Sunday, July 23, 2017

Paintsville Lake State Park - Kentucky

Paintsville is located on the eastern side of Kentucky. It is in the heart of Kentucky's coal mining area and the heart of the state's bluegrass music region. It is also surrounded by mountains and that meant that we had to navigate Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer, through some hilly roads with sharp curves to get to this park.

Paintsville Lake State Park

The campground

Paintsville Lake State Park is, as you have already guessed, on Paintsville Lake. The lake was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and it seemed to be popular with boaters.

Speaking of the lake, it was gorgeous. It seemed to be a well-known fishing spot based of the number of people trying their luck while we were there.

Paintsville Lake

Rosie in the campground

This is a relatively small campground with fewer than 50 campsites. You feel as though you are in a valley because you see mountains when you look around, but the star attraction in this campground is the lake.

Here is some specific information about this park:
  • Our site had 20, 30 and 50 amp electrical service.
  • Our site had a water connection with good pressure.
  • Our site had a sewer connection.
  • There is one bathhouse serving the campground and a restroom outside the camping area for the day visitors. The campground bathhouse was clean and well-maintained.
  • Our campsite was gravel and we had to use our leveling tools to correct a slight lean.
  • The park had pay-per-day WiFi. We paid and the service was adequate.
  • AT&T placed a weak 4G voice and data signal over the park.
  • This was a pet-friendly park.
  • We were unable to see any TV signals from Rosie's antenna. Make sure you bring some DVDs if you want any video entertainment.
Paintsville is about 30 miles from where Becky's father lives and he was able to drop by for a visit. It was wonderful having him and his wife see us in Rosie.

Becky's father and his wife visit us in Rosie

We were pleasantly surprised to see how nice this park was and we would return to it if in the area.

We stopped for a ski lift on the way

Airstream trailers in a parking lot

Visiting L:oretta Lynn's Birth Place

Friday, July 14, 2017

Kentucky Horse Park - Lexington, Kentucky

We had heard over the years from several fellow campers that the Kentucky Horse Park was a very nice place to stay. You can add our voices to that chorus. This IS a nice park.

Kentucky Horse Park Campground

First, the sites are very nice and large. There is a respectable distance between your rig and your neighbor's. We had a pleasant view of a wooded area behind Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer.

Second, this is a huge park. There are 260 campsite in this park.

Third, our site was paved with asphalt. That helped make it nice to get in and out of Rosie when it rained while we were there.

These three factors help contribute to this being a very nice campground.

The campground

Rosie's site at the Horse Park

The power connection was immediately behind most camping sites. The one on our site was heavily dented and that indicated to me that too many trailers had backed into it over the years. We needed to pay close attention to where Rosie's bumper was while parking her. We didn't want to scar Rosie's backside by hitting the power box.

It didn't take long to discover why this is called a Horse Park. We were amazed at how many people brought their horses there. There are more than 1,400 stalls to house horses in the park and we watched several horse competitions while camping there.

Becky meets a horse

A horse with rider at the park

This was a wonderful park to walk around in. The roads were paved and there were many large and beautiful trees in the park.

Here are some specifics about this park:
  • There are multiple camping loops in this park. It appeared that no one loop was better than the others.
  • Our site had 10, 30 and 50 amp power service. We noticed that the voltage was slightly high at 129 volts.
  • Our site had around 45 psi water pressure.
  • Our site did not include a sewer connection.
  • We found two bathhouses in this park. There may have been more. The bathhouse we saw was clean and warm.
  • There was a small laundry facility in the bathhouse nearest the camp store.
  • Our site was paved, but not level.
  • The park had WiFi. We were unable to successfully log in and use it.
  • AT&T placed a strong 4G voice and data signal over this park.
  • This is a very pet friendly park. "Pets" at this park include horses.
  • We saw signals from many TV stations using Rosie's antenna. Networks included ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS. Digital channels included Antenna-TV, CW, ME-TV, MY and ION.
We were surprised when we first arrived at this park. It seemed as if there were Aristream trailers everywhere you looked. It turned out that the Kentucky WBCCI Unit was having a rally in the park. The people in that group were very friendly and welcomed us to the park.

The "Derby" Hat

Derby Day at Keeneland


Suzy needs a drink

The buffet

Drive Thru Betting on Derby Day

Man-of-War's Monument

Inside Kentucky's State Capital

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

White Acres Campground - Bardstown, Kentucky, Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky Derby

Derby week in Louisville is a crazy and fun time. We parked during Derby Week in the White Acres Campground near Bardsville (Kentucky) because it was about 45 minutes away from Louisville. That is close enough to slip into Louisville, then escape before things turn wacky over the Kentucky Derby.

In front of Churchill Downs during Derby Week
To put things in perspective, it doesn't take much to nudge things into a crazy spin during Derby Week. Still, there probably isn't a more exciting time to visit the Louisville area.
We didn't expect cold and wind while camping in White Acres Campground. Temperatures in the low 40s and winds gusting to 45 MPH plus rain made it difficult to enjoy anything outdoors while we were there.

This campground has a few quirks that you rarely see on the road. The first is shared hookups. I'm sure it saves money when building a campground to share the hookup sites. That means that one trailer has to face north and the other south. It also means that you are parked very close to your neighbor sharing your connections.

Shared utilities between sites

Overview of the park

Besides being parked too close to your neighbor, this style of parking trailers next to each other means that someone may have to exit the park by driving through an open field. As things turned out, it rained the night before we were to depart and the field became too soggy to be a viable option. Fortunately, the campers next to us had a four-wheel drive and they needed that extra traction to back out of their site.

The second odd thing was that the park only offered 50 amp service. I guess you can say that the campground is more big-rig friendly than anything else. The problem with that line of logic is that big rigs are more likely to get stuck in the mud when exiting the park.
Here are some specifics about this park.
  • There is one camping loop in this park. Several of the sites are heading down a sharp slope that appears to be along the path that excess water runs off the property.
  • Our site, along with all other sites, had only 50 amp power connections. We had to use our 50-to-30 amp converter cable for Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer.
  • In addition to electrical service, our site had a water connection. We were told that water pressure was high in the park and we needed to make sure we used our water pressure regulator.
  • Our site had a sewer connection.
  • There was a bathhouse near the front of this park. That put it a long, long, long way from the camping sites. It was in an old barn that appeared to be low on the maintenance list. We were not curious enough to see what was behind the doors and its condition, but several fellow campers did. Their descriptions included words similar to "disgusting, moldy and awful." I'm glad we kept our distance from the bathhouse.
  • The park has WiFi service, but it was very slow. How slow? I measured it at 130 baud and that was less than half the speed of my first 300 baud modem.
  • Fortunately, AT&T placed a strong 4G voice and data signal over the park. We created an iPhone hotspot and avoided the park's WiFi.
  • Our site was mostly grass/weeds with some gravel mixed in. It was not level and became very slick when it rained.
  • We were able to watch ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS using Rosie's TV antenna. Plus, we were able to see Antenna, CW, GET, ME-TV and several other digital channels.
There is one more item that we need to bring up. This park had a bumper crop of ticks and red bugs. An alarming number of people in our group found ticks or red bugs on their bodies and pets while camping in White Acres. You need to take precautions to protect yourself from these pests and check yourself often while camping here.

This is not a park we would willingly return to in the future.

Watching a race at Churchill Downs

Visiting Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace

President Lincoln's Birthplace

Visiting Maker's Mark Distillery

Sign at Maker's Mark

Visiting the Louisville Slugger factory

Nothing like having lunch on a riverboat cruise

We made it to the Winners Circle -- Sort Of!

Morning workouts at Churchill Downs

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Bowling Green KOA - Bowling Green, Kentucky

We have a history of passing through Bowling Green, Kentucky, while traveling up and down I-65. Sure, there are iconic buildings along the Interstate that catch our attention, but not enough to lure us off the highway until now.

Iconic Corvette Museum, which is easily seen from I-65

Our goal was to meet up with a group of fellow Airstream owners all planning to share an adventure touring Kentucky on a Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) caravan and Bowling Green was the first stop.

The timing was fortunate in that a national rally for Corvette owners was also taking place in Bowling Green that week. Why Bowling Green? Starting in 1981, all Corvettes were built there.
The rally brought thousands of Corvettes and their owners back to Bowling Green and it seemed as if most were on display in the parking lots surrounding the National Corvette Museum.

Corvettes in the parking lot

You cannot go to Bowling Green without going on the Corvette Factory tour. Even car skeptics are impressed after seeing how Corvettes are assembled.

National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky

The Corvette Museum is next to the factory and houses many Corvette models and concept cars. The museum made the news a while back when a sink hole opened up and swallowed six rare Corvettes worth more than $1 million. The building has been repaired, but several of the cars could not be restored.

Windows on the floor allowing you to see the sinkhole that opened up in the Corvette Museum

One of the Corvettes that could not be repaired after falling into the sinkhole

Another Corvette that could not be rebuild after it fell into the museum's sinkhole

If you find yourself in Bowling Green, you don't want to miss the Corvette factory tour nor the museum.

Another Corvette at the museum
Corvette Concept Car

If you have read through some of the past postings in this blog, you probably noticed that KOA campgrounds tend to puzzle me. We have stayed in KOA parks that range from pitiful to nice with more on the negative side of the ledger than on the positive. So, I approach all KOA campgrounds with low expectations.

KOA in Bowling Green, KY

This particular park falls in the better than average group for KOA campgrounds.

Some of the positive things about this park are that most of the sites are pull-thrus, many sites had shade and there was a reasonable amount of distance between campsites.

Rosie, our Airstream trailer, parked at the Bowling Green KOA

Some of the things we felt could be improved were the views. It didn't matter where you looked outside your RV, all you saw were other campers. Also, you were left with the impression that the franchisee wanted to pack as many amenities in as possible.

Yes, there is a miniature golf course here, but you need to emphasis the word miniature. Yes, there is a fenced dog park here that is a miniature. Yes, there is a children's playground here. You guessed it, the playground is miniature. You can check off the park's features and write "tiny" next to each.

Here are some specifics about this park:
  • Our site had 20 and 30 amp electrical service. Some sites had 50 amp service.
  • Our site also had water and sewer connections. It was nice to have full hookups.
  • Our site was gravel and not level. It took multiple tools to take the left-to-right lean out of Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer.
  • There is a dump station at the front of the park. We didn't need to use it since we had full hookups.
  • There were two bathhouses in the park that we found. One was next to the campstore and the other was in the middle of the park. It seemed that every time we went to one of these bathhouses, it was clean and the floor was freshly mopped.
  • The dumpster is near the front of the park. Some sites have a long walk to get to the dumpster.
  • AT&T placed a strong 4G signal over the park for both voice and data.
  • There was WiFi service, we think, in the park. The password we were given didn't work.
  • The park had cable TV service. We elected to bypass the cable and watch over-the-air TV signals. We were able to pickup ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS and NBC stations. Plus, we saw digital signals from Antenna-TV, GET, GRIT, BUZRZ, ION, CW, MY-TV, ESCAPE, COZI, LAFF and several others I failed to record. Missing was ME-TV, one of our favorites.

Downtown Bowling Green

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Cages Bend Corps of Engineers Campground - Hendersonville, Tennessee

Our goal was to find a campground north of Nashville for one night. We were traveling up I-65 to join up with a WBCCI caravan the next day and we didn't want to pull Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer, thru Nashville's commute traffic the next morning. Also, stopping north of Nashville would set the stage for us arriving on time for the caravan's rendezvous in Kentucky.

We found Cages Bend Campground on our iPhone's AllStays app. The park's reviews were positive, it was along a lake and we were able to get a waterfront site. That pretty much checks all the boxes for a good campground.

Cabes Bend Corp of Engineers Campground

I won't hold you in suspense any longer. Yes, Cages Bend is a good campground.

We wondered if Google Maps and our GPS were conspiring against us as we followed their suggested route to the park. It appeared that we were led thru neighborhoods on roads with noticeably decreasing widths. I found I was hoping I wouldn't meet a big rig coming from the other direction.

It is easy to make a wrong turn going into the park. Yes, there is a faded arrow painted on the road directing you to enter thru the left lane, but is easy to miss. Very easy! Besides, you normally enter parks from the right lane! Fortunately, we only had to back up about 25 feet to angle into the park.

Rosie along the lake at Cages Bend Campground

Enjoying the view

The last words told to us by the park's attendant was that they were having some water problems and the water pressure was up and down. "Down" was the critical word.

As soon as we backed into our site, I could hear other campers asking each other if they had water. A quick check told the story. Our site didn't have water and our fresh water tank was empty. We really should know better than to take Rosie out with an empty fresh water tank.

Evening along the lake

Thankfully, the water came back after about 45 minutes with adequate pressure. The work crew was trying to stop a leak in the park and had to turn the water off while making repairs several times that afternoon. Word on the street was that the repairs would resume bright and early the following morning. We quickly filled the fresh water tank so that we would be prepared when the workers returned the next day.

With the water crisis behind us, we were able to enjoy the park. We kept remarking that this was a beautiful little Corps of Engineers park. Our neighbors on the next site remarked about how difficult it was to get a lakeside site there. I guess some people left early because of the water problems.

One of the standouts for this park was the trees. They were huge, both tall and wide. Plus, they were beautiful.

Some of the trees in Cages Bend Campground

More trees!

Trees around Rosie in Cages Bend

Here are some specifics about this park:
  • This is a relatively small park. There are less than 50 sites in the campground.
  • Our site had 30 and 20 amp electrical service. 50 amp service was available at some sites.
  • Our site had a water hookup. As mentioned earlier, the park was having trouble with its water service while we were there.
  • None of the sites had sewer connections.
  • There is a dump station near the bathhouse.
  • There is a single bathhouse in the park. It wasn't exactly centrally located.
  • The bathhouse was clean and well maintained. It was also dated and needed to be renovated.
  • The dumpster was located across from the bathhouse.
  • AT&T placed a strong 4G signal over the camp for both voice and data.
  • There wasn't any Wi-Fi service in this park.
  • Our site was level.
  • It costs a few extra dollars to book a site on the water. It is well worth doing so.
  • The park is near the flight path to Nashville. While you will see lots of planes, their noise isn't distracting.
  • This was a strong spot for television. We saw more networks and digital channels than I care to list. Let's just say that Rosie's antenna picked up everything we cared to see.
While walking Suzy, our dog, I started talking to a man at the RV dump station. He was wearing an "Army Retired" hat and, as an Army vet, I stopped to thank him for his service. I noticed three stars on his truck as I walked away. I walked back to say I was unaware that I was talking to a three-star general. He was very gracious and thanked me for my service in the Army, which was more than 40 years ago.

This was a great campground find for us. We camped in site nine and will add this to our "Return To" list one day.

Rosie in this park

Trees in Cages Bend
Selfie in Cages Bend
Our site at Cages Bend