Posts Tagged With: Trailer Travel

Travels With Minnie: There’s No Place Like Home

There really is no place like home…that’s true for me at least. Friends of ours know those “happy to be home” feelings don’t last long with Reg. He’d just as soon sell the house and live the nomadic life. That is not a lifestyle he can have with me. I insist on a home base.
That being said, we managed to make a comfortable home within Minnie’s walls for the last 2 month. I thought it would be fun to share all our campsites with any of you who might be planning an extended camping trip of your own. A little inspiration perhaps. We cheated just twice with hotel rooms, once for convenience and once to avoid the Nevada heat.

With all the recent talk of increased RV and travel trailer sales, we were worried that finding space might prove difficult. Traveling in early spring with no firm plan seemed to help. We chose to drive a more northerly route first and found most campgrounds with plenty of open spaces. Not wanting to get stuck in a Walmart parking lot or roadside rest stop, we reserved 2-4 days in advance. There’s a limit to how much we’ll rough it.
Thanks to all who followed along with us. We plan to be back with more adventures soon.

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Travels With Minnie: Carter Caves State Resort Park

The Welcome Center & Gift Shop

Our westward bound journey began with a two-night stop at Carter Caves State Resort Park in Kentucky. What a great family park…2,000 acres of forest and fun!
We reserved a campsite over a week ago and were not disappointed with our choice.

The park has over 30 miles of hiking trails, half of which are multi-use trails for hikers, bikers or horseback riders. In addition, fishing, boating, canoeing, swimming, golfing and rock climbing offer something for just about everyone. If camping isn’t your thing, there are several overnight accommodations available.

We didn’t have the best of weather, but we zipped up our rain jackets and took the short walk along Natural Bridge Trail.
This is the only natural bridge in Kentucky that supports a paved highway.

There are plenty of caves to explore in this park. Some are self-guided (with a permit) while others require a guide. We opted to stay above ground this trip…maybe next time!

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Travels With Minnie: Braving the Heat and Humidity

The Little Miami Scenic Trail was a big hit with us.

This is our last day at the Lebanon, Ohio KOA (Kampgrounds of America), a spot we chose because of its proximity to the Little Miami Scenic Trail listed in our Rail-Trail Hall of Fame book…and because we needed the laundry.
The weather has turned pretty hot and humid, not ideal riding conditions for us. Yesterday we had pretty much crossed biking off our list…that is until a wrong turn had us driving alongside the path we had chosen to ignore.
The southern end of the trail begins in the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio and follows the Little Miami River much of the 78 miles north to Springfield, Ohio. While that might be a day’s ride for more experienced (or competitive) bikers, Reg and I were happy with a much shorter ride.

Paved, shaded and mostly flat, the section we chose was a joy to ride. I think we both would have loved to keep going, but after 13 miles we decided to turn back. The 13 miles back to our truck made it 26-mile ride…an average day’s ride for Reg, but a marathon for me!

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Travels With Minnie: Drifting Across the Country

It’s been just over four weeks since we hitched up Minnie and towed her east. With no set plan, other than to eventually reach West Virginia for a visit with (son) Chris and Gail, we weren’t sure what route we’d choose.

For some folks, traveling without a set itinerary is the stuff nightmares are made of. Understandable…we’ve had our challenges, for sure. For us, the rewards and discoveries far outweigh the negatives. Yesterday we pulled into this roadside RV park in Wisconsin for two nights, primarily to take advantage of their full hookups and laundry room.

The park is nothing fancy but we have lots of space and it’s quiet.

As we turned off the highway, I noticed a sign across the road for Copper Falls State Park. With a day to fill, we packed a lunch, took a chance and discovered (what must be) one of Wisconsin’s most beautiful parks. Created in 1929, many Civilian Conservation Corp buildings remain, adding charm and a sense of history.

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Travels With Minnie: Harvest Hosts Welcome Us

Before we left on this trip, we purchased a membership in the Harvest Hosts program. This allows us access to a variety of “hosts” throughout the country who will let us camp, free of charge, overnight on their property. No hookups available, simply a place to spend the night and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Wineries, farms, ranches, breweries and museums are but a few of the options available. Reservations 24 hours in advance are required, and as a courtesy, guest are advised to purchase a bit of what is offered.

Cindy, our host, welcomed us into her beautiful tasting room, offering us our choice of 6 free tastings from her list of wines. In addition to the vineyard/winery we learned this is a working cattle ranch and that her husband’s family has been in the area for five generations.
After tasting a couple whites, a rose and several red wines, we settled on two bottles to take home. These may not last long.
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Travels With Minnie: So Long South Dakota

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Travels With Minnie: A Biking Paradise

We stopped our ride along the Poudre River Trail to watch this brave soul test the water. He never took the plunge.

We arrived in Fort Collins, Colorado two days ago, eager to discover if the bike trails were as incredible as we’d heard they were.
Our Friday outing began in the small community of Laporte, just north of Fort Collins. The Poudre (pronounced poo-der) River Trail would lead us 9 1/2 miles downstream along a beautifully maintained concrete trail, eventually reaching Fort Collins.

Saturday we rode a different segment of the Poudre River Trail, joining it just south of Windsor, Colorado and aiming ourselves toward the town of Greeley, roughly 12 miles away.

Another gorgeous river ride on a wide, relatively flat path.

This was another easy ride for Reg, but for someone who hasn’t really ridden a bike much in the last 30+ years (like me), things were beginning to feel a little sore. We turned around after about 10 miles, found a spot for a picnic lunch, then returned to our starting point, convinced that the area bike trails are some of the best we’ve ever seen!

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Travels With Minnie: Great Sand Dunes National Park

A quick trip to see North America’s tallest sand dunes, including the 755 foot Star Dune, was today’s outing. Driving toward the entrance to the park, the Sanger de Cristo mountains dominated the skyline and left me wondering just how impressive sand dunes could be in comparison.

As we got closer, the dunes captured our attention.
It was impossible for me to photograph the entire length of the dunes.
The seasonal Medano Creek, shallow enough to wade across today, flows at the base of the dunes, requiring dune trekkers to get their feet wet.
The park colors are absolutely beautiful this time of year.

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Travels With Minnie: Colorado – Durango to Alamosa

A rare photo of the two of us. Many thanks to Rich.

Three days in Durango, Colorado allowed us to experience a range of weather conditions. Cold nights, windy days, a brief bit of snow while we picnicked and finally, a beautiful spring day.
The high point (literally) of our stay was the hike we took up The Animas Mountain Trail with college friends Emily and Rich. A great day and a long overdue visit!

Sunday morning Durango faded in the distance as we drove east, aiming for the highest mountain pass of our trip…so far. Today was new territory for us and the scenery did not disappoint.

Treasure Falls cascades 105 feet into Falls Creek and is visible from Highway 160. We pulled off for a quick photo, opting not to make the short walk up to the base.

We’ve got Minnie back on level ground for the next two nights, parked in the little town of Alamosa, gateway to Great Sand Dunes National Park. More adventures to come.

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Travels With Minnie: Utah’s Bicentennial Highway

As we enjoyed our last views of the gorgeous red cliffs of Capitol Reef National Park, we wondered what our day’s drive would reveal. Our planned route would take us along another lonely road where a sign warned there were no services ahead. While Reg likes this sort of excitement, I am far more nervous about driving off into the great unknown.

There was not much see at the northern end of the highway, but the landscape began to slowly take shape.

Utah’s Bicentennial Highway, otherwise known as Highway 95, was completed in 1976, and stretches between Hanksville (in the north) and Blanding (in the south). We noticed a lot of narrow, unmarked dirt roads that turned left and right off the highway, disappearing in the distance. No doubt a haven for off-roading enthusiasts. Keeping our wheels on the pavement rewarded us with a trip through another stunning red rock canyon.

We couldn’t have asked for a more scenic lunch spot.

Continuing south, we arrived at the Hite Overlook in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This is a good place to stretch legs while taking in the panoramic view of Glen Canyon, the Colorado River, Lake Powell and Hite, Utah. The Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1963, eventually swallowing the boomtown of Hite as the newly forming Lake Powell increased in size.
Unfortunately, the Colorado River Basin has been experiencing drought since 2000, leaving dangerously low water levels, leading scientists to speculate that Lake Powell will never fill again.

Eventually we arrived at our destination, the inconspicuously named town of Blanding, Utah, where we checked into our site at Blue Mountain RV &Trading. Our pleasant spot included a patch of green grass and a strip of concrete to help keep our shoes clean.

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