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Old 07-30-2007, 03:44 PM   #1
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We just completed a two month trip with two grand children (11 and 9 years old). Other than being very tired, here are some itmes folks may find helpful.

1. Started in South Florida. Took a circle route to Wyoming via the Great Smoky Mountains, St. Louis, South Dakota, and Eastern Wyoming. Back by way of Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia to Florida.

2. Coach miles 5417. Miles on towed vehicle (ENVOY) 2818.

3. Fuel - 718.8 gallons for the coach. 157.4 for the ENVOY. This works out to 7.5 MPG for the coach and 17.9 for the ENVOY. One could also say the combined MPG was 9.4 MPG.

On Edit: The coach travels at 60-62 MPH on Interstate highways. Secondary roads are at posted speed limit, 60 MPH maximum. The ENVOY travels at the posted speed limit.

3a. Oil used - Coach and ENVOY use no oil.

4. Most outstanding CG was Tom Sawyer's Mississippi River Park in West Memphis, Arkansas. Full hookup, concrete pad and right on the banks of the Mississippi River. It is also value priced. Can't beat it. See a full write-up in the CG section of the IRV2 site.

5. Several came close, but the most dissappointing CG was Elk Meadow Lodge & RV Resort, Estes Park, Colorado. The reasons are too numerous for this post. See my reasons in the CG section of the IRV2 site.

6. Best route was I90 in South Dakota and Wyoming. I just loved it. Absolutely no traffic, good quality road and great views.

7. Worst route was all around St. Louis, Missouri. Entered on I64 Westbound and exited on I70 Westbound. If you want a thrill, try it. Do not believe the road signs. For success just stay to the right. The area around the Mississippi River it is a "can of worms" for a roadway. The local drivers are also the most rude drivers I have encountered in many years.

8. Route recommendation revisions.

8a. RT 441 in the Great Smoky Mountains from Cherokee, NC to Gatlinburg, TN. This is about 35 miles. My past comments about this road was do not do it with a coach and toad. I have changed my thoughts on this. The road quality was good (just repaved on the NC side). It is a federal highway and built/maintained to federal road standards. If you have high antennas, take them off or tie them down. Trees have not been trimmed in a while. Do the route first thing in the morning (8 AM), be prepared to take the down hill side slowly (engine brake and down shift trany to keep in a lower gear)and one should be okay. It's about 6.1K feet above sea level at the NC/TN border. That is the highest point on this route.

8b. Route 65 from Branson, MO to Conway, Arkansas. This is about 125 miles of up, down and around. Many small towns, narrow lanes and turns to stay on Rt 65. I may be a conservitive old guy, but I still do not like this road.

9. Best thing we saw was Rocky Mountain National Park. If you go, try to take a day and travel Old Fall River Road. We also saw the head waters of the Colorado River. We hiked to 12340 feet above sea level in Rocky Mountain Nat. Park. I can't believe I survived. The kids had no problem. I was searching for oxygen.

10. Highest elevation for the coach was 8127 feet at Rocky Mountain National Park. The highest elevation for the ENVOY was 14010 feet at Pike's Peak. We drove up the mountain road. The highest elevation for us humans was 14147 feet at Pike's Peak. We climbed the rocks above the visitor's center to get to the absolutly highest point. If you read #9, you know I was not doing very well at 12K feet. Now I'm over 14K feet and doing poorly. It just goes to show that even at my age, I do dumb things. However, it was priceless to be there with the grand kids. FYI, I have a GPS device that can measure altitude.

11. The worst moment was our first night in Spearfish, SD. A tornado came within 1/4 mile of the CG. I'm a South Florida guy who is used to hurricanes that take two weeks to materialize. The awning auto retracted and before I could get to the door to see what made it auto retract, we got hit. Fortunately, we got the slides in and just rocked and rolled for a couple of minutes, until the twister went by. This happenned after sundown and there were no warnings. We had minor damage from where flying debris hit the coach. Other coaches, in the CG were no so lucky.

12. The most priceless moment was seeing the Florida born and raised grand kids play in snow (and make a snowman) in July! There was one other moment, we had front row seats for the Grand Old Opry. My wife and grand daughter went balistic when they saw where we were sitting. The show was sold out with a bunch of big name acts. They were filming for the Grand Old Opry Live show on GAC. Sorry I do not remember the details. Me,,,,I'm all rock and roll.
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:44 PM   #2
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We just completed a two month trip with two grand children (11 and 9 years old). Other than being very tired, here are some itmes folks may find helpful.

1. Started in South Florida. Took a circle route to Wyoming via the Great Smoky Mountains, St. Louis, South Dakota, and Eastern Wyoming. Back by way of Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia to Florida.

2. Coach miles 5417. Miles on towed vehicle (ENVOY) 2818.

3. Fuel - 718.8 gallons for the coach. 157.4 for the ENVOY. This works out to 7.5 MPG for the coach and 17.9 for the ENVOY. One could also say the combined MPG was 9.4 MPG.

On Edit: The coach travels at 60-62 MPH on Interstate highways. Secondary roads are at posted speed limit, 60 MPH maximum. The ENVOY travels at the posted speed limit.

3a. Oil used - Coach and ENVOY use no oil.

4. Most outstanding CG was Tom Sawyer's Mississippi River Park in West Memphis, Arkansas. Full hookup, concrete pad and right on the banks of the Mississippi River. It is also value priced. Can't beat it. See a full write-up in the CG section of the IRV2 site.

5. Several came close, but the most dissappointing CG was Elk Meadow Lodge & RV Resort, Estes Park, Colorado. The reasons are too numerous for this post. See my reasons in the CG section of the IRV2 site.

6. Best route was I90 in South Dakota and Wyoming. I just loved it. Absolutely no traffic, good quality road and great views.

7. Worst route was all around St. Louis, Missouri. Entered on I64 Westbound and exited on I70 Westbound. If you want a thrill, try it. Do not believe the road signs. For success just stay to the right. The area around the Mississippi River it is a "can of worms" for a roadway. The local drivers are also the most rude drivers I have encountered in many years.

8. Route recommendation revisions.

8a. RT 441 in the Great Smoky Mountains from Cherokee, NC to Gatlinburg, TN. This is about 35 miles. My past comments about this road was do not do it with a coach and toad. I have changed my thoughts on this. The road quality was good (just repaved on the NC side). It is a federal highway and built/maintained to federal road standards. If you have high antennas, take them off or tie them down. Trees have not been trimmed in a while. Do the route first thing in the morning (8 AM), be prepared to take the down hill side slowly (engine brake and down shift trany to keep in a lower gear)and one should be okay. It's about 6.1K feet above sea level at the NC/TN border. That is the highest point on this route.

8b. Route 65 from Branson, MO to Conway, Arkansas. This is about 125 miles of up, down and around. Many small towns, narrow lanes and turns to stay on Rt 65. I may be a conservitive old guy, but I still do not like this road.

9. Best thing we saw was Rocky Mountain National Park. If you go, try to take a day and travel Old Fall River Road. We also saw the head waters of the Colorado River. We hiked to 12340 feet above sea level in Rocky Mountain Nat. Park. I can't believe I survived. The kids had no problem. I was searching for oxygen.

10. Highest elevation for the coach was 8127 feet at Rocky Mountain National Park. The highest elevation for the ENVOY was 14010 feet at Pike's Peak. We drove up the mountain road. The highest elevation for us humans was 14147 feet at Pike's Peak. We climbed the rocks above the visitor's center to get to the absolutly highest point. If you read #9, you know I was not doing very well at 12K feet. Now I'm over 14K feet and doing poorly. It just goes to show that even at my age, I do dumb things. However, it was priceless to be there with the grand kids. FYI, I have a GPS device that can measure altitude.

11. The worst moment was our first night in Spearfish, SD. A tornado came within 1/4 mile of the CG. I'm a South Florida guy who is used to hurricanes that take two weeks to materialize. The awning auto retracted and before I could get to the door to see what made it auto retract, we got hit. Fortunately, we got the slides in and just rocked and rolled for a couple of minutes, until the twister went by. This happenned after sundown and there were no warnings. We had minor damage from where flying debris hit the coach. Other coaches, in the CG were no so lucky.

12. The most priceless moment was seeing the Florida born and raised grand kids play in snow (and make a snowman) in July! There was one other moment, we had front row seats for the Grand Old Opry. My wife and grand daughter went balistic when they saw where we were sitting. The show was sold out with a bunch of big name acts. They were filming for the Grand Old Opry Live show on GAC. Sorry I do not remember the details. Me,,,,I'm all rock and roll.
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:15 PM   #3
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Gary, we have spent lots of time in Spearfish, which campground were you in?

Fred
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:43 PM   #4
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We were at Elkhorn Ridge RV Park & CG,
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Old 07-30-2007, 07:33 PM   #5
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If you don't mind me asking, what was your impression of the park. The reviews on RV Park Reviews have left me wondering if this park isn't overpriced for the area? Double the other parks in Spearfish, and out of town.

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Old 07-31-2007, 04:27 AM   #6
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Gary,
Thanks for sharing your experience. What a memorable time for your grandchildren as well as for you and your wife. I like your concise format for reporting too.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:58 PM   #7
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Fred,
All the CGs I stay in are reviewed in the CG section of the iRV2 web site. The bottom line is you hit the nail on the head. For me the retail price of the park is overpriced. However, it is brand new, concrete pad for you and the coach. There is a small food service area and store, on site. I like the park and would stay again if I received a significant discount off the rate. I do not know how they compare to other CGs in the area. We were here for a rally.
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Old 08-01-2007, 05:55 AM   #8
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Great Report. Thanks
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:02 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great time was had by all.
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:09 PM   #10
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Thanks Gary, I am sure they will make their ANNUAL payments after the Sturgis Bike Week.

Fred
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Old 08-01-2007, 05:38 PM   #11
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5. Tried to get a site at Elk Meadow in Estes Park, but the only site they had available was not big enough. Now I am glad that we did not get it. The park we stayed at in Loveland (Loveland RV Park) sounds a little better that what you experienced, but the electricity was not very good.

6. We also drove I-90 in SD, WY and MT. What a joy to drive especially compared with I-40 in Tennessee where the trucks run in large herds.

8b. I also just drove Route 65 from Branson, MO to Conway, Arkansas. Hope I never have to drive it again.

9. We also drove Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mtn Nat Park. Really great drive. Oxygen did seem to be in limited supply at 12,000+.

11. We were just south of Spearfish, SD in Hermosa, SD. There was several bad storms that came through there. We heard that a Newmar group waiting to go to Gilette had 23 of 25 rigs damaged by a storm. We got hit by hail storms 3 times.
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Old 08-03-2007, 08:40 AM   #12
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I have tried to rate a CG, but it will not allow me to do it. Am I missing a step.

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Old 08-03-2007, 10:40 AM   #13
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I just spent a week at Elk Meadows RV Park in Estes Park and I thought it was a fine park. The sites are large and it is in a great location.

The roads are dirt, but maintained and in good shape. There was some dust but usually caused by folks that drive too fast in their cars. The facilities and hook-ups were excellent and I found the staff to be friendly. I didn't see any rigs in any site that had to life their front wheels off the ground to get level. I walked the park several times and found that it was full every night.

The tent sites looked good and they had TeePees and cabins for those desiring that type of experience. Good park, probably an 8/10

Tried to post this on the CG reviews but had no luck.
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Old 08-03-2007, 01:27 PM   #14
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Nick,
Have you registered with an ID and password for the CG Review site? It requires a seperate ID and PW than the forum site. On the CG Review site home page look in the upper right, just above the statistics box. Click on register and follow the instructions.
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