Lake Gypsy - Camping Trips for 2018

March 2, 2018 - JC Cooper Kerr Lake, NC (178 miles)

Friday we drove to Kerr Lake.  Luis went first with the camper and I came in my car with the dogs later after work and packing.  It was very windy but supposed to be finished at 6:00 p.m.  Well that did not happen and the wind continued all through Saturday and finally died down Sunday morning.  It was still a beautiful camping trip on beautiful Kerr Lake.  Monica chose not to come and it was probably for the best as we did not get one tv station.  We were going to binge on Game of Thrones and we found out Friday night the DVD/CD player cannot read discs.  We had spaghetti squash as it was too windy to have a fire or cook outside.  Saturday morning we went for a really long walk with the dogs.  At lunch Saturday we cooked steaks on the Grueller.   Then we cooked the hamburgers so that we could just reheat them when we want and not have to start charcoal again.  After lunch was when we went to the Wal-Mart and bought a Blu-Ray player (for Monica's 's tv)  LOL.  So we could borrow if until the camper DVD player gets fixed.  Then to the Pizza Inn to have a pizzert.  We went back to the camper and had hamburgers for dinner then made the dinette into a sofa sleeper to watch our Game of Thrones.  It worked out very comfortably.  Dogs liked it too.  Sunday a.m. Luis walked the dogs and I went to shower.  We did clean up and I left to get my haircut on the way home.  Luis walked the dogs again, then came home.
Notes:
  • We stayed in campsite 30.  It was hard to get a 25 foot trailer in there (but do-able).  
  • Site 32 is really bad to back into.
  • Site 33 looks like a good one for a big rig.
  • Bathrooms were clean and sufficiently warm (Shower in ladies room was too hot!)


March 9, 2018 - Campfire Lodgings, Weaverville, NC (543 miles)

Finally back at the always beautiful Campfire Campgrounds!  We had the Condom Couture to attend on Saturday, March 12.  We drove to Asheville after Pattie got home from work leaving Raleigh around 3:30 much to Luis' chagrin.  We had an uneventful drive to Asheville and arrived on the mountain around 8:00 in the dark (much to Luis' chagrin).  We were on D10 and backed in with some effort as backing with the long truck and double axles is a bit more difficult than the RPod especially in the dark.  We both need more practice (so therefore, more camping).  Monica made the trip and was happy that Campfire was nice enough to hide the remote under the cat bed for us.  So she had her cable tv.  Luis did a great job installing her tv to be seen both from the bed and the dinette.  We let her control the cable and finally got through Season 7 of Game of Thrones.

Saturday the weather was cool but nice and Luis took the dogs for a quick walk and then later we took them for the longer walk together.  Then a trip to Moes (the BBQ joint, not the chain), WalMart for toothpaste, a wooden dowel rod, coffee and a better pillow for Monica.  Back to the campground to walk the dogs again, then downtown to the famous Orange Peel for the Condom Couture.  The reception was terrific and the food was yummy.  However, the amazing thing was the show with the Fashion through the Decade theme.  Carina made her usual outstanding work.  Her thoughful piece was a 1950s inspired outfit with a removable skirt and Betty Paige pinup lingerie underneath.  Of course it was all made out of condoms!  The cherries on the blue skirt were very cute and the lingerie was sexy.  Jill modeled it amazing.  We were proud of Carina's talent.  Ezra had on a vintage bowling style shirt with Betty Paige pictures also.  Those two always do everything to a T.

Sunday we did our breakdown of the camper and then went to park at the Ingles near Sunny Point Cafe to meet Ezra and Carina for lunch. We walked around the local shops while waiting for our table.  They have a great paging text system. We brought the dogs and Kaylee and Zoe were angels.  They layed down under the table at our feet.  Luis and I both had their shrimp and grits and it was so good! 

We left on the long drive home (longer because we decided to go to the storage site since Raleigh was supposed to have snow Monday).  It was also spring forward weekend so we arrived home finally at around 9:00 p.m.  It was a great weekend.   

Notes: 
  • Sites P1 through P8 have incredible views (specially during sunset).  They are on the edge of the cliff which does leave you exposed to the winds.  There are also no trees so n very hot days you would have no cover.
  • Sites D9 through D15 have trees behind them so the views are limited.  They do have a lot of tree cover which is nice during the day if spending the day outside.
  • Sites D16 through D19 are not the best but are still nice.
  • The WiFi coverage seems to stop around D13.  So if Wifi is important, do not stay in D14 or D15.
  • The road up to the campground is long and narrow.  Rigs going in the opposite direction would be a challenge (but doable).  To avoid problems, they discourage late departures.

We stayed at Campfire Lodgings Site D10.

May 11, 2018 - Falls Lake, NC (117 miles)

Spent 2 nights at Falls Lake Holly Point campground.  This was a solo trip for Luis and the dogs.  It was nice to be able to go nearby and enjoy our local Falls Lake campground.

The girls enjoyed many hikes around the park. 

Notes: 
  • I missed Pattie
 
We stayed at site #27.



May 24, 2018 - Bull Run Regional Park, VA (486 miles)

We spent 4 nights here as we took advantage of the long weekend.  The trip to the park was uneventful as we made it there without hitting any traffic.  Once we got to the park we found that the gate was closed.  Fortunately it was not locked and we managed to get into the park.  On the way to the campsite, it became clear that none of the roads were marked.  As we drove through the campground we noticed that the campsite numbers were getting larger.  We took that as a good sign.  Right up to the point where we ended up at the end of a dead end street at 11:30 PM in the dark with no good place to turn around.  After some fancy manuvering and much luck, we managed to get out of the dead end street.  At that point Teresa and Richard were behind us and luckily we were able to flag them down before they got stuck in the dead end as they would never have been able to turn around where we did.  Using our phone we found a map of the campground and we worked our way to site 120.  By 1:30 AM we were setup and ready for the weekend.  It was nice the way most of the sites were setup they were very private.

On Friday we ate lunch at Willard's Real Pit BBQ.  After that we went to the Air and Space Museum near Dulles airport.  Richard and Teresa came with us.  This is a great museum with lots to see.  We will be back in the future.

On Saturday morning we ate breakfast as a group in the campground.  By this point we had 11 people.  Some of the Pierrie family and friends had joined them.  The plan for the afternoon was to go to the Morais vineyards for a wine tasting.  Along the way, it was decided that we would get lunch at the Badwolf Public House in Manassas.  After a few minutes there, it became clear that leaving a brewery to go to a vineyard did not make sense.  After lunch, we walked around downtown Manasssas.  For dinner, we ate at the campground.  We grilled steaks.

On Sunday morning we ate a late breakfast as a group in the campground.  Then we headed down to the Morais vineyards which is about 40 minutes from the campground.  This is a nice place and the wine was good.  On the way back we stopped at Uno's Pizzeria and we got a couple pizzas to go.  We ate at the campground and roasted marshmallows at our site.    
 
On Monday we drove home.  On the way, we stopped by the storage facility and dropped off the trailer.

On Thursday Pattie's wallet made it home. 


Notes: 
  • Really good sites 96, 97, 99, 107, 109, 110, 111, 120, 122, 125, and 128.
  • Good sites 010, 113, 114, and 129.
  • Streets inside campground are not marked.  Look at the map and figure out the route to your site before you get there.
  • The main road turns into a dead end.  Know where you are going while towing!
 
We stayed at site #120.

June 8, 2018 - KOA Wilmington, NC (310 miles)

We left Friday afternoon around 4:00 to head to Wilmington.  Arrived at the KOA and were assigned #35.  Funny as we were pulling in a white Living Lite same model as our pulled in.  I met Kim at the dog park.  They are from Fuquay.   Our site was in a nice location near the dog park.  It's a nice KOA but a typical KOA.  Lots of amenities, full hookups and pool, etc., fire rings, picnic tables, but a small patch of grass and sandy, dusty crushed gravel/dirt parking pad.  Dog park was cute and lots of campers with dogs and children.  Campground was surprisingly quiet.  We ate out at Ogden Tap Room which was just across from the KOA.  It was very good and we joined Tom, Phyllis and Kacee.  After the drinks we went back to the KOA and showed them our set up.  They left and we walked the dogs and turned in.

In the morning I went through pictures, and we got ready for Mom's memorial.  We went to the UU Congregation of Wilmington and set up the Memorial table.  Colters from VA arrived, Martha, Ellen and Madalene, along with CA Kacee and Phyllis.  Wonderful surprise was Matt and his adorable son Evan showing up.  Of course Tom, Debbie, Jason, Daryl, Ashlee and Sam, Valerie, Pedro and Sebastian.  Of course, Monica was with us and Carina and Ezra came also.  The Memorial was fantastic.  It was a beautiful tribute to Mom.  We already miss her.

After the Memorial we went back to the campsite and walked the dogs.  Carina and Ezra came because they were staying in a tent site for the night.  It was raining just a bit but supposed to stop later so we didn't set up their tent yet.  We had a 6:30 dinner reservation at The Oceania on Crystal Pier.  We had a wonderful dinner with 22 of our relatives.  Many of us headed down to the beach for a evening walk on the beach.  It was so nice and Mom and John used to do it frequently.  Pedro and Valerie brought 3 kites and everyone had fun flying them.  The kids ran around; we watched the sunset on the beach.  We went back to the campground.

At the campground we helped Carina and Ezra put up the tent.  Unfortunately it took a bit longer because the elastic in the poles was shot.  But they were able to make it work by pulling it and tying it off.  We all turned in.  In the morning Ezra and Carina were up fairly early as they had a long day of driving and visiting on their way home.

We brought the camper home for cleanup and Luis is taking it to get the DVD and the leaking outside shower hose serviced on Friday.


Notes: 
  • Typical KOA.
  • The dog park was nice but did not have double gates.
  • They have 2 bathhouses and most campers are in RVs so they were not crowded.
  • Good location about 3 blocks from Howard RV on Market Street.
 
We stayed at site #35.


June 15, 2018 - Carolina Coach and Marine (420 miles)

Needed to get some warranty work done.

July 22, 2018 - Pocahontas State Park, VA (347 miles)

This State Park is less than 3 hours from our house.  The plan was to leave the house as early as possible to avoid some of the Friday night traffic.  Unfortunately, we left right around 5:00 PM which put us in the middle of rush hour.  There was also a bad wreck on the way which added even more time to our trip.  Once we left the Raleigh traffic, we made good time.  We arrived right before sunset so we were able to back in and start to setup before it got dark.  Monica did not accompany us on this trip.

Luis took the girls (Zoe and Kaylee) for a walk and then we met Pattie's family in Richmond.  First we went to Heather (Pattie's cousin) and Pete's new house.  It is a beautiful large historic house downtown.  Their little girl is so cute.  We also got to finally meet Pete and Palmer the lap Great Dane.  He was so gentle.  We visited and saw the house and Ruth and John (Pattie's Aunt and Uncle) came over also.  Pete had to work but the rest of us went to Kuba Kuba a Cuban restaurant in Richmond.  Of course we had Cuban coffee and brunch and it was excellent.  Later we went back to the house and we visited with Heather.  Afterwards, Ruth and John drove us around downtown Richmond showing us the statues and other buildings of interest in Richmond.  It really is a beautiful downtown and quite large with many nicely taken care of historic houses.  Then they showed us their beautiful condo.  They have beautiful things and artwork so it was gorgeous.  They took us back to Heather's to pick up our truck and we headed back to the campground to walk the dogs.  It was raining most of the day, but luckily it held out for another walk.

We had been invited to Matt and Julie's house where Matt and their son were cooking dinner for us.  We had a delicious bean soup with many delicious beans and some ham.  We had a terrific time visiting with them.  Their son is so well mannered and smart!  Matt and Julie have such a great situation worked out with him and Matt.  Again they had a beautiful house old house in downtown.  All three of their houses are very close.  So nice for all of them. 

Back to the campground and last walk for the girls before bed.

Sunday Ruth and John came at 0915 and we went to a nearby restaurant called the Egg and I.  We had to wait about 15 minutes for a table, but it was totally worth it as they have a great brunch menu and the food came relatively quickly.  We enjoyed visiting with Ruth and John and then we went back to finish our packing and off to the dump station (long line).  It is two sided so next time we can circle and use the other side.  Then off on our way home.

Next trip to Richmond when it cools a bit we can have a campfire and have everyone down for dinner cookout and smores!

It was great to see everyone.
 
We spent 2 nights here and we would like to come back soon.


Notes:
 
  • There are 4 restroom/shower buildings throughout the park.  Each has 4 showers and male and female bathrooms.
  • There are 123 campsites of which half can only be reserved by category and half can be reserved by number.
  • There is one dump station with with 2 lanes.  Because of the location, one lane can only be used by making a u-turn and another u-turn to leave the park.  Most people waited for the lane on the right so it took us 50 minutes to get out.
  • Site 22 was nice and level.
  • Many sites are pull through.
  • There is a small laundry facility.
  • There is a camp store that has ice cream, some souvenirs, laundry supplies, and some camper pieces parts.
  • There is a playground in the second loop.
  • There are 6 cabins and 4 yurts.
We stayed at site #22.


July 27, 2018 - Tanglewood, NC (244 miles)


We arrived late in the evening Friday.  It was a nice paved site, but still spaced and treed better than a KOA.  Monica came with us also.  We walked the dogs then went to find food.  We ate at Little Richards BBQ with the dogs on their patio outside.  It was pretty good.  

Saturday morning Luis walked the dogs and their were deer right near the camper.  The next day we went walking on their paved walking trails.  This campground (RV sites only) is part of Forsyth County park system. We checked out the dog park, but their weren't any small dogs in the small dog park.  So then we walked down to the horse barn.  After our long walk we got ready and went about 30 minutes drive to Childress Winery to eat lunch and taste wine.  It was a nice drive with a very pretty church on the way that we took pictures of.  When we got back we walked the dogs and took a nap.  Then we walked back to stables to the arboretum which was beyond the stables.  They have trail rides at the stables but we did not do that.  It would not be as nice as Southern Cross.  We walked just beyond the stables and saw a baby deer and some small gopher like animals near the stream and golf course.  The arboretum was very nice and an enjoyable walking area.  A bride was doing a photo shoot.

Back at the campsite we went to bed.  It was too hot for a fire.

The next morning we packed up to return home.  We had the baby shower for Valerie and Pattie had to work theatre at NCT that evening.

It was a great campground not too far from Raleigh and we will definitely go back.  The full hookups were nice and it was relatively cheap. Fun place to walk around with the dogs and not too far from Childress Winery.


 
Notes: 
  • Really nice for a county park with full hookups and nice paving on the the sites.
  • It is kind of like a KOA but with trees and half the cost.
  • The campground is in a good location.
  • Inside of a large county park with plenty of walking trails, a dog park, horse rentals, arboretum, and more. 
  • The bathrooms were clean but small.
  • The sites also had cable and wifi.
We stayed at site #37.



August 3, 2018 - Jordan Lake Poplar Point Campground, Apex, NC (158 miles)


We decided to camp at Jordan Lake because we never had and we were going there for the RSPS picnic,  Luis booked a site for us at Poplar Point because it wasn't too far from the picnic area and there were many sites still availalble. Jim and Mary Roman said they would join us in their recently acquired pop-up camper.  Monica chose not to come.

We arrived Friday afternoon and it was very muggy and buggy.   Mary and Pattie went to the nearby Grill and Go to get food. Luis and Jim stayed with the dogs at the campsite.  We brought it back and had dinner at the table in our camper.  We drank the Starrlight Rita Mead.  Mary really liked it and she looked up the meadery.  We decided to go to the meadery after the picnic because it was very close by in Pittsboro.  

We took the dogs walking in the morning.   We had to be at the picnic at 12:00.  Durham hosted it and we enjoyed it.  Luckily there was a breeze and it wasn't so horribly hot.  After the picnic Kevin and Ginny came to see our camper because they want to buy one now.  Then we walked the dogs and left for the Starrlight meadery.  We got to taste 8 meads for $7 but then we joined their club which gave our tastings for free and a discount on our purchases.  I think they have then snacked for dinner.  Mary and Jim stopped by but it was too muggy for a fire and we were very tired.  So we didn't visit for long.

Sunday we walked the dogs and packed to head out.   

 
Notes: 
  • Dump station has 4 lanes which are laid out so that all lanes can be used by campers leaving the campground.
  • Good campsites on the G loop:
    • G5
    • G9
    • G28
    • G36
    • G55
    • G56
    • G58
    • G59
    • G60
    • G65
  • Good campsites on the G loop on the water:
    • G12 (nicer)
    • G14
    • G16
    • G18
    • G20
    • G21 (nicer)
    • G22
  • Good side by side campsites on the G loop on the water:
    • G26 and G27
    • G46 and G47
  • Best sites on the G loop on the water:
    • G23
    • G24
    • G25
 
We stayed at site G-55


September 22, 2018 - Mama Gertie's Hideaway Campground Swannanoa, NC (554 miles)

Luis, Pattie and Monica had a long weekend planned at Mama Gerties with the PALS.  Unfortunately Florence ruined our plans.  The PA's backed out not knowing what Flo's plans were.  We decided to leave on Wednesday afternoon instead of Thursday to beat Flo.  We got stuck in a lot of traffic with evacuees from the East heading to the hills.  So instead of 4 hours it took us 6 hours.  Luckily for us they went against their policy of no arrivals after 8:00 and made allowance for our late arrival.  After we saw the layout we better understood that they can't just give you the gate code and let you park yourself.  All the campsites are built on a hill and you need to be placed carefully in the sites.

Thursday we walked the dogs and ate a late lunch at a nearby BBQ restaurant Okie Dokies Smokehouse.  It was very good.  After that we did a Walmart and Petsmart run and then we went to the Barrelhouse and met Carina and Ezra for dinner.  After that we followed up with ice cream at the Hop.  It was late so we went back to campground. 

Friday after walking the dogs we went to Biltmore and saw the Chihuly exhibit.  The gardens and Chihuly were amazing and it was a beautiful day in Asheville.  We then went to the winery and had a tasting.  They have much better wines now and the tasting is included in the entrance price.  We returned to the campground and Pattie snoozed off the wine while Luis spent about 8 hours on the phone fixing a work problem.  

Saturday we met Carina at her house where Luis helped her with her gutter repairs.  Then we went to Blue Mt. Pizza in Weaverville and the Fall Craft Show which was great.  Part of the craft show is the library having their used book sale.  After that we went to Lowes to get parts needed for Carina's gutters.  We went back to her house to help her finish the job.  Then Carina came with us to the campground to see it and we let the dogs out for a walk.  We met Ezra at Luella's BBQ and had dinner.  Then we went to the Pie Shop.  Very dangerous.

The Florence hurricane rains arrived Saturday night and Sunday morning we woke up and broke down quickly.  Luis was in the pouring rain, at least it wasn't cold.  We headed home around 9:00 AM.  There were only mild winds and  very light traffic.  It was pouring rain until we arrived in Chapel Hill.  But it was a great trip!


Notes: 
  • Really nice level sites.
  • Most have full hookups.
  • The campground is in a good location.
  • The bathrooms were very clean and well maintained.
  • The sites also had cable and WiFi.
We stayed at site #13.


September 28, 2018 - Country Boys RV Park Madison, GA (874 miles)

We drove down to Madison Friday and got to Country Boys Campground around 10:00 PM.  We were lucky they had just opened I-95 up after the flooding from Hurricane Florence.  We met Teresa and Richard Pierrie at the ranch Saturday morning and went for a great guided ride.  Luis was on Clue and I was on Cleo.  Teresa was on Tiffie and Richard was on Joker.  Luis rode Clue before and still enjoyed her.  Cleo used to be a guide horse and apparently is up for sale.  She was very spirited and required a lot of work, but she was also very happy to run.  She would take off and then slow into a really nice gallop.  Saturday we ate a great lunch at the ranch and then went back to our camper (hotel for Richard and Teresa) to clean up.  Around 4:00 we finally finished our naps/cleaning up and headed to the hotel to pick up Richard and Teresa to head to town.  We did some shopping, window shopping and walked around downtown.  The lady in the shoe store recommended Mint Juleps Kitchen Restaurant.  She even called and made a reservation for us.  We headed over that way at the reserved time and really enjoyed our dinner there.  Luis and I both had and enjoyed the shrimp and grits.  Teresa had these huge red shrimp and Richard had scallops.  They also had the stuffed mushroom appetizer and it was proclaimed to be amazing.  We enjoyed their desserts also. I drank my first ever Mint Julep.  I had to send it back for the simple syrup which I'm pretty sure they forgot, but then it was delicious.

Sunday am we met at the ranch again and rode.  We all had the same horses.  We started with the guide then Luis and I broke off to ride alone.  It was a bit cloudy so it stayed a bit cooler.  Both days no rain!!!

We met back at the barn and ate at the house again with our ride and dine tickets.  Sunday after lunch Teresa and Richard headed back to Raleigh.

We went for an afternoon ride without a guide.  We did a lot of running.  We were pretty exhausted when we returned to the camper.  Monday we got up early and showered and broke down camp.  We routed ourselves towards Carolina Coach and Marine to have some warranty work done on our warranty work.  No that is not a mistake.  With any luck all of our plumbing issues are now resolved.  We rushed home just in time to pick up the dogs from the Dogtopia.  It was a great trip and Teresa and Richard had a really good experience also.

Luis rode Clue.
Pattie rode Cleo. 

 

 Notes: 
  • Restrooms were not as nice and clean as the last time we were there.
  • Full hookups.
  • Great WiFi signal even out on the edge of the campground.
  • Sites are close together and have no privacy.
  • There are not picnic tables.
  • The cable TV pedestals are only in every other site.  So a longer coax cable (35 feet) might be needed depending on which site you are in.
 
We stayed in campsite 56.