only sites there would be a lot of pushback about this campground breaking with the Thousand Trails first-come-first-served policy but as it is people are okay with this approach. It might be worth noting that the big rig portion of the campground has no restroom or bathhouse. Also, as is the rule rather than the exception, there are many sites that have been sold to seasonals.

See our previous review of this campground here.

The main feature of Kenisee Lake is, well, Kenisee Lake – a pretty lake. There is also a small pool, nice mini-golf course, basketball court, Activity Center, and other amenities. The tenting area is more popular than we usually see at Thousand Trails.

My Verizon signal was usable but not strong. Data throughput was slow but workable, especially using the signal booster. I had no problem getting satellite TV.

During our stay the weather wasn’t great. It seemed to be either raining or, when the rain ended, very hot and humid. While the gravel surface of our campsite kept us above water the rest of the campsite tended to go underwater. Of course, we can’t blame the campground for the weather but it would be nice to not have to wade through water to get in and out of the RV.

I don’t think, of all the Thousand Trails we’ve visited, that I’ve ever seen as active, on hands manager as Vickie. She was out and about constantly and when there was an issue with my electricity she’s the one who showed up with the multimeter to check it out.

We like Kenisee Lake and will happily return here on future trips across northeastern Ohio.


See individual photos with captions here.

2018 – Counting down to D-Day (Departure Day)

 Our 4 1/2 month stay at San Jacinto Battleground where we have been volunteering on Battleship Texas is drawing to an end.  This has been our 4th season here.  It is nice feeling we are helping out and the staff always makes us feel appreciated.  We also like being close to family and friends during these winter stays.  We had more winter this year than we wanted with several cold, icy days.  All in all though, we have few complaints; enjoying meeting people and getting to know our fellow camp hosts.

This year, in addition to our hours volunteering, we have filled in as interim pastor at Baytown Nazarene.  The church isn’t far from us and we’ve helped out there the entire time we’ve been at our “winter quarters.”  The church family has treated us very well and it has been good getting to know them better.  If you add our time filling in at Denison prior to arriving at San Jacinto, I’ve ministered nearly every Sunday over the past 5-6 months.  No complaints, but it hasn’t felt very much like retirement to me!  Lord willing, I’ll enjoy some down time now that we’re beginning our 2018 Adventure.

The closer we get to D-Day the more time I spend looking at potential travel routes and campgrounds.  Several reservations have already been made; especially at popular campgrounds during the busiest times of the year.   Our ultimate destination this year is the coast of Maine, but we won’t make it that far till mid- to late summer.  As a planner, I enjoy putting the trip together and then refining it. That process will continue all through the Adventure.

So, it won’t be long before we blast off.  We’ll keep posting sightseeing and campground reviews here to the blog.  Stay tuned!


See individual photos with captions here.