The Metropolitan Cathedral in Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 5, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Boondocking night #9...better than Walmart

It must be the route that we are taking, but we haven't come across a whole lot of nice free boondocking spots the last couple of days. Unless you like parking beside corn fields!

Quite a few of the towns have free and cheap campgrounds, but that's not really what we're looking for. They tend to be not very well kept, and are usually close to busy roads or noisy railway tracks. Sure, they have hookups, but that usually means nothing to us. We only need somewhere to dump our tanks and refill our water once a week.

Wi-fi however, would be a bonus!

Yesterday, before leaving Lake Scott State Park, we went for a bike ride around the lake.

Part of the ride was on dirt road.

Overlooking the lake.

Hey, there's Sherman!

And then we hit the road. Again, not much in the way of scenery in this part of the world.

Big fields.

We passed through a very small part of Oklahoma.

It must be windy here!

And we're now into Texas.

Entering Texas, the speed limit immediately changed to 75 mph (120 km/h). Sherman only does 55 mph maximum, so we'll have to pull over and let people pass if we have to. 

Maybe they drive fast because gas is cheaper here. We pulled in to Perryton, TX (pop 8,000) where fuel is $1.89 USD a gallon ($0.66 CAD per litre). We'll fill up before we leave here!

There is another free city RV park, and it's right downtown. We pulled in and we were the only ones there. Again, not the nicest, but it's a step up from Walmart. And because we're right downtown we were able to get on some free wifi from the DQ across the street. Thanks DQ! Then, we had to walk 9 blocks to the police station because the sign at the RV park said we had to register there. No worries...we needed some exercise anyhow.

Sherman, at Perryton's free RV parking. 48 hour maximum.

Now, we've got five days of driving in Texas. It's a big state! And hopefully, some better overnight locations along our route. Heading for a wildlife management area tonight, so keeping fingers crossed.

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23 comments:

  1. My grandma always said 'Don't look at a gift horse in the mouth.' I never knew what she meant but I do now...I'd be thankful there is anything 'FREE' at all....could pay an arm and leg to park overnight. Yes, the part of the country you are traveling though is flat and mostly agricultural sort of like the plains of Canada. I did find your drive interesting with Carhenge, and those little toad stool looking mounds plus Mt. Rushmore.

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    1. Trust us, we aren't looking the gift horse in the mouth. We think it is great that small cities and towns do this, we think more of them should. It is a great way to entice people into their towns and hopefully spend some money. We just prefer to find free spots in the middle of nowhere better. :-)

      The scenery reminded us very much of Saskatchewan and the same thing goes, you need to venture off the main roads in order to see some of the little hidden gems like Toadstool Geological Park. We really loved the scenery in the Black Mountains other than all the tourist towns we could certainly spend a lot more time there.

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  2. Looks like another nice spot you found, enjoy Texas and the warmer weather.

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    1. George it isn't warm weather, it is HOT weather but we will still enjoy it all the same.

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  3. Really nice shot of Sherman by the lake. Gas in Virginia is $1.869. That's the cheapest I've seen anywhere.

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    1. Sherman was quite happy with that nice little spot! :-)

      Excellent gas price! We bought some yesterday at $1.89 and we were thrilled.

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  4. If you ever get close to Ennis, MT there's Meadow Lake Campground on Ennis Lake - free. Nice and quiet - well except for the duck hunters this morning. Great place.

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    1. Thanks Jim and Sandie, we will keep that in mind. Hoping to make it through part of Montana next spring on our way back.

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  5. If I were a betting man, I lay my odds that the Matador WMA sites north of Paducah will be the next boondocking site.

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    1. Good guess Daryl. But we ran into a glitch...story in the next post!

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  6. We went out of our way to stay at a fairground that was listed in thr Ultimate Campground app and website. No instructions and a police station that we hen we asked said of course you couldn't stay there without permission. And they wouldn't give permission, there was obviously electric and water for campers but no signs and no one had bothered to tell the police. Cost us over an hour. Just outside of Columbus, Ohio.

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    1. Wow, that is really a shame. We have stopped at fairgrounds before and have tried to find someone there to ask, another idea might have been trying to ask at the "city hall" or even at the Visitor's Center if they had one. I do think this is one of those oddball situations. Although we came across something similar on our way back through the States last spring with a fairground. We ended up at the Vistior's Center and they told us that nobody could camp there unless an event was happening and then it was used by people running the event. We thought it was a waste of a good camping spot.

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    2. Well who knows where the visitors center would have been. And it was getting on in the day. I have found Teds app and website to have several errors in it. As I said this place was listed in the http://www.ultimatecampgrounds.com website and app. I have camped near Ted and know him to be a straight shooter but many of the sites in the guide have been sent in by others that may now have done their research. Also I fully suspect the fair board would have been glad to ave us there just never bothered too arrange for campers when the grounds man wasn't present..

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    3. Actually I think city hall was with the police station.. but again no one there but two young cops..er police types.

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    4. It was Franklin County Fairgrounds just northwest of Columbus, Ohio, and it was supposed to be 20.00 a night! Not even a free site.. Still listed I just checked.

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    5. We use Ultimate Campgrounds as a guide only. Once Kevin finds a place that he thinks is good then he will look it up on the internet to see if there are any reviews or more information about the place as well as doing a google street view to see what the road and so forth is like before we make our decision to go there. It was only the other day that he did this with the Matador Wildlife site from Ultimate Campgrounds. After finding the spot, he did a quick search on the internet and that is when he found reviews that mentioned about this permit that you needed in order to stay there because the HQ was in the town after the wildlife area we decided to use Skype to phone them to see what was actually required and it was during this call that we found out the wildlife area was closed to camping at the moment which saved us a trip and the $12 free.

      Ultimate Campgrounds is a huge site so there is bound to be a few errors, also things can change over the course of time. Have you tried to contact Ted to let him know about this fairground so that he can make a change to the website so that it can at least help the next person?

      Also remember that this site includes ALL public campgrounds not just free spots.

      Hope you have more success with your next spot. :-)

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  7. So interesting. Any other followers doing the same thing we can follow?

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    1. There are many out there that do boondocking but not sure how many have blogs. I would suggest googling "boondocking blogs" and see what you come up with. We do have a list of blogs we read on our "Tabs Bar" just below our header picture, although they aren't all boondocking related.

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    2. Search for RVSue and her canine crew.

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  8. This part of the country is not known for its scenery. I remember driving thru when I was in an RV and thinking , I wonder what people do here? Well, I am outdoors person and love to hike , camp, etc... SO , to me , some of the midwest looked pretty boring. But , heck the gas prices sure are great !!!

    I just signed up to follow you guys . I am deffinetely interested in your boon docking adventures. I had an RV that I lived in full time back in 1995 and 1996 . Two years. I did mostly boon docking as well and that was without internet. I didn't even have a cell phone in those days. Boy, things sure have changed. The only reason I stopped the full time adventure was due to a major health problem that needed long term care. Then, I just got stuck back in "normal living" but am planning to get an RV in the next year to 2 and go full time on the road again. So, its fun to follow the ones that boondock as that is what i love to do as well.

    I also find it interesting that you have only the RV and no toad. I also had only a 20 foot winnebago and nothing else but my feet and a bike and that is how i plan to do it again. Seems like most Fulltimers have 2 vehicles. The RV or Camper and a car.

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    1. The scenery is very much like back home in Saskatchewan and we have found that if you can get off the main roads then there are some pretty little gems hiding away, like Lake Scott. As for driving it can get a bit boring, we really love to drive through the mountains and that is what we are missing right about now.

      Sorry to hear that you had to give up the full timing due to health problems but happy to hear that you are wanting to get back into it. We still don't have a cell phone but we do need our internet and for this short trip through the States we are missing our Verizon JetPack and being able to connect to the internet from just about anywhere but the cost was just too much to justify for such a short time.

      We love the freedom that comes without having a toad to worry about. We have learned to plan our routes and stops along the way without requiring a toad. We also use our feet and bikes a lot. If we really NEED a car we can always rent one for the short time it would be required.

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    2. Hi, I'm Ted, the Ultimate Campgrounds guy. I'd like to comment on Garry's posts about my data.

      First, I'm sorry he went out of his way only to find no camping at Franklin County Fairgrounds. He has contacted me about it and I have deleted the entry.

      Folks need to remember that the world is not a static place - campgrounds may close for various reasons, fees go up, the operating season changes. I go through the data regularly in an effort to keep information current.

      Garry mentioned that many locations are submitted by other people who have not done their homework. That is definitely NOT the case with my data. Only a handful of people have sent me information about locations, and in every case they have actually visited those spots. One reason I have not opted to allow users to submit info directly to the site is that I want the ability to vet it.

      Kevin and Ruth have the right approach to using Ultimate Campground data, or any other, for that matter - it should be taken as a guide. Much as I wish my data could be 100% accurate, I'm afraid that's a reach too far. But i try.

      And just to show I am not immune, I will admit to going to a park only to find the campground was closed the previous year. You can imagine the ribbing I got from DW: "Hey, I thought you were the campground guru. Hah!"

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    3. Thank you for putting everyone straight about your website. It must be a very time consuming job and I think that if people can contact you when things have changed on the website that would help you and others that may have considered going there. We think this is a great website and it has helped us a number of times finding places that are so much better than a Walmarts or truck stops. People do need to remember though after finding a spot from your website to do some further research to make sure that they have as much info as possible on it.

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