Lake Gypsy - Camping Trips for 2020

May 26, 2020 - Zooland Family Campground (298 miles)

After everything being closed and cancelled due to the COVID pandemic we found Zooland.  It was open and had sites.  It is near the Zoo but unfortunately that was not open.  So there isn't much else over that way.

Zooland has recently been purchased and the new owners seem to be working hard on improvements. It is definitely kid friendly, and not a bad place...just not our usual type of preference.  In their defense it had been raining a lot so things were muddy.  This rain flooded some of the lower campsites also.  In the first two outer rows of the upper campground you are near a highway.  Sites are cozy and hardly room for a fire pit and the picnic table.  However, nice folks running it and fairly nice clientele.

Would stay again if it was the only thing open or we were visiting the zoo.  Also, not impossible to go to Childress from here, about 35-40 minutes. 

Pierries, Romans, Lyons.  Ice cream cake sold in their store for Pattie's birthday.

Also site #34 is next to the dumpster. 


Notes: 
  • Bathrooms were nice and clean.
  • There is a nice dog run.
  • Sites in the 1 to 88 range are in the top part of the park and are level.
  • Sites 91 and up are in the lower part of the park and not a place to take a camper (IMHO). 
We stayed at site #34. 5/26 - 6/1


July 1, 2020 - Byrd's Branch Campground Elkin NC (393 miles)

What a whirlwind of wineries!  Love Byrd's Branch and the new owners from Florida (Lorena and Dwight Carter).  Reservations still made via email.  

Wed arrival and dinner at Southern on Main in Elkin.  Wed. is half price wine bottles.  Pierries, Lopez, Lyons, Romans.  (Monica came camping but skipped dinner out).

Thurs.  we were on a tight schedule leaving at 11:00 with our charcuterrie items to go to Raffaldini where we had flights and enjoyed an outdoor wine and dining experience with our charcuterrie.  Then we went next door to Piccione where we had a similar Tuscany type outdoor covered tasting of flights experience.  We liked both wines and both vineyards are fantastic sites making you feel like you are in Tuscany!  We ate dinner at Skull Camp brewery in their restaurant.  They had giant pretzels which were good, and beef brisket bbq which was "okay."  

Fri.  We went to Roaring River Vineyards to eat on the veranda in the shade overlooking the river below.  Jim and Lucy joined us.  Quite impressive view,  but not the same for the food.  :(  Would try again as it might have been a COVID issue.  After eating there we went to Mena Rick Vineyard and all their wines just tasted like alcohol.  However, they had a blackberry gelato which was very tasty.  Apparently this winery is for sale.  Went back the campground then went to Shelton Vineyards for the reserve tasting and dinner in their restaurant.  It was pretty good. We joined the year no shipment club.
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Sat. (4th of July)  - Romans departed.  We went to Jolo for a tasting and lunch in their restaurant.  Fantastic and favorite.    Went to Grassy Creek where they had tents set up and free music.  It is very close to Byrd's Branch.  We tried to go back to Skull Camp for dinner but they were closed for the 4th so we ended up back at Southern on Main for a light dinner.  Monica joined us at Grassy Creek and dinner.
   

Sun. relaxed and packed up for journey back home.  Booked a weekend in Nov 5-8 to explore more vineyards.


Notes: 
  • Bathrooms were nice and clean.
  • Nice Fire rings very large area
  • New owners are nice and still a great bargain
We stayed at site #6.  Wed. 7/1 - 7/5 (Sun)


August 20, 2020 - Mayberry Campground in Mount Airy, NC (369 miles)


We arrived on a Thursday evening.  Site #35 was a great location and a pull through.  We were impressed with the amount of big rigs that were there.  They have done a great job with the grass and grounds.  Monica did not come with us.  We were hoping to go to the visitor's center/chamber of commerce, but due to COVID they had limited hours and were closed by 3:30.  We went into downtown Mt. Airy and walked all around and did a wine and food pairing (for dinner) which is a North State Winery group of regulars on Thursday, but we were able to be included.  It was a selection of different wines from Brazil and other places.  We really liked the Brazilian Macaw semi-dry moscato.  The others were good also and the food pairings were excellent.  Went back to the campground and it rained a bit at night. 

Friday we took the dogs for a long walk around the whole campground which is really quite big.  Then we headed back to "Mayberry" to the Snappy Diner to be totally disappointed with the pork chop sandwich.  The quality was not as good as when we had it previously.  Also, they neglected to tell us they were out of coleslaw.  If I had known that I wouldn't have asked for no chili.  :(  Then we walked around looking for Rocky Road ice cream for Luis. There are three ice cream stores practically in a row on Main Street, with a very limited chocolate selection and no Rocky Road.  Then Marcia and Rich arrived in town and we met them at the campground and we headed over to see theiir cabins, Pilot Mountain Inn.  We walked around and hiked to their lake.  Very nice property at the base of Pilot Mountain.  They were cooking steaks for dinner and we headed back to the campground to meet Teresa and Richard.  Walked the dogs and then the four of us headed back to the North State Winery for our dinner reservation.  It was very good and especially the fried green tomatos.  After dinner we headed back to the campground to have a fire. Rich and Marcia came to the campground and joined us.

Saturday morning the six of us met at the campground where the trolley came and picked us up for a 90 minute tour of Mt. Airy.  It was very nicely done and the woman giving the tour was full of great town information and history. After the tour we all headed to downtown to eat lunch.  We ate at the Goat and it was very good.  We returned to the campground to change and headed to Jolo for our 3:30 tasting reservation.  We enjoyed that but then they wanted to seat us early for dinner so we were still full from lunch.  Some of us ate entrees and I just had an appetizer because I was full from lunch.  However, it was enjoyable.  Then we headed back to the campground.  We retired without a fire, I believe it was raining. 

Sunday early Luis and I and the "girls" headed up to Pilot Mt. to hike.  It was extremely foggy, but really cool to be up there in that heavy fog.  A different experience.  We had a great hike.  Then we headed back to the campground for breakdown and headed home. 

We saw Pickle Ball courts on our trolley tour (who knew???) but didn't have our equipment!  Next trip to Mt. Airy. 

 
Notes: 
  • Bathrooms were nice and clean.  They also have heat and air conditioning.
  • There is only one bathhouse.  There are 2 toilets and 1 shower in the men's room and the same in the women's.  This is an RV park so this was not a problem.
  • There are several common shelters with tables and fire rings.
  • Not all campsites have tables or fire rings.  You can have them delivered to you campsite.
  • There have been a lot of improvements that have been made since our last trip (July 2017).

We stayed at site #35.


September 4, 2020 - Wilson's Riverfront RV Park Asheville, NC (571 miles)

This was our first time at Wilson's Riverfront.  It was a different type of campground but had it's pluses.  It is shocking when you pop off the highway and the campground is a hairpin turn to your right impossible to make even in a car.  So you have to go turn around and we found a park just up the road with a turnabout at the end of the parking lot.  We arrived and checked in online.  You are basically backed to the river or backed to the highway.  We of course were backed to the highway.  :)  With the a/c you don't really hear it inside.  Monica came with us.  There is also tubing right from the campground and the greenway runs through the campground and goes along the river and ends in another park.  It is in West Asheville and a convenient location and the price was not bad especially for full hookups.  

We set up and later Richard and Teresa arrived.  Unfortunately I had shared our turn around place and a bunch of people were illegally parked in the circle.  It took about an hour for Richard to wait for people to move and negotiate the already small circle around the two cars that appeared to have no owners.  :(  Bad start.  After they were able to arrive at the campground and get set up we headed to Papas and Beer for dinner (Monica joined us) over on Tunnel Road.  We had a good dinner and retired to the campground. Teresa and Richard treated because we do a lot of the driving.  Very nice.

Friday Luis and I walked the dogs on the greenway, then we four piled into the truck (no Monica) to head to Weaverville and browse.  We went to Ezra and Carina's on the way to drop off mail and their wedding cupcakes which were in our freezer for the past year.  We had to drop stuff on the porch because Ezra has COVID.  :(  We waved to Carina and Moxie from the porch.  Then we headed into Weaverville to browse the shops.  They had some really cute things and I bought some jewelry.  A really nice leather bracelet and some earrings.  Further down the street was a barber shop which Richard was excited about and he was able to go right in and get a haircut.  We ordered lunch from the bakery and sat in the shade across the street to eat.  After lunch we browsed a bit further.  Then we headed to Campfire Lodgings to let Richard eyeball the sites to make some reservations for next year.  After that we headed back to the campground via The Hop on Merriman to introduce Richard and Teresa to good Asheville ice cream.  Back at the campground Monica walked the dogs with us on the greenway.  Later we headed to downtown in search of food.  We parked in the lot near the Asheville Pizza and Brewing and started walking.  We headed into downtown Asheville in search of food.  We wandered around the historic Grove Arcade which is very intricate.  Teresa and I talked with an artist.  Then we found a restaurant with some nice outdoor seating and ate there.  It was Carmel's Kitchen and Bar.  The food was good.  Then we headed back to the campground.

Saturday we headed to Hendersonville with Teresa.  Monica didn't join us and Richard was waiting on a camper repair person to fix a part on the suspension that may have broken in the turning.  :(  First we wandered around the farmer's market.  I bought some dog biscuits and Teresa and I bought some raspberry products.  We then walked to downtown Hendersonville main street area and even though they didn't have the full apple festival the shops were all open.  We wandered around several shops and then when we had enough we were looking for food. We headed back towards the Farmer's Market area as all the food vendors downtown had really long lines.  We found a restaurant that is apparently a chain called White Duck Tacos.  They had a huge outdoor picnic area with tables with umbrellas.  Their food was excellent and we will look for that chain again.  Then we headed back to the campground to check on Richard, Monica and the dogs.  Walked on the greenway again and then picked up movie from Red Box for Monica and dinner at Wendys.  We headed into Asheville and parked near the Asheville Community Theatre and started walking.  We inquired at an Asian Fusion Restaurant called Red Ginger Dimsum and Tapas and they said the wait was an hour.  So we signed up and went touring on foot around town in a different direction from the night before.  We headed toward the Basilica of St. Lawrence Catholic Church because Richard wanted to show us the inside.  Unfortunately it was locked.  :(  We continued back towards the restaurant and then it was our turn to eat around 7:15.  They have a lot of small plates and it was a lot of fun to order some different things and look at other peoples selections also.  It was all very tasty except my shrimp and chive dumplings were very fishy tasting. The waiter said there was not supposed to be any fish in them and he took them off the tab.  It was very reasonable anyway and I would love to eat there again.  The honey glazed roast pork I had was the best!  Went by Ben and Jerrys still looking for Rocky Road.  Again no RR, but still good ice cream.  Suddenly there were many sirens and about 6 or 7 emergency fire trucks and vehicle went racing by.  We walked back to our car and returned to the campground.  On the new later we found out that a restaurant (Rhubard) had a kitchen fire.  Luckily they put it out before it spread.  Glad we didn't eat there.

Sunday was nice and cool in the sixties and Luis and I took the girls again on the greenway all the way to the end.  There was a lot of fog on the river and we saw bunnies, a huge heron or something in the river fishing, etc.  Teresa and I went tubing which took about three hours from 10:00 to 1:00ish.  After I showered off the river, Deb came to the campground and Teresa, Deb and I headed over to the River Arts District to wander some studios.  We met two very interesting artists.  The duct tape painter with the hidden pictures in his art, Stephen Lange.  You can see the pictures if you take a picture of the art with a flash, or if you train your brain Stephen says.  :)

Then we went to another studio and met a painter also with some interesting ideas behind his art.  Ken Vallario.  Teresa bought a print from him of The Subject.  He was very nice explaining his ideas.  He was working on a great pandemic piece with a lot of symbolism in it.  We headed back to the campground and Monica joined Luis Deb and me and the dogs to go to the NC Arboretum.  They were having a lego exhibit.  I knew they were closing at 7:00 but didn't know the bonsai exhibit area closed at 5:00.  It was 4:45 so we sent Deb right over to see the Bonsai's while we unloaded the dogs, and Monica.  We joined her and walked the grounds for a bit enjoying the trails, lego sculptures of flowers and animals, and the flora and fauna.  Then we headed back to the campground.  Deb headed out and for Sylva.  We tried to obtain eats and found out an unfortunate side effect of COVID especially in a town that is partially closed up but entertaining a lot of tourists over Labor Day.  We could not get a restaurant reservation and had a very hard time even obtaining food for pickup.  Teresa and Richard ended up getting Luella's but we got fed up after wasting time trying to order online and not being able to complete the order with the website they were using.  So we ordered from Rocky's Hot Chicken Shack and it was going to be an hour (now around 8:00).  On the way we returned Red Box movies and saw The Hop.  Yum.  I said since we have to wait to pick up dinner and we are hungry we should eat dessert first.  Low and behold they had Rocky Road!  Finally.  Luis was in heaven.  Mine was delicious also.  I had a non-dairy lavender, mocha chocolate expresso and Rocky Road.  I was starving so it was great.  Then we picked up our Rocky's and brought it to the campsite where Richard and Teresa had a wonderful fire going!  What a nice surprise.  We enjoyed it while we were eating.  It was a great ending evening. 

Monday was breakdown day, but not before another nice cool morning walk all the way down the greenway with the girls.  Again the fog was fabulous over the river and the spiderwebs were so cool with the dew on them.  My bird was not there initially but upon our return trip after we got to the park at the end of the greenway I saw him fly by through the trees.  When we walked back to the area he had been at the day before he was there fishing!  He looked like a Pterodactyl flying.  I think he is about 4 feet standing straight.  Beautiful.  We had to pack and head home. 

Great trip but missed our time with Carina and Ezra. BTW Asheville is severely lacking in Pickle Ball courts!!!  So we didn't have our racquets in Mt. Airy and they had some, but we brought them to Asheville and couldn't find courts.
 

Notes: 
  • Bathrooms are clean but small and not climate controlled.
  • You can rent tubes, canoes, kayaks, and bicycles right at the campground.
  • A greenway runs through the campground which makes it easy to walk the dogs.
  • There is no way to get into the campground without making a u-turn in a gas station which is about a mile up the road.  CHECK Google maps before going.
  • Not all campsites have tables or fire rings.

We stayed at site #19.

October 14, 2020 - Asheville, NC (610 miles)


First time camping here.  We liked it.  The back in sites on the river would be very nice.  Our pull through was a deluxe with the nice patio and fire ring and patio furniture.  We arrived around check in at 2:00.  I walked the dogs around while Luis set up.  The creek and lake were very nice.  We went to Black Mt. and ate at the Black Mountain Bistro.  It was very good and they had a really nice covered porch and outdoor patio to eat on.  We went to Ingles to get a few things and met Dorene and Carlos back at the campsite.  They had spent a few days in Asheville. We built a nice fire and had a great visit with smores.  :)

They left and we retired.  In the morning we broke down and had to leave by 12:00.  We went to the Ingles parking lot at the base of Campfire Lodgings to eat at the Pizza Hut and go up the mountain at 2:00. We were one of the first to arrive at Campfire Lodgings.  We had a premium site P-8 on the edge of the overlook of the valley.  It was beautiful weather clear and cool.  The leaves were changing and it was a beautiful time to be in Asheville.  Julie and Paul joined us at Campfire in a cabin.  Ezra and Carina came for an outdoor visit.  

Julie and Paul came up to the campsite and we headed to Asheville.  Ezra and Carina left.  We parked down near the theatre and walked to the Red Ginger Dim Sum Tapas restaurant.  They opened at 5:00 and is was 4:45 so we started walking around downtown.  We saw Pack Square and the Thomas Wolfe Building.  We went into the Woolworth Walk and looked around at the different stalls.  Then we headed back to the restaurant and were one of the first seatings.  We all got stuffed.  It was delicious.  We headed back to the campground but did not do a fire.  We all retired.

Friday Paul and Julie and I loaded Kaylee and Zoe into the car and headed to Lake Louise to walk around the lake with the girls while Julie jogged.  Luis stayed behind to do some work.  After that we headed back to the campground to shower and left around noon for the NC Arboretum.  It was beautiful but a bit cool.  We ate at the outside bistro and Julie and Paul enjoyed the bonsai exhibit.  Then we walked with the girls on some of the trails.  The leaves were changing some and it was a beautiful fall day.  Then we went back tot he campground and fed the girls and headed to The River Arts district to the Wedge Brewing to meet Carina and Ezra.  Paul and Julie, Luis and I got 12 Bones and found a table.  Ezra and Carina arrived and we got cider and then they ordered from the grilled cheese truck.  They brought the grand dogs, Keeley and Moxie.  It was great to visit with them.  It was pretty cold.  After dinner we got warm coffee and cocoa at the coffee shop.  We headed back to the campground with Julie and Paul and made a great fire.  We decided to wait on the smores since we were all pretty full.

Saturday Julie went to run.  Luis and I walked the girls on the Campfire trails.  Then we got ready and drove to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Craggy Gardens.  It was very pretty and yellow leaves everywhere.  we hiked at Craggy Gardens once we arrived at the picnic area where there was parking. It was pretty strenuous uphill at that higher elevation.  It was beautiful when we arrived and you could see the far mountains.  Paul did not come because he had a family zoom meeting.  On the way back we picked up Wendy's for the guys and The Hop ice cream for me and Julie.  It was good as usual.  Then we took the Wendys to Paul at the campground.  Julie and I headed downtown to shop a bit.  We had fun cruising around and Julie bought her piece of art.  We got coffee and checked out the Pinball Arcade.  We should do that sometime.   Luis and Paul hung at the campground.  We had pre-ordered pizza from Asheville Pizza and Brewing.  At 5:45 we picked it up and brought it back to the guys.  It was cold so we ate in the camper and had some wine with it.  Then we had a campfire and did the smores.  Yum.

Sunday we had to do the breakdown.  :(  Alll good things must come to an end.  Good news is we booked two visits for next year! 
 


KOA Asheville East Notes: 
  • Bathrooms were nice and clean.
  • Nice Fire rings very large area.
  • We stayed in a deluxe campsite.
  • Train tracks are across the street but noise was not bad.
  • Nice location near Black Mountain and Asheville.
Campfire Lodgings 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 Wi Fi 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 P8.


    October 23, 2020 - Hard Labor State Park (900 miles)

    This is a really pretty state park on a lake with very private wooded sites.  It is about 20-25 minutes from Southern Cross Ranch.  Some sites have full hookups.  We left Friday morning and had lunch at Sonny's in Charlotte.  Monica did not come and we were not meeting anyone.  We had four ride coupons to use at Southern Cross.  We arrived around 4:00 and set up on a back in site without full hookups.  The problem with the site we had was that it had these large "fruits" that smelt citrusy and were the size of baseballs that would drop out of the tree onto the camper and scare the beejezuz out of you.  Luckily even though we were bombed at least 8 times (perhaps way more when we weren't at the camper) we sustained no damage.  So don't get site 24 again.  Luis looked it up and they are Hickory nuts!  They have a lot of fruit around them.  

    Saturday we walked the dogs around the site and went to Popeye's for lunch and Walmart to buy carrots for the horses..  Then we went back and walked the dogs again before we left for the ranch.  We checked in at the office with Karen and got our ride tokens.  We went to the barn and were assigned our horses by Wes.  I was on Lily and Luis was on Twisted Miss.  We really like both of these horses.  Lily was speckled brown spots and had a very pretty frosted mane.  Twisted Miss was a beautiful freckled orange horse with a white butt.  We would definitely ride them again.  We had a terrific ride first with a guide (Bri) to go through the creeks and then by ourselves cantering and trotting on canter hill.  We took full advantage of the dry trails and beautiful weather.  Then after the ride we had supper in the dining room.  Yummy as usual.  It started raining as we arrived back to the campsite so we did not do a fire.  It poured all night thanks to Hurricane Zeta which had arrived from the Gulf.  

    Sunday I made raincoats from trashbags and I took the girls for a long walk.  Then it stopped raining and was only cloudy.  We left a bit later since we didn't need to go to Walmart and ate at Taco Bell on the way to the ranch.  We checked in and went to the barn and I got Lily again.  Luis got Hope.  She was a dark brown mare with black mane and socks.  She was a good ride but not very surefooted.  She tripped alot.  He preferred Twisted Miss, but would ride Hope again.  After the ride we ate on the ranch another great meal and went back to the campground.  We had a fire and enjoyed the evening.

    Monday we started our clean up and departed around 11:00.  We ate at Sonny's in the middle of the afternoon just south of Charlotte in Rock Hill, SC.  We arrived safely home in the evening.

    Luis will take the camper to storage tomorrow evening. 
     

    Notes: 
    • Bathrooms are clean.
    • Some sites have full hookup.
    • All sites have cable TV.
    • Cell coverage is spotty.
    • Dump station has 2 lanes.
    • Them campground store has firewood and other camping supplies.
    • Site 13 is a good "buddy" site.
    • Sites 3, 5, 7, and 9 are pull through but not as private.
    • Sites 26, 39, and 42 are a pull through but for shorter campers.
    • Sites 1, 2, 6, 8, and 10 are good and private.
    • Sites 24, 27, 33, and 35  are good for shorter campers.
    • Sites 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 36, 37, and 38 are good for larger campers as well.
    • Sites 28, 29, 37, and 38 are the best ones in that loop.
    • There are 20 cottages that look really nice.

    We stayed at site #24.

    November 5, 2020 - Byrd's Branch Campground, Elkin, NC (372 miles)

    Well another trip to Byrd's Branch means another loaner truck from Ford since the 2017 was still in the shop.  This time the catalytic converter was bad.  Monica did not come.  Thursday we arrived and  Kevin and Ginny had arrived Wednesday.  We hiked the nearby trail to the waterfall with them.  We ate dinner at Angry Troll which was very nice and in downtown near Southern on Main.  Friday we went to Stone Mountain and did some hiking with Kevin and Ginny and the dogs.  It was fun and we hiked to the top of Stone Mountain. Luis and Pattie went back to the Angry Troll for lunch.  That evening Teresa and Richard arrived.  We all (Teresa, Richard, Kevin, Ginny, Bobby, Lucy, Jim, Jim's mom, Kim and Eric, and Kim's cousin and husband) all had dinner at Southern on Main (a bit cold outside) on the patio with two large tables.  We had a campfire that night with the visitors also.  We provided all the makings for smores.  Saturday a.m. Luis and I hiked the waterfall again with the dogs.  We all went to Raffaldini for Assemblagio (mixing and tasting of wines) event on Saturday.  It was very fun and informative.  They provided plenty of food so next time we will just have a light snack before we go. Saturday dinner was at Harvest Grill at Shelton Vineyards.  On the way to Shelton we got coffee in downtown as Pattie wanted to look at some wine racks she had seen in the window. Unfortunately they were just their display and not for sale.  The coffee was really good.  It was called Dirty Joe's. Dinner at Shelton was great.  Sunday we went to the Loaded Goat (downtown Mt. Airy) for lunch with Kevin and Ginny, Teresa and Richard and Bobby.  Then some of them wanted to walk around Mt. Airy and we departed back to the campsite and picked up the dogs and headed back to Stone Mountain to hike the waterfalls.  It was very pretty and a fun trail (about a mile r/t)  not quite as long as the hike to the top of Stone Mt. (about 3 miles).  We went to dinner at Skull Camp (their smoked wings are delicious) with Kevin and Ginny and Teresa and Richard.  Monday morning was breakdown and pack up for the Pierrie's and Lopez's.  Kevin and Ginny were staying another day.
     
    Notes: 
    • Bathrooms were nice and clean.
    • New owners are nice and still a great bargain.
    • New owners are doing a great job updating the campground.  There are new fire rings, new common area, corn hole games, etc. 

    We stayed at site #10.

    November 20, 2020 - Tanglewood Park Clemmons, NC (320 miles)

    After several years of talking about camping at Tanglewood during the Festival of Lights we finally did it.  Camping here in general is very nice.  Add to this the free front of the line access to the lights and it is even better.  Richard and Teresa were supposed to camp with us but had to cancel.  Teresa had made the reservation a year prior.  We transferred the reservation to our friends John and Donna.  It was fun to get to know them and spend some time with them.  They have a nice class C.  We arrived Friday and after set up we went to 2520 Tavern for dinner with John and Donna.  Saturday we also managed to do a little camper shopping together at Campers Inn in Mocksville.  They do not have the Grand Designs though.  But it gave us the chance to compare.  We had already put a deposit on our 337RLS, but this was a big dealer and we were hoping to consign our camper.  Although we did not know it at the time, this turned out to be the last camping trip with our Camp Lite trailer.  After our camper shopping we went to Little Richard's BBQ in Clemmons (Very Good).  Donna managed to find a new winery called Medaloni Cellars which we visited that evening.  This is also an event center so they have a lot of different areas to hang out, listen to live music, and food trucks.  Overall a very nice place to bring some food and enjoy a day outside.  We should go there again. Sunday we packed up to come back and emptied out the rest of the trailer.


    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.
    We stayed at site #3.

    December 13, 2020 - Mayberry Campground in Mount Airy, NC (432 miles)

    First we must fess up.  We purchased the new camper "PH"  (portable house) and did the walkthrough on Wed., Dec. 9.  Our new truck was delivered to the house on Thurs, Dec. 10.  Fri Dec. 11 at 2:30 p.m. Luis was down in Apex having the hitch installed.  Then he went to Bill Plemmons on New Bern Ave. to pick up the camper.  We had reservations for a test run in a 70' site at JC Cooper for the 11th - 16th.  Of course by the time he arrived at JC Cooper campground it was pitch dark and the 70' long site was on a curve with a tree and metal pole obstacles.  He had never backed this camper and barely driven the new 350.  Pattie was absolutely no help on the ground either.  So after about an hour of frustration and a bossy neighbor who really was nice but not much help, we decided it would be better to go home.  The next morning Pattie called Mayberry and arranged to camp Sunday night in a pull-through site.  Saturday afternoon we had a young couple come to see the Livin Lite.  So there was no way we would be able to get to Mayberry before dark Saturday night and we preferred to arrive in the morning and have time to see and do everything we needed to test the new camper.

    Sunday a.m. we packed up and drove to Mayberry Site 10 (very nice) for our maiden voyage.  We all love the PH.  It is huge and so comfortable.  Really glamping at it's best.  The new truck is pretty plush too!   

    We tested everything we could think of and problems were very limited that we found so far:  Back window was not latched.  It was very hard to get latched.  We finally did, but want to retest it on the next trip.   Decorative piece in one theatre seat cupholder is missing.  Also, a very minor leak under the bathroom sink.  But the biggest problem we had was rewinterizing.  Everything went smoothly with the kitchen sink, bathroom shower, sink and toilet, but then we went to the wash machine.  It took a while to read the directions and we ran one cycle, but weren't sure if both water lines were on and then couldn't get the other cycle to run.  It was very frustrating and took a call to Bill Plemmons.  Will talked to me and he said if air gets in the lines the water pump shuts off.  So Luis ran more pink into the kitchen, bathroom and then we got the appropriate cycle to run on the wash machine.  All was finally well and we headed home to unload.  The next day Luis put her in the storage.  Outside for now.  They are hopefully building our shed soon.

    Notes: 
    Bathrooms were nice and clean.  They also have heat and air conditioning.
    There is only one bathhouse.  There are 2 toilets and 1 shower in the men's room and the same in the women's.  This is an RV park so this was not a problem.
    There are several common shelters with tables and fire rings.
    Not all campsites have tables or fire rings.  You can have them delivered to your campsite.

    We stayed at site #10.

    December 29, 2020 - Statesville KOA (381 miles)

    We went to KOA Statesville so we could meet Carina and Ezra for the day in Black Mountain and exchange Christmas gifts and test out the camper again.  This is our second time out.  We left on the Tuesday after Christmas and stayed 4 nights.  Arrived in time to set up before dark.  We had a premium site with our own deck with grill and two person swing on it.  Very nice site.  Monica came with us.  We went into town and ate at Groucho's Deli.  It was pretty extensive menu, but Subway style deli meats.  We left the next day we drove to Black Mountain and ate Burger King on the way to meet Carina and Ezra at the downtown chair park.  It was drizzling even though it was supposed to be the sunny day.  We had to stop by Carolina Coach and RV to turn in the cancellation of our trailer warranty.

    We had a nice visit with Ezra and Carina and exchanged presents at the park.  Carina made us all some very nice masks.  Then we walked around downtown and shopped a bit.  Ezra and Carina left and we bought ice cream at The Hop in Black Mt. to eat on the way back.  It was very foggy on the way back.  The clouds were sitting on the mountain.  Monica and Luis worked on her ET puzzle in the camper.  

    Thursday we slept and I took the dogs to the dog park.  Then we went to Sonny's South of us in Mooresville.  After Sonny's we went shopping at Wally World to stock the camper.  Then we returned back to the campsite.  Luis discovered some water underneath in the storage area,  but luckily it was just a small drip around the fitting and we were able to fix it and dry up the water.  It was New Year's Eve and we watched some tv and fell asleep and woke up in the New Year. 

    Friday it was raining, and we hung out and enjoyed all our space.  We had Hungry Howie's deliver pizza.  It was very good.  

    Saturday we broke down and packed up to go home.  We came to the house and unloaded and then parked on the side.

    The next day, Sunday Luis and Pattie took the camper back to the storage.
     
    Notes: 
    Bathrooms were nice and clean.  They also have heat and air conditioning.
    Staff was very friendly.  Great dog park.
    Fires on the ground are not allowed.  Need to bring portable fire pit.
    The location is good for exploring Statesville, Charlotte, Troutman.
    Next to the highway so there is some road noise.
    Campsites are not paved.  Mostly grass and rocks.  Muddy if it rains. Full hookups.

    We stayed at site G32.