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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Winter Seclusion

Parked in front of the computer, not enjoying the Admiral, is my idea of winter isolation. Not only will I be out of the travel, my beautiful wife will be in Hattiesburg, Mississippi for the week. Just the Admiral "captain" and dogs this week. I have given thought to a 2 night escape to Land Between the Lakes, LBL, but have not convinced myself it would be enjoyable with only my dog, Bailey. Shssss' do not let on to her.

I have the desire to explore winter camping in the LBL. It could be a good opportunity to do this exploring while unaccompanied so Baily and I can get dirty and hike to some of the other camp grounds. The LBL offers four (4) campgrounds open in the winter months. Two campgrounds, Fenton and Wrangler offer some hook ups, while Birmingham Ferry and Cravens Bay are more primitive.

The Wrangler Camp offers full hook ups and facilities for horses. The campground is not located on water front which limits the appeal to my tastes. However, the central location and ease of access may result in this being our command headquarters for the exploring trip. Being somewhat isolated, Bailey and I will stock up the frig,pantry and liquor locker prior to the trip. The weather appears agreeable next week, much superior to the 6-8" of snow we experienced this weekend.

I have made a decision. Instead of venturing to LBL this week and batching it, I am exploring the camp grounds with my trusty friend Mickey Doo. Not Mickey Mouse but a good male bonding friend. We will check out 3-4 camp grounds and then Me and the best part of my life (Denise) will venture down during a 3 day weekend. That way I can be well scouted in the area prior to our winter camping. I am not sure Denise is ready for the roughing it without all the electrical stuff. After all, our favorite camp ground, Canal will open up no later than April 1st.

While isolated during the winter months, I find myself planning spring and summer trips. I do believe the trip to Lake of the Osarks may be the spring trip. I also plan a trip to Keenland Race Track this spring for we missed the event last season. I am determined to dry camp in the track lot this spring. It is my understanding we can stay in the bus lot if self contained. I think a day at the track, beer, wine and gambling is best suited for a crawl back to the coach for a BBQ. A day at Keenland and another 2 days at Kentucky Horse Park would be a great weekend.

Well my 2 days alone are starting to grate on my mind. Bailey is good company but not a good conversationalist. Her range of subject appears to be limited.

It is not 5 nights alone and Bailey is really looking Cute. Just kidding. We made the trip to LBL as planned and a good off day. Checking out the camp grounds was a good idea. We learned that Wrangler is good for horsey people, but limited if you have to use 2 human hoofs. Wrangler has not water frontage and horse trails are a bit say, phew. We ventured to Energy Lake to visit the camp ground but unfortunately is was closed and locked behind a big gate. However, the location appears good with water front sites and good access to the impounded lake. This could be a spring trip. We did revisit Birmingham Ferry and found this to be one of my preferred sites for dry camping. The sites are large and reasonable level. Secluded but great view of Kentucky Lake.

Our adventure was complete. Bailey got to dream about deer, geese and ducks and I could view potential camp grounds. The day was fun with just man and dog. Sometimes the simplest of days are the best.

Happy Trails.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Camping World Camp

We have traveled in several portions of the US but parking lot sites are new for us. I belatedly found a seminar sponsored by the Kentucky Appraiser's Board that I need for continuing education. Fortunately, the location in Bowling Green is near our planned trip for the weekend. Therefore, I am located in the Camping World parking lot near my seminar site.
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Being the resourceful traveler and not bashful about asking for help, the management at Camping World provided a site with 30 amp power. As a traveling community, we need to lobby for retail concerns to provide outlets at parking lot lighting posts. After all, we all spend in their stores and a short stay is a win win for us all. I have a great satelite signal, quiet lot and strong power. I have paid a visit to Gander Mountain adjacent to Camping World and tomorrow I can always find a buy in CW.

Alas, I had to leave my Bailey girl (dog) alone, whining by the door. She is a real traveler and knew I was leaving. However, Denise just called and my girl was lounging by the phone. They will join me tomorrow for our weekend stay at KOA. Yes, we are staying at a KOA, however, due to the generosity of our daughters, the say is free. The best kind. We are so fortunate to enjoy our motorhome travel. The freedom we enjoy is sometimes coupled with a bit of guilt, but we tend to get over it.

The evening was quiet and uneventful. Parking in the lot always sends some apprenhension through me wondering if a wrecker will show up in the late evening to evict us. Camping World headquarters is located here in Bowling Green and I plan to send an email thank you complimenting the local store. Tomorrow the local KOA for a free weekend.

Happy Trails.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nashville New Year's

Lucky Kiss the Moose on New Year's. That is what $0.99 draft beer will do for you. This was a Scope moment.

We toured to Nashville for a long weekend, 4 nights, in temps around 10-20 degrees. No roasting around the camp fire this weekend. However, Nashville offers numerous opportunities to drink and eat near the KOA and we being adventurous travelers, sampled the offerings just to help our readers. What a sacrifice.
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Winter months find us utilizing the more expensive KOA due to a short drive, 2 hours, and entertainment within 1-2 miles. It continues to amaze me that the KOA can be so busy in winter months although the prices are at the upper end of the camping spectrum.

We were entertained by two football fans, Auburn, adjacent to our site. Now, I understand sport fans can be rabid, however these two set a new bar. Picture the conditions! Approximately 15 degrees plus wind chill, two football fans perched on the patio with fire in the pit, entertainment system activated, outside, bloody Mary's in hand watching the Auburn - Northwestern Bowl Game. Inside the coach was the same game on satellite with 70 degrees and food. Go figure. They must have wanted to experience the Stadium effect. What fun watching these grown men whoop it up while trying to hide the screen from what little sun pushed through the gray clouds. Fortunately, Auburn won or we may have witnessed suicides in the KOA!

Now, being true sport fans, we adjourned the next day to witness the University of Kentucky vs. Louisville Cardinals game. We took advantage of the kind hospitality of the Caney Creek Camp restaurant to watch the game. Now, UK basketball, food, beer and the company of new friends at the bar made for an enjoyable afternoon and evening. Fortunately, UK won and they did not eject us from the bar. Good food and beer.

Due to the cold temps, many water lines froze overnight. The campground hosts were more the helpful, but temps hampered everyone's efforts. Fortunately, propane was available for all so no frostbite. We will return to the KOA for a weekend adventure. We can also recommends John A's restaurant and bar. They typically have good country music each evening and you can adventure to the back of the bar and visit with John. John has a long history with the local music and if you time it right, Tommy Lasorta will be there to talk baseball.

Happy Trails All!