Previous Trip: Blue Ridge, Smoky Mountains, and more


In September of 1977 we took our longest camping trip to date.

It was longest both in distance and the number of days. although we didn’t camp everyday of the trip.

We left our home in Kansas City on Labor Day weekend.

Our first stop was the Saint Louis area where we visited with Mandy’s family.

Our next stop was Dayton, Ohio where we visited with my Uncle Jim Brennaman and his family.

On Labor Day itself we went to my cousin Tim’s house where we had a picnic.

That day I reminded me of outings we had when Uncle Jim would visit Kansas City during the summer.

Even many of the names were the same. There was a Jimmy, Tim, Mark, and Amy all in the latest generation.

We left late that afternoon and headed further east on I-70.

That night we stopped at a small campground in eastern Ohio.

We just stopped long enough to park and sleep the night.

In the morning I noticed that we had a bubble on one of my front tires.

So before we started out again, we had to find a tire store.

We bought a new Dayton tire, which I always thought of my souvenir of that trip to Dayton.

Once we had the new tire, we once again started east on I-70 towards Philadelphia.

We stopped in Philadelphia to visit Mandy’s brother Roger and his family.

We spent one night at Roger’s house.

After visiting Roger, we drove south to the Washington, DC area.

While visiting the Washington, DC area we stayed at a hotel in Alexandria Virginia.

We chose a hotel on the transit line so we wouldn’t have to drive the truck and camper into Washington.

We spent several days in the Washington area visiting the White House, Congress, and the Smithsonian.

Upon leaving Washington we drove down the Blue Ridge Parkway and spent one night in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

From the Blue Ridge Mountains we travelled to the Great Smokey Mountains.

While in the Smokey’s we stayed at two different campgrounds within the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.

During our visit, we hiked to Laurel Falls and Clingmans Dome.

We also went horseback riding and visited Cades Cove.

We also did some site seeing in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

I remember thinking our commercial Gatlinburg was. I can only imagine what it is like today.

Before leaving the park area, we drove across the park to visit Cherokee, North Carolina which is on the Indian reservation.

I remember thinking of our different Cherokee was from Gatlinburg.

Once we left the Smoky Mountains we started driving back towards Saint Louis.

We had intended to find a campground somewhere along the route and spend the night.

Once we got started, however, we just drove through the night arriving at Mandy’s sister’s house in the wee hours of the morning.

Rather than wake her up, we just parked in front of her house and slept in the camper.

After another short visit with Mandy’s sister, we drove across Missouri to home.

The total trip took two weeks.

Some Updates to my Web Site

I’ve been continuing to make updates to my camping pages on my web site.

On my Camping Overview Page ( I’ve added a map of states in which we’ve camped.


I’ve also added a new page describing our current travel trailer ( and a page describing our first camper (

I’m hoping to add some more pages to this blog describing some of our previous trips.


Favorites: Eisenhower State Park


Before I begin, I have to admit that I’m a big fan of the Texas State Parks.

Of the Texas State Parks, Eisenhower SP had been our most frequent destination.

Things we like about Eisenhower State Park:

The Bois D’Arch Ridge camping area has full hookups and all the sites are pull-through. (We’ve camped in the Bois D’Arch Ridge area each time we have visited.)

The camp sites seem to be larger at Eisenhower than they are at some of the other state parks we visited.

(The sites on the outside of the loops tend to be larger.)

The park has several nature trails, which we have enjoyed. We seen and photographed quite a few deer and birds during those hikes.

I don’t think we’ve ever gone to Eisenhower when we didn’t see at least some deer.

It has a swimming beach , which our grandson has always enjoyed.

Things we don’t like about Eisenhower State Park:

As with most Texas State parks, most of Eisenhower was built by the CCC. Due to recent budget “challenges,” parts of this park have been in disrepair recently.

(On our last visit, I noticed that some of the roads had been resurfaced.)

Some of the sites are not level. (Several years ago we had a spot that was so unlevel, we overextended a jack on our old travel trailer.)

Diary – May 29, 2014 – Palo Duro Canyon State Park


Note: this diary entry was written after our return home.

Thursday, May 29, 2014.

Thursday was our last full day at the park.

We had planned on hiking the “CCC Trail” which is 1.43 miles each way but rated as “difficult.”

My cough seemed to be getting worse and since the CCC Trail was rated as difficult, we decided to make a trip into Amarillo to do some site seeing.

We visited the Texas Air and Space Museum and the Amarillo airport and the RV museum at located at Jack Sisemore’s Traveland at 4341 Canyon Drive.

Surprisingly we thought the RV museum was more interesting the the Air and Space Museum.

The Air and Space Museum had two displays which I thought were worthwhile.

The first was a DC-3 which was last used by the FAA as a flight inspection aircraft.

That plane was fitted with a “boat load” of instruments so that they could test navigation aids.

The second interesting display was a Grumman C-11A Shuttle Training Aircraft.

This aircraft’s cockpit was fitted with two very different displays.

On the left (the pilot’s seat) it was configures with three display screens and a control stick.

This was an exact replication of the Space Shuttle’s cockpit.

The right side (co-pilot’s seat) was configured with a standard aircraft joke and display.

We were told that in order to emulate the aerodynamics (or lack thereof) of the Shuttle, the flaps were deployed and the engines were set at 80% power in reverse thrust.

Overall, I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit this museum.

Prior to visiting the RV Museum, both Mandy and I thought it might be quite boring.

We both found it quite interesting.

it included RVs from as early as the 1930’s including the 1948 Flxible Clipper used in the Robin Williams move “RV.”

In my opinion the RV museum was worth the trip into Amarillo.

Sorry no pictures from this day.