Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Moving south to warmer weather-we hope

Wednesday November 6-Friday November 8, 2013
Santee State Park
Santee, SC




Carolina Cross Roads


We left Charlottesville at 12:12PM on Wednesday and drove 158 miles on a combination of I 64 and I 95 to arrive at RV Resort at Carolina Crossroads in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.  We had stayed here a couple of other times in years past when it was just opening and had nothing but the sites and a little check in booth.  We stopped because of the Passport America rate of $21.50 for 30 amps FHU.  But when I went to register, I was told that they don’t honor PPA in November.  On the PPA website it says available only Monday-Thursday, for only one night and not in April or October.  So I thought we were great, 1 Wednesday night in November.   When I suggested they might want  to  update the Passport site if it was incorrect, I was told “we’re going to drop Passport anyway”.  The man at the desk was quite surly.  But we had a gravel  pull through over night site for $30 which is ok for the convenience of being right off 95 but it was his attitude I found offensive so I emailed PPA and was amazed at how quickly they got back to me and are investigating the situation.  This is an excellent park for an overnight coming down I 95 as it  is far enough off the road to be very quiet.  We may well stay here again but be aware not to expect the PPA discount and I suggest you call ahead to see just what the rules are if it matters to you.  I was  not back in camera groove yet so I borrow this shot off of the web.  It looks exactly like our site although there were fewer rigs there Wednesday night.





I-95 and Sleepy Bear 024


We were up and on the road by 9:00 for another 159 mile drive further on down I-95 where we stayed right by the South Carolina line at Sleepy Bear’s RV  Park in Lumberton.  We should have driven on  to Santee State Park and skipped this. 

It would have been 281 miles for us in one day which is pretty unusual but we were up and  out early enough since there was nothing to do but disconnect.   The drive down I-95 was extremely easy so we could have gone another 2.5 hours and still been at Santee by late afternoon.  We’ve found that keeping Winnona at 50-55mph improves her gas mileage as much as 1.5 mpg.

After we got to Sleepy Bear so early in the day we were really wishing we had just gone on.  But we  didn’t. 

Sleepy Bear is a Good Sam park so we got a 10% discount on a gravel pull through FHU.  Cost about the same as yesterday.  $29.70.  The site is a lot like yesterday’s too.  But this park isn’t nearly as nice and is pretty much ON I-95.  We can see it out the windows and definitely hear it. 



I-95 and Sleepy Bear 026


Unlike the guy at Crossroads, the folks who run this park are very friendly and accommodating but the  park  is quite run down.  You can see some “vintage” rigs all lined up in their “storage area” in the Duckie view.  That’s a tractor trailer on I95 right behind the Airstream.  

Sleepy Bear is ok  for an overnight but if we come from Charlottesville down this way again I think we’ll just go on to our next destination.

We did run into several of Winnona’s maiden aunts though.  They seemed a bit sad to be stuck here.   One was a more distant relative and the other was a seriously vintage Brave.  They are a great size I think especially for singles. I wonder why no one makes this sort of  RV anymore.


Great Aunt Mable

I-95 and Sleepy Bear 012




I-95 and Sleepy Bear 011




Great Aunt Matilda

I-95 and Sleepy Bear 017I-95 and Sleepy Bear 021




 Santee SP 006

With only a 122 mile drive, even with dragging our feet we arrived  at Santee State Park by noon which was intentional since David has to have a blood draw  today before starting back  on his main medication, revlimid.  

Once we got set up, he drove  over to Orangeburg  22 miles away and got  it taken care  of.  Although we have to plan  our travels around these blood draws, he is thankful for the ability to get this blood work done in  many places around the country.

Santee State Park is right on HUGE 110,000 acre Lake Marion.  That’s it right behind Winnona.  We haven’t seen much of the park yet but we know there are 3 short hiking trails and of course the huge lake and a 7.5 mile sandy bike trail which I assume is more for “mountain” bikes than hybrids even though there is nothing remotely like a mountain here.   We also haven’t seen the other campground.  Santee State Park has two.  We are in  Lake Shore.  The other and smaller one, Cypress View,  is about 4 miles away near the camp store and ranger’s station.

What we have seen so far is that the park is rustic,  similar to Hunting Island with a lake rather than an ocean shore.   The roads are sandy and sketchy so if you are bringing in a big rig you want to be careful and go very slowly.  We can kayak right off the lake shore behind Winnona.  SWEET!  IF the winds die down that is.  I’ll let you know more after our week-end experience.  

On  Monday we move to Edisto Island.   So far we haven’t found any warmer weather.  It was in the low 30’s last night and the upper 30’s tonight.  Wonder what the weather’s like when winter actually comes here.   Maybe we should cut and run directly to Florida. :-)


Lake Marion shore directly behind Winnona.Santee SP 009

Footnote:  David wants to go to Yosemite this next summer.  If any of you have been there and have advice for us particularly about the best route into the park and where to camp for 35’ Winnona and Ruby on her dolly, please let me know.


  1. I recognized that first picture right off the bat. Sorry they didn't honor PPA but sometimes when you're going from point A to point B, it's cheeper to pay more for a nice place near the highway than to pay for the gas to find something else. It will get warmer.

  2. We passed by both of those parks (Santee & Edisto) on the way here. It has been in the 80's daytime and 60's nightime down here in Florida. Come on down!

  3. I am always amazed at your ability to take me right along with you on these less notable legs of your travels.

    It may be time for you to swallow your pride and try a free overnight in a Wal-Mart or somewhere. Just think how much Jamaican me Crazy you could eat to make up for the inconvenience!

  4. If you are planning on a summer trip to Yosemite, I would recommend staying at the RV park in Lee Vining. Not a long drive into the east entrance to the park, and much less crowded than the Valley in the summer. The crowds and traffic on our one drive into the Valley in August were a big turnoff. Plus the Tioga Pass Road part of the park is so very scenic and much less visited. Also there are lots of other places to see and hikes around Lee Vining and Mono Lake that aren't in the park proper but are every bit as beautiful. And you're not far from June Lake and Mammoth Lakes. We just loved it there!

  5. I've been RVing for a number of years and it is very rare that I see more than two people traveling and camping together in a rig. Yet, the RV manufacturers insist on building impractical RVs that can "Sleep 6" or Sleep 8".

    That small Brave is nothing to scoff at. All one has to do is visit eBay and witness the unprecedented flurry of successful auctions for older and smaller motorhomes. If eBay is any kind of barometer of things to come, then my predicition is the old adage, "Smaller is better".

    Sadly the RV industry is still asleep and unaware of the ongoing popularity of the older style and smaller size motorhomes. Alas, sensibility needs to be considered in the current designs.

  6. Woo Hoo -- on the road again! Just keep truckin' south and you'll find the warmer temps.

  7. The old rigs live on with fix em up, guys like two of my friends. The effort is beyond my abilities. Enjoy your travels South. Been in the mid 30's here in Anchorage, night lows in the mid 20's. 6 days until we fly South.

  8. I hope if you begin your travels west in April, and head west on I-10, that you'll stop off in Winnie, TX, so we can finally meet up.

    Will you take a drive up to Congaree NP while you are at Santee?

  9. I'm not fond of RV parks like those first two, but for an overnight they will do. Where you are now looks great on the lake. Some of those old RVs just never die. If you're going all the way to Yosemite I think Grand Canyon could be on the way.

  10. You are heading in generally the right direction:) Panhandle FL is going down into the high 40's tonight:)

  11. maiden aunts … HAHaaaa Mable and Matilda… hahaaa

    and Yes… I went to Yosemite and blogged about it… I can tell you… it was dry dry dry … the Falls were NOT there… unbelievable. Ranger said it had been a low snow winter and hardly any summer rain…. not good

    It was still gorgeous though but I have to image how it would have been if the Falls and the water was full… lemme fetch that post. well, shoot… you got a few months but…


  12. We have visited but never stayed at Santee SP. It is convenient if you are heading down I-95 and it IS rustic;o))

    I am hoping that you are experiencing winter and it will be over by the time we get back to South Carolina;o)))

  13. I don't know we ate by the water outside last night and almost froze to death - it was like 65 :)

  14. We are also finding the cold tiring...we are in VA with our daughter..(the visit is well worth the cold weather) ...I will be glad to hit the Fl sunshine and warmth tho...if we hang in this area much longer I will have to buy winter clothes lol

  15. You're getting closer all the time…It's low eighties during the day and sixties at night now….At least in Bradenton…C'mon down! :-)

  16. Sorry you haven't found any warmer weather. It's pretty cold here (27 degrees this am) and after having lived on the Ga/Fl border, I can tell you you need to get to central Florida to get more consistent warm temps.

  17. While you may not have found the warm weather you're headed in the right direction. Sat outside reading the other day and my legs got a bit of color, low 70's daytime and high 30's at night. Visited Yosemite pre rv days so can't recommend a campground but what a beautiful park it is. Stay warm..

  18. You're off again! Good for you for complaining to PPA - I'm glad they are investigating! I'm sure the temperatures will get warmer - no doubt about that. Lucky it was only one night with that I-95 view - poor RVs having to sit there day after day - lol. So funny how we personify vehicles. I bet Winnona is happy to be on the road again! Lake Marion looks lovely. Yosemite next summer! I am SO there ;)

  19. I envy your time on Edisto and can't wait to read your posts while there. It's one of our favorite places. Many good family times spent in "Carolina Blue" at 132 Palmetto Ave., although we've been told it's getting quite run down and needs some updating. Hopefully the weather will turn and you'll have some glorious November days. Tough days here, Bill is reaching "low point" of cycle 2 and as you well know, it's not pleasant. Knowing you've been there and are thinking about him helps!.

  20. You might give Park of the Sierras a try if you are a member of the Escapees RV Club. The park is near Coarsegold and south of Yosemite. They charge $16 per night for full hookups and 50 amp. It is a nice park with sites set in the oak and manzanita trees.

  21. Well- even if it's cold, the water is pretty. RVing next to I-95 would be gross. Can't imagine wanting to stay any of those campgrounds. The RV campground in Kitty Hawk is between the beach road and highway 158. Ick. It's cold here and they are predicting rain or SNOW on Tuesday. You got out of here just in time. Happy trails on your way to warm weather. XXXOOO

  22. Sorry to hear that about a Passport America. We've used them extensively on this trip. Well, we are a day ahead of you! Just left St. Helena Island, SC, near Hunting Island, though we didn't stay there this time.

  23. The Great Aunts sure make Winnona look good!

  24. Hey, Sherry, email me and we will talk about your visit to Yosemite. You know that I lived near there for four years, and mapped the Sierra's around the park. Sure am looking forward to having you out west next year!

  25. As Jim said, the east side of the Sierra's and Lee Vining are a better way to see the park. Besides, you will LOVE Mono Lake, I am sure of it.

  26. Glad to see you back on the road! Love PPA, sorry it didn't for you at Carolina Crossroads. We've thought about staying there when we travel I-95 but if they are going to mislead customers and even be surely, we'll pass.

    Loved the pictures of the old Winnies, especially the "Eye Brow" Brave. Built to last. :c)

    I'm back to limited reading and I just HAD to find out what you're up to. Makes my day to read of your adventures. :c)

  27. The picture with David in it pointing to the Brave sure brings back memories. We had one years ago. That was our first motorhome; traveled up & down the west coast & even into Canada. Ours was the green colour; needless, to say inside didn't stay green very long. Liz-Boise, ID


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