We love Brown County State Park and Nashville, Indiana…

Wow, this state park is completely awesome! We are at Brown County in Indiana – campsite 379. It’s in the woods, level, close to the showers which are large and clean, and private. In the park are riding stables, an olympic size pool, hiking and biking trails, a lodge, cottages and a nature center. We have 50 amp service but we agree that it earns a score of 9/10 simple because the sites are missing water hook up and sewer. But….we love it here!

This is the covered bridge into the campground. We had to turn around and use the west entrance which accommodated larger RV’s.
Site #379….perfect!
So today is my birthday. I got to go shopping………
….. while Howie stayed home and worked!
We went out to dinner……my pick. We ate at Casa Del Sol, a restaurant in Nashville, IN. I had a great day!
The Lodge
A Family Suite cabin….they also have family cabins and rustic cabins – all really nice!
A Travel Gnome ……. thought it appropriate that we take our picture with him!
Nashville Indiana is full of quaint, artistic shops! It would take a week to get through them all!
Adorable pottery birdhouses!
Howie’s finally getting a pedicure……the old fashioned way!

So tomorrow we hit the road again. We’re heading for home! We have a whole house to pack up over the next 3 weeks. We “close” on October 15th – immediately following, we’re heading for St. Louis and then south from there. We plan to be gone for about 7 weeks on “Leg 2” and will be touring through Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Our plan at this point is to be “home” again for Christmas. We’ll try to post over the next 3 weeks to give you an update on our progress….until then, Happy Trails!

A Tried and True Campfire Favorite…..

There’s nothing like a hot dog roasted on an open camp fire, right? Well, we found a way to “step it up a notch”. Granted, you have to have the right equipment….a cast iron hot dog iron. We’ve had ours for years and we all agree that there isn’t a better hot dog to be found….anywhere!

So here’s the recipe…..

2 slices of bread, buttered on one side

2 hot dogs

1 hot dog iron

Place each hot dog on the unbuttered side of each slice of bread and place end to end in the hot dog iron. (See the picture) Close and lock the hot dog iron. Trim the excess bread/crust sticking out from the side of the hot dog iron. Roast slowly over red hot coals. Open the iron, remove the hot dogs and enjoy the best dog EVER!

Dip these “puppies” in ketchup and/or mustard and ENJOY! Another option is to forget the bread….instead place the hot dogs in the hot dog iron and cover with prepared Jiffy cornbread mix, close the lid and roast over the hot coals until done – a campfire version of a corn-dog!

Junebug……

Thought you might like to see the inside of the motorhome. We made a few changes to make it more comfortable and accommodating for us. Here’s what we did…..

Below is a picture of the U-shaped sofa that came with the motorhome – a really awesome concept with some serious engineering flaws. The two ends retract in while traveling to minimize the size, however, they still extended into the hallway making moving through the unit difficult. After sitting on it for an hour or so, you’re bottom would start to hurt. There’s a pull out full size bed in the middle section but we couldn’t imagine how anyone could sleep on it since there was no mattress and gaps here and there, making the hard surface uneven.

So we pulled that puppy out, replaced the carpeting and installed this…..

This is a RecPro sofa recliner and it’s super comfortable! Now we can relax in complete comfort with our legs elevated. We added end tables and lamps to give it a more home-like feel.

Here you see the sofa in the reclined position. Before the changes, we were hauling 3 dog crates along. The end table on the left is actually a large dog crate! We found it on line and love it!

On the opposing slide out, there was a recliner and a table. We had to move the recliner to another area for it to be functional. The table had “wings” which extended to fit in the middle of the U-shaped sofa – again, a good idea but we never used it so it was taking up valuable real estate. So out they both went!

We replaced them with another piece of furniture. Below is the sewing center/desk which we found on-line. I’m a quilter and bring my machines along with projects. The desk serves as the perfect work space when “working from home”.

AFTER……

These changes really work for us and open up the living space quite a bit!

We didn’t make any other changes but we plan to replace the carpeting in the cab and bedroom to match the new carpet we had installed in the living room.

So that’s it guys……hope you enjoyed the tour and happy trails!

We made it to Ohio……

Yesterday was a travel day. We spent most of the day on the road moving from Cumberland State Park in Kentucky to Deer Creek State Park in Ohio. WE LOVE IT HERE! It’s a beautiful large park with stables, a marina, a gorgeous lodge and cottages, a swimming beach, golf course, frisbee golf course and a spacious campground. The sites are mostly level, private and comfortable. All sites have 50 amp, but no water or sewer hook ups. There are numerous water stations and a dump station so we’re set. Howie and I each rate it a 9/10 because of no water or sewer hook up! But it is the nicest state park we’ve seen to date.

Here we are in Ohio. We found a stand for the awesome camp sign my co-workers at Valley West gave me. We love it. Zoom in for a closer look!

So we spent most of the day exploring the state park and the surrounding area. We found an awesome town about 20 minutes from us by the name of Washington Court House. It is filled with a lot of quaint shops and antique stores. Needless to say, Howie couldn’t quite understand me buying some new old things since we just sold our house! That’s OK…..he found a favorite store too – Two Scoops of Sugar, a bakery. We were amazed at what $6.50 bought – see below.

In the middle are 2 “buckeyes” – after all we ARE in Ohio.

Here’s the store I was telling you about – it was one of the best stores I’ve ever seen. Some very cool furniture but I just couldn’t figure out how to hook up a trailer to the car behind the motorhome!

We bought tickets today for a huge “Country Living” show in Columbus this weekend. It advertises that the magazine “comes to life” with over 200 vendors. Sounds like fun to me! I’ll let you know about the show later.

We also did some videoing today. Howie’s still learning how to use the GoPro including how to edit. As soon as he gets it up and running, we’ll send it along. Until then, happy trails!

Campside Chili Mac

So this recipe has been in my family for years. We love it while camping for several reasons…..there are minimal ingredients so you don’t have to stow a bunch of supplies, it’s inexpensive, it’s quick, easy and soooo good. If you like Steak N Shake’s chili mac, you’ll love this recipe!

1 can Chili Man Chili (or similar brand)

1/4 cup BBQ sauce

1/2 cup ketchup

Mix all three ingredients together and heat thoroughly.

Cook spaghetti noodles as directed on the box, drain and place on individual plates. Squirt about 3 rings of ketchup in a circle over pasta. Spoon chili mixture on the top in the middle of the ketchup ring. Be careful not to over serve the chili mixture as it’s pretty powerful. Zap in the microwave for 30 seconds after assembling so it’s hot for serving. Enjoy!

Pasta Carbonara

So one could argue that this is NOT a camping meal…..and I couldn’t really disagree. However, it IS one of my husband’s favorite pasta dishes so it seems fitting that we start the recipe category with this recipe! It was the first meal I made on this trip and it was the very first time that I ever made it. It was a bit tricky making this dish in an RV “kitchen” but it really wasn’t too hard. It took me about an hour. I hope you’ll try it!

Pasta Carbonara with a side of chopped salad and bread.

INGREDIENTS

9-10 slices of thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

8 1/2 cups water, divided

2-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb linguine or spaghetti

1 1/4 cups finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

3 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

1 tsp each salt and pepper

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add bacon and 1/2 cup of the water to a large non-stick skillet and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  2. Allow to simmer until water evaporates about 6-7 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the bacon is brown and crisp, about 6-8 minutes longer.
  3. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl then pour bacon into strainer while reserving about 1 tsp. of the rendered fat in pan. Return pan that and sauce garlic about 30 seconds, until fragrant and lightly golden.
  4. Pour into a medium mixing bowl then add 1 Tbsp rendered bacon fat (drippings in bowl set under strainer) to mixing bowl with garlic. Add eggs, egg yolk, parmesan and pepper to garlic mixture and whisk until well combined.
  5. Meanwhile, bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large dutch oven (no more than 8 cups because you want a very starchy water for the sauce). Add spaghetti and salt to boiling water and cook until al dente. While pasta is boiling, set a colander in a large bowl.
  6. Drain al dente pasta into colander in bowl, while reserving pasta water in bowl. Measure out 1 cup hot pasta water and discard remaining water. Place pasta in the now empty large bowl.
  7. Slowly pour and whisk 1/2 cup pasta water into egg mixture, then slowly pour mixture over pasta while tossing to coat. Add bacon and toss to combine. Season with salt if desired.
  8. Let pasta rest, tossing frequently, 2-4 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly and coats pasta. Thin with remaining 1/2 cup hot pasta water as needed. Serve immediately topped with additional parmesan and parsley.

Recipe source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

This recipe serves 6. Leftovers can be warmed in a saucepan over low heat. Enjoy!

Our next stop……

We drove about 4 hours to our next location, Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, near Jamestown, Kentucky. After our last premium location, we were disappointed to find uneven, rutted campsites with minimal privacy. We were one of only a handful of campers here but we had to give a score of about 3/10. The saving grace here were the large public bathrooms and shower rooms.

An almost empty campground.
This is site 64. It took a while to scope out a site because the sites were all so short, uneven and in disrepair. We ended up being pretty happy with this one.
Out and about enjoying the sights.
Wolf Creek Dam
This is one of the marinas – Lake Cumberland is known for houseboat rentals. They had all sizes, shapes and styles.

Big News…….

So our plan was to return home after 5 weeks on the road for a grandson’s wedding. As I mentioned earlier, our home has been on the market since June 7th – we’ve had 1 viewing since we listed. Well, two days ago there was another viewing and we got an offer which we accepted after a bit of negotiation. We’ve been gone all of 1 week……I guess all we had to do to sell was to go on vacation! So we had to make all kinds of arrangements, including contacting an attorney, finding a moving truck and storage unit and canceling and rearranging our camping reservations. So we’ll be back home in a week to pack up our home! God takes such good care of us!

We’ve been here only three years but it’s time to move on.
So many great times here and fond memories!

We have truly enjoyed our home……but it’s time to move along. The big open road is calling us! We’ll try to stay in touch as we pack up!

So starts our full time RV journey…..

My last day as a full time nurse was on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. With our house “on the market”, we set out by 10 am Wednesday, September 4th. Our first destination was Nolin State Park in Kentucky near Mammoth Cave. It did not disappoint!

Walking out on my last day of work! Bittersweet!
Nolin Lake State Park in Kentucky – Site 002.

We love this state park campground. Very spacious, quiet and clean sites, equipped with a large pad and lots of trees in between sites to give maximum privacy. The price was reasonable at approximately $23/night for 50 amp and water. We score it a 10/10 and would return in a heartbeat!

Peaceful Nolin Lake
Two giant and one regular sized watermelons….the largest was 106 pounds! They grow things big here in Kentucky!
Tobacco fields – the next day we went past, they had been harvested. Below, they’re drying in the barn.

We went to Mammoth Cave for the day. There were multiple tours to choose from and we just couldn’t decide – so we signed up for two! Oh my….what did we do? 4.5 hours of underground hiking, descending down 250+ feet and up again with over 1100 stair steps. We did the Historical Tour which features cavernous openings which is how the cave got it’s name while the other tour, Frozen Niagra is famous for the “pretty formations” which you see in my pictures. We were exhausted but we completely enjoyed ourselves.

This is the only “natural” cave opening and it’s how you enter the cave on the “Historical Tour”. This tour showcases the true reason the cave system is named “Mammoth” due to the sheer unique size of the openings in this portion of the cave.
This is the man made openings for all other cave entrances. When they opened this “vault door”, I again had to wonder if I wanted to enter – creepy!
This pic is out of focus but it gives you a good idea of the descent into the caves.
Why the big smiles? We were at the end of the last tour and we had survived! You’d smile too!

So this is how it all began………

For several years, we had been researching motorhomes and floor plans and had really decided on the Winnebago 35G. It checked all the boxes for us which included a king size bed, washer and dryer, front end living room with the TV directly opposite from the seating area, a separate shower and NO dinette area. I would frequently pursue the RV sites and I came upon our ideal motorhome for the right price…..but it was in Florida and we were in Illinois. No worries….we called the dealer, booked our flight (one way) and took off for Florida. We were not disappointed – she was exactly what we wanted.

This is the first day that we met Junebug!

Just a bit nervous in this monster for about the first 2 hours before settling in..

But soon Howie was handling her like a pro!

Our first night together in Destin, Florida!