Monthly Archives: April 2020

Fetching the Bus

21d89630b2308f383404a768f516e5b4As mentioned previously, we are currently hanging out in our lovely Gatlinburg log cabin. However, we had left our rig back at Jones Station RV park, near Greensboro. Our paid-up month was expiring, so we made the 4.5 hour trek back there on Monday to fetch the bus.

We had already packed up the bus and pulled the slides in before we left, so preparation for travel was fairly minimal. After sleeping overnight, we finished gearing up:  checked the tires, stowed the satellite dish, locked things down, hooked up the toad, and hit the road back to the Smokies.

Our journey back to Pigeon Forge was uneventful – always a good thing! It was odd not having Pumpkin kitty on my lap, as we had left him back at the cabin. He doesn’t particularly like all of the driving stuff, so he was much happier staying behind. We fueled up just before arriving at our new campsite at Pine Mountain RV Park. We shoehorned into the site — fitting, but just barely. We plugged into power, washed the bugs off the front of the bus, grabbed a few more things from the inside, and headed back to the cabin. Mission accomplished!

The pandemic shut-down is creating significant disruption for the full-time RV community. We’ve already cancelled our first three northeast tour campground reservations. The Jones Station RV park owner shared that his campground was full of folks that literally had nowhere to go. We were unable to extend our reservation there, but were luckily able to find another spot closer to our cabin. We’re booked here for three weeks, and then – theoretically – will head up toward the Boston area.

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting mightily tired of Covid-19. I want to go the National Park and hike. I want to go out to dinner, and shop. I want to get my hair cut! We won’t do anything imprudent – we will continue to follow the guidelines and take proper precautions. We don’t want to catch this thing. But going from a full-on active life to full-stop has been challenging to say the least. If we can safely move along to another area to explore wilderness (continuing to observe social distancing) – we will.

Fingers crossed.

Campground Review: Recreation Plantation RV Resort, Lady Lake, FL

IMG_5873Campground Review Summary

  • Name: Recreation Plantation RV Resort
  • Dates of stay: Oct 30, 2019 – Mar 29, 2020
  • Location: 609 Highway 466, Lady Lake, FL 32159
  • Type of campground: Private / Independent (Adult)
  • Cost: $33/night (monthly rate)
  • Additional fees: some activities
  • Stay limit: none
  • Accepts mail / packages: yes (mail room)
  • Cell reception: ATT good
  • Website:
  • Pros: Inexpensive, great amenities
  • Cons: none

Full Review

Recreation Plantation is an adult RV resort that primarily caters to seasonal visitors. Although a small cadre of residents live there year round, the vast majority are snowbirds. Many sites are occupied by park models or stationary trailers, but there are still areas set aside for transient RV-ers.

We happened to be assigned a  spacious “double wide” space in the newest section. Designed for a park model, the utility hookups were way at the back. We needed a 50 amp extension cord and every bit of sewer hose we had on board to reach them. And the sewer connection ended up being slightly uphill, which made for awkward dumps. But those are small niggles in what was otherwise a great site and a great seasonal stay.

The new utilities included 50/30 amp electric, water, sewer, cable TV AND high speed internet! We were given a cable modem ($50 refundable deposit) and instructions for hook up. We were able to hook up the modem in the basement and enjoy real, honest-to-goodness high speed internet during our stay. After years of cellular internet, having this amenity was a delight. The provided cable TV wasn’t bad either, with 50 – 60 decent channels.

The park’s amenities included several sparkling clean bath houses, two multi-room club houses (a third was under construction during our stay), pool, hot tub, tennis courts, pickleball courts, bocci ball, shuffleboard, billiards room, card rooms …. the list goes on. A full time activities staff create a packed calendar of all sorts of activities from weekly coffee hour to bingo to every flavor of sport, game or exercise class. You could keep busy from morning through night. I learned how to play mahjong and do Swedish weaving. Jeff joined the Pickleball tournament ladder and played Tuesday-night poker. Friendly residents were always willing to lend a hand, give a wave, or teach a new skill. We loved this place!

Cost-wise, it’s a bargain if you stay several months. It averaged out to around $33/night for our stay, which included electricity, cable and internet! Not to mention all of the activities and amenities. If that’s not enough, the mega-retirement community of The Villages is literally next door, with all of its associated shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Our travel plans take us West for next winter, but we will be back the year after. Can’t wait!

Bottom Line: Awesome winter destination – we’ll be back!

Hangin’ Out at Home

IMG_5875Although our primary residence is our motorhome, we DO own a couple of other properties. Our Orlando house is our “domicile” for all legal purposes and is where our mail goes. Family members live there and forward our mail to us, wherever we happen to be. And then, we have our vacation rental log cabin in Gatlinburg.

Due to the Covid-19 disruption, our rentals for the next few weeks cancelled out – thus opening up the cabin for us to occupy. So, last week we packed up clothing and cat, buttoned up the bus, and left for Gatlinburg. Although we love our motorhome, having more living space is quite a nice change of pace. Pumpkin loves the extra room! And you can’t beat the view.


Everything is shut down here. It’s eerie to walk through downtown Gatlinburg in broad daylight and see NO tourists and every shop and restaurant closed. Pigeon Forge isn’t much better, although a few drive-through (or take out) restaurants and businesses deemed critical remain open. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is also closed –  barricaded at every entrance and trailhead. Our log cabin community is a ghost town, just us and the maintenance guy. It’s certainly not difficult to self-isolate!

We’re keeping ourselves occupied by tackling a few cabin repairs and upgrades. Things like: stripping a peeling wallpaper border on the main floor, installing a new gas grill, renewing the deck/cabin staining, and having UV blocking window film applied to the main floor vaulted windows to cut the afternoon sun/heat. We’ve got time, and vendors around here aren’t all that busy right now. There’s always something we can do!

At the end of the month, we’ll need to retrieve the bus from Greensboro and park it at our next reserved campsite in Pigeon Forge. At least the bus will be closer to us if we need anything! We plan to continue living in the cabin through mid-May while we assess our next move, based on what is happening around the country.  And hopefully by then, some things will be open around here! Not to sound whiny, but I’d sure like to take a hike in the Park and maybe even go out to dinner.

Wouldn’t we all ……


RV itinerary vs. Covid

c0481846-wuhan_novel_coronavirus_illustration-splIn a day of travel we transitioned from mid-Summer into early Spring. Central Florida temperatures were already reaching the steamy 90’s when we left for Jones Station RV park near Greensboro, NC.  (As mentioned previously, we cancelled our first planned Northeast tour stop in Hilton Head Island, to head directly here for a month.) The weather is glorious with brisk nights and sunny warm days. Bushes are in colorful bloom and trees are clothed in young bright-green leaves.

A simple change of scenery has provided us a mental and emotional boost. Most everything was closed down in Central Florida, including parks and trails. Here, recreation areas are mostly open for hiking and biking, including our favorite trail system. Truth be told, as much as I loved our wintering spot, even before the virus shut-down we were starting to get hitch-itch. A break into routine was welcome, but we were more than ready to begin traveling again.

We were able to (sort of) visit Sean and Marissa. We had a package to pick up from their place (and had some things to give them), so we headed over there last Sunday afternoon. Jeff and Sean saddled up to hit the nearby mountain bike trails while I walked the greenway. Since they are at a much higher risk for virus exposure than us, we maintained the proper “social distancing”. We didn’t go into their apartment. We chatted outside in the parking lot for a bit, separated by the requisite 6 feet or more. It was so sad not to be able to give my kids a hug and really spend time with them.

This isn’t a bad place to self-isolate. We’re in a small, quiet campground in a rural area. Folks here are friendly enough, but maintaining their distance. The campground office is closed to campers — all interactions are by telephone. Many campgrounds have also closed all amenities, but fortunately this bath house remains open. (Our currently-malfunctioning shower only provides a lukewarm trickle, OK in a pinch, but not desirable to rely on.) We endeavor to get out every day into nature to hike or bike. The rest of the time is spent doing bus chores, working, crafting, and keeping up with the news coverage. Trips to the store are few and we are careful. I even sewed cloth face coverings to have handy.

We are truly fortunate. We are healthy, with no “underlying health conditions”. Our financial situation is unaffected by the virus disruption. We can self isolate, hopefully avoiding Covid-19 infection until either an effective treatment or a vaccine is available. We can flex our travel plans as the situation warrants, and can afford to go to any RV park with availability. At worst, we are mildly inconvenienced. We are some of the lucky ones.

Looking ahead, we’ve had to make further adjustments to our itinerary. Colonial Williamsburg is closed, so no reason to go there. The RV park near Washington DC is not accepting new check-ins. Our current RV park is fully booked, so we can’t stay here. After researching a variety of options, we identified and reserved a site at an RV park in Pigeon Forge. That will buy us 3 more weeks in familiar territory as we wait out the various “stay at home” orders. Hopefully after that we can rejoin our scheduled itinerary already in progress.

If not, we’ll figure something else out.

Stay well, my friends!