Sunday, September 20, 2015

Almost like home

I've discovered an interesting phenomenon this year as we're going to many of the parks we've gone to over the past few years.  As we get to our destination I often get the feeling like I'm coming home.  And it's strange that "home" seems to be so many different places.

This past weekend we returned to Columbus, OH to stay in the Alum Creek area.  We've probably stayed at the State Park or the private campground nearby a dozen times over the past 5 years.  And there are so many places around town that we love going to.  Cabela's down by Polaris, Easton (where I buy new work shoes every year), and even out to Brew's Cafe in Grandview.  It's so familiar it's almost like being home.

I noticed the same sensation when a few weeks ago we went out to Mosquito Lake State Park out in Warren, OH.  We used to always make it out for the Italian Festival in Youngstown.  We didn't make it this year, but we got to enjoy a few quiet, relaxing days at the park.  And of course a visit to our favorite wine store in Howland Center.

It's kinda neat that there are multiple places that I can feel so relaxed and at home.  Columbus, Warren, Port Clinton, Streetsboro, Newbury..  even Canadaigua, NY now that we've been there a few times.  This only reinforces for me that when it comes time to hit the road, I will be well-suited to find home where ever we are.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Kamping in Kentucky

We have arrived at Whispering Hills Campground just north of Georgetown, KY.  I really like traveling days, especially when you don't have a specific schedule.  We drove about 300 miles, but didn't feel rushed because we had all day to get there.

First impressions of the campground are very good.  The folks here are very friendly, and the campground is quite nice.  I think I read that this is a newer campground so there aren't a ton of trees, but the sites are nice, well-spaced and laid out.  And ours is right by the pond so we have a lovely view.

The weather is like we planned it this way - clear and in the upper 70s to lower 80s.  We actually got to sit outside for awhile in the evening.  Last time we camped it was a bit too cold.

Jon got a new flashlight awhile back, but I hadn't really messed with it much.  Tonight I turned it on at one point and that thing is like the sun.  I think he said it's 1050 lumens from one LED bulb.  It's really more like a weapon one might use to blind an opponent.

Tomorrow we really don't have any plans as of yet.  Again, nice to not have a schedule.  I'm sure we'll do something interesting, but we'll have to wait and see.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Punderson SP - 1st trip of the year

The view of Punderson Lake
We finally made it out of the yard and into a campground!  Granted we ended up camping in cooler weather, but it was worth it.  Highs were in the lower 50s, but overnight dropped into the lower 30s.  Back when we said having a travel trailer would extend the camping season it was the truth.

The other nice thing about early, cooler season camping is the crowd.  Punderson State Park was not nearly as crowded as regular season weekends, and many of the campers are other folks who really want to be camping.
Not quite sure what this was...

I was also pretty stoked that my sister got to
by as we hauled the trailer up and got set up.  She was in town from Utah, and I really miss hanging out with her over the campfires all summer long.  We got to go to some of our usual stops when camping at Punderson like Mangia Mangia and a little winery called Sharon James.

Looks like my next weekend off will be a full week off, so we're planning on taking the trailer a little further than usual.  Should be fun!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Squishy Yard

Camping was apparently just not in the cards for us this weekend.  Although the weather was pretty nice over the weekend, the prior several days included over an inch of rain.  Not good for a squishy yard.

I tried for over an hour to get the trailer to budge, but of course over 5 months it has sunk down a bit into its spot.  So not only do I need the traction from the truck to move its weight, but also to get it out of its little rut.

By the time I was done I had created quite a mess.  There was mud all over the truck and two crazy lines of mud up the front of the trailer.  I had to get the hose out to clean everything up which of course saturated the ground even more.

Now at the end of the weekend it's much drier, and I think we'll be ok for our next planned outing.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Snow on the RV

To say that I'm ready to camping would be an understatement...  I think I've been ready to go camping since we went to the Columbus RV Show.  My partner would say that it's probably been since sometime in November...

But right now the snow still covers the trailer, and the truck couldn't get it out without a winch.  So for now all I can do do is dream and plan.  And of course we probably have a few more days of freezing temps ahead of us, so dewinterizing would be unwise.  Otherwise I'd probably go out and have a few house-camping days.

Luckily, my April work schedule has been posted and it appears that I got my wish for a long weekend at the end of April.  So now at least there is something specific to look forward to.  Unfortunately, one of my favorite KOAs doesn't open until May.  But that's ok because I'll probably go to one of my favorite State Parks instead.

Just over a month until the adventure begins!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hocking Hills, Day Two

Sunday was forecasted to be a mostly rainy day.  The weather man from Columbus said he expected anywhere from 1/2 to an inch of rain.  Sure enough we woke in the night to the sound of rain on the roof of the camper.  A soothing sound at night.  But when day came along we needed to find something to do.

We decided to drive over to Nelsonville to take a journey on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway.  I love riding on trains.  I've only been on a few including the Cuyahoga Valley Railway.  I think we might have also been on one in Sugar Creek.  The HVSR was pretty cool with a fully restored diesel engine and passenger cars that liked to rock back and forth.  The scenery was more historic than anything, and it was interesting to learn about the area.  I didn't know that the area was so known for bricks and mines.  Had a fun discussion with one of the volunteers who tried to recruit us.

The rain started to abate as we discovered we were pretty hungry.  Somehow we discovered Jackie O's in Athens.  I hadn't been to Athens in almost 20 years and I thought it would be a fun little trip - after all we weren't that far from there at that point.  Boy has Athens changed.  I remember a bunch of little mom and pop shops on the main drag.  Now there are more chain places, but the overall vibe is the same.  And the College Bookstore is still there and even smells the same.

After a tasty bite to eat we decided to try to get to one more part of the Hocking Hills State Park - the Rock House.  After Tom Tom took us on a circuitous route we made it and embarked on the downhill trail.  It was very downhill and we noticed quite a few people huffing and puffing on their way up.  Once we made it to the cave we were instantly glad we made the trek.  The Rock House is actually the only real cave in the Hocking Hills (versus the other places that were large rock overhangs).  It's situated in an interesting place - about halfway up a 150 foot cliff.  The cave itself is about 200 feet long with 25ft ceilings.  What is crazy that there are spots where you really have to be careful because you could step right off of a cliff if you don't watch yourself.  After trying to get some decent pictures inside the cave - which is fairly difficult in the low light - we started the hike back out.  We soon figured out why people going up were so winded..

We got back to the campground too late for the community pork roast, but we still had plenty of time to have our dinner and unwind and enjoy the campsite.  It was hard to believe that our 4 day weekend was coming to a close already.  But we really had a great time, and I'm pretty sure we'll be back!

I'm amazed that having lived in Ohio for 32 years I've never been to Hocking Hills. It is a wonderful area with so many natural resources to explore!  One could easily spend a week or more exploring the area.  The Ohio State Parks are wonderful.  Add to that many good places to eat and fun things to do.  I really want to try ziplining next time!  If you're looking for a place to check out that rivals some of the National Parks, Hocking Hills is worth checking out.  Just don't expect to get any phone calls while you're there! :)