Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thinking About 2012 Camping Season

Plans have begun for 2012.  First big camping trip of the year is down to Top Sail Hill SP, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Then we may go over to Charleston later in the summer or somewhere on the East coast near the ocean.  We'll have a couple of stops out to the Smoky's sprinkled in and some long weekends out to some of the more local parks.  Fall is up in the air...we usually hit the beach again but this year we may elect to leaf-peep instead.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Keystone Owners Blog Link

There is a new Keystone owners blog on the internet.  I have added a link for anythat may be interested in checking it out.  As Keystone owners we joined the group and have enjoyed watching it grow from the first week it was published.  I welcome you to check it out and join up if you'd like!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Amazing Sunsets

Piney CG is located in Tennessee within the borders of Land Between the Lakes, NFS.  It sits on the Eastern shore of Kentucky lake which is fed by the Tennessee river at just such a location that the sunsets are often spectacular.  Here is one I took while camping over the Thanksgiving holiday, 2011.

Another shot this time with waterfowl in the picture

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving to Remember

Our Thanksgiving this year was spent camped out beside Kentucky Lake in LBL. We had a wonderful view out our large back window overlooking the lake. We saw ducks, geese, blue herons, bald eagles, deer and a whole lot more squirrels in the campground than campers!

Piney CG on Kentucky Lake

Cooked the turkey in the Weber kettle grill using indirect heat and mesquite wood chips.

The bird came out perfect, juicy and full of flavor.

We plan to make our Thanksgiving's acamping tradion.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I like to photograph and enjoy using Photoshop and Coral Paint to enhance and create digi art treatements in my spare time.  These are my first published efforts, which I expect the folder to grow with time.  Click on the boat to see the folder.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Its all about the season!

Just over a week away from parking the TT at Kentucky Lake for Thanksgiving and preparations are well underway.  My spare time is full up but well be well worth it once we arrive.  Planning is everything!  We are all really looking forward to spending time parked overlooking the lake and enjoying the campground this time of season. 
The photo's below were taken in late October.
Chestnut loop entrance

Lake side campsite

Barge plying the waters of Lake Kentucky

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sanitizing Fresh Water Hose

We all know about sanitizing our water systems in our RV’s but what about the hoses used to connect from the water supply to the camper? I am of the opinion (and am also guilty) that few RVers think to clean their hoses. This year I decided to make it part of my seasonal cleaning ritual and here is what I  did.

Food grade 5 gallon bucket
Rubber Gloves
Protective Eye Wear

Star San:
I use a food grade acidic cleaner called Star San. It is Oder less, tasteless and only takes 30 seconds of contact to kill bacteria. It also will not harm clothing and does not have to be rinsed. It can be purchased on line, just Google “home brewing supply”. I do not recommend the Iodine sanitizer for hoses. Star San is the same cleanser restaurants use to clean their beverage lines.

You can also use plain bleach and achieve the same results but you have to handle it a little differently than the Star San. Wear old cloths, add 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water and soak your hoses for 20 minutes and finish by rinsing them thoroughly.
Tightly coil the hose to fit into the bucket then massage the hose to fill with sanitizer.  After sanitation drain and I use an air compressor and blow out the lines though that is optional.  Let dry and you’re done but for the cleanup.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Cleaning Fresh Water Tank

We purchased the Premier a week before our fall trip to St George Island SP in Florida and I did not have enough time to clean the fresh waster tank before the trip.  It had been winterized buy the dealer but drained and partially filled with fresh water.  We didn't really need the water but kept it for the overnights on the road.  It was not drinkable but used for the bathroom and heating up for dishes.  Today is the 7th of November and I'd normally have the camper winterized by now. But since we are going to use it for 8 days around Thanksgiving and again for 3 nights during a trade show in early December, I'm filling the holding tank not draining it!I decided to go ahead and sanitize the tank today and used the recommended method from the owners manual.  Its a little extra work this late in the season but worth is since there will be no water hook ups for those 11 days.  I'm not too concerned about freezing at Thanksgiving but I am for the December show.  When we loaded out last year on Sunday night it was 11 degrees!
Anyway, I'm glad I cleaned the fresh water tank and am ready for the upcoming trips.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Camping

We are making plans for our first Thanksgiving while camping.  I've done it once before about 18 years ago when my parents came down to Tennessee and we went to a state park.  I was still using a pop-up and that was a bit drafty, hah hah!  Mom and Dad had their 5th wheel so there was always a place to warm up.  Thanksgiving diner was a simple affair.  They brought down turkey meat they'd prepared at home and a pre-made casserole that Mom popped into the oven and made the mashed potatoes on the stove top.  It was cool weather but dry and we had a roaring fire going most of the time.  The campground at Montgomery Bell SP was nearly empty though there were other hardy souls out there doing the same thing.  The deer would come right up to you in the campground and feed from your hand.
So this is our year for Thanksgiving camping.  We'll be parking the Premier at Kentucky Lake and smoking a turkey in the large Weber kettle grill I'll bring for the occasion.  Got a killer green bean casserole recipe for crock pot from forum and will do the 'taters while there.  Janet will make her fabulous sweet potato pie and  take it along.  Should be a good time!
I'm including a pic. of the loop we plan to back'll be awesome looking out over the lake through the big picture window in the back of the Premier! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

I-65 through Birmingham Alabama

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways..

( A parody of “Let me count the ways”)

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.
I loathe thee to the depth of my shock absorbers as they bottom out
My cabinet doors doth open and all matter of supplies have fallen out.
The jars have torn the bike rack asunder and I have found them dragging long behind
As the weld in the bumper tore and the bikes became junk and became intertwined.
For the ends of the road will leave a camper in disarray
and all the travelers luncheons will have to be cleaned up along the way.
I loathe thee to the level all in a day’s ride
Most quiet need of smooth highway I can certainly abide.
I loathe thee freely, as we travel through;
To the land of the sun and the gulf so blue.
I loathe thee purely; as you turn my camper into ham
I loathe thee with the passion as we put it back together as best we can.
In my grief I shout, fix this damn road! but in my faith I have my doubts.
For travel it we must if we want a holiday,
from somewhere up north down to the gulf’s ocean spray.
Please fix the dang road is all I can say
as we lurch, and bump and make our way.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

St George Island SP Florida

Staying at site 56 for the 2nd time this year.  Works for us!  October weather had been good until today when we had flooding conditions and winds keep us indoors.  Fishing was ok and I caught a nice flounder  yesterday on shrimp.  The gulf is really churned up now so I think fishing won't be very good for the rest of our week. Maybe shelling will though!  Love the new camper and I can't say enough good things about all the features it has.  Tomorrow the weather will change and cooler temps are in store for us the rest of the week...oh well, thats camping.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Keystone Bullet Premier TT

This is our new 2012 Premier 28RLPR.  We are loading it up and getting ready to take it on its maiden camping trip.  We lost a slide out but gained 3 feet of length.  It has tons of storage without feeling or looking cramped inside.  The ceiling is slightly arched and is 6'4" which helps give it a expansive feeling. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Old and New RV's

I took this picture at the dealership up in Ohio as I brought our former Cherokee 28A+ in for trade.  We now have a Premier 28 RLPR...I must like the number 28 :-)  The dealer is Aborgast in Troy Ohio,  they are great to deal with!  My son Ray and I are here spending the night in the new TT on the dealers lot while I'm on the MyFi tapping this blog out.  Tomorrow we'll head back home with our new beauty in tow to get it ready for a trip down to St George Island SP in a couple of weeks.  This is a gas!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trading in old stand by.

We have decided to move beyond the Forest River Cherokee entry level TT and upgrade to a Keystone Premier.  Its kinda sad to move on beyond the Cherokee as we've had for 6 + years full of adventures, new campgroounds and raising our two kids in the camping lifestyle.  Hopefully the camping experiences will give them lessons and provide them some basic social skills that the camping community all share. Its been a good experience with the Cherokee.
BUT it's now time to move and we are very excited about the Premier 28 RLPR. DW and I decided we'll most likely have 3 TT's in our life time and this is now the time for the 2nd one. 
We had 3 pop ups before the TT phase and so I guess its all part of the plan.  We expect to get 8 to 10 years of great camping with this new one with the fiberglass siding and so many other excellent features.  We'll be taking it to Florida in a couple of weeks for its maiden voyage and I'll have many follow up posts with it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Piney CG, Kentucky Lake, Fall 2011

Cool tempatures and beautiful sunsets rewards campers at LBL's Piney camp ground in late September.
Fall sunsets illuminate soft dusk light covering the Dogwood loop.

And looking back to the west at the beautiful sunset over Kentucky Lake!

Monday, September 5, 2011

St George Island SP FL

St George Island State Park, Florida.  New Picassa Album with a collection photo's from our June 2011 camping trip.  Click on the picture to see the album.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

OBX after Irene

The pictures are stunning...roads crumpled like the top of crunchy brownies, the island cut in half  and breached in several places.  Power lines hang limp and houses tilted and skewed in shapes never intended.  It will be awhile before they open up the campgrounds on the Outer Banks.  As campers and lovers of the ocean, we try and spend a couple of weeks in June on the OBX. Its a world unto itsself, wild, beautiful and chalk full of history.  Fot those of you not familiar with it, its a 50 thousand year old spit of sand jutting 18 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean.  Off of Buxton NC, sits Cape Hatteras and its famous light house.  This is where the Labrador current fom the cold waters of the North Atlantic and the warm waters of the Gulf Stream converge.  In the days of square sail ships it was the super highway back to Europe.  It was also a dangerous place with shifting sand bars and tricky currents and it produced thousands of shipwrecks.
Hatteras Island is a wonderful destination and there are many campgrounds dotting HWY 12.  Scenic, historical, and chalk full of outdoor activities on an island with no structure taller than 4 stories. But for now, and I suspect the rest of 2011 there will be no camping on the OBX.  The residents and state is struggling to re establish roads, power and clean up.  To read more subscribe to The Island Freepress: There are pictures of the aftermath and links to help with the recovery donate and help this commuity get back on its feet.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene and the Outer Banks of NC

I have many great memories of taking the family to the Outer Banks for summer vacation.  Our kids grew up on the beach practically in the shadow of Cape Hatteras light house.  I pulled the TT out there every June for some much needed down time from the hectic world we live in.  It was a place to relax, fish, explore and learn the local history.   We have been there when two tropical storms blew through and saw how efficient the road crews are at moving sand dunes from the roads and restoring the island. Now as Irene is bearing down my thoughts are with the bankers whose lives depend upon the sands of the outer banks.  I know many vacationers have to make other plans which will effect the local economy.   But I know the spirit of the local population is strong…has to be to live on a spit of sand 18 miles off the mainland, and hurricanes are nothing new.   I’m sure the true grit of the bankers will see their way through this one as well.  God bless and stay out of harms way.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Great Outdoors RV Park in Franklin NC

Entrance sign at the park!
...and some of the happy campers waiting to greet you!

The Great Outdoors RV park is located just outside of Franklin NC a small community in the Smoky Mountains.  It is known for its gem and mineral mines, located near many trailheads, waterfalls, outstanding mountain views and natural beauty.  We like to visit every year, breath  in the mountain air and relax in the laid back vibe of the place.  For more photos click here

Saturday, July 9, 2011

St Joe Peninsula SP offers up gorgeous sunsets!

Took this photo June, 2011 just over the dune from Gulf Breeze CG loop. Most every night the campground heads to the beach to watch the sunsets.  Its quite an event!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Beach Food

Early June 2011.  Two weeks on the forgotten coast.  First week at St. George, second at St. Joe.

We like to eat local wherever we camp so our beach meals aways include sea food.  Here is a sample from our latest trip.
Nothing like fresh shrimp and steamed oysters to make the perfect beach meal at St. George Island SP.  Oh and  the Yazoo (from Nashville TN)  isn't too bad either ;-)

Another grill day at St. Joe Peninsula SP...mmmmmmmm, fresh blackened shrimp, zuccinni, red bell pepers and turkey kielbasa waits for the plates! YUM!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

St George Island SP Florida

We arrived at St. George Island and have settled in to camp.  The campground is very nice and is an easy walk or short bike ride to the beach.  It's rustic but well kept and the majority of the sites are spacious.  You'll see more tent campers than class A motor homes at this park.  If you are looking for an out of the way campground with near deserted beaches, then this is the park for you!  We love it and will be back many times.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

St George Island SP Florida

We are currently parked in Montgomery AL for the overnight between home and St George Island SP in FL.  We like the rustic parks and dont mind having to use the "blue boy" to dump during the stay. There is something about rustic parks that attracts us time and time again. 

We have not stayed at this park before but did a recon a year ago and liked it.  It is a secluded campground about 5 miles from the check in station at the Eastern tip of the island.  The campground is at the end of the road, so there is no traffic.  The beach is about 1/4 mile away and we are ready with bikes and our pull behind beach buggy.  Suits us.

We are hoping to catch Popano this year and put 'em in the grill basket over coals.  I hear the 'skeeters are bad in June so we bought a 10'ez up screen room and hope that'll be enough. (bug spray also packed)  

This is a picture of "The Woods RV Park" where we are currently staying for our overnight in Montgomery.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Getting ready to roll!

I've spent a fair amount of time with the annual spring clean for the TT.  I always HATE doing the roof but oh so important!  Our trailer is going on its 6th season and we use it at least 4 weeks a year so it has that lived in feel.  Of course that also means upkeep and maintainance are important.  This year I noticed the canopy has developed some cracks...and I'll have to put on a conditioner to keep it supple. 
Anyway, we are getting ready for a trip to the forgotton coast of Florida and we  have all been busy as bee's around here.  Fishing report is looking good and the water temp's off Appalachacola/ St Joe area is in the mid 80's.  I'm going surf fishing for flounder and pompano and hope to bring some to the table.
Just a few more days now and off to the coast.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Heading to NC

We are getting ready to head over to Franklin NC next week.  Just a short jaunt to meet up with friends and buy a few rocks at the gem and mineral show.  We'll be staying at the Great Outdoors RV Park, as seen int this picture.  We like this one for accessibility and convenience to Franklin.  Its one of those great "utility" parks.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Snow Birds, 1954

Jan. 1954, Aloha Gardens
These are my grandparents who pulled this beast from northern Illinois to St Petersburg Florida with a station wagon! Guess you could say I come from a family of campers and travel trailer pullers.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Most Expensive Spring Break EVER!

It started out as an inexpensive spring break, 2011 but that changed before we hit the Alabama border rolling South through Tennessee.  I pull our TT with a F250 Super Duty diesel and going up a hill I felt a sudden loss of power and the wrench light came on on the dash.  Uh-oh!  I proceeded to limp on down to Ft Pickens CG and called the Pensacola Ford early Monday morning.  Their service dept line kept kicking over to the cashier and she put me through to the service dept voice mail.  It said somebody would call me back.  By 2 PM I'd had enough waiting so I called Gary Smith Ford in Ft. Walton, 40 miles away.  They got me in first thing Tuesday and then the bad news came.  Blown turbo, and a repair bill around $2,500.00.  OUCH!!!  I had to rent a car to get back to the campground and this little repair cost money and qutie a bit of time away from the beach.  Thus ends the tale of my most expensive Spring Break.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ft Pickens Camp Ground

Campgound B has really changed since the huricanes went through.  Hardly any trees left and the sand dunes with the live oak and other vegitation are all gone.  Still a grand beach and cool coastal fortifications but not like it once was.  Picture taken from the B loop closest to the A loop.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ft. Pickens, Gulf Breeze Florida
Our first trip of the year finds us heading to a campground I've camped at since 1967.  Its changed little over the years but this one will be an eye opener as two huricanes have ripped though it since our last visit.  I look at pictures of the campground and notice most trees did not survive.  And while that saddens me, its nature and this barrier island has seen its share of storms. 
The picture is from one of the many coastal batteries looking out to the gulf.