Monday, June 16, 2014

ON THE ROAD AGAIN




As promised I will start blogging again now that we are finally on our maiden voyage with our new Jayco RB Jay Flight travel trailer. Lauralyn started camping as a child with her parents and our first vacation, after coming home from Japan, June or July 1971, was camping with her parents and sisters. I loved it immediately. The next summer we had our own tent and we would camp as a family for the next 18 years. We progressed from the tent to a tent camper and then to a 27 foot Mallard travel trailer for the last 10 years that we camped.

In October 1989 Lauralyn’s parents bought a cottage near Minocqua, WI. where we spent the next 20 years. Her Dad sold the cottage in 2009 so we had to decide what we wanted to do next to enjoy being out in the woods and traveling. We spent about two years looking at motor homes and then truck campers before looking at travel trailers. We discovered that they were now making some that were light weight and with everything we wanted in them. After only one day and one night in it we already know this is the perfect trailer for us.

The trailer is only 19.5 feet long, 8 feet high and 7 ½ feet wide, not much wider than a car and lower than most trailers which sure helps with gas mileage. It’s basically made for just two people and maybe one grandchild at a time for a weekend. We’ll see. It has a queen size bed, kitchen with a table for two, a stove, refrigerator and microwave, full bath with a small tub and shower, digital radio, TV, air conditioner and awning. What more could you ask for? Lauralyn just wanted to be able to stand up in it and have a bathroom. We accomplished the goal.
So where did we begin this new journey? Two hours from home at Nelson Dewy State Park in Cassville, WI. on  the Mississippi.  It was a beautiful ride through many hills and valleys and proved that our tow vehicle can handle anything with this trailer. Pulling this trailer, just under 3,500 pounds, with our SUV looked good on paper but you never know until you give it the test and we passed that getting to this area of the state.

We arrived on Thursday May 29 at about 3:30pm and discovered, sight unseen, no pun intended, that we had picked a big, level perfect site for our trailer. Backed in on the first try because Lauralyn has not lost her touch for guiding as I back the trailer in. We also found, when we got out of the car, that the gnats were probably going to be a problem. By the time we got set up, and swatted a million gnats, the worst were behind the glasses, we decided to make dinner and call it an early night. We surprised that very few sites had campers in and thought it would fill up on Friday. Sure hope that gnats are gone tomorrow.

Woke up Friday to a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the 80’s and decided to drive about 25 miles north along the River Road to Wyalussing State Park. It was a very pretty ride through more hills and valleys with great views of the Mississippi. When we camp we like to check out campgrounds to see what they are like and jot down the best sites for our trailer on maps they have of the campground sites. The views of the river from the camp sites were unbelievable, but the majority of the sites were too small and too hilly for our trailer. There were some loops without views of the river that would be nice for our trailer, but we decided we would rather come back to Nelson Dewy where we are now camping. We did pick up fire wood at a small store at the entrance to Wyalussing State Park so Lauralyn to build fires in the evenings. One of the things she has always enjoyed. She hasn’t lost the title of fire bug either. She got the fire started with just one match. Don’t know what we’ll do tomorrow, but will decide when we get up depending on the weather.

On Saturday May 31st we woke up to another nice day and decided to road trip 55 miles to Galena, IL and walk up and down the main street and go through all the stores. We had been there a couple of years ago with a group and really didn’t get to see as much as we wanted to see. Found a camping cook book that has recipes and directions for one aluminum foil package which sure makes for easy clean up. Might even use these at home. As they say half the fun is in the journey and we took back roads to get there and really enjoyed the scenery and waves from all the people along the way. Stopped in a little Galena bakery for tomorrow’s breakfast. We did find a fragrance shop that mixed us a magic potion of mainly vanilla to stop those annoying gnats. Got back to the camp site and the stuff really worked. Best $5. I’ve spent in a long time.

Sunday June 1st and it’s another perfect day. We decided to road trip about 40 miles to Dubuque[JK1] , IA. to visit the National Mississippi River Museum and aquarium. The museum was great and we were there from 10 am until about 4 pm. I’d recommend the Museum to anyone that gets to the part of Iowa. The aquarium was not really worth seeing and we only spent about half hour there. Stopped in one of the supper clubs in Cassville, two miles from the Nelson Dewy State Park, but it wasn’t as good as the write up in the town tourist brochure.

We knew it had rained a lot last night but were surprised when we heard on the radio that the rain fall measured 1.25 inches. Driving through Potosi the last couple of days we kept going right past the Potosi Brewing Co. and National Brewery Museum. This was our road trip for today, Monday, June 2nd.  The charge was $3. and it was more than worth it because we each received a free beer at the end of the tour. We spent about four  hours there and enjoyed every minute of it. Never knew how many breweries were in Wisconsin starting in the 1800’s. This is another recommendation for anyone traveling in this area. Had lunch in their restaurant and that also was very good.  I recommend the beer cheese soup. How could you possibly go wrong with a combination of two of Wisconsin’s best products.  Can’t believe I’ve lived my entire life in Wisconsin and never had a Potosi Beer. I would recommend the “Good Old Potosi Beer”.

Woke up and it was Tuesday already and we had to leave for home because I had a VFW meeting the next day and a Mallard Baseball game the day after. We drove up to the picnic area where there was a beautiful overlook of the Mississippi River for one more look before we hooked up the trailer for the ride home. We both hated to leave and I’m sure we’ll be back.

Our shake down trip with our new trailer reassured us that we had made the right decision to go with a travel trailer and we only have to add a few things to make it home sweet home away from home.We’ll be on the road again June 21st with five couples from church. Our destination this time will be Cliffside Park Campground in Racine County, WI, right on Lake Michigan for four days.

 [JK1]is





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