Friday, May 31, 2019

Cottonwood Campground South Dakota

Next stop, Cottonwood Recreation Area is located just downstream of Gavins Point Dam and Lewis & Clark Lake along the western shore of Lake Yankton. The numerous outdoor recreational opportunities attract more than 2 million visitors annually to the Lewis & Clark Lake area, making it one of the most popular recreation destinations in the Upper Great Plains. Lewis & Clark Lake is 31,400-acres in size with more than 90 miles of shoreline is impounded by Gavins Point Dam.

All 77 campsites have electric hookups, and all sites are reservable. Two modern shower houses with flush toilets are available for campers. A playground, horseshoe pits and picnic shelter are available within the campground and the adjacent Day-Use Area has a large reservable picnic shelter, picnic area, accessible fishing dock, disc golf course and a boat ramp for access to Lake Yankton. Nearby Training Dike Day-Use Area has a popular swimming beach on Lake Yankton along with access to the Missouri River downstream of Gavins Point Dam. A RV dump station is located just north of Cottonwood Campground off of Toe Road.


Cottonwood Recreation Area is conveniently located between Lewis and Clark Lake and Lake Yankton. Lewis and Clark Lake is known for great boating, sailing, swimming and other water-based recreation activities. Lake Yankton is popular with families as a popular fishing spot along with the excellent kayaking, canoeing and paddling opportunities. Numerous paved, multi-use trails connect the area with the additional numerous recreation areas located along Lewis and Clark Lake, Lake Yankton and the Missouri River. Lewis and Clark Lake attracts more than 2 million visitors each year to its shores. Recreation opportunities around the lake include camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, boating, sailing, swimming, bird-watching, and photography.
For the biking and hiking enthusiasts, three trails are available in the area. They include a paved trail that runs from Yankton to the Gavins Point area, a multi-use trail in the Gavins Point area and the Calumet Bluff hiking trail located near the visitor center. Wintertime activities include ice fishing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and sledding.
Developed public parks and recreation areas surround the lake above and below Gavins Point Dam. Camping facilities provided by the Corps and the States of South Dakota and Nebraska include marinas, boat ramps, trails, campsites with electricity, modern restrooms, playground equipment and trailer dump stations.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Cherry Glen Campground

Cherry Glen Campground is located in Ankeny, IA and is a Corp of Engineer Campground.  It is not a very large campground, but it is a very busy campground.  You have electric and there are potable water faucets including two dump stations. This campground is located on the Saylorville Lake

Restrooms/showers are clean (again out dated).  We visited family during our stay.

The lots are rather large most have shade.  

For those sites that have views of the lake you will find small paths that take you down to the lake.  As you can see the lake had been lowered and we had lots of area to walk or fish from.

We did have some beautiful sun sets.

We did go into Des Moines to do our trifecta of old haunts, foods that we have not had in 30+ years.  Maid-Rite; Taste Tacos; and Smitty's (greatest pork tenderloins)

Then it was time to head to our next adventure South Dakota.  It has started to drizzle again.

I would have to give this campground 4 stars.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Visiting Family - Free Camping

We headed to my families farm in Burlington, IA.  Our plan was to spend time with my parents and mother's day with my mother.  I had not done that in 30 years.

Family farm, you can see our truck and trailer.

We went mushroom hunting and found a few.

So I decided while I had both my mom and sister there that I would make new slip covers for the sofa, since it was shedding.  The sofa has faux leather and that was pealing off.  So, we three went to JoAnns, found upholstery fabric that was on clearance.  My sister helped me with measuring and we were off creating the slip covers. 

We took my mom and dad out to a Mother's Day Brunch.  Had a great day.

Crabapple tree in bloom.

Then it was time to pack up and head to Des Moines, IA to see more family.

Cherokee Lakes Campground - EVACUATE

So we continued our travels to the St. Louis area.  There are very few campgrounds in the St. Louis area.  The campground was remodeling the women's restroom/showers.  Men's area looked great.

We were only there 3 nights, when we were informed that we needed to evacuate the campground.  The river  had risen and was beginning  to seep over, and that the levy was leaking in spots.  
Campground  after evacuation.  Empty.

So we packed up, texted my sister that we were on our way to her house and parked the trailer in her driveway.

So while at sister's we worked on the pantry drawer installation.

I glued the drawers together.

David installed them.  Great job!

Bought a new rug.  Ollie was testing it out.

John F. Kennedy Campground

John F. Kennedy Campground is located in Heber Springs, AR and is a Corp of Engineers Park.  This campground is fabulous.  It is located on the Little Red River part of the Greers Ferry Dam.

There are 4 loops A is on the lower level of the park and is mainly for tent campers or smaller RVs.  

Loop B can handle small to large RVs.  Prime sites with views of the Little Red River are B-17 thru B-20, these prime sites can handle a 30' or less RV and are about 10-15 degrees cooler.

Loop C has some sites that have a small stream that flows behind the sites.  

Loop D is the upper level of the campground and has a large amount of the sites that are shaded with lots of trees.

The restroom facilities are small and dated with only two stalls and two shower stalls and only two facilities for the whole campground.

At the dam area there is a viewing area where you can see the dam and the river below,  with plants and wildlife.

There are trails that are near the stream, one in particular has handicap access.

We will be returning to this campground, I have to give this 5 out of 5 (even though more restrooms and updates are needed).

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Twiltley Branch Campground

This park is a Corp of Engineer park, it is a old park.  Lots of mature oak and sand pines.  Sites are close together and narrow.  For larger rigs it can be a little tricky backing into your spot, with trees close to your site and trees across the road.  You have great views of the lake, and if your enjoy fishing then this is the lake for you.  The park has four boat ramps that are always busy.  The biggest draw back is that there is only one restroom/shower for the whole park of 62 sites.

Campground is very busy during the weekend.  We did happen to get a glimpse of a bald eagle being chased by a smaller bird. 

We would give this park a 3 out 5 stars.

Twiltley Branch Web Site

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Bathroom Sky Light Hack

We have owned travel trailers and a class A motor home. All have had a skylight in the bathroom.  I have always found this area to be hotter than any other area of the RV. So I was watching ASreaminLife on YouTube.  On this specific video Courtney was packing the Airstream up when she got to a skylight and snapped a cover over the skylight.  I thought that was really smart of Airstream, and why couldn't I do the same.
I had reupholstered the seats in our pontoon last year and still had some of the marine grade vinyl left.  I measured the plastic facing around the skylight added 1" for my seam fold-over and went got my vinyl and drew my different measurements on the vinyl.  Once I got it cut out, I folded over the 1" and stitched it with my sewing machine.
I was ready to put snaps up in the plastic facing, as I stood there looking at the skylight and knowing we had two days before we left for our epic journey to Alaska, I chickened out.
What if I broke the plastic facing that would be something we would have to repair while on the rode or I cracked the skylight.  There were going to be other things that would need repairing and that was diffidently not going to be one of them!  So, I went to my all time favorite things "Command Strips".  Got the heavy duty strips that would hold 16 lbs.  Put them on the plastic facing and then pushed the vinyl cover up onto them.  And there you have it.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Cotton Hill Corp of Engineers Campground - Ft. Gaines, GA

We left Saturday, April 20 for the start of our epic journey to Alaska.  As we traveled up I-75
we ran into wind advisories, of up to 35 mph which were brutal. At the Georgia border we stopped at the visitor center and David grabbed a map for the Georgia 37, the map would take us down two lane highways and through a lot of small towns.  Which was fine to us. We got off on exit 37, but should have gotten off at exit 39. So, we wondered for a while until we got to Highway 37. Got lost again, still wondered until we got back onto the correct road to Cotton Hill Campground.
Cotton Hill Campground is located in Ft. Gaines, GA on the the Walter F. George Lake (gps:31.73093033, -84.96646881) it is a US Army Corps of Engineers Park.  There are 101 sites (91 with full hook-up (water, electric & sewer) and 10 primitive sites with electric and group water). The sites are fairly large and shaded with each site having a fire pit, picnic table and grill.  Each site has a paved pad area for your rig and a large gravel picnic area. There are three loops with most sites having water access. One loop is situated by the beach area with view and easy walking access to the beach.

There are numerous restrooms and showers (showers are outdated, (but then so am I) but very clean. Numerous laundry areas, and a dump station with dumpsters for trash. There are some easy hiking trails with plenty of wild life to see.

Some of the sites are steep to get into (as you can see just the roof of our Solaire).  So if your RV is low to the ground you might want to verify with the park about how steep the incline is to your specific site.
We have a beautiful view of the lake.  As I sit at the
picnic table and look out at the lake it looks like glass.
I can see the Osprey Falcon nest sitting in a cypress
tree just above the water.

On our first night here we were greeted by our Canadian neighbors.

We went through downtown Ft. Gaines, which still has some of the old parts of the country town feel.  I grew up in farm country, where our downtown areas were no more than 4 blocks long. This had that feel.

We also went over to the Walter F. George lock & dam.
This is a must stay at park. We give this park 5 stars.

Website is:

Cottonwood Campground South Dakota

Next stop, Cottonwood Recreation Area is located just downstream of Gavins Point Dam and Lewis & Clark Lake along the western shore of L...