Independence, MO, to Frankfort, KY
It was a short drive of only about two hours from Blue Springs Campground near Independence, MO, to our next stop in Columbia, MO, where we stayed at Cottonwoods RV Park, a Good Sam park. Cottonwoods RV has paved roads and patios and gravel pads with grass between the sites and a some smaller trees for a little shade. There are a few back-in sites along one side, but most of the sites are pull-throughs. There are full hookups, some with 30-amp electric and some with 30/50-amp, and there is free Wi-Fi.
Although the sites are relatively long, they are a little narrow. There is one row of extra-cost premium pull-throughs that are extra-extra long. The photo below shows our standard pull-through site at Cottonwoods RV.
The next photo is a view down the road past our site.
There was a little traffic noise from the four-lane highway that went past the campground, and we could hear the PA announcer over at the fairgrounds next door on the weekend. However, it was hot so we ran the air the whole time we were there, and the outside noises weren't that noticeable.
Our summer travels are beginning to wind down now that we are heading back east. We scheduled four days in Columbia so we could relax and so we wouldn't be traveling over the weekend. Although there are a few things to do in Columbia, MO, we didn't make any sightseeing plans.
We did make a Walmart run (actually we stopped at Walmart several times while we were in Columbia), and we went to the Boone County Farmers Market on the western side of downtown on Saturday. The market had about a dozen vendors, and they had a nice selection of local produce.
We bought some zucchini and a tomato. The zucchini was a new variety of golden zucchini that was outstanding. It had a somewhat nuttier and sweeter flavor than regular green zucchini. The tomato was excellent, too. What a treat to have locally-grown, fresh produce. Walmart saves us a lot of money on groceries, but produce isn't one of their strong suits - sometimes it's OK, other times not so much.
From Columbia, it was a little longer drive of about four hours to our next stop. We drove through St. Louis, and Margery got a nice shot of the arch as we passed by.
We planned to stop at at Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area in Whittington, IL. The recreation area has over 200 sites, most of which are first come-first served, so we didn't make reservations. From a satellite view on Google Maps, we could see the campground was heavily wooded, but it looked like there might be a few sites where we could get satellite.
We parked the motor home near the entrance, unhooked the toad, and drove through the campground. Wow! Although it was even more wooded than we thought, there was a lot of dappled sunshine. Had we not been concerned about satellite reception, it would have been a campground that we would have enjoyed.
We found a couple of sites we thought might work; but they had very few 50-amp sites, and all the ones where we thought might get satellite were 30 amps. Thirty amps is fine in cooler weather, but when it's sunny, hot and humid, we need 50-amp service to run both air conditioners to keep the rig cool during the day.
Earlier, at the interstate exit, we saw a sign for a private campground nearby, so we decided to give them a call to see if they had any sites where they thought we could get satellite reception before we tried any of the sites at Wayne Fitzgerrell. The name of the other campground was Whittington Woods, so we didn't have much hope since they had "Woods" in their name, but we figured it was worth a shot. To our surprise, they said they had a full hookup, 50-amp site available where they were sure we could get good satellite reception.
Whittington Woods was a bit more expensive than Wayne Fitzgerrell, but at about $30 with a Good Sam discount, it wasn't unreasonable for a full hookup, pull-through, 50-amp site. Wayne Fitzgerrell is $20 a night for electric only, and only a handful of sites have 50 amps.
Whittington Woods has nice, fresh gravel on the roads and pads. There is grass between most of the sites, but it's a little sparse because of all the shade, which is heavier overall than Wayne Fitgerrell. There are both pull-throughs and back-ins. The next photo shows our site at Whittington Woods. You can see our dish pointing at the small, sunny opening in the trees. Actually, it looked like the two sites next to us would have also worked for satellite, but they recommended the site they gave us as THE satellite site.
The sites were pretty narrow, but the campground wasn't anywhere near full so we had plenty of space and privacy. There is a fair amount of traffic noise from nearby I-57, and it would have been pretty noticeable if we hadn't had the air conditioner running all night.
<We originally planned to stay at Wayne Fitzgerrell for two nights, but after we changed our plans on where to stay, we also changed our plans on how long to stay and decided to move on the next morning. We were able to hook up the toad the night before to get an early (for us) start around 9:00 AM. We had a drive of almost five hours (including a fuel stop), plus we lost an hour to the time change from Central to Eastern Daylight time.
Our next stop was at Still Waters Campground north of Frankfort, KY, which is near Lexington, where we planned to stay for a week. We originally wanted to stay at the Kentucky Horse Park camping area in Lexington because it would have been more centrally located to some of the things we wanted to do; but there is a major equestrian event at the Horse Park for the month of October, and the campground was closed to the public in October AND September so they can make the campground into a "grooms' village" for the event.
Still Waters is a gem. It's about 10 miles north of Frankfort making it pretty far out of the way, but that wasn't all bad. There were no trains, no interstate noise, and it was far enough from the two-lane road that passed by the entrance you could hardly even hear the small amount of local traffic. The campground wasn't real full, and it was very, very quiet. The weather even cooled off to the low 80s during the day and the 50s at night so we could open the windows and hear the crickets.
Still Waters has gravel roads and pads that are grassy gravel. All the sites are back-ins, and there is a mixture of full hookup, water and electric only, 30-amp and 50-amp sites. We had a full-hookup site with 50 amps. There is no Wi-Fi and no cable, but that doesn't bother us. We could easily spend a month here which we have noted for the future.
As you can see from the photo below taken looking down the road toward our site, the grassy sites are fairly widely spaced. There is also a nice mix of sun and shade.
There appeared to be a fair number of seasonals, but the sites all looked relatively neat. One or two of the RVs were older, but they were all in good condition. About our only complaint about the campground was some of the roads are a bit uneven, which means you have to drive the RV very slowly. The peace and quiet more than made up for a few dips in the road.
We're planning some sightseeing in the Frankfort/Lexington area, so stay tuned; and we'll tell you what we found.