Saturday, March 13, 2010

Itinerary for our Spring Adventures

Ken has been so busy working to a stopping point on his remodeling, doing things to prep the house/yard for our time away, and then getting the various 'man jobs' done on the motorhome that he told friends last night he will know where we are going on this trip when I finally post the itinerary on the blog!
The furkids are obviously anxious to get back on the road again now that the weather is better.

I took this picture after they returned from being groomed and I wouldn't let them out in the backyard where they thought it their job to dig out any early signs of moles. I think I'll call this picture "All Dressed Up and No Place to Go!!"

As I mentioned in the last blog, I was a bit hesitant to publicize to much about itinerary, but now that I know Trevor will be here to housesit I feel much better. Trevor just returned from his final college spring break in Sarasota, FL. I think he may need some home time to recurperate!!

Our overall travel plan is noted below. I'd love to hear from anyone who can provide any info on special stops, campgrounds or areas not to be missed along the route. With a few exceptions where we've made advance reservations, we are being very flexible on how the actual will compare to this plan.

It's our intention to generally follow the RVers rule of two's: Driving about 200 miles, arriving at our next destination by 2:00pm and staying at least 2 days.

Stop 1: Carlinville, IL - Beaver Dam State Park - Carlinville is where our son, Kyle, lives along with his fiance, Jenni. The state park there is wonderful and an easy drive in and out of town. We plan to spend enough time here to help with any spring fix-ups Kyle might have on the list for their house and maybe go with Trevor for the day to check out apartments in Springfield.

Stop 2: Metropolis, IL - Fort Massac State Park - this is simply an en route stop since we have been through this area a lot and not interested in staying on this trip. Could even end up being replaced by a truck strop or Walmart overnight

Stop 3: Carthage, TN - Defeated Creek COE, we are planning to attend an informal autumn RV rally at this park the week after Kyle's wedding and so are thinking we will stop here for a few nights to get a feel for the park and decide on which site we'd like to reserve for October. This is also close to where our Cyber-friend, Lisa, lives and so we are hoping we might be able to hook up with her family for an introductory visit while we pass through.

Stop 4: Tennessee side of the Smokey Mountains - when we lived in NC many years ago we had to make many trips around an I-40 tunnel collapse that took forever to fix. This time it looks like the October rock slide will still be in our way. All indications are that motorhomes are required to stay on the interstate detour which takes I-81 to I-26 through Johnson City and then back down south. Our current tentative overnight is well-reviewed Baileyton RV Park just off the interstate. Again, we may consider a Walmart or truck stop if it falls in line.

Stop 5: Fletcher, NC - Rutledge Lake Travel Park - this is a Passport America park that appears to be nicely located for us to spend a few days exploring a part of the Pisgah National Forest area, particularly some of the Waterfall drives.

Stop 6: Dreher Island State Recreation Area, SC - this is where we plan to spend Easter weekend and so have made reservations since we are expecting that to be a rather difficult weekend to find a site.

Stop 7: RV-Dreams Rally, Myrtle Beach (Longs), SC - we plan to get the the Willow Tree Resort on Monday so we will have a little down time before the rally starts. I have a great-niece who lives in Myrtle Beach and a nephew not far away so we are hoping to work in a quick visit with then as well. We plan to stay at the resort a day or two after the rally so we can 'recuperate' before hitting the road again!

Stop 8: James Island County Park, Charleston, SC - we hear this is a beautiful park and are also looking forward to doing a walking tour of historic downtown Charleston. We'd also like to visit the USS Yorktown.

Stop 9: Jekyll Island, GA - appears to have a wonderful campground and a sea turtle center that I'd like to see.

Stop 10: Quincy, FL - Flying J, on I-10, overnight stop on our way to Florida Panhandle beaches. It's also possible that if the weather is good and we are up for it we might pull a really long day here and go straight to a beach campground. Of course this Quincy, IL native would like to say I spent the night in Quincy, FL!!

Stop 11: Florida Panhandle - maybe Saint Joe Peninsula State Park, or St. Andrews State Park, or if we feel we want to stay more upscale for a bit, Emerald Coast RV Beach Resort - we are definitely looking for some beach time at this point. I really want to be able to take the dogs to the beach with me and understand that some locations like Destin are not dog/beach friendly, so we continue to weigh our alternative here.

Stop 12: Rainbow Plantation Escapees Park, Summerdale, AL - although we've been to an Escapade, and consider Escapee's one of our best memberships for our RV Lifestyle, we've never stayed at an Escapees park and hear this is a very good one for the experience.

Stop 13: Betty's RV Park, Abbeville, LA - Betty's comes very highly recommended and is ranked as one of the top 25 RV parks in America. We plan on a 5 day immersion in Cajun country!

Stop 14 and 15---We have a week at this point to get from Abbeville to Charleston, IL. and expect to make at least 2 more stops in those 800 miles, which will mostly be on I-55, then I-57 North. Any suggested stops along this route would be much appreciated!

Stop 16: Fox Ridge State Park, Charleston, IL with arrival in time to make Trevor's graduation.

So after this extended excursion will we be anxious to get back home or sad to be coming of the road? We think this trip will tell us a lot about how we fit in to the RV lifestyle.

Again, if anyone has any suggestions of things to see or campgrounds to use, we'd certainly love your input.

Hugs, C


Paul and Mary said...

Looks like a great itinerary!

When you are in Asheville you "simply must see the Biltmore"! That's what everyone says, and now we know why! Even if you're not into touring a castle, the gardens are lovely.

A big thumbs up for Charleston, too. If you want to go to the beach while you're there, Isle of Palms is very pretty.

We look forward to hearing all about Defeated, and meeting you there in the Fall.

Happy trip planning!

Anonymous said...

I can't offer any advice on this area, but will be looking forward to your reports since we may head that way next fall. Except for Disney World in 1976, we have never been east of SW Indiana:)

Have a great trip. We also will await your "end of the trip" feelings. Ours was "how soon can we do this full time"? :) The worst part of the trip was having to come home.


Cindy said...

Thanks, Paul and Mary. Been to Biltmore and you are right, it is definitely a 'must see'!

Never been to Charleston so really looking forward to that.

Because of change in our son's wedding date we won't make it down to Defeated Creek for Lisa's get-together until that Wednesday but really looking forward to meeting you then as I love following your blogs as well!

Hugs, C

Cindy said...

Jan, too bad we won't be crossing paths with you and Wes in next several months. I'm confident though that we'll be able to find a way to make that happen in the future!!

It will be really interesting to see if Ken and I are ready to chuck the house and stay on the road after this or maybe anxious to get back to a house where we each have more of our own space ;-)

Hugs, C

Myrddin said...

Too bad you will be getting to the Plantation so late in the season. During the winter months, they have lots of get-together and potluck dinners, but I think by the time you get there, there won't be much of that happening.

You'll still meet a great bunch of people and it's a SKP park that we really enjoy spending time at.

We'll see you at the rally and talk about it some more.

Safe travels,