Hello, friends! It’s been a little while since we’ve done a travel update. We are wrapping up the final leg of our gallivanting around the country for this year. We are back in Texas for the holidays. Lots to share from our travels!
In our last travel update, we shared a little about our trip from Iowa to Ohio. You can read more about that here if you want to get caught up.
Harrison Lake State Park
September 7 – 16th. We stayed at Harrison Lake State Park for the 3rd time since we’ve been fulltime RVers. It has become one of our favorite campgrounds and we ended up with our favorite site there so far. The weather went back and forth from cool and rainy to sunny and gorgeous. The kids enjoyed doing their school outside on the nice days. It’s an absolutely beautiful place. Our site backed onto the playground, so Tyler made several friends right away.
We visited Sauder Village, which was a destination on its own. We would love to go back sometime. We rode on a horse-drawn carriage, sang in a beautiful, historical country church, sat in an old schoolhouse, watched corn be ground in a water-powered grist mill (and bought a bag of the fresh cornmeal to take home…wish we had bought more), and learned about the history of northwestern Ohio.
On our last day Saturday at Harrison Lake, we met a precious brother and sister in Christ. Mike and Pam came over and chatted with us Saturday morning. We hit it off immediately and acknowledged that God had once again placed Kingdom friends along our path. We were able to share, encourage, and pray for each other. Before we all left on Sunday, we met together again and prayed together. Anyone who thinks we don’t find “community” on the road, really has no idea. When we are the church, community happens. God showed up at Harrison Lake State Park that weekend, and we are so grateful for the little breadcrumbs of reassurance along our journey. Thank you, Mike and Pam! God bless you both!
Cowan Lake State Park
September 16 – October 7. We moved down to Cowan Lake State Park near Wilmington, Ohio. It seemed to be a little out-of-the-way, but it was a good base location for us to touch base with our friends in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus areas. The park itself was nice. Our site was nice, but the place was a party playground on the weekends. It was really quiet during the week, and had plenty of roads to go for nice walks. We didn’t try any of the trails at this park. My foot wasn’t quite ready for uneven surfaces. 🙂 We waited too long to book our next stop, so we ended up extending our stay to 3 weeks. Glad they let us do that. Most state parks have a 14 day limit. I’m guessing it wasn’t a problem since it was off-season and during the week.
We were able to meet up with lots of friends during our stay. So great to see everyone!
Since we were only an hour or so drive away from the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in Kentucky, we got the combo pass and did both of those. The Ark was impressive, but we came away wishing it had focused more on the faith aspect of Noah and his family rather than trying to convince us of what animals made it onboard. The effects were pretty cool though; sights, sounds, and even smells. Like many museums, there is a lot of reading. It was pretty crowded, even on a weekday. Some of the exhibits were hard to get to to see because everyone was crowded in. Interesting though! We surprised the kids at the end of the day with a camel ride. That was neat! They got a big kick out of it. The Creation Museum was also interesting. Many people do the Creation Museum before the Ark. Again…lots of reading. Glad we got to go.
Barren River Lake State Park
October 7 – 14. Our next stop was a state park in Kentucky called Barren River Lake State Park. Not sure why it’s a “River Lake”…maybe they couldn’t make up their mind? It is located near Bowling Green, KY and is also very close to Mammoth Cave National Park. The campground really wasn’t meant for a rig as big as ours though our site was plenty long. The roads around the campground were really tight and the sites were on a hill, so not very level. Happy to report we made it in and out though! LOL! We may have exited through an entrance, but I think they would probably rather us do that than take someone out along the way. We probably won’t try this park again, though it’s a nice park and was close to where we wanted to be. A smaller camper would have no problem.
While there, we took a day to visit Mammoth Cave National Park. Very cool place! We did the 2 mile Historic Cave Tour. It was a 2 mile, approximately 2 hour, moderate level tour. It was a lot of fun. There was plenty of bending and stooping, and a total of 440 stairs. This is a very different cave to many we have seen, but spectacular nonetheless. I would love to come back another time and do a different tour to see more of the cave.
We also picked up a new park pass. Though Mammoth Cave doesn’t charge an entry fee to the park, we were able to get a pass to use at future National Parks. Tyler is a 4th grader this year, qualifying him (and his family) for a free “Every Kid in a Park Pass“. Thank you, Tyler.
Tyler also added a junior ranger badge to his collection. His hat got quite a bit of attention as we were walking around. LOL!
The boys went to visit the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. Emily and I opted for a girly hangout day at home.
Nashville North KOA
October 14 – 16. At this point, it has been a good while since we’ve had full hookups with sewer. We’ve utilized the dump stations at the campgrounds, but we needed a good flush! We opted to do a couple of nights at a KOA, which we hardly ever do because they are way more expensive than most parks, but they have full hookups. We stayed two nights at the Nashville North KOA, and it was pretty much a disaster from the moment we pulled in. Our site was completely flooded. We were ankle-deep trying to set up. The rain kept falling. I was beginning to wonder if we were going to get out of there. The folks beside us and behind us both lost their awnings. Always slant those awnings when it’s raining so the water can run off instead of collecting in the middle! I’m not sure this was the “premium” site we paid for, but it was just for 2 nights. The really nice maintenance guy did build me a little bridge. LOL! What’s the saying, “Build a bridge, and get over it”? OK. I did…eventually.
Cedars of Lebanon State Park
October 16 – 26. Cedars of Lebanon State Park is now on our “favorites list”. It’s about a half hour drive to Nashville. There are 3 campgrounds. Our first site was a nice pull through in Campground 1. It was fine. The roads coming in are tight, but do-able in our big rig. We pulled into our site with no problem. These pull through sites are pretty close together. We had a campfire a couple of times, but it felt like we were smoking out our next door neighbors. When they left, some tent campers came in next to us, so it was like they were hanging out in our front yard. LOL! It was fine though. Much better than the previous place!
Once we started exploring the park, we discovered Campground 3…Wow! This one has been recently renovated, and the sites are huge! We decided to book an additional week and move over to a large back-in site in Campground 3. Much better…now we know! I love those trees!
While near Nashville, we drove in and did the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It was interesting. Emily got a big kick out of it, being the music lover she is.
We also stopped by the Nashville Antique Archeology store. It’s in a really interesting, historic building. The Marathon Village once housed Marathon Motor Works (1910-1914). You can read more about the history and preservation of this building here.
We loved the hikes at Cedars of Lebanon! Such an interesting area with loads of sink holes, caves, and trees. Beautiful place! Can’t wait to go back.
That pretty much wraps up our big trip for this year.
We left Tennessee, crossed the Mississippi River (hello, old friend), drove into Arkansas, and stayed the night at a park called Lower White River RV Park. It’s right off of I-40, no amenities, no frills, very basic, but big, paved, full hookup sites. Perfect for an overnight stop.
Then, we got up the next day and made it back to Texas. There were cheers from the back seat as we crossed the border. The kids are so excited to be back. They can’t wait to see cousins, friends, and go to church. 🙂 We stayed the night in a really nice KOA this time…Mount Pleasant KOA Journey, about a mile off I-30, about halfway between Texarkana and Dallas. RV park sites are always close together, but we had plenty of room for the night, and our neighbors were friendly. Very mixed feelings from “the adults” about being back in Texas. Excited to see family soon, but I can’t believe we have to turn the A/C on again! LOL! We went from sweaters to tank tops in two days. Where did fall go?
And, I just noticed my kids are hugging in this picture. They are a little bit sweet. 🙂
So, now we’ll be in East Texas for the rest of this week doing some work stuff, then we’ll be heading home to see family on Friday, November 2nd! Looking forward to seeing everyone…it’s not long now! On an additional positive note, I was able to hang my clothes line yesterday and got about 5 loads of laundry done since everything dried nicely in the 85 degree weather. LOL! See there…I really am being positive.
We already have several smaller trips (within Texas) planned for the winter months (some work/some play), lots of family time, parties to plan, meals to share, holidays to celebrate, and new babies to meet in the new year! My sister is having twins, y’all! Two more precious gifts to love on and spoil! It’s going to be a great season. 🙂 We are blessed beyond measure to live this life of faith, family, and adventure. Can’t wait to see what God does next!