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Author Topic: Little spot in the woods  (Read 1524 times)
Tikvah
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« on: November 04, 2013, 11:58:28 AM »

Sometime soon our bus will be leaving Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh) and headed toward Florida (near Tampa).  The drive will be slow, but we don't have a schedule.  We would like to find a quiet little place to park someplace in-between.    We have this picture in our head of a small park with a bubbly brook where we can sit and catch up on some writing, take long walks in the woods, and not freeze at night.  We would like electrical hook-up (just a 20A is all we need).  But seclusion is our goal.

I don't want to get any more involved in the mountains than I have to.  I'm not set up for much of that.  Plus, I'm pulling my Impala, so windy two-tracks is not my thing right now.  So, hopefully you get the idea.  We're picturing Tennessee or Georgia, Carolinas, etc.  To keep the trip easy and minimal mountains, do you suggest we will stay west of the Smokey Mountains and Appalachian trail or on the Atlantic side of the hills?

Suggestions?  
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 12:02:03 PM by Tikvah » Logged

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bevans6
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 12:26:00 PM »

My experience is that if you are in Pittsburgh and you are going to Florida, you are going to get mountains.  If you go the coastal route, you get the PA Turnpike to Washington (sucks traffic-wise) before you get to float south along the coast, and that's a hilly ride.  If you take 79 and 77 south you cross the moutains and go through them, in fact (tunnels).  The flattest route is to take the western swing down towards Atlanta, but then you get to go through Atlanta (might be worse than Washington).  My personal choice is to bite the bullet and take I-79 south to Rte 19 over to I-77.  But the minimal mountain route is to the west, for me.

Brian

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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 12:32:19 PM »

As you are looking to stay out of the mountains, you may want to consider the I-75 route south.  On the northern fringe of the Chattanooga area is Chester Frost County Park, one of my favorite places.  Not exactly secluded, but this time of year is peaceful and definitely not crowded. 

They have some nice deep parking spots that accommodate 40' rigs and toad pretty well.  You unhitch and then back in and then your patio side is directly on the water's edge of Harrison Bay/Tennessee river.  Each site has 50/30/15A electric and good water, plus picnic table, grill, and fire ring.  They don't have sewer hookups, but do have several dump stations around the park.  Also there are full shower facilities and laundry rooms for anyone that needs/wants them.

The island portion of the park (connected to the rest by a causeway) is closed to camping this time of year but is open to walk the trails that circle the island, including the wooded portion of it.  Very quiet and pleasant.

They don't do reservations, but this time of year that isn't a problem.  To get the best of the best spots, arrive on a Monday afternoon, Tuesday, or Wednesday.  http://www.hamiltontn.gov/parkrec/RulesFees.aspx   (note: On that page it says "campground opens April 1st".  That is referring to the island, the other part is open year round.)

Then on your way after that, at the southern edge of Chattanooga is the Choo Choo Express Garage if you are due any routine maintenance or have any problems with your bus on the way.  They are a true DD two stroke bus garage.  Plus Cindy and I would look forward to meeting you (Choo Choo is our home base).  You can also overnight here with access to 20A hookup, water, sewer dump and WiFi.

Regarding Atlanta, as long as you pass through between 9am and 3pm or after 7pm, the loop around Atlanta is generally a good ride.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 12:35:54 PM by HighTechRedneck » Logged
somewhereinusa
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 04:33:01 AM »

You might look into boondockers.com  I am a member and have had a two couples spend the night here. There are members all over the country that offer free parking for a night or so. Although there seem to be quite a few that 40 feet is too big.
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Seangie
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2013, 09:02:48 AM »

Dave,

My family and I just spent an overnight in Savannah, GA.  They have a tourist information center there and there is RV parking overnight in the lot.  The cost is 7$ per night (dry camp only, no power) and you can stay up to 48 hours (14$) It was free parking on Sunday (out before 8am Monday)  and the bus fit in the RV parking spots. (it was a little tight and if crowded it may not work for ya).

It is only about 12-16 miles off of 95.  If you are going to flatland it south then 95 is the quickest route (Less than 8 hours from NC).

 The downtown area was great for stores, food, activities and the river is right there and you can sit on the river and watch the gigantic ships come in and out all day.  We loved it and will stop again every time we come through.  The night we stayed there was chilly (about 50 degrees) but the bus stayed warm from the drive up and we didnt have to turn on a heater. 

You do have to look out for the little train bridge with the 12' clearance right as you come into town.  Very easy to bypass by taking a right and going around the block to get into the information center.

Oh wait...crap...you wanted a place by a babbling brook in the woods.... sorry.  Can't help you there Smiley

-Sean
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Tikvah
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2013, 11:59:29 AM »

Today we leave PA with gratitude in our hearts to Jason and his wife for caring for us and our bus for a week or so.  Sometimes the words "thank you" seem to fall short but it's all I have.

We are moving across I-70 today toward Columbus then Cincinnati then we'll turn south on I-75
From there we plan to work our way to Chattanooga.  We hope to take advantage of the suggested campground for a few days and hopefully get some time at the bus garage that has been suggested.

I don't know how far we will make each day, but if you're in the area you might see a white bus in the slow lane.

Dave
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2013, 01:08:26 PM »

Dave,
Thanks for the kind words, It was a pleasure meeting you and Amy, Hopefully our paths will cross again in the future, any time you need a place stay you are more than welcome to stop in. Best of luck Jason and Martha
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Tikvah
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 03:57:35 AM »

As you are looking to stay out of the mountains, you may want to consider the I-75 route south.  On the northern fringe of the Chattanooga area is Chester Frost County Park, one of my favorite places.  Not exactly secluded, but this time of year is peaceful and definitely not crowded. 

They have some nice deep parking spots that accommodate 40' rigs and toad pretty well.  You unhitch and then back in and then your patio side is directly on the water's edge of Harrison Bay/Tennessee river.  Each site has 50/30/15A electric and good water, plus picnic table, grill, and fire ring.  They don't have sewer hookups, but do have several dump stations around the park.  Also there are full shower facilities and laundry rooms for anyone that needs/wants them.

The island portion of the park (connected to the rest by a causeway) is closed to camping this time of year but is open to walk the trails that circle the island, including the wooded portion of it.  Very quiet and pleasant.

They don't do reservations, but this time of year that isn't a problem.  To get the best of the best spots, arrive on a Monday afternoon, Tuesday, or Wednesday.  http://www.hamiltontn.gov/parkrec/RulesFees.aspx   (note: On that page it says "campground opens April 1st".  That is referring to the island, the other part is open year round.)


This suggestion worked out well... Thank You.
We are enjoying our stay here at the park and have a nice waterfront view.  We pulled the coach in forward to get best possible view out our windows (can't see out the back of the bus)
Getting in the park was a bit intimidating.  There is a pretty severe drop from the road level to the campground level.  I was worried about hitting the belly of the bus, but it came in without rolling over or hitting.  Now to get the bus up and out will be the next trick. 

Thanks for the suggestion, and if anyone is in the area it would be great to get together.  We have this place almost all to ourselves.  There isn't more than 6 or 8 campers in the whole campground.  Lake sides are open all around.

Dave



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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
Tons of stuff to learn!
Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
Charles in SC
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 05:48:05 PM »

You might want to consider Santee State Park near Santee, SC. This is my favorite place to stay of all the parks I have been to. It is also very close to I 95. They have power but not sewer, you have to drive to the dump site. Lake Marion is beautiful this time of year.
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 06:39:10 PM »

Nice pictures Dave, we stayed at Chester Frost park earlier this year and really enjoyed it. Enjoy the quiet parks. Craig
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Tikvah
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2013, 06:40:22 PM »

Nice pictures Dave, we stayed at Chester Frost park earlier this year and really enjoyed it. Enjoy the quiet parks. Craig

Did you drive that MCI down into the first park over the ramp?
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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
Tons of stuff to learn!
Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
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