Tourist Review – Dead Horse Point State Park – SE Utah

When we stayed a couple weeks at Angostura Recreation Area (Hot Springs SD) you’ll remember that we had the pleasure of meeting and visiting with our neighbors Clark & Anita.

Clark and Anita (and their Oliver Travel Trailer)

They told us that as we traveled south from South Dakota through Wyoming and Utah, we just HAD to stop (and camp if we could) at Dead Horse Point State Park just northwest of Moab, Utah.

He told us if we didn’t make it to any of the other popular parks in that area of Utah (Arches, Canyonlands, Canyon de Chelly, Grand Staircase Escalante, Capital Reef) we’d just HAVE to visit Dead Horse.

As it turned out, our travels back to Rover’s Roost at Casa Grande Arizona found us traveling west along southern Wyoming and the east side of Utah and traveling down U.S. 191 instead of using the interstate highway system – and we’re so glad we did!

This way we stayed out of Colorado and the I-25 / I-70 yet we still got to see a LOT of beautiful scenery and ecosystems as we traveled up and down the hills and valleys, sometimes as high as 9000 feet!

But the Creme de la creme – has been Dead Horse Point State Park. The Colorado River runs through the park. The main (only) paved road through the park is Utah State Route 313 and it’s one way in and the same one way out. The $20 (non-resident) entrance fee is per vehicle so we parked our rigs in a gravel parking area just outside the park entrance and then we climbed into David and Susan’s car to visit the park.

As we all realize, photographs just never represent fully the depth and beauty of the subject. But I just had to share some with you here.

If you click on any of the thumbnails below, a larger picture will open. If you have a slower internet connection it might take a second (or a few) to sharpen up the image. Just be patient and you should be able to see and appreciate the beauty in the detail.

Here’s a short (1-1/2 minutes) video of some of the beauty we took in.

And a special thanks to Clark and Anita for putting us on to this gem. Next time we are going to be in the area, we’ll need to make campground reservations ahead of time!

Thanks once again for riding along on the journey of our lifetimes. It’s been five years now that we’ve traveled full-time and worked (volunteered) part-time along the way and it’s still fun – how about that!

Until we meet again, take care of yourselves and each other. You’re all you’ve got. Be good. And stay safe in this crazy world of ours.

Herb and Kathy

Campground Review – Historic Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford Nebraska

Fort Robinson State Park and it’s two main campgrounds Soldier Creek and Red Cloud are located just west of the small town of Crawford, Nebraska on U.S. 20 and west of U.S. 385 in the extreme northwest corner of Nebraska.

The interactive map below shows everywhere we’ve camped overnight since we’ve been on the road. See if you can zero in on Fort Robinson. You can zoom the map in and out and move it about. When you click your mouse (or finger on a tablet) on any red balloon, the name and location of the park will be highlighted. Let me know if you find Fort Robinson! (you can click on “Accept All Cookies” to get rid of that annoying text box that covers part of the map.)

When we stayed (early October) the full hook-up campground (31 sites) at Red Cloud was closed for the season but the Soldier Creek campground has 80 electric only sites, clean pit toilets, and a shower house. Water hydrants and dumpsters are located on the main loop and there’s a dump station at the entrance/exit to the campground.

It’s about a 50/50 split of those sites that are reservable on ReserveAmerica and those that are held for walk-up only. I thought we were lucky to get a reservation a few days earlier given that we needed to stay on Friday and Saturday night. When we arrived about 3p.m. the campground was pretty empty, but they were still rolling in well after dark. By Sunday morning, about 80% of the campground was once again empty. The crowds there on Friday night and Saturday were local folks just trying to enjoy an end of season campout with family and friends. It was entertaining to see all the little kids playing soccer, football, or riding their bikes all around the campground — Kids just being kids .. it was great.

Our site at Fort Robinson Soldier Creek Campground

Here are pictures of some of the landscape surrounding the fort. The road (U.S. Route 20) is called the “Bridges to Buttes Highway” and the tall buttes adjacent to the park are impressive.

We took a short drive north of the parade ground up toward the Wilderness Camp area and found a small fishing lake. This is on the park grounds, so access is included in your daily entrance fee.

These guys are awfully curious

Many buildings still stand today and are used by the park as guest quarters. These include the main multi-story brick barracks that serves as the main guest reception and registration building and also has guest rooms and a full service restaurant.

Other buildings on the grounds include officers quarters, horse stables, commanders quarters, the post headquarters building, the veterinary hospital, and more. Unfortunately most of the buildings and tours were not open to visitors since we were there after the summer season.

Walking around the perimeter of the parade ground and seeing all the buildings … one can almost see the men walking to their assigned duties of the day or in drill on the parade ground.

The following text is taken from the back of the campground site map that they gave us when we checked in at the office.

“Fort Robinson was built in 1874 as a temporary encampment during the Indian Wars and used by the U.S. Army to beyond World War II.

One of the most tragic events in the life of Fort Robinson .. the Cheyenne Outbreak, occurred where the Soldier Creek Campground now sits.

Indians were being rounded up by the U.S. Army and forcibly sent to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. A band of Northern Cheyenne escaped and fled across the plains of Kansas and Nebraska, pursued by thousands of soldiers.

Captured by troops from Fort Robinson, the 149 men, women, and children, wo had survived the ordeal, were imprisoned in a log barracks.

The barracks the Indians were imprisoned in (before the breakout)

Told they would have to return to Indian Territory in Oklahoma, their Chief Dull Knife said they would rather die here in their old hunting grounds.

The army attempted to starve them into submission, and on the bitter cold night of January 9, 1879, they tried to escape. With the few guns they had managed to hide, the braves opened fire on the guards.

As the women and children ran toward the White River, the men fought a running battle with the hastily awakened garrison. Many Cheyenne fell between the parade ground and the river, where the campground is located today. It was one of the last battles of the Indian War.”

You can learn more about the history of Fort Robinson by following this link.

All in all, it was a great place to camp. We couldn’t have asked for better weather … warm sunny dry days and cool evenings allowed us to leave the windows open and listen to the breeze rustle the leaves on the trees.

Everybody in the campground behaved themselves and the ability to walk the grounds was an added benefit. We only wish we were here before Labor Day so that we could take advantage of the open buildings and the tours.

Once again, thanks for riding along. We hope you’ll consider scrolling down the page here and leaving a comment.

Until we meet again, take care of each other.

Herb and Kathy

Our Day Trip to Cumberland Falls

We’ve been camp hosting at Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park since the middle of April and our time here is quickly coming to a close. We try to get a away from the park periodically to see the surrounding area. Although the weekends find the park full and it’s necessary for us to be here, the weekdays are very quiet and so that’s when we take off and do a little sight-seeing.

This week we heard about 76 Falls and Cumberland Falls. Although we’ve been to Niagara Falls and we’ve seen 15 or 20 of the falls of the Upper Penninsula of Michigan, we wanted to see what this part of Kentucky had to offer.

76 falls is located just north of State Route 90 near Albany. It’s part of the extreme southwest corner of Lake Cumberland and offers a wonderful hideaway for the folks vacationing in one of the many rental houseboats on the lake. The small picnic area at the top of the falls, along with the steps up to the overlook were most likely built by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) back in the 30’s as part of FDR’s plan to revitalize the country by getting able-bodied men and women back to work.

We moved on from 76 Falls and continued north and east to Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. It’s located right on State Route 90 southwest of Corbin, KY and alongside the Cumberland River. The state park is actually inside Daniel Boone National Forest!

You can see in this map the relationship between where we are working (Dale Hollow), Lake Cumberland, and Cumberland Falls. Dale Hollow is the lake at the bottom of the photo mostly in Tennessee, Lake Cumberland is the lake closest to Monticello, and Cumberland Falls as marked

This park has a beautiful lodge that was also built by the CCC in the 30’s and has been tastefully modernized while still keeping the historical and architectural value of a property nearly 100 years old. There are 51 lodging rooms, a restaurant on the lower level, a large veranda overlooking the Cumberland River, and a nearby campground with 50 camp sites, cottages, and cabins for rent.

Before we left, I had the opportunity to set up my portable ham radio station down by the river (found a great shaded spot) and worked a couple dozen stations both stateside and abroad. A great afternoon away with my sweetheart!

Thanks for visiting. Remember, you can subscribe by entering your email address in the box and then you will automatically get an email anytime we have an update here on the blog.

We hope to see you down the road …. in the meantime … be good to yourself and those you love!

Herb & Kathy

Only a Couple Hiccups

We’ll, after a few 400+ mile days we finally made it to our destination of Holt, Florida. We left Casa Grande AZ Monday about noon after my medical appointment and wanted to get to Holt by Friday morning since my friend Dave has every other Friday off work.

We got settled in to a great little State Park just west of Holt, Florida and only about 25 miles from Dave and Robyn’s house.

Our site at Blackwater River State Park

Once we got settled in we drove on over to Crestview and spent the rest of the day with our good friends who we hadn’t seen in just about two years.

Dave and I left the girls at the house and ran over to the local hardware to get some cable and clamps to replace one of the broken safety cables on our tow bar. I must’ve not connected it fully when we left Arizona and it dragged on the highway 1700 miles and just chewed off the end. Imagine that!

So we started back to the house and something just didn’t feel right. It felt as though the car was sluggish. I had to give it more gas to go and it didn’t want to coast when I took my foot off the accelerator. I suspected one of the brake calipers had locked up .. unfortunately I was correct.

But Dave knew a shop just down the street and we drove it right over.

Our little Saturn up on the rack

Within an hour he had the rotor and all the front brake pads replaced. Great service!

We went back and picked up the girls and went to a great little fresh seafood restaurant right around the corner from their house. We had eaten here two years ago with Dave and Robyn and got free meals from a total stranger that night. We were kinda hoping for the same this year,ūüėĀ but it didn’t work that way. But nonetheless we had great meals with great friends.

Emerald Isle Seafood @ Crestview FL

Today they came to the campground and picked us up and we all visited a great little Arts & Music Festival in the river town of Milton west of Crestview heading toward Pensacola. We enjoyed the sunshine, the ice cream, and our time together.

They’re having a duck race on the river to raise money for some good cause (I don’t remember what)
Kathy thought they were cute .. she bought a Zebra Duck

Kathy bought a ūü¶Ü for $5 .. she could win $1500! We won’t know until the race happens on July 4th. They have our phone number to call when we win.

After dinner, Dave and Robyn dropped us off back at the campground. We had just walked into the coach and taken our jackets off and there was a knock at the door. Kathy answered and the fella outside introduced himself as Dave Butzky who we went to high school with back in the early 70’s!!!!!

We invited them in and had a great time together. Thanks to Facebook (we have been FB Friends for about a year now) Dave saw that we were close by so they drive over for a visit!

Dave and Pam

Dave and Pam have been full-timing for about two years now and so we have a lot in common and enjoyed our time together. We look forward to the next time we can meet up!

Lots more to come. We’ll be in Florida for the next two weeks and there’s a lot more to see and do, so we’ll be sharing that as the days roll on.

See ya’ next time! Till then .. be good to yourself and those around you.

Our Trip Home – The Long Way …

So as our 4 month workamping gig in Baldwin, Michigan wrapped up, our plan was to come back “home” to visit the kids and grand kids for a week or so and then head toward Livingston, Texas where we will start our fall/winter workamping assignment on October 15th.

Ordinarily, we would just make the 6 hour drive direct from Baldwin, MI to Mt. Gilead, OH but … since we had time on our hands and a desire to see more of Michigan, we decided to head north instead.

Our goal was to get back up into the U.P. and this time head further north and further west. ¬†We headed out and spent our first night at the casino in Manistique (free camping w/ electric), visited the lighthouse on the jetty at the mouth of the Manistique River, and the next morning headed out US-2 where we had a great breakfast in a wonderful little family diner at Big Bay De Noc. ¬†After breakfast we headed on up US-41 through Marquette, Negaunee, and Ishpiming where Chuck said we just had to stop at “Da Yoopers Tourist Trap”.

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Here’s a short video of our walk out on the Jetty at the mouth of the Manistique River where it meets Lake Michigan.

We continued on US-41 from Ishpiming (and we didn’t buy a thing at “Da Yooper Trap”), on up and THROUGH Alberta where we passed the Ford Forestry Center of Michigan. ¬†We didn’t have time to stop and check it out, it was getting late in the day and we had found out at about noon that there were only about 6 spots left at the state park at Copper Harbor, so we had to keep “movin’ on down the road”. ¬†Hopefully next year when we are back up at Baldwin, we can take a few days to go up into the U.P. again and check out this historic site.

As we drove through L’Anse and around L’Anse Bay staying on US-41 we were now finally just inside the Keweenaw Peninsula and heading further north to Copper Harbor.

L’Anse, MI and the Keweenaw Bay

Staying on 41, we drove through the college town of Houghton, MI – home to Michigan Technological University. ¬†So many “kids” walking the streets to and from class. ¬†They all look so young ….

Crossing the Portage River over the lift bridge and on into the sister city of Hancock, MI. ¬†You can get a really great “live” view of the lift bridge by following this link¬†where we stayed on 41 and stopped to visit the Upper Peninsula Firefighters Memorial¬†in Calumet.

Great museum of firefighting apparatus and memorabilia in Calumet, MI











We finally made it to our destination for the night, Fort Wilkins Historic State Park at Copper Harbor at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. 

The State Park was really nice and there was lots to see not only at the park (the historic fort) but also in the Copper Harbor area so we decided that we would stay at least two nights here.

Kathy had heard about “The Jam Pot” so we headed south on M-26 where we bought a muffin and some of their spiced peach jam. ¬†Had that for lunch and it was yummy.

We went to the top of Brockway Mountain to the lookout where we could see down to all of Copper Harbor, Fort Wilkins, and Lake Fannie Hooe.  We continued on down M-26 through Eagle Harbor and Eagle River where we saw lots of waterfalls.

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When our stay at Copper Harbor was over, we headed back down US-41 and across MI-28 through Ironwood and on into Wisconsin where we spent a night at a really nice campground-type RV park and we were lucky enough to get a spot looking out onto Indian Lake with full hook-up for only $30/nite!

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Leaving Woodruff, Wisconsin we continued south and stayed at Hickory Hollow RV Park in Utica, Illinois the next night then down to Blue Lake Campground in Cherubusco, IN the following night before heading out to the RV Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana.

Located just off I-80 at Elkhart, IN

Admission to the RV/MH Hall of Fame is $12 for adults, $10 for those over 60 years of age. ¬†It’s a walk-through self guided museum that resembles (somewhat) a campground. ¬†Many of the units welcome walk-throughs but some were roped off so you could only look through the doors and windows. ¬†If you were to stop and read every placard at every RV, the tour would very likely last nearly all day.

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Although the drive from west central Michigan (Ludington area) to the Keweenaw Peninsula was a long one, it was worth it. ¬†We saw a smattering of what the area has to offer, and hopefully next year when we’re back up at the RV park, we can take a few days to make the trip north again to discover more.

In the meantime, we’re currently back in Ohio for a few days until we head out to our next workamping gig in Livingston, TX. ¬†More on that to come later.

For now, it’s rollin’ on down the road for us.


Waterfalls in Michigan – Really?

Kathy and I were both born and spent our early years in Michigan on the west side of Detroit and then spent our school years in Redford Township where we met in high school, got married shortly after we graduated and started a family of our own. ¬†I’ll tell you about those early years some other time.

Our vacation travels as a young family consisted of driving on up to the Kalkaska area of Michigan’s lower peninsula where my folks had moved after Dad’s retirement from Ford Motor Company in Dearborn. ¬†It would always be a “low budget” trip. ¬†We would be able to stay close to home (about 4 hours away), the kids would have some time with Papa and Nana, and Kathy and I might even be able to sneak away for a couple hours alone while we got free baby sitting from my folks. ¬†All in all, it was a “win-win” for all of us. ¬†We had fun back then.

And although we spent a lot of time up in this neck of the woods, we had no idea there were so many waterfalls in Michigan.  Workamping here at Pere Marquette Oaks RV Resort gives us every other week (7 days straight) off so we can do what we want.  Kathy thought it would be fun to go on up to the U.P. (Upper Peninsula).  As we researched our potential trip, we found that Michigan boasts being home to nearly 200 waterfalls and all but 2 are located in the UP!  We had been up to Tahquamenon Falls years ago, but we thought that was it.  Boy were we wrong!

We loosely planned our road trip to take up 3 days time.  We decided to not take the coach and stay in motels 2 nights so we had more mobility and easier entry to some of the sites where the falls might be located.  It was a good thing we decided this as many of the sites had small access roads and/or parking areas with not much turnaround room.

We invited our new friends Chuck and Joanne to come along with

The Fantastic Foursome

us and we all had a great time. ¬†They’ve retired from the Grand Rapids area and as a family they’ve done lots of camping over the years and they had some ideas on where we could go and what we could see.

Although we wanted to see LOTS of falls, we knew that time, money, and our “rear ends” in the car would tell us that 3 days out would be about all we could handle.

Here’s a map showing our 3 day route up and back. ¬†If you want to see an interactive map where you can zoom and pan for yourself, click here.

Besides the numerous falls we saw, and the pasties and smoked fish we ate, there was something we learned that I had no idea existed. ¬†I knew that folks who lived in the Upper Peninsula were known as “Yoopers”, but I had no idea that those of us who were born in or lived in the Lower Peninsula were known as “Trolls”.

I couldn’t imagine why I would be called a “Troll”, until a Yooper shared with me it’s because we live “below the bridge”! ¬†Now it all makes perfect sense.

“UP” Road Trip Map

Here’s a slide show of some of the high points of our trip. ¬†I’m including a few short videos too.

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Here’s the video montage of our UP Falls Tour to go along with some of the pictures in the slide show above.

All in all, we had a great time seeing beautiful sites with great friends and looking forward to our next adventure. ¬†So long for now from your friends “The Trolls”.

Part 2 – N’West Michigan Road Trip – Mushrooms, Tunnels, Bears, and Indians – Oh My!

We left Charlevoix the next morning after a comfortable stay at the Maple Leaf Inn and continued north on M-31 toward Petoskey. ¬†We had an opportunity to go along Lake Charlevoix on our way to Urgent Care (that’s another story altogether) when we happened along some of the famous “Mushroom Houses” we had heard about. ¬†You can read more about these famous homes and the self-taught architect that designed and built these beautiful homes by clicking here.

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Heading out of Charlevoix on M-31 along the south edge of Little Traverse Bay, we arrived in Petoskey (famous for Petoskey Stones) and we happened across their Farmer’s Market. ¬†Since we don’t have a lot of room for storage, nor do we have a large refrigerator, the only thing Kathy bought was a bar of hand made soap. Here’s a few pictures from the market, everything was so colorful and attractive!

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Moving on up the road out of Petoskey, some friends of ours here at the park told us about State Route 119 and the “Tunnel of Trees“. ¬†It sounded fascinating and we wanted to stay along the lake shore, so off we went due north on SR 119. ¬†Video below.

The Tunnel of Trees starts at about Harbor Springs and ends at a small hamlet called Cross Village where we found the famous (and out of the way) “Legs Inn” restaurant. ¬†Unfortunately for us, the restaurant doesn’t open until noon and we got there just a little too early, but we did take the opportunity to walk the grounds and check out some of the history of the place. ¬†There are beautiful gardens out back with patio seating and the original designer, Stanley Smolak had an eclectic flair and utilized the local Odawa Indians to help him build the Legs Inn. ¬†See more about the Legs Inn at this link.

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Beyond Cross Village (on M-119) we worked our way east and north on up to The Headlands International Dark Sky Park, McGulpin Point Lighthouse, stopped for ice cream in Mackinaw City and then on over the bridge.  Although the day was clear and sunny in the city, the fog was heavy at the bridge and visibility was poor if not non-existent.

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We ended up the day heading on down I-75, then over to Kalkaska where my folks had lived in their retirement years and are buried at the Garfield Twp Cemetery. ¬†Kathy and I drove around the area reminiscing how we used to come up here to see them when the kids were toddlers (they’re now 39 & 40).

All in all it was a great trip.  Seeing new sites along with revisiting some places we used to frequent and bringing back pleasant memories.  A great way to spend a few days in northern Michigan.