Saturday, June 24, 2017

Campground Review: Michigan City Park Michigan City, North Dakota

Michigan City, North Dakota (Pop: 285) is a tiny town along a rail line in central North Dakota.  Research I did online revealed a small park that allowed RV camping and even provided free electrical hookups although a "free will" donation was requested.  I pulled into the park and as is often the case when I "park camp" I had the place to myself.

I put a $20 in the "Free Will Offering" box.
The park is relatively spacious and very well kept with a spotless bathroom that was regularly stocked and cleaned.  There was a park employee working on the park every day I stayed.

The Mini's site.  You park on the grass near the hookup pole.
Here's the Data Sheet on the park:

Hookups:                                             30 amp                                                                       
Fire ring:                                              No, there is one centrally located                              
Water Access:                                     No                                                      
Fresh Water:                                        Yes, by the bathroom                                     
Trash Service:                                      Yes                                         
Toilets:                                                Yes (flush)                                         
Showers:                                             No                                                      
Dump station:                                      No                                          
WiFi:                                                   No                                          
Level sites:                                          Yes                                         
Laundry:                                              No                                                      
Store:                                                  No (walking distance to a grocery)                            
Pool:                                                   No                                          
Shade:                                                Yes                             
Verizon reception:                                4G, 4 bars                                           
Internet reception:                                4 of 5 bars                              
Cost:                                                  Free (Donation requested)

A fun bonus to Michigan City Park was a small 9 hole golf course that abutted the park's east and north side,  For $10 a day you could play as many holes as you wanted, I finally got to use my golf clubs that I'd been lugging around in the back of the pickup for months!

$10 for all you can play!  9th green in the background.
The "greens" on the course were made of AstroTurf that had been "top dressed" with sand.  While I'm sure they are very durable and low maintenance, they were so fast it was like putting in a pool table!

The 4th turf/green.
After my round I celebrated finally getting to use my clubs with a steak dinner cooked on the Mini's outdoor grill.

The NY strip was reduced to sell at Michigan City's grocery.  It was great!
   Keith Wood, the park's superintendent stopped by the Mini a couple times during my stay to make sure everything was going all right.  Everyone I encountered in Michigan City was real friendly and you could tell they wanted you there.  Staying at the park was a great experience and finally getting to play golf was a blast!  While Michigan City may not be a "destination" city if you are passing through the area I recommend a stay at their park.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Campground Review: Britton City Park Britton, South Dakota

Having really enjoyed my time at the city park in Lyons, KS I sought out another city park that would be along my route north to cooler climes.  Using the website (an invaluable online resource for full-timers) I found that the small town of Britton, SD allowed overnight camping in their  city park so I headed north.  Britton (Pop: 1226) is about 20 miles south of the border with North Dakota along SD HWY 27 (27 actually is Main Street in Britton).

A pretty garden area in a corner of Britton City Park.
Previously the rules for camping in the park had been first three days free, $7 a night thereafter, but the town changed them to free camping but asked for a donation from campers for up to four days.  I dropped a $20 in the deposit box.

$20 for four days was a pretty sweet deal!
Here's the data sheet on Britton City Park:

Hookups:                                             30 amp electric                                                           
Fire ring:                                              No fires allowed                                                        
Water Access:                                     No                                                                  
Fresh Water:                                        Yes, faucet behind the bathrooms                             
Trash Service:                                      Yes                                                     
Toilets:                                                Yes (flush)                                                     
Showers:                                             No                                                                  
Dump station:                                      Yes (by the bathrooms)                                              
WiFi:                                                   No                                                      
Level sites:                                          Yes                                         
Laundry:                                              No                                                      
Store:                                                   No (walking distance to a grocery)                            
Pool:                                                    No                                                      
Shade:                                                 Yes                                                     
Verizon reception:                                 4G, 3 out of 4 bars                                         
Internet reception:                                 3 bars                          
Cost:                                                   Free for 4 nights (donation requested)

The Mini's site under Britton Park's giant elms.
I usually try to contribute to a small town's economy if I'm staying there.  There wasn't a restaurant in Britton, (which seemed crazy for a town of 1200, not even a Subway?) so I shopped a couple times at Ken's Food Fair which was only a block from the park.  The weather during my four days at the park was just perfect, days in the 80's with light breezes and nights in the high 50's.  The traffic in Britton is very light so I got most of my walks in without seeing more than a couple cars.

I'm kind of surprised more small towns don't allow overnight camping in their city parks if only to keep RV'ers like myself from just driving through (and not spending any money) but way more prohibit it than allow it.  Either way Britton City Park is a great place to stay for a few days if you're ever in the area, I'm putting it on my "Will revisit" list!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Campground Review: Lyons City Overnight Trailer Park Lyons, Kansas

90 degree+ weather chased me into northern Kansas where I stopped for a few days at a little city park in the town of Lyons (population:  3737) that the city set up to allow RV'ers to overnight for up to five days with free electrical hookups. 

I'm always a sucker for free hookups!
The park is not overly large with perhaps a dozen gravel/grass RV sites, some well shaded, others, like mine, pretty out in the open.

The pickup detached from the Mini and ready to roam.

Here's the data sheet on the Lyons Overnight Trailer Park:

Hookups:                                             Electric (30 amp)                                                        
Fire ring:                                              No fires allowed                                                        
Water Access:                                     No                                                      
Fresh Water:                                        Yes                                                                 
Trash Service:                                      Yes                                                     
Toilets:                                                Yes (flush)                                                     
Showers:                                             Yes (cold only)                                                          
Dump station:                                      Yes                                         
WiFi:                                                   No                                          
Level sites:                                          Yes                                         
Laundry:                                              No                                                      
Store:                                                  No                                                                  
Pool:                                                   No                                          
Shade:                                                Yes                                         
Verizon reception:                                4G, 4 bars                                           
Internet reception:                                4 Bars                         
Cost:                                                  Free for up to 5 days

The park is located alongside a high school baseball field on the southwest part of town and is very quiet especially at night.  Every day at 9am a city attendant came by the park to replenish/clean the restrooms while I was there and a mowing crew came by to cut the park's grass.

Park playground for the kiddos. Baseball field in distance.
While there aren't water hookups for the sites there is a centrally located fresh water faucet in the middle of the park.

The central picnic area with water faucet on the right.
Of course the citizens of Lyons aren't hosting free electrical hookups out of the kindness of their hearts, they are hoping the RV'ers will shop and patronize their local businesses while camped there, I didn't disappoint them.  I ate two gargantuan breakfasts at a diner called Scrambled Sam's which I highly recommend for it's excellent omelets.

The Taco Omelet at Scrambled Sam's.  Almost too big to finish!
 I also replenished the Mini's beer supply at David's Liquor store in town (ahem) and filled up the truck at a Lyons gas station so, hopefully, the town got it's money's worth out of me in return for my stay.

Lyons is a quiet little town without a whole lot of traffic so I had no difficulty in finding routes for my daily walking.  Lyons Overnight Trailer Park is a little gem if your traveling east or west on Kansas 14, I definitely plan on staying there again on my next trip through Kansas.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

4th Anniversary

 I closed on the sale of my home in Katy, TX four years ago today.  I almost didn't make it to the closing because I foolishly ran the Tank out of gas a half mile from the title company's office.  My realtor brought me a gallon of gas from a nearby gas station and I made it to the closing with minutes to spare.

My old digs.
Leaving the title company I pointed the Tank north and made my way to Michigan in three days to enjoy several weeks of Michigan's wonderful summer weather and thus began my nomadic life!  My living conditions have been upgraded somewhat since I set out:

The Mini's great kitchen including microwave.
I love the nomadic life and have enjoyed seeing and camping in some of the most beautiful areas our country offers.  I know I've only scratched the surface in four years, heck if you notice the map of states I've camped in I'm still missing the eastern third of America!  I need to get busy!

Thanks for reading!