This posts strictly deals with the our new way of traveling and picks up where Trying a New Way to Travel leaves off. We have learned quite a bit over the last several weeks and I want to share all of that with you as it happens. Our next stop after the last campground was a State Fairgrounds in Lewisburg, but before we could leave we needed to get our tires fixed. I made numerous calls to try and find someone who could replace our G tires on our RV and thankfully I found Corridor H Tires. They were terrific. Not only did they perform the work expertly, they also replaced the truck brake pads for a very reasonable price. The waiting room was also super puppy friendly, and Jack and I hung out there while it was being done.
It took us longer than we thought to reach the State Fairground and there was extra confusion when we arrived because the site number that we had booked wasn’t clearly marked. Lee had to call the office to find out what was going on and we were told we could take any spots The outer edge had 50 amp but the sewer hookups were so overgrown and we initially couldn’t see them. Finally we found a spot and settled in.
For $45 dollars a day I wasn’t that impressed, but Jack loved it. There was a HUGE field in the back we could let him run around off leash and I will say it was close to everything we wanted to do and the cell coverage was great. It was fine for a few nights, but I wouldn’t actually recommend it, but once again there weren’t many options. All the state parks were booked for the weekends, which continues to be a common theme this fall.
While we were staying at the State Fair Grounds we tried to book our next stay and we realized there was nowhere close that had cell coverage. After numerous phone calls we found a place about 30 miles from where we had just left, which caused another Sunday travel day and lots of extra miles. Lessons learned from this was to book farther in advance as we could have avoided all of this extra travel. Here is a Google map representation of what we did.
Once we arrived at Elkins, we again realized the campground would not work for us. It was across a narrow bridge and railroad tracks and I lost cell as soon as we started to go down it. Thankfully we were able to back up and we headed back up the road to a place we had passed on the way. Smokey Bottom Campground wasn’t listed on any of the sites, but it was terrific. The owner was very nice and only charged us $32 a night. There was lots of area to walk Jack and we had really nice neighbors Don and Dottie and Jack was able to play with their dogs.
This was by far my favorite place we stayed in during our time in West Virginia with the single exception of an escape by Jack. I got too comfortable letting him off leash and one day he ran up a steep hill behind our place to railroad tracks. I had to climb the hill (Don was kind enough to go with me) and finally I reached him at the top. Going down was even more brutal and I was very unhappy with Jack for a couple of days.
Our next place to stay was in Maryland, but once again we had a nasty surprise. Lee had called twice to verify our reservation, but when we were one hour out we learned the owner had given our spot away. Thankfully again it was a Sunday, but there was nowhere close to stay and ultimately we had to go back to West Virginia and stay at Falling Waters Campsite. Don’t get me wrong I was super grateful to find a place for $40 a night with weekend availability, but I really wanted to be in Maryland. Plus trying to find a campground last minute (no lie I found the place about 3 miles before we had to exit the freeway) is super stressful.
Actually this whole “winging it” has been way too stressful for us. We have had to change campgrounds three times for various reasons and the cost has been on the high side. Not planning costs something in the east and after this last adventure we decided to lock our calendar in. We are now booked through the beginning of January and although this gives us less flexibility than we would like it does give us more peace of mind.
I am sure some of you are thinking “I travel like this all the time and don’t have issue” and that may be true. But with the absolute need for strong cell coverage and desire to visit as many places as possible we need more rigor around our schedule. In a nutshell, our lives just don’t lend themselves to not planning ahead!
Next up we are headed down to a campsite Lee found in Maryland where we get to spend two whole weeks and do a good amount of sightseeing around Washington DC! Lots more to come.
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