Smooth Sailing On West

Dates: June 9 to 11, 2018

Location: Lafayette KOA, Scott, Louisiana

We ended up staying through to Monday morning. On Sunday, we met our friends Andy and Joanna Grimes for lunch since we missed coming on over on Sunday to camp with them.

On Monday morning at 7:30 Malcolm called the local Goodyear dealer and found that they had two tires in stock that we needed for our trailer. They told us to come on over and they’d take care of us, so we packed up the trailer, hitched up and headed over.

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Ready for new shoes

They had us in and out the door in a little over an hour, so we continued on our way north and west pretty much on schedule. The plan is to get two more tires put on in Washington to match the new Goodyears on the left side if nothing happens along the way (it didn’t).

Dates: June 11 to 12, 2018

Location: Texas Rose RV Park, Tyler, Texas

We found this little RV park near the interstate in Tyler, Texas. Malcolm called ahead and talked to the owner who happened to be out of town at the time, but gave us instructions to check ourselves in and pay for our spot with the envelope drop. Using our Passport America card, the price was only $20 for the night.

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The campground was a bit older and had lots of longer term residents, but it was kept very neat. For the sites on our circle, the campground even provided a fairly new charcoal grill and a plastic tote with charcoal and lighter fluid in it if you wanted to cook out. Nice little touch.

Dates: June 12 to 13, 2018

Location: Cedar Valley RV Park, Guthrie, Oklahoma

We stayed in this campground in Guthrie (no pictures). Their Passport America rate was $18 for the night. It was a quiet park, but rather old and decently kept. It was fine for an overnight.

Dates: June 13 to 14, 2018

Location: WaKeeney KOA, Wakeeney, Kansas

This KOA is kept very neat. They serve ice cream in the evenings and offer pancake and sausage breakfast (we took advantage of both) for a reasonable cost. They’ve been filling up every night during the week as there isn’t much else close to the interstate through western Kansas.

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Dates: June 14 to 15, 2018

Location: Fort Collins North / Wellington KOA, Wellington, Colorado

This KOA was fairly nice, as well. We had a nice, wide concrete slab to park on. When we were rolling in, there were storm clouds over the front range of the Rockies. They eventually blew in, bringing lots of wind, but no rain.

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Malcolm found a couple friends in the pasture adjacent to the side of the campground where the tent sites are. Several of the campers were enjoying our visitors.

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Dates: June 15 to 16, 2018

Location: Buffalo KOA, Buffalo, Wyoming

Due to re-scheduling our stay here and then scheduling it back, we ended up with the last available site that would fit our rig – a really nice patio site. It was only $6 more than what we would have paid for the site we originally booked.

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It was a little windy as we arrived here and it was blowing in cool weather. The temperature was around 70 degrees when we arrived and fairly quickly dropped into the low 60’s. Overnight, it was around 50 degrees. We ended up turning on the furnace in the morning. We also did a little antique shopping in downtown Buffalo.

Dates: June 16 to 17, 2018

Location: Deer Lodge KOA, Deer Lodge, Montana

When we arrived in Deer Lodge, it was around 50 degrees and drizzly rain. It stayed like that all night. We had the furnace on overnight.

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Snow on top of the nearby mountains

Deer Lodge is one of our regular stops. The owner came out and gave us a hug when we arrived. It’s not much of a park, but she keeps the place very neat and tidy.

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Dates: June 17 to 18, 2018

Location: Spokane KOA, Spokane, Washington

When we arrived in Spokane, the temperature and weather had improved considerably. It was sunny and in the 70’s when we got there.

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After we got there, we contacted our friends Tim and Emily Rohrer. They were in the area and agreed to meet us for dinner. In addition to Tim and Emily, Tim’s parents, Bonnie and Doug, also joined us. They recently just started full-timing and were traveling with Tim and Emily.

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Dates: June 18 to ???, 2018

Location: Washington State Fair Campground, Puyallup, Washington

On Monday, we rolled into Puyallup and set up at the fairgrounds campground.

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Now it’s time to visit family. We’re actually keeping the grandchildren for a couple days as Elizabeth and Cole are out of town. Elizabeth flies back in on Thursday.

The trip here from Florida was 3,435 miles. There are more direct routes than what we took, but we wanted to visit folks along the I-10 corridor, so that added a couple hundred miles or so. The following map shows the approximate route here (note the other trip earlier this year to Tennessee and Kentucky is on the same map).

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Rolling East – Part 1

Location: Green Tree’s Crazy Woman Campground, Gillette, Wyoming

Dates: Sept. 10 to 11, 2017

After leaving the rally in Red Lodge, Montana, our next stop was in Gillette, Wyoming. We arrived mid-afternoon. After setting up the rig, we went to the gas station and the grocery, then back to the trailer for dinner.

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We were anxiously watching the news reports and our security camera on our site in Florida as Hurricane Irma passed through the state. Even though the eye of the hurricane practically passed right over our place, we didn’t have any damage. Some aluminum trim blew off a neighbor’s RV port and landed next to our car (not on the car). Also, our car cover blew off but is still wrapped around the rear tire. We’ll clean up when we get there next week.

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Malcolm got up early and took the truck to the Ford dealer across the street from the campground. It was due for an oil change and we thought it might be time for brakes on it. Mid-morning, Malcolm dropped off a payment for a second night’s stay but the truck was done about 10:30 since it didn’t need brakes yet. We called the office (they weren’t in yet) and told them to void out the check for the second night’s stay.

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We went ahead and rolled on out around 11:00 am and headed on east.

Location: Arrow Campground, Wall, South Dakota

Dates: Sept. 11 to 12, 2017

We took a little shorter drive today since we left Gillette later than we usually leave on a travel day. We arrived around 4:00 PM, got the trailer set up and headed out to fuel up the truck. We also walked around Wall Drug for a while, eating dinner in their diner. We ended up back at the trailer for the rest of the evening.

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We packed up and headed out fairly early from Wall since we had a longer drive to our next stop.

Location: Sioux City North KOA, North Sioux City, South Dakota

Dates: Sept. 12 to 13, 2017

On our way through South Dakota, we stopped at the rest area near Chamberlain. This time last year they had just unveiled this statue, named “Dignity”, that we didn’t notice through here last year. Tomorrow (Sept. 13) was to be her first birthday.

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We arrived at the North Sioux City KOA late in the afternoon since it was a longer driving day. After getting set up, we took one of our quilts over to the laundry to wash it (Callie had thrown up on it the other night).

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After doing our laundry, Malcolm grilled dinner while he flushed out the black tank and emptied the gray tanks. We left the truck hitched to the trailer for tonight’s stop. Tomorrow, it’s on to the Illinois-Iowa border.

 

 

 

Wyoming and Planning

Current Location: Buffalo KOA, Buffalo, Wyoming

This morning we decided to take up the Mt. Rushmore KOA on their offer of all you can eat pancakes for $3. Though we only ate what they originally put on our plate (3 pancakes), it was a pretty good deal. After breakfast, we went back to the trailer, hitched up and headed out.

We had a windy drive today. A couple gusts hit us broadside and reminded us to take it easy, so we slowed back a bit. We stopped in Gillette, Wyoming at a truck stop and had lunch. It was about an hour from there when we arrived here in Buffalo, Wyoming. We were able to score the same creekside spot we had last fall when we were heading east through the same route.

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Creekside spot at Buffalo KOA

After we got set up, Malcolm took care of some work. Afterwards, we decided to eat out at a local steakhouse. The food was delicious and plentiful. We’ll have leftovers for dinner tomorrow night, for sure. After dinner we went to the grocery to get a few items and stopped to fill up the truck with fuel.

Our original plans had us stopping in Montana on Thursday, then on to either Coeur D’Alene, Idaho or Spokane, Washington for a two-night Friday/Saturday stay. It is still summer, though, and campgrounds in both areas are booked solid through the weekend.

We adapted and decided to stop in Livingston, Montana tomorrow night and Deer Lodge, Montana on Friday night, even though Deer Lodge and Livingston are not real far apart. On Saturday, we’ll make a fairly long (380-ish mile) trip on over to Moses Lake, Washington. There, we hope to find an empty spot in the Grant County Fairgrounds campground. Given that nothing is scheduled until their fair in a couple weeks and they have almost 300 campsites, we figure we’ll be able to find something.

Summer destinations are the bane of the full-time RV traveler. Many campgrounds understandably book up in advance for the weekends, requiring some pre-planning or flexibility on the part of the full-timer. Once we’re past Labor Day weekend, things typically open up pretty well.

 

Creekside In Wyoming

Current Location: Buffalo KOA, Buffalo, Wyoming

Pretty quiet travel day today. We left Montana around 8:45 AM and arrived here in Buffalo, Wyoming around 4:15 PM. We were put in one of the nicest spots (in our opinion) in the campground, right next to a creek and with our door facing away from everyone else.

Our site looking up from the creek

Our site looking up from the creek

Once we got set up, Val started preparing dinner while Malcolm pulled out the grill and a couple chairs. Dinner was cooked on the grill and we ate at the picnic table outside the trailer. Today’s temperatures were in the 70’s and 80’s (the upper 80’s at one point).

After dinner outside, we took everything in and headed downtown to the grocery store to pick up a few items and stopped by to fill up the truck on the way back. At the gas station, Val saw someone coming out with soft  serve ice cream on a cone. We decided we needed to check that out and ended up with cups of ice cream as a dessert. Back at the trailer afterwards, we put away groceries, washed and put away the dishes and settled down for the evening.

Tomorrow it is on to South Dakota.

Wyoming for the Night

Current Location: Douglas KOA, Douglas, Wyoming

We pulled up stakes and got a fairly early start this morning – closer to 8:00 AM. However, we gained an hour heading west into the Mountain Time Zone. We traversed I-80 to Cheyenne, Wyoming then headed north to Douglas on I-25 before pulling into the campground here around 2:00 PM.

The drive, of course, was beautiful. Here are some pictures Val took along the way.

Nebraska

Nebraska

Wyoming

Wyoming

Wyoming Road

Wyoming Road

Scenery in Wyoming

Scenery in Wyoming

We checked into the park and were led to our space. This is a pretty large KOA and it got pretty high ratings online. The price was reasonable as well. We had to call to reserve last night as it is getting close to the Wyoming State Fair, which is held here in Douglas.

Our site in Douglas

Our site in Douglas

Just a few miles before we got off at Douglas, the truck information center informed us it was time for an oil change. As we got off at the Douglas exit, we passed a Ford dealer. Malcolm called them after we got set up at the campground, but they are booked until Saturday. Our next planned stop is in Hardin, Montana, so Malcolm called the Ford dealer there and we have an appointment at 3:00 PM tomorrow for an oil change.

Once we were settled in here at the KOA, we took a walk around the park to see all the facilities. They have a really nice pool, miniature golf, two nice playgrounds and, Malcolm’s favorite, they cater to horse owners. Several horse owners checked in with their horses over the course of the afternoon and evening, so Malcolm made it a point to visit the horses.

A couple of the horses

A couple of the horses

More horses

More horses

Cute trash can covers

Cute trash can covers

Here is today’s license plate hunt results – 33 states. We scored the somewhat elusive Alaska. North Dakota continues to elude us and we didn’t see any Nevada plates today.

License Plates

License Plates