Monday, March 5, 2012


NATIONAL ROUTE 66 MUSEUM, Elk City, Oklahoma
Visited National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma.  There aren't any good places to park an RV.  Just cross your fingers you are there on a "low visitor" day and you can park your RV across 10 parking spaces, like I did.  It helps if you have AAA Motor Club, because you can get in for $4 as opposed to $5. 

The Four Corners Monument ($3 entry fee) has a place to boondock in your RV.


There is a small RV park (phone number 256-837-3400) within a brisk walk from the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Prices as of this writing are relatively reasonable, $18 a night for water/sewer/electric only, no additional amenities. The RV park doesn't require a credit card deposit to make a reservation, although reservations are recommended. In my case, I did have a reservation, but the park ended up overbooking. So, they let me plug into a 20 amp connection on the side of their office building and charged me $5. It wasn't very level, but for $5, I couldn't complain.


My nephew graduated in 2011 from the Air Force Academy.  Graduation was on May 25, 2011.  This worked out perfect for me! I stayed at Fountain Creek RV Park , which was about 1 mile from the Enterprise Car Rental place.  Enterprise delivered a car to me, no problem!  I got to attend my nephew's graduation.  It was wonderful!  THREE HOURS LONG, but it was very special!  The Thunderbirds entertained afterwards.  Also, I was very impressed with how employees of the Academy directed traffic.  Once I got back to my rental car, I got out of there very quickly! 

 PIKES PEAK - MANITOU SPRINGS, CO (near Colorado Springs)
If you stay at any of the following three campgrounds, public transportation is the way to go to get to the Cog Wheel Train!

Fountain Creek RV Park - Colorado Springs, near shops, banks, and restaurants
Garden of the Gods Campground - in Colorado Springs (very close to Manitou Springs)
Pikes Peak RV Park & Campground - in Manitou Springs, very close to shops

Don't try to take a car to the Cog Wheel Train, parking is crowded and limited. All three of the above campgrounds are located on Mountain Metropolitan Transit Route #3. You can take a short ride on this transit route to the Cog Wheel Train. Ask the bus driver to let you know which stop to get off. The bus stops where there is a sign directing you to the Cog Wheel Train. However, after you get off the bus, there is a bit of a hike (a smidge over half a mile) UPHILL to get to the Cog Wheel Train. I took the train, on the day I went, we could only go up to 13,000 feet due to too much snow at the top. They gave us a discount on the ticket price because of this ($25 instead of $32). The picture on the left is the perma frost that the train traveled through. The picture on the top right is at 13,000 feet, from the back of the train. The picture on the bottom right is at the "tree line" (the elevation where trees can't grow), somewhere between 10,000 and 11,000 feet. When you come back from Pikes Peak, you can explore Manitou Springs, a very cute tourist area, before taking the bus back to your campground.
This state park has spectacular views of the Snake River, and has good fishing (trout, sturgeon) and some great hiking trails.

For those that like corvettes, the National Corvette Museum is in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I didn't stop to visit, but I did drive through the parking lot and noted that there are spaces in back of the museum to park your RV.

Danville, KY has a small summer stock theater (Pioneer Playhouse) with an RV park nearby. Apparently, one of John Travolta's first acting jobs was here. At the age of 15, John Travolta played a doctor and had one line. Also, Lee Majors (under his birth name of Harvey Yeary) and Jim Varney have also appeared here. The RV park has about 25 spaces, some with electric only, and some with water and electric. The RV spaces are somewhat cumbersome to navigate into, but what the heck, the price is right ($18 as of this writing) and for $27 (as of this writing) you get dinner and a delightful theater show. I saw the show "Lend Me a Tenor."

Lake Cumberland Resort State Park near Jamestown, Kentucky has camping places, a store, mini golf, a pool, and the Lure Lodge. All you would need, to include hiking trails. You won't have to travel anywhere. Lure Lodge features the Rowena Landing Restaurant. The word from the "locals" is to get the lunch buffet as opposed to ordering off the menu, it's much faster.

Kendall Recreation Area is near the Wolf Creek Fish Hatchery, and features good camping spots. The recreation area is six miles from the entrance to Lake Cumberland State Park Resort, and the amenities to the State Park Resort are another six miles in from the entrance. I rode my E-bike from Wolf Creek Fish Hatchery (where I workamped) to the Lure Lodge inside the State Park. This was 12 miles one way. My
E-bike gets about 25 miles on a charge, and I was able to ride the full 24 miles round trip.
Mammoth Caves National Park has a variety of cave tours. There are plenty of places to park your RV while you go on a tour. Get there early if you are in an RV. If the car parking area gets full, the cars start parking in the RV spaces. If you are there in the middle of the day and have pets with you in the RV, be mindful of them, and make sure they are able to stay cool in the RV. I left my vents open and left an ice bag in the RV with my cat. Kitty did fine. Also, you are not allowed to take any bags in the cave tours. They mean it! I thought purses didn't count, but apparently, they do! I had to rent a locker to keep my purse while I toured the caves.

At the Kentucky State Fair, RV's can park in Lot F. You have to drive through the main gate, and pay both Admission and the parking charge. Then, you proceed to Lot F, where you check into an office and pay an additional $10 (as of this writing), to stay overnight in the RV lot. No hookups, but generators are allowed. Basically, I had to pay $16 to park my RV (the $6 daily parking charge and the $10 RV overnight charge). This fair is huge! Lots of horses, as well as other animals. Also, the "community" area has lots of interesting booths. I had a good time attending this fair.

The road up to the Monument is very steep with a lot of banked hairpin turns. It is not recommended to take RV's and travel trailers up there. However, I did observe smaller RV's (24 feet or less) drive up there. Also, you can take a Josephine County Transit bus from Grants Pass to Cave Junction, but there is no public or commercial transportation up to the Monument. There are two ways you can visit the monument without having a tow car:

A. Stay at a park/campground near Cave Junction and ride a bike or scooter up the road. This web site will give you a list of campgrounds about 8-10 miles from the monument. Personally, I don't recommend doing this option unless you are Lance Armstrong. Even on a scooter, it would be tough, as there isn't much of a shoulder to ride on, and the curves are blind. The road up to the monument is narrow, steeply graded, and full of sharp hairpin turns that are banked. These two pictures are an example of the type of turns. However, these two pictures are not the worst areas for turns and steepness, they were just the two places I was able to photograph. The worst hairpin turns and steep areas were in the shade and there wasn't enough light to photograph them.

B. If you are staying in Grants Pass, there is an Enterprise Rent-A-Car, where they can deliver the car to your location. If you stay at either Jack's Landing RV Resort or Rogue Valley Overnight, the location is within walking distance. If you have AAA Motor Club, you get a 5% discount on the rental. I rented a car, no problem. However, keep two things in mind:

1. When you get to Cave Junction, make sure you have at least half a tank of gas. I had a quarter tank, and I started to drive up (17 miles from Cave Junction). I got 2/3 of the way up, and the gas tank was almost empty! You do not want to be stranded on that road, as there are no shoulders to pull off on, and there are many blind curves. I managed to get turned around, put the car in neutral, and coasted the car all the way back to Cave Junction. I got some gas and drove up again.

2. The road up there has so many banked hairpin turns that I was quite nauseated when I got up there and did not take the tour. When I drove back to my RV in Grants Pass, I was still nauseated.
If you stay along Highway 101 in Tillamook County, Oregon (anywhere from Pacific City, south of Tillamook, to Cannon Beach, north of Tillamook), you can ride a bus anywhere up and down Highway 101 between these locations. Here is the route schedule. Keep in mind, depending on the location, there are only 3-6 routes a day, daytime hours, and Monday through Saturday. However, within the city of Tillamook, there are many "town loop" routes during the day for sightseeing (such as, the Tillamook Cheese Factory) within Tillamook. There is an RV park right across the street from the Tillamook Cheese Factory. I didn't stay here, if you want reviews of this park, check with I stayed at one RV park south of Tillamook (Pleasant Valley RV Park) that had a bus stop at the entry way. I did not get an opportunity to try out the bus line, I am just noting that it is available.

The Flight 93 Memorial Chapel (left) can accomodate an RV if no one else is parked in the parking lot. I managed to park and go through the beautiful memorial garden in the back.

The Flight 93 Memorial (right) is easily accessed by RV's. The actual memorial has plenty of room for RV parking as long as there aren't any tour busses at the time you are there. I parked in the "tour bus" area.
You can either take your RV in to the Visitor's Center (RV parking area) and ride a bike up to the Park Avenue hiking trail (the cars are required to share the road with bikes), or you can take your RV to the Park Avenue hiking Trail. There are some RV parking places at the Trail Head. The road is paved, but it is narrow with some switchbacks. There isn't much shoulder area on the road. Those kinds of roads scare me, so I didn't take the RV up. However, I did ride my EGO and made it just fine. Here is a map of the trail area. I made it to the Control Towers.

This is a small state park that is located near an old Army Fort, and includes a beautiful lighthouse that is open for tours. The old Army Fort area is a wonderful area for children with an imagination to play in.  The park itself is good for learning how to dry camp as  there are no hookups. The best thing about the park is it's proximity to the Keystone Ferry dock.  There are spectacular views of Puget Sound, and you can watch the ferries come and go.  Plus, if you have ferry reservations, I highly recommend staying  here the night before so you don't  have to get up early and rush to get there.

This is the view from one of the campsites.  You can see the Ferry arriving near the dock. 

If you stay at Mt. St. Helens RV Park, you can bike or ride your scooter to the Mt. St. Helen's Visitors Center. However, Coldwater Lake and Johnson Ridge will require cars or some other transportation arrangements. (However, there is a Mexican restaurant right off the exit. I don't recommend eating there. The food server charged me 50 cents more for the item I ordered than the price shown on the menu. The item I ordered showed that if you ordered beef it was $9.50, chicken was $9.75. When I got the bill, I had been charged $10.25. When I asked why, I was told it was because "chicken was more." I said, I was aware of that, but the chicken price on the menu was $9.75, not $10.25. Food server still insisted that "chicken was more." I argued, food server agreed to reduce the price. However, when I asked for a receipt, I found I was still overcharged. Food server had charged me $9.95 (twenty cents more). I didn't notice it until I got back to my RV. This was a blatant attempt to extort and see if anyone notices.....
UPDATE:  In May 2012, I decided to try this restaurant again.  This time, they didn't have separate prices for chicken and beef, and I wasn't overcharged.


I stopped at this Outlet Mall in Locust Grove, Georgia in February 2012 while I was visiting a friend in Georgia.  This is one of many Tanger Outlet Malls around the country. I drove there in a rental car from Enterprise Rental.  There didn't appear to be good places for RV's to park, unless you parked across two head to head parking slots.  However, I wouldn't try this as this mall appeared to be very busy even though it was a Wednesday.  Good, easy access off the freeway.

I stopped at this Outlet Mall in Williamsburg, Iowa. This mall has practically every store you can imagine. Apparently, this is one of many Tanger Outlet Malls around the country. Although I didn't find any special area for RV's to park at the Iowa outlet, I was able to park my RV comfortably across two facing slots. Good, easy access off the freeway.

I stopped at this Outlet Mall located off Exit 482 on Interstate 80 near Gretna, Nebraska. This mall didn't have the wide variety of Tanger Outlet in Iowa, but had some decent stores. Again, I didn't find specific parking for RV's, but was able to park comfortably across two facing slots in the parking area. Easy access on and off the freeway. 

I drove past this mall, didn't stop.  If it's not busy, you could park your RV in a "head to head" spot, but it appeared to me that the parking area wasn't really set up for RV's.