Going West Again

Roxie and I left Asheville on July 22 and headed west. The first day was the worst; we drove 300 miles to Nashville, TN. I heard on the radio that it was 98° with 90% humidity. It felt like walking through a hot cloud! When I opened the camper, it was 98° inside and it seemed like it took forever to cool it down. Because of the heat, I can’t stay at free campsites with no electricity along the way this time; I have to PAY for campsites! Oh horrors!!   We stayed at Seven Points Corps of Engineers Campground which is very convenient to Nashville, and only $11 a night with the Federal Senior Pass.  It was unusual for a COE campground; less than half the sites were not lakefront!  I had it all planned out to wait til 9:30 a.m. to leave the next morning, to avoid Nashville’s rush hour traffic. But I’d forgotten about the time change, so I had a whole hour to do nothing.  I texted my friend Patricia about having to wait, and when the hour was almost up, I got a return text: “But it’s Sunday!”   Duh, no rush hour and I wasted all that time!!

In order to reach the cheaper campsites I’m having to drive a lot longer each day than I like. I’d like to do 275-300 miles a day but it’s been more like 360, 400, and today 345. Ugh. And so hot, I don’t dare leave Roxie in the car even to make a quick run into a rest area bathroom, so I’ve been stopping and leaving the car running and locked, setting up the camper and using my porta-potty and then closing it up again and using my spare key to get back in. Thank goodness my camper is so easy to set up.

The second night I stayed in a really old campground, Pere Marquette State Park in IL, about 25 miles north of St. Louis. $20. I didn’t go in the bathrooms but they looked pretty old.  I was going to drive straight north on Hwy. 100 and cross the Mississippi at Hannibal the next day, but the road was closed. So I took a free ferry across the river! It runs continuously with no set time schedule; when they reach the shore, they take whoever’s there and go across, even if it’s just one car, back & forth.  It only takes a few minutes. I was impressed at how well the pilot knew the river currents….seemed like he was going to ram us into the shore nowhere near the landing, but then the current swept us right into place! I guess if that’s all you do all day long, you’d have it all figured out.

Not long after that was an other ferry, this time across the St. Charles River, and this time it cost $8.  Nice though that they didn’t charge extra for the camper, and it saved a bunch of driving time.

Third night was at a little marina campground on the Missouri River in Nebraska City, NE. That one made me angry because they advertised that it cost $19…..and didn’t mention that there’s also an $8 per car entry fee! I supposed $27 is still not a bad deal for a campsite, but it still was way more than I’d figured on, and I had to dig into my  stash of laundry quarters to pay it.

Tomight I’m still in Nebraska!! My apologies to anyone who lives there but really..nothing but soybeans, corn, and stinky cattle feedlots!  I was trying to figure out why anyone would WANT to live there….super hot in summer, super cold in winter, fairy flat and not very pretty unless you’re in love with corn, soybeans or cows.  I’m at a little campground in Big Springs; half price ($15) with the Passport America club.  It is 100 degrees here but only 24% humidity so it feels much more comfortable than Nashville. Still way too hot though, and the camper was 98° when I opened it up.  It’s taken 3 hours to get it cooled down to 78! I was very disappointed when I got here to find they only have little baby trees; hardly any shade! I believe this is the first time I’ve experienced 100 degree temps.

Only 200 more miles to go til I reach my destination: Centennial, WY. Tomorrow’s weather forecast for Centennial is a high of 67 and low of 50!  YESSSS!!!!  SO ready for some cool weather! And after this I should have some pretty photos to post, too.


7 replies on “Going West Again”

Hi Janis,
I know what you mean about the hot weather . . . and I was not one of those that begged for summer when we were knee deep in snow here in Idaho! Our normal temps are low to mid 90’s, which we’ve had that for a week, but that was preceded with record breaking triple digit numbers and we are going to get that again next week. Uggggg! When we travel our fifth wheel is hot inside too and one of the first things I do when we stop is to open all the windows and turn on the Fantastic Fan to get the airflow going. If we have power, the AC comes on, both units, full blast noisy till it cools down. Looking forward to the update on your arrival in Centennial. I’ll have to look that up on the map. I’ve been doing a lot of research and planning for our trip back to the Grand Tetons area in September.

Take care,

Liked by 1 person

Hi Janis, was reading some posts we missed; we traveled to Nebraska to the total solar eclipse, and found off the beaten path are some cool places we’d like to check out: Chadron State Park, Chadron, Toadstool Geologic Park, Indian Cave State Park,Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford, Niobrara State Park, Niobrara. Don’t know if they all have shade though!


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