2017 Summer Travels – Let’s Go!

Three out of four smiles is pretty good. See below for the one smile and three other goofy faces!

After the month of April, with our grandsons and their parents, it was time to hit the road!  Our grandsons are now just over 3 1/2 and 20 months old. It’s getting easier to leave – for me, but I am sure not so easy for our daughter. Our oldest grandson understood we’d be back. The baby, well, he’s still a baby to us!

We have a general idea about our summer travels. But first things first. Our generator went out on us at the start of our winter travels. We’ve only ever used it once in our two years of owning it. It is our “back up electricity” as I had to explain to my mom.  One cold night, a campground’s power went out for an hour or two – the Electric Company got it going again. About an hour later, the campground circuit breaker went out again for another hour. We were thankful we had our generator to stay warm!

While we were in Fredericksburg for the month, Bill did try to find someone to try to get it started to no avail. While he’s mechanical, he didn’t want to try to fix it. Reluctantly, he pulled out the manual, called Onan (the manufacturer), then went to the RV Geeks YouTube channel to figure a few things out. He managed to change the air and oil filters, which was not so easy since the manual used a pencil drawing, Onan wasn’t much more help, but the YouTube video helped. It still wouldn’t start, throwing an error code 36.

Finally, another wise RV full-timer suggested we go to the Freightliner service center in Gaffney, SC. We’ve heard of other RVers going there so it sounded good. Bill calculated how far away it was and decided to stop half way there overnight in Graham, NC.

On Tuesday, May 2, 2017, we were up early for our departure, hitting the road before 8:30 am (that’s our early). It was a gorgeous travel day! We were making such good time, we decided we’d get closer to Gaffney. I became consumed with trying to figure out where to stop as well as called Freightliner. We learned that they couldn’t “fix” our Onan, only service it. They referred us down the road to the Cummins/Onan Service Center in Spartanburg, SC.

Clear blue skies! This was the only time we had traffic, going through Richmond, Virginia.

I called Cummins (it’s actually Atlantic Cummins) and they said they were swamped and couldn’t “fit” us in until the next Wednesday, May 10! OH NO!!!! While we don’t have any reservations, we do have a lot we plan to do for the next three months – but most important is getting to Illinois to visit Bill’s 96-year-old mom! We didn’t coordinate our schedule with Bill’s brother and wife, who are her caretakers.  We want to get there before Memorial Day. The other stop we have before we get there is to go to the Tiffin Service Center in Red Bay, Alabama for a few minor repairs. In between, we hope to take in a few forest baths and get in some great hiking!

Driving through central North Carolina looking for campground wasn’t easy. Finally, a friend and full time RVer, suggested we use the All Stays app. I thought I had enough campground apps, but they didn’t show any campgrounds in Salisbury. Only an Elks Lodge and we’re not members…so I downloaded it and saw three other places. And the middle one turned out to be a real Honey Pot!!! (See our last post about our other honey pots this winter.)

It was easy to figure out Salisbury, NC was at the end of our driving limit. It would get us only two hours away from Atlantic Cummins.

We were ready for a forest bath! After driving 315 miles for six hours, we arrived at Dan Nicholas Park around 2:30 pm. This quaint park is a city park, has electric and water, but no sewer. We had called ahead for a reservation but they said to just come on in. I didn’t get any pictures of the entrance. 🙁 But there were good signs guiding you to the campground.

Dan Nicholas Park was created originally with a gift in 1968 of 330 acres of land from Mr. Dan Nicholas, a local entrepreneur and philanthropist.

We feel so at home in a forest!!!

Definitely a forest bath for our home and souls!

We’re on site 70, a nice long pull through. We were practically alone here! But it is packed on the weekends we learned.

As soon as we arrived, we were ready to eat since we skipped breakfast. And no time for lunch since we were motivated to get closer to Atlantic Cummins. As soon as we ate, we decided time for a walk. Upon check in, we were given a map and saw several trails. We decided to head to the lake.

This park was so beautiful! The lake is catch and release. We talked to a fisherman who caught a HUGE catfish.

This trail said to allow 2 1/2 hours. We didn’t think it could be over a mile or two, so decided we could do it before it was dark.

This is not just a campground, it’s also a family park! We hope to bring our grandsons here one day. It reminded us of Idlewild Park, Ligonier, Pennsylvania – but so much smaller. Back in the day, Idlewild was where Bill’s family would go for fun. After we were married, Bill took me there and eventually, we brought our daughter.  Such fond memories we shared as we walked around the “amusement” side of the park.

This sweet city park has it all! A campground, trails, a lake for catch and release fishing, paddle boat rentals and a family oriented amusement park!

Fancy paddle boats. They were closed during the week.

We loved hearing the merry-go-round!

They also had child sized trains for the children to ride. I couldn’t get close enough for a photo. This is the train depot! So many more fun things to do for children!

AND a water plaza! It’s too cold yet, so it wasn’t flowing. But what fun it looked like!

Initially we were just going to spend the night, but after getting rested, we KNEW we needed another day in this fabulous park. We really would have loved to stay another night, but we needed to get on the road and pray Cummins could fit us in after all. I called back and asked about “walk ins” was was told yes, come on and walk in!

Next up, what happens when you need your generator fixed and every one is too busy?

Three crazy looks and one Adorable face!

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,

    making wise the simple. Psalm 19: 7




16 thoughts on “2017 Summer Travels – Let’s Go!

  1. The grandsons are so adorable:) I imagine it was very difficult to leave but glad that at least one of them understands you do return. Sure hope your generator is working finally:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary Raymond

    I love your posts. They have the kind of information I really enjoy about parks and experiences on the road. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thanks Mary! We have to write these up for our old age to remember what we’ve done! I dream of turning them into coffee table top books!


  3. You guys remind me of Mom and Dad! They are big RVers but had to cut back since Dad’s stroke last year. But I think they’re probably at their cabin in Tennessee right now. Or maybe Kentucky?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the picture of the four of you!!
    What precious “grands.”
    You really did find a gem with Dan Nicholas Park!! It looks like a really nice place!! 😀
    Glad you were able to get your generator taken care of!! Safe travels!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a jewel of a park! Glad you were able to find a little oasis for a couple of nights. Safe travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! My husband is good at sniffing out great parks-but thanks to All Stays, I found this one! It’s rare we change our destination while nearly to his pick! 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My groom and I hope to do exactly what you are doing in terms of traveling one day when we become empty nesters. Y’all have fun. God bless 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a great goal and was my husband’s dream for a long time. It took me a while to jump on board, but once the Lord moved me, it’s been a HUGE blessing. The worst part is not being in your home church weekly. That was what kept me off the road. But then God showed us a way and it’s been wonderful!


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