Sep 032009

It’s okay if you find yourself humming the tune to Maria’s song from The Sound of Music, given today’s blog title. But I thought I’d share some of my favorite things in the RV lifestyle, from my favorite truckstop to my favorite campground, to name just a few, and why they rate so high with me. I’m curious how my list compares with yours.

Favorite Truckstop – I love the Iowa 80 Truckstop in Walcott, Iowa. Billed as the “World’s Largest Truckstop,” this place is so big that they have two or three semi tractors on display inside the showroom! Along with every kind of gadget and goodie a trucker (or an RV driver) could ever want or need. Not to mention a 300 seat restaurant with a 50 foot salad bar, a movie theater, game room, barbershop, dentist office, garage, big rig wash, CAT scales, a Wendy’s and a Dairy Queen! What’s not to love?

Favorite Campground – Hands down, that would be our present location, Elkhart Campground in Elkhart, Indiana. Located in the RV Capital of the World, you can find anything and everything related to RVing in the surrounding area. We have been coming here for so many years that the owners, Bob and Gita Patel, have become part of our extended family.

Favorite Escapees Park – Raccoon Valley in Heiskell, Tennessee. We love the surrounding area, the friendly people, and the twice weekly jam sessions by local bluegrass musicians.

Favorite Corps of Engineers Campground – We have never stayed at a COE campground that we didn’t like, but my very favorite has to be Toad Suck Park, near Conway, Arkansas. The name alone makes it a winner, but our huge RV site with 50 amp electric and water, located right on the bank of the Arkansas River, was wonderful. We loved sitting and watching the riverboats pushing barges through the locks at the dam adjacent to the campground.

Favorite Snowbird Roost – This is another easy choice. We love the area around Rockport and Aransas Pass, Texas, on the Gulf Coast. It’s affordable, slow paced, the people are friendly, the seafood is plentiful and cheap, and if you enjoy fishing and kayaking, you’ll be in heaven.

Favorite Route – There are many that we have loved traveling, from historic Route 66 across the country, to U.S. Highway 2 across Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula, but the very best has been U.S. Highway 101 along the Oregon coast. There are breathtaking vistas around almost every bend in the road.

Favorite Big City – We try to avoid big cities whenever we can, much preferring the slower pace of small town America, but two big cities we have loved have been Boston and Washington, D.C. It’s a hard choice, since both are loaded with the history we love exploring, but since I can only have one favorite, it would be Washington. From museums to monuments to famous buildings, we could spend weeks in D.C. and not see it all.

Favorite Museum – We’ve been to many wonderful museums in our time on the road, but my favorite of them all has been the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., where we saw so many of our nation’s historic documents  and artifacts on display.

Favorite Free Overnight Parking Spot – We never miss the chance to stop at the Cabela’s Outfitters store just off Interstate 90 in Mitchell, South Dakota. They have a dedicated parking lot for RVs, complete with a dump station, and it is within walking distance to a restaurant, Super Wal-Mart, and a Menard’s Home Improvement store.

Favorite Fast Food Restaurant – How could I not end this blog with at least one place to eat? We think the Cheddar Butterburger at Culver’s Restaurants can’t be beat. Whenever we have been in an area where there is no Culver’s, we stop at the first one we see when we enter their market area.

Thought For The Day – If it wasn’t for my faults I’d be perfect.

Register Now For Our Ohio Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “A Few Of My Favorite Things”

  1. We have to agree with Aransas Pass/Rockport, TX. Just don’t broadcast it too much, or it will become crowded and “citified” and then we won’t like it any more:-)

    We are looking forward to checking out some of your other favorites. We agree on COE parks. We’ve only been in one that wasn’t excellent. Loved Saylorville, Iowa with Ten Killer Lake in Texas a close second.

    Will have to try Culvers. We happen to love What A Burgers in Texas.

    A favorite boondocking spot for us is the Conoco station/truck stop in Logan, NM. Not much to brag about, except friendly, accommodating people, good restaurant, good grocery store, lots of room for parking and it’s conveniently on the route when we head to the southwest.

    We have been to so many museums, it’s hard to choose a favorite. The Nimitz museum in Fredricksburg, TX is a great one, but I think Wes’ favorite would be the Gold King Mine at Jerome, AZ. He was in heaven at that one:-)

    Thanks for sharing your favorites. We are looking forward to seeing what other’s choose.

  2. Nick, Toad Suck is one of our favorites also! We are headed there for the long Labor Day weekend. It helps that it’s only about 50 miles from our house (since we are still working). But, just for future reference, Toad Suck is just outside of Conway, AR not Clinton. Clinton is about 50 miles north of Toad Suck on Hwy. 65. Another real nice COE park in the area is also located on the Arkansas River but it is closer to Little Rock. It’s called Maumelle Park. It also has sites right on the river.

  3. Thank you for bringing that to my attention, Debbie. I have corerected the blog entry to reflect that Toad Suck is just outside of Conway, Arkansas.

  4. The name “Toad Suck” sucked us in, too. We also had a nice site on the river but, unfortunately, didn’t get to see any action on the locks in our one night stay. I did try to geocache at the playground, 300 feet behind our site, but had a DNF. Watched it for a while, but then it was archived when they changed the play area.

    As for museums, we know we have a lot more to see in Washington, D.C., but one of our favorite spots in “Pioneer Village”, an eclectic collection of Americana, located in Minden, Nebraska. They have a campground (one free admission with registration), motel, and a throw-back ’50s restaurant.

    If buffets were a category, we discovered Lin’s Chinese Buffet on Coors Blvd. in Albuquerque, NM last year during the Balloon Fiesta. I’m sure we’ll take a group of SKP Boomers there next month when we gather again at the Fiesta.

    Nick mentioned staying at Cabella’s. They have actually built a FHU RV Park at their store and corporate headquarters in Sidney, NE. Cost was ~$24/night.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.