In part two of this series we leave the Shenandoah National Park and drive to Delaware to visit our sweet aunt. Then we head over to the Jersey Shore to see as many lighthouses as we can before heading towards Vermont and spending the night in the most unique place yet for us, a farm that’s part of Harvest Hosts.
This was an awesome leg of our 31 day journey. We got to spend time with Lynn’s oldest, most beloved, relative, Cinda Calhoun. We left Delaware and headed to Cape May, where we stayed at the Cape May KOA. Then it was on to visiting as many lighthouses as we could in one day.
Lynn and I bought our ‘19 59K to be more nimble in our travels. We had a long trip up the east coast of US planned for July and did not want to make that trip with our 5th wheel. We could have but we caught the camper van bug and wanted the flexibility of staying in national parks and other boondocking locations. We wanted to be able to park in great spots like Cadillac Mountain. We wanted our sweet pup dog with us as we traveled to locations,even if she could not go on the hikes or adventures.
With the 59K we got all of that and more. We just completed a 3,729 mile trip from NC to ME and back. The Travato did great on gas, great on comfort and great on convenience. In short we loved it and both of us agree it was the single best decision we’ve made in our 10-year journey of seeing North America in an RV.
Here’s the first episode of that journey for us as we drive in the the rain from NC to the Shenandoah National Park for our first boondocking experience in an NP. Many of you have been further than us and stayed out longer than we did on this trip. I’d love to hear your feelings about how your T fit your needs and if you see anything we should have done differently please let us know.
I think you’ll get a kick out of “virtually meeting” this interesting retired Marine I got to meet on a recent trip. Traveling around in our little Travato allows us to meet some unique and truly interesting people and we love it!
None more unique than Mr. Gary Savage, a retired Marine, who actually catches fish from a remote controlled RC Tugboat. How does he do it? I was lucky enough to meet him in Myrtle Beach while Lynn, Carrie and I were camping there for a few days. His joy and passion for his fishing hobby was one of the highlights of the trip and almost rivals our passion for our T’s 🙂
And when he broke out the “Fast Boat”… well let’s just say I might have to be saving a little money to replicate his setup. Not sure where I could store all this RC gear in the Travato though but it’d be fun to have with us for sure.
Thanks Gary for sharing your story through our channel and for making this old fisherman smile from ear to ear. Thank you for your service to our country… it was truly an honor to meet you. If you love his way of fishing as much as I do and find his joy and smile contagious, leave a comment on the video so he can “hear” it from you! Some of the most natural wonders we get to experience in our travels turns out to be the people we get to meet. Make sure you talk to people along your journey. Don’t be crazy risky about it… if you’re hearing banjo music in your head, well exit quickly. Otherwise, stop and talk to folks and listen to their story. You never know what national treasure is there for you to experience, even if it’s just a man from the south who catches fish from an RC Tugboat. 🙂
Lynn and I have lived in our home for 20 years. This last week we’ve had 2 things happen for the first time. Lynn thought it would be a good idea to pull weeds that turned out to be Poison Ivy. She ended up at the doctor last night to get a shot and medicine. I have been telling her I’d get rid of the weeds. Lesson learned when husband says he will do something he will. You don’t have to remind him every 3 months or so or resort to doing it yourself. I do hate that she is suffering because I kept putting off spraying the weeds. Sorry sweetie.
THE FIRST COPPERHEAD SNAKE:
We have been on a trip with our granddaughters for the last week and got home before dusk last night. We always take Maggie for a walk and did that after the sun went down. Since we haven’t been here there were lots of leaves and limbs on the driveway. For the first time in 20 years we not only saw a copperhead but Lynn and Maggie didn’t see it and both walked right over it. The snake was confused because I was yelling at them both to move, move, move! Neither of them saw it and I was just lucky to see it coiling up to strike them and my yelling distracted it enough for Lynn to IHOP dance/jump away from it. Whew! Pictures here are of the dead snake and the driveway with leaves and debris on it. I have since tossed the snake and blown the driveway. I can’t tell you how many hundred of times we’ve walked up this driveway with Maggie and the granddaughters. It is when you become complacent and comfortable that things like this happen. We were very lucky. It was a big snake and it would have hurt Lynn badly and even worse for Maggie.
As much as we love going on long trips in our new Winnebago Travato 59K, we love short but fun day trips just as much. This day we packed up the T and headed 20 miles north to jump on the Blue Ridge Parkway. What a day we had. After a scenic 10 miles or so we went for our first hike at Jumpin Off Rock. Then it was a drive by Mount Jefferson and on to Cascade Falls.
At Cascade Falls we easily found a parking place, which is easy with the T, and trekked out on the 1/2 mile hike. From there is was a short drive back to Hwy 421 and back home, way before dark.
Lynn and I picked up our new Winnebago Travato 59K on Wednesday, drove home and then headed out on Thursday for a planned trip that was wrapped around seeing concerts by Paul Thorn and JJ Grey. We camped at the McDowell Nature Preserve at Lake Wylie and then hopped in the van to do all of our site seeing and shopping. Having just purchased the van we spent most of the time taking advantage of all the great shopping around the Charlotte area.
We had several Travato-specific issues to solve, the most important of which was solving the bedding and sleeping. The first night we tried sleeping with lightweight quilts and sheets. That kind of worked but the rough fabric of the beds was noticable so I suggested we at least try sleeping bags. So off we went to Dicks, who happened to have camping stuff on sale. We bought regular sized bags.
They worked ok but both of us had a hard time keeping them under us.
So we went back and exchanged them for oversized square bags.
They were just too heavy. So then we decided making up the bed was actually the way to go. Having the dimensions in hand it looked like we could buy one queen quilt at Sams and cut it in half and it would fit the beds perfectly. It did. Finally we got a perfect nights sleep. BTW, the next one we buy and cut will be a King size so it leaves more room on each side. This one works but it is close to not working.
One of the best storage solutions we’ve seen is converting the hanging wardrobe area to drawers by adding Elfa shelves shelves from The Container Store. So off we went to find the right ones and install them… and return the big sleeping bags now that we’d solved the bedding situation.
JJ Grey and Paul Thorn Concerts
There’s nothing like a live concert. And on this trip we got to see two of our favorites. First it was Paul Thorn at the Neighborhood Theatre. Then we parked/camped by the stage at NODA Brewing and got to see JJ Grey and MOFRO for the first time. Both were great and fun times.
McDowell Nature Preserve Campground
Our one RV site for this 5-day trip was at the McDowell Nature Preserve on Lake Wylie. Man, you can see from the video the sites were paved, smooth and BIG. They were not level but they even warn you of that on their website. It was $30 per night for the site. The bathrooms were good… not super clean but OK. They had those push and keep the water on for one minute showers. There were many trails to hike that took you into the woods or to the waters edge. We never ran out of places to explore and never had to leave the park to find something to do with our time, well other than go out to eat and go shopping.
So, our first trip as camper van folks was actually pretty comfortable and exciting. We’d love to hear of your experiences with smaller campers like this too.
Well, it’s been a week since purchased our Winnebago Travato 59K. We picked it up last Wednesday and then left the next day for a 5-day camping trip in Charlotte while we attended a few music concerts.
Our 5th wheel RV did not have a generator so it made leaving Maggie in the camper while we went off to have fun a little difficult. You had to be connected to power or it had to be a perfect temperature day. The Travato has a great small generator that will run everything on the coach, including the A/C. So as temps rose to the 105 range in the Charlotte area and we were out trying to see if we could set a new record for the most hours spent shopping while camping we ran the generator a lot. 26 hours worth of a lot.
The first service on the Onan generator should happen at 20 hours. We missed that by 6 hours but when we returned home it was my very first chore. Here’s the video of how that task went. I’d never, ever, changed the oil in a generator before. But thanks to the great folks on the Facebook group Travato Owners and Wannabees the steps were clearly documented and I was really happy with how the DIY task went.
Thanks for joining us as we travel in zig zag lines around this round world! We’ll do our best to share the memories, fish and dreams we catch.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
We are Owen and Lynn Poteat. 20 years ago we caught the traveling and camping bug really badly. We started out in a tent, for one fun but fretful trip, and that led to our first RV purchase, a 19 foot toy hauler. Now 20 years and 5 RVs later we’ve traveled in just about everything, from a Class A to a 15-foot retro trailer to our current method of zigzagging the world, our Winnebago Travato 59K van. At the age of 60 we find ourselves ducking in and out of Walmarts, national parks and campgrounds in a 21 foot camper van. We have become Van People and joined the #vanlife craze that is sweeping this round world.
We are glad you’re here and hope you reach out to us to share your journey with us. If you haven’t already done so, take a few minutes and subscribe to our YouTube channel, Travel and Fishing Adventures.