Winter 2021 – From Rhode Island To Tennessee!
This post documents our activities from October 21, 2021 to October 30, 2021. Additional pictures for this leg of our journey can be found here.
For the past several years, our winters have been spent roaming around the southern states of Alabama and Florida. Time for a change! For our travels during the winter of 2021-2022, we would be heading west, visiting some destinations we had been to before and a few we had never visited. Here’s a quick synopsis of our initial travels.
So on October 21st, off we went. Since our departure had been delayed from our original date of October 8th due to service issues, we needed to make up for lost time. Normally our first stop would be in Albany to see Rob’s 93 year old Dad but to save time, we drove there in the Jeep earlier in October to spend the day with him. Always good seeing him especially in the midst of a pandemic. In keeping with our making up for lost time, our 360 mile first day on the road brought us to a familiar place, Twin Grove RV Resort in Pine Grove, PA.
A Harvest Host location was our destination for the second day, Shenandoah Heritage Market in Harrisonburg, VA, where our stay didn’t quite live up to expectations, mostly due to the specific circumstances at the day and time of our visit. The host business itself was actually quite enjoyable and interesting.
Probably part of what soured our mood was arriving after 4:00 p.m. amidst horrendous traffic, I think it took 45 minutes to go the last 1/4 mile! In many HH locations, there is plenty of room to park without unhitching, which is a big plus for an overnight stay. But alas not here – we had to unhitch the toad so we could back in along the edge of the gravel parking lot to the left of the marketplace. To add insult to injury, the person next to us in a 5th wheel was running a very noisy, cheapo, outside portable generator the entire time we were there even when no one was home.
We did however have an opportunity to visit the marketplace where we bought a few items at Grandma’s Pantry and a few tomatoes in the produce barn. Probably won’t go out of our way to stay here again tho because of the traffic potential and the back-in requirement. To see more of our photos of Shenandoah Heritage Market, click here.
For the third day, after calling several places to make a reservation in Kingsport, TN with no luck, we ended up targeting one of our least favorite places to overnight – a Walmart parking lot. However, when we arrived, the parking lot was so unlevel, there was no way that we wanted to endure that. By chance, Rob called a nearby KOA in Baileyton and fortunately they had had a cancellation. Woo hoo!
We usually don’t like KOA’s – they tend to be expensive and the sites are typically pretty close together, but we weren’t in a position to be choosy. Yes, this KOA was expensive ($62) for the night but this particular park had a new section with long sites and this part of it was actually decent – our pull thru site was quite spacious. The rest of the park tho was a typical old, cramped, KOA.
Next, having made up for lost time, we enjoyed a four night stay at the beautiful Defeated Creek COE Park in Defeated, TN. This park offers 155 sites (electric only) right on Cordell Hull Lake on the Cumberland River System, just seven miles from Carthage, TN. From our site (#106), we had a lovely view of Cordell Hull Lake.
During our stay we drove to the Cordell Hull Dam. Nice to finally have a few days to rest and relax!
Not impressed! That’s the nice version of how we felt about our next stop, Parker’s Crossroads RV Park & Campground in Parker, TN. We asked for a site long enough for our rig plus toad (at least 65′), but when we checked in, we were assigned a pull thru site #1 right across from the office. Not even big enough for just the coach, so the Jeep was hanging out into the entrance road!
We were given a cone to put at the end of the Jeep but Rob decided to unhitch and move the Jeep up next to the dumpster located across from our site.
Definitely not a big rig friendly campground. It had a general run down look and a weirdly organized site plan. Not to mention, we would not have been able to make the turn out of our site if someone occupied the site in front of us, luckily that site remained empty and we had to pull thru it and just barely were able to make the U-turn to get out. So this place is definitely off our list for all future stays! The next morning, we went to Patty’s Restaurant for a good, well priced but average breakfast. Patty’s also has plenty of big rig parking adjacent and is right off the interstate.
In our next post we’ll continue with more of the summary of our 2021 westward journey.
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