Category Archives: Kansas

New England RV Trip 2015

We left for our tour of New England with no travel itinerary. We chose to follow our whims as we went. I highly recommend this approach to RV travel “off season”. Up to Columbus day, we had no trouble finding open campgrounds with available campsites. In fact the campgrounds were practically empty, with some notable exceptions: Normandy Farms Foxboro discounts Columbus day and was booked the weekend we left, the Keene Pumpkin Festival moved to Laconia and campgrounds fill for the festival. On a day we relocated, we would look for campgrounds in the area we expected to stay and called ahead. We had no problem finding a number of possible campsites. All this changed after Columbus day. In New England, Columbus Day marks the end of “the season”. Though some campgrounds close Sept 15th, most close after October 15th and practically all are closed by November 1. We had some trouble finding campsites after November 1. Things close earlier in Maine where we boondocked two days in mid-October.

By having no plans, we could stay as long or as short as we liked. We enjoyed visiting family and friends where we stayed a few days. We used Foxboro Ma as base camp for exploring Boston, Concord, Lexington, Arlington, and Cambridge in a rentall car and Mountain View Campground in Morrisville Vt to explore Stowe. We were not sure how we would do on an extended RV trip. Before we left, friends would ask, “How long will you be gone?” I’d answer, “six to eight weeks” to which Ellen would retort, “we’ll see, four weeks maybe six”. We both agreed as we buzzed home driving 500+ days that we could have been on the road another month. There were so many places we skipped with “limited time”. If we had it to do over, we would have left mid-August. It is great having tourist destinations almost to yourself, as we did on Cape Cod or in Maine. The down side? Practically no shops are open. Those that are open display a huge 10 foot flag stating “OPEN” in huge letters. So much of the charm of small towns on the cape are the people and the seasonal food. Both become scarce off season.

We skipped visiting Yellow Springs and Write Patterson in Ohio, spending more time on The Cape, exploring Moosehead Lake and northern Maine, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Gloucester, and Salem. We drove past a great number of those brown signs marking points of interest. We simply did not have the time to do “everything”. There were a number of museums we drove past.

We also had three system failures on our trip: 1. hot water running cold with the water heater working fine, 2. central locking crapped out, 3. the refrigerator refused to run on 12 volts. We also had the engine start hard and run very rough with the inverter on. Restarting with the inverter off solved that “problem”. The hot water issue was caused when a campground ran high pressure air thorugh their lines to clear them ahead of a freeze. We were attached. The pressure forced the check valve into the sleeve effectively blocking hot water flow. The check valve is $9 part at camping world. Central Locking and the Fridge are yet to be fixed.

We had a phenominal trip, made more memorable by our daily log. We revisit the blog to relive our trip.

Here is our timeline. I’d say “itinerary”, but that suggests pre-planning, something we assiduously avoided. We had a want list including Stowe, the White Mountains, Cog Railway, Franconia Notch, Smuggler’s Notch, Conway, Hampton and Rye Beach, Martha’s Vineyard, Boston, Arlington and surrounds, the North Shore, Zip Lines, a moose tour, New York City, Long Island, Mystic Ri, Groton, Crowly RV, the Inner Harbor Baltimore, Washington DC; some we skipped, others we did.


9/16/2015 Truckee Ca Coachland RV 10873
9/17/2015 Austin, Nv Pony Express RV Park 11083
9/18/2015 Salina, Ut Butch Cassidy RV Park 11452 Cindy recommended Pony Espresso Deli Eureka Nv
9/19/2015 Parachute, Co Battlement Mesa RV Park 11718 Duayne @ Ace; Jenny @ campground; Green River State Park
9/20/2015 Woodland, Co Diamond Campground 11955 Vail; Breckenridge; past Cripple Creek; John and Rona
9/21/2015 Woodland, Co Woodland RV Park & Campground 11958 Visit with Rich, Alea,
9/22/2015 Woodland, Co Woodland RV Park & Campground 11958
9/23/2015 Woodland, Co Woodland RV Park & Campground 11958
9/24/2015 Oakley, Ks High Plains RV Campground 12218 Capt’n Jack’s Pub, Kobe Beef, Crab Cakes, great showers
9/25/2015 Danville, Mo Lazy Day Campground 12743 Lazy Day great campground. Skipped Chrystler Museum, Oz museum, Totoz Taco, Dinosaur Museum
9/26/2015 Mansfield, Oh Walmart Boondock 13298 Skipped Yellow Springs, Dayton Museum, Cincinnati
9/27/2015 Grand Island, Ny Cinderella Motel and Campsite 13598 Niagara Falls
9/28/2015 Syracuse, Ny Visiting Carol, Paul, Dylan, and Jameson 13688 Empire Brewing
9/29/2015 Syracuse, Ny Visiting Carol, Paul, Dylan, and Jameson
9/30/2015 Syracuse, Ny Visiting Carol, Paul, Dylan, and Jameson
10/1/2015 Syracuse, Ny Visiting Carol, Paul, Dylan, and Jameson
10/2/2015 Tivoli, Ny Visiting David,, Chris, Danny, & Erica 13966
10/3/2015 Tivoli, Ny Visiting David,, Chris, Danny, & Erica
10/4/2015 Tivoli, Ny Visiting David,, Chris, Danny, & Erica
10/5/2015 Tivoli, Ny Visiting David,, Chris, Danny, & Erica
10/6/2015 Fort Ann, Ny Moose Hillock Camping Resort 14114 Near Lake George, Adirondack outlet mall most extensive for miles
10/7/2015 Ticonderoga, Ny Brookwood RV Resort 14172 Lake George
10/8/2015 Lake Placid, Ny Cascade Acres Campground 14246 Fort Ticonderoga in the afternoon, Ellen:”There is literally no other RV @camp tonight”
10/9/2015 Winooski Vt North Beach Campground 14342 Mirror lake & Lake Placid in the morning, Ferry to Burlington VT, North Beach is right on the lake.
10/10/2015 Morrisville, Vt Mountain View Campground 14395 Near Stowe Vermont
10/11/2015 Morrisville, Vt Mountain View Campground
10/12/2015 Morrisville, Vt Mountain View Campground
10/13/2015 St Johnsbury, Vt Moose River Campground closed the campground
10/14/2015 Littleton, Nh Crazy Horse Campground 14708 closed the campground, search for Cherry Lake a bust.
10/15/2015 Lincoln, Nh Country Bumpkin Campground White mountains, cog railway, smuggler’s notch, the Flume
10/16/2015 Lincoln, Nh Country Bumpkin Campground Closed the campground
10/17/2015 Woodbury, Nh KOA Woodbury Nh Closed the campground, expensive but very nice campground, drove the Kancamangas Highway
10/18/2015 North Conway, Nh Eastern Slope Campground 14918 No hot water in the AM (they blew out their lines)
10/19/2015 Portland Me Elks Lodge, electric hookup ate at Bea’s Café recommended by gal at camping world, purchased check valve
10/20/2015 Portland Me Walmart Boondock drove Old Orchard Beach & north along the coast. Gave up install of check valve
10/21/2015 Meredith, Nh Meredith Woods Campground 15220 Beast serviced @ Prime Motors Portland Me, Indoor heated pool, Full resort style glamping
10/22/2015 Meredith, Nh Meredith Woods Campground
10/23/2015 Meredith, Nh Meredith Woods Campground 15310 James ordered an electronic switch to fix our hot water problem, Part & Jim never arrived, left late afternoon
10/24/2015 Shelburne Falls, Ma Country Aire Bridge of Flowers, pedestrian bridge Brookline, NH; West End Café; The Best Pizza in New England
10/25/2015 Shelburne Falls, Ma Country Aire
10/26/2015 Hatfield, Ma Ed & Jean Parked The Beast and stayed with Ed and Jean for five days!
10/27/2015 Hatfield, Ma Ed & Jean
10/28/2015 Hatfield, Ma Ed & Jean
10/29/2015 Hatfield, Ma Ed & Jean
10/30/2015 Hatfield, Ma Ed & Jean
10/31/2015 Hatfield, Ma Ed & Jean
11/1/2015 Bourne, Ma Scusset Beach State Park Campground Closed the Campground, Marconi Station & White Cedar Swamp
11/2/2015 Foxboro, Ma Normandy Farms Family Campground Resort
11/3/2015 Foxboro, Ma Normandy Farms Family Campground Resort Enterprise Rental and trips to Boston, Concord, Lexington, Arlington, and Cambridge
11/4/2015 Foxboro, Ma Normandy Farms Family Campground Resort
11/5/2015 Foxboro, Ma Normandy Farms Family Campground Resort Brad’s RV Service fixed our hot water problem
11/6/2015 Foxboro, Ma Normandy Farms Family Campground Resort
11/7/2015 North Stonington, Ct Mystic KOA Campground Mysic Ct, Mystic Old Town, Mystic Seaport
11/8/2015 North Stonington, Ct Mystic KOA Campground steamers on the half shell (errr)
11/9/2015 Clarksboro, Nj Timberline Campground Ferry Monmouth-NYC financial district, world trade center, central locking fail
11/10/2015 Dumfries, Va Prince William Forest RV Campground 16487 Fort Mercer & Valley Forge
11/11/2015 Hilton Head, SC Jessie & Ryan 17016 Savannah, fishing, oyster toad fish,
11/12/2015 Hilton Head, SC Jessie & Ryan
11/13/2015 Hilton Head, SC Jessie & Ryan
11/14/2015 Moton, Ms Roosevelt State Park 17609 surprisingly, we stumbled upon Roosevelt State Park, on of our favorites from our first X-country trip!
11/15/2015 Vidalia, La River View RV Park & Resort 17795 Natchez Trace, Nathez, camping on the Mississippi
11/16/2015 Abilene, Tx Buck Creek RV Park 18353 Tornado watch, high wind, rain, hail, stopped at Buck Eez bbq brisket was forgetable
11/17/2015 Alberquerque, Nm High Desert RV Park 18873 Billy the Kid’s grave, heavy X-winds, Trouble with fridge not running on 12 volts.
11/18/2015 Kingman, Az Sunrise RV Park 19357 warming as we drove through Arizona, T-shirt weather @ petrified forest & painted desert
11/19/2015 home 19999 Total of 9,126 miles driven 66 days on the road.

Kansas into Missouri

This morning our barometer showed dropping atmospheric pressure and the weather was overcast.   Driving through Kansas you’ll see signs saying for weather alerts dial some AM station or 103.3 FM.    Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz would not exist but for Kansas Tornadoes!   The High Plains Campground rules and regulations also states in case of emergency, evacuate to the men’s or woman’s rooms.  They are safe.

Museums along I-70, Kansas

We left High Plains RV Campground late at 11:30. Li’l Beast took nearly a gallon of DES and we were off.  There are a number of museums that we would normally stop for, but we wanted to roll on toward New England.  We skipped the Prairie Museum of Art and History, Colby; the Fick Fossil and History Museum, Oakley; the Chrysler Boyhood Home and Museum, Ellis; the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Hays; the Combat Air Museum, Topeka; the Oz Museum, Wamego; and of course Totoz Tacoz, Wamego.  We flew by all these museums in Kansas.  Oddly we found very little of interest as we buzzed through Missouri. We drove past Mill Creek Campground near Paxico Kansas around 3 Pm.  It was far too early to follow Jim’s advice and stop there.  We were on a roll.


Kansas Scenery

We drove on and started looking for a great place to camp for the night about 2 hours drive further.   Ellen found a number of two star campgrounds  in Independence Mo.  Driving into Independence we realized it was too urban for us and we skipped them and continued on.  Around  sunset we stopped at a rest area to take some photos.


Sunset Over Missouri

Lazy Day Campground, Danville Missouri

The rest stop was very well developed with a few RVs parked for the evening.   We drove on thinking we’d camp at the next rest stop and just boon-dock for the evening.  Another hour down the road and we found that the rest stop was primitive, uninviting.  Again we drove on. Ellen searched further down I-70  and the next interesting area was Graham Caves State Park.  We could stay at the park, at Kan-Do Campground RV Park, or at Lazy Day Campground.  Both RV parks were near the park. Easiest off and on the highway was Lazy Day.  By now it was 8:30 Pm and we had driven 515 miles.  Ellen called Lazy Day thinking we’d get a voice message with late check-in instructions. Instead KIm, the owner/manager, answered the line and took a reservation for “the Beast”. Amazing at 8:30 PM.


Ten miles later Kim greeted us in the driveway and directed us to her office.  She arrived moments later, opened the office, and we registered.  We got to chatting.  I gave her my credit card saying, “I’m glad you take credit”  Kim said, “We take everything but American Express”.  Ron,”I’ve never used AMEX since they turned me down for a card after I graduated college”.    Kim tole me that she never uses K-Mart!  In the massive flood of ’93, her house was flooded along with everyone else in the flood plain.  It was a 100 years flood.  Kim lost everything.  With everything gone,  she opened new account at the Bank and received unnumbered temporary checks.  K-mart and an old crowded wall-mart were the only shops in town.  K-mart refused to honor her checks because they were not numbered.  They wouldn’t call the bank to verify funds,  K-mart just would not take her checks.  She was not alone.  Most everyone else could not buy at K-mart for that reason.  Kim now will never buy from them.  Not surprisingly, K-mart is not in business in the area today.

Kim guided us to our site with her golf cart and waited to be sure we were settled in before heading off.   This is amazing customer service.  From answering the phone late in the evening to ensuring we had what we needed, Kim was wonderful.

I had half-jokingly said what I wanted this evening was to settle into a chair watching Bill Maher with a beer.  The longer we drove the less likely that became.  After verifying level, connecting electricity and water, and raising the antenna, I was surprised to see Real Time with Bill Maher starting in a few minutes!  I grabbed a cold one from the ‘fridge.

Today was a marathon drive through Kansas and into Missouri.   With good weather and traffic we may camp near Dayton, Ohio tomorrow.  Dayton has an aviation museum and Antioch College, Yellow Springs is close by.  It will be fun walking the campus and Glenn Helen Nature Preserve with Ellen.

Life is indeed good.





Sundown Woodland Park, Co.

We left Woodland Park late in the morning.  We said our goodbyes to John and Ronna.  Paid for the extra night at the office and chatted with Charles for a while.  Then we went to the over-sized car wash and hosed down Li’l Beast, went to Safeway to replenish our food supply and headed off.


John and Ronna

In Colorado Springs we stopped at WallyWorld for some missing essentials and forgot to get water and a knee pad.  We did find a Radio Shack that carried an IR repeater.  From Colorado Springs state 24 descends into a series of rolling hills punctuated by cross traffic and stop signs.  After twenty or thirty miles of that, the road became less traveled with fewer stop lights. We discussed heading north to I-80 or staying on I-70.  Our smart phone showed there was no significant difference.  We opted to stay on I-70 going through St Louis and passing near Dayton, Oh and Yellow Springs.  I’m told that Dayton, the home to SAC, has an amazing aviation museum.  More significantly Dayton is close to Yellow Spring home of Antioch College and “The Glenn”.  Without taking too much time, it would be fun to visit old haunts there and see if the doughnut shop is still serving up piping hot treats at 6 Am.

The rolling hills of eastern Colorado gave way to Kansas Flat.  The road rolls on and straight as an arrow. We continued on I-70 which had minimal traffic.  I think I-80 would have been full of trucks. Past Dayton Oh, we expect to peel off north toward Cleveland, go along the US or Canadian side of the Great Lakes, and descend into Syracuse NY.  Tonight we stopped at High Plains RV Resort an independent campground at exit 70 on I-70.  There were two sites available when Ellen called.  We took site #118.  Though the numbers run into the hundreds, there are only about forty sites.  In the time we drove the 4 miles to the campground, the manager had printed out our personalized campground info.  She gave Ellen a $5 coupon for Capt’n Jack’s Pub which abuts the campground and is an easy walk along the grass.  The campground was four star rated and we agree.


Arrival High Plains RV Campground, Kansas

While setting up we ran into Jim and his wife who own a new thirty four foot Winnebago.  It’s very good looking, though very large.  Ellen explained why we call our RV “Li’l Beast”.  We compared notes on our rigs and diesel mileage.  He gets 9 mpg on a good day.  He did say our Sat Antenna was better than his, “size does matter”.  Jim recommended Capt’n Jack’s Pub for dinner, “You won’t be disappointed”.

Once we were setup, we headed off to the pub. I have no idea what I expected, but this was not it.  The door opened onto a remodeled barn with a long full bar to the right; two big-screen TVs on the far wall showing Thursday Night Football, Bengals vs NY Giants; some booths along the walls and bar tables scattered about.  The cooks and waitresses were gathered at the near end of the bar.  The two booths nearest the TVs were occupied.  As we entered a gal said, “Welcome, sit anywhere you like”.  We noticed the six jolly roger flags hanging from the rafters as we sat down, one stating, ” the beatings will continue until moral improves”. Later the gal came by and took our order: Kobe Beef Hamburgers, a Crab Cake, and “the Calling” IPA.  The menu stated that the Kobe hamburgers would be served medium rare.  If you want your meat well done, then order an Angus beef burger! The menu also offered a third legendary burger; the Elk burger, stating probably one of the tastiest burgers you will ever find.  Right, in Kansas just off the freeway we found Kobe Beef, Elk and Crab Cakes.  Still more startling, they were excellent.

We chatted another waitress who brought our food to table.  She and her husband, who was a coast guard captain off the Virginia coast,  moved to Kansas and opened this restaurant in 2013 after remodeling the old barn. Capt’n Jack actually cooked our burgers.  Our waitress is his wife. They plan to offer Kobe Beef Steaks sometime in the future.

Jim also recommended Mill Creek Campground Paxico Kansas, saying, “it is American Memorabilia.  It will bring you back to the past”.  He also said there are antiques for sale that run from inexpensive trinkets to very expensive pieces upwards of twenty thousand dollars.


Sunset over Kansas