Flexibility is something we as RV travelers desire. Let’s say we love the place we are at and want to stay longer, or we hear about a great place nearby that we should go see. It’s the freedom to do what we want, when we want that drove us to travel in a RV camper in the first place. But as we are starting to learn, the best and most desirable campgrounds book up weeks in advance. I need to know we have a place to park, a predetermined destination, before I hook up the camper. So planning out when and where we are going in advance is necessary. But how do you find that sweet spot between freedom and certainty? We are trying to figure that out.
Now as a case in point, a few days ago our daughter calls and asks where we’re going to be next week. She said that her husband Danny would be away at a conference that week so if we weren’t too far away she would drive to meet us with the kids. They would bring their tent and camp with us for a few days. Of course grammi and I would love to spend time with the grand-babies and immediately started looking for a campground that would be midway between us. We decided the trek north through Mississippi and Arkansas could wait for another day and opted to spend the next week with our daughter and granddaughters.
The days of calling a campground to make reservations are gone. If you do that now, they will tell you to go online to make reservations. It can be time consuming trying to navigate all the websites and look at the amenities. We found many with their “No Vacancy” sign posted. Finally we booked one that looked promising. It was about a four hour drive for both of us.
Kolomoki Mound State Park in Georgia has a campground on a manmade lake with 24 sites. Even though there were waterfront sites available we choose site 24 which was away from the water but near the playground for the kids. The site was level and had water and 30 amp service. There was room for Amber to pitch her tent so we were all on the same site. This was our spot for the next seven nights.
I am so impressed with our daughter Amber’s camping skill. She has paid attention and learned the ins and out of setting up camp. She arrived with only a couple of hours of daylight left but had everything setup before dark. She had tarps staked off and was well prepared for the rain we had later that week. She stayed in the tent outside our camper with a four year old and a one year old all week.
Kolomoki State Park is known for its indian mounds within the park. Archaeologist have studied the area and estimate that native americans lived in the area dating back 2000 years. There are eight mounds in the park varying in sizes from six feet high to a massive fifty-six foot high Temple Mound. The burial mounds, ceremonial plaza, and surrounding villages were a central hub of activity for the native people in North America.
We walked along the paths in the ceremonial plaza looking at the mounds. We ascended the stairs to the top of the Temple Mound where indian chiefs met and held ceremonies many years ago. We visited the museum that was built on a burial mound excavation site. Seeing the actual mound excavation displaying the pottery and other artifacts in the exact location where they were found was a unique experience. We all learned a lot that day. It was fascinating.
There was plenty of activities at the park. There is kayak, canoe and peddle-boat rentals. There is a putt-putt golf course. There is fishing, swimming and hiking. One activity that I find fun is geocaching. If you don’t know what geocaching is I urge you to do some research, maybe download the app and give it a try. Basically people hide small containers called caches all around the world. Inside these containers is a log to sign. Some have small trinkets inside to exchange. You may take a trinket if you replace it with something you brought. The GPS coordinates are posted to a website. Originally a handheld GPS was needed to find the cache but now most people just use their phones. If you find the cache you sign the log, and post on the app that you “found it”. We found eight caches while we were here.
I took Ivy fishing one afternoon. The two of us sat on the bank while staring at a motionless bobber for as log as a four year old possible could before heading to the playground. “Push me grampa” she said while climbing on the swing.
There was a swim area on the lake with a white sand beach within walking distance from the campground. One hot afternoon we all went there to cool off in the water. There were other children playing there and Ivy was so happy to make friends and play in the water.
On another day we drove to Dothan, Alabama less than an hour away to go to Waterworld. This was a clean and modern water park with water slides, wave pool, diving boards and a kiddie pool. Everyone enjoyed the day there bouncing in the wave pool and just chilling out. Ivy had a blast. She loves the wave pool. We stayed there until around five o’clock when it started raining. We ran for cover, changed our clothes and headed for the car. I guess nobody wanted to get wet….go figure.
One night we watched a movie that we rented from Red Box. We all snuggled up in the camper to watch Going Home . It is about a dog trying to find it was back home. On another night we made a campfire and roasted marshmallows for s’mores.
We drove around the surrounding area to do some exploring. Crossing over the Chattahoochee River prompted Amber to start singing her rendition of Alan Jackson’s song…”Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee”. We found the Coheelee Creek Covered Bridge. Built in 1891, it is the southern most covered bridge in Georgia and spans 121 feet at McDonald’s Ford. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Sadly, it is in dire need of renovation as the roof appears to be decaying, but it was still cool to see and a great location for photos.
It was a fantastic week of adventures with our granddaughters, certainly well worth the change in direction. Having the freedom to take advantage of little opportunities is a blessing. So on the day they packed up to head home a little sadness set in. It was no surprise when Grammi cried as she always does when she says goodbye, but this time I also had to hold back a tear or two. Who knows though, maybe soon we will change direction again to share another adventure.