Big Sioux Recreation Area in Brandon, South Dakota is part of the State Park system and lies on the banks of the Big Sioux River. South Dakota’s largest city, Sioux Falls, is a short drive. The campground is very basic but well kept. The sites are large and as there weren’t a lot of people … Read more Big Sioux Recreation Area – Brandon, SD
Bunker Hills Campground is within Bunker Hills Regional Park in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. We stayed here a little short of a week so that we could visit a customer in the neighboring city of Anoka. The park had a really great feeling about it — the light always seemed magical, we ran into deer and … Read more Bunker Hills Campground – Coon Rapids, MN
While in our hometown of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, we found ourselves without a place to stay for Memorial Day Weekend. Whether it was poor planning or uncertainty of what the length of our stay in the area was going to be (we had already stayed for a month at a campground), we reached out … Read more Our First Time Boondocking
When we decided to purchase an Airstream, we chose to purchase new as opposed to renovating an old one. Actually, renovating wasn’t even a discussion, for many reasons: 1) We didn’t have the time to renovate; 2) We didn’t have the space to renovate; 3) We didn’t have the skills to renovate; and 4) We … Read more Making an Airstream a Home
I meant to write this post on our 100th day of full-time travel, which was April 24th, but as tends to happen, we got busy and I just didn’t get around to it soon enough, so 109 days will have to work. There are a lot of people out there considering the full-time travel lifestyle or … Read more Our First 109 Days
We are Travis and Missy, originally from a small city in Wisconsin. After living in San Diego for seven years, we decided to purchase a 2017 Airstream International Signature 27FB. We launched our full-time life on the road on January 15, 2018. Read more About Us
Questions? Comments? We’d love to hear from you! Send a message, leave a comment, or visit us on Instagram. If we’re on the road, connectivity may be an issue, so give us bit to get back to you. Read more Contact
Lake Mitchell Campground is a city-run campground on Lake Mitchell in Mitchell, South Dakota. Many of the sites are pretty shallow and difficult to get in to, so I’d recommend perusing the satellite view on Google Maps to figure out what works best. While there were full hookups at our site (site 30), the water hookup was too far back for our hose to reach. We only stayed two nights, so we just filled our water cans a couple of times and filled the fresh water tank. We didn’t utilize any of the amenities, so I can’t comment on their quality.
Address: 2601 N. Main Street, Mitchell, SD 57301
Phone: (605) 995-8450
Restrooms with Showers
Picnic Table and Fire Ring
There’s not a whole lot to do in Mitchell, except visit the Corn Palace. They were removing last years designs while we there, so the Corn Palace was minus some corn.
If we ever drive through this part of South Dakota again, we’ll probably avoid Mitchell altogether, as the campground was just okay and there’s not much to see or do.
Hartford Beach State Park is located on Big Stone Lake in Corona, South Dakota. There are two campgrounds, West Campground and East Campground, within the park, and we stayed in the larger East Campground. East Campground has 57 sites, all with electric hookup. As you drive into the campground, there’s a dump station with water fill. The sites are spacious with plenty of green space. We had a tree line along one side as well as the back of our site (33E), making it feel pretty private. Sites 62E, 61E, 59E and 57E are very spread out with a lot of room between them and the even numbered sites from 66E to 76E have a peak view of the lake. Although we didn’t use them, the bathrooms and showers are nice. All South Dakota State Park “Prime” Campgrounds are $21/night, plus a $6 daily park entrance license fee. The annual park license costs $30, which is the route we took, seeing as we’ll be staying at a few more SD State Parks in the upcoming weeks. If reservations are made online, there is a $7.70 reservation fee for non-residents (all phone reservations are $2), so a weekend for a non-resident can get a little pricey.
We decided to stay at the Minneapolis Southwest KOA on somewhat short notice. We had previously been staying at Minneopa State Park in Mankato, but were going to have to move from our site with electric hookup to a site without electric, as there were no electric sites available for the weekend. It was very hot and we were unsure of the park’s rules regarding generator use, so as we had to hitch up to move anyway, we decided we’d just move to a different park with hookups.
Both Travis and I felt the KOA had a creepy vibe — we’re just not sure why. The clientele was less than desirable, but that’s often the case on weekends at campgrounds like this. Whatever the reason was, we were happy to have full hookups.
We didn’t utilize any of the amenities except for filling our propane, so I can’t really comment on those. I can say that our spot was pretty tight, barely fitting our 28′ Airstream and Ford F-150. The ‘streets’ were even tighter and maneuvering within the campground was a little difficult, especially for big rigs.
We stayed at Red Fox Campground in Minneopa State Park in Mankato, Minnesota for three nights. The campground consists of two loops: A Loop has 34 sites and B Loop also has 34, six with electric hookups. The campground itself is very primitive, offering few amenities. However, the sites are very private, as you are in a heavily wooded area. We stayed here because we were visiting family in Mankato and there weren’t a lot of options in the area. We stayed from May 29 – June 1 and both the mosquitos and ticks were out in full force. When reserving online, there’s a $10 reservation fee in addition to the $29/night rate, plus a daily $7 park entrance fee (unless you have a MN State Parks pass). We paid a total of $118, or $39.33/night, which is too much for what you get, especially since we couldn’t enjoy being outside due to the bugs.
Address: 54497 Gadwall Road, Mankato, MN 56001
Phone: (507) 389-5464
Six sites with electric
A Loop has a restroom with showers
B Loop has one cabin for rent
Water fill is available in both loops
Dump station, though not within the campground
The park is small and in two parts. One area has the park office, a picnic area, and the Minneopa Falls waterfall. The other area is home to a bison enclosure (which you can drive through), the historic Seppmann Mill sandstone windmill, and the campground. There is a hiking trail near the Falls, but it’s currently closed because it’s washed out. There seemed to be some hiking trails throughout the park, but because of previously mentioned mosquitos and ticks, we didn’t take advantage of them. We did a very quick exploration of the park (because, mosquitos) including driving through the buffalo enclosure (we saw them from a distance), a drive by of the windmill, and a visit to the Falls.
As we drove across Wisconsin from spending some time in our hometown on the east side of the state, we needed a place to stop for a night on the west side of the state. We originally were going to attempt Veteran’s Memorial Campground in West Salem, which is a first come, first served spot that offers electricity, but after boondocking for the long Memorial Day weekend, we decided we’d rather have full hookups. We needed to empty our tanks and refill with water as the next place we were staying was electric hookup only.
I found Neshonoc on the Campendium App, and we decided to our take chances pulling into the campground on Memorial Day at 9am. In the office, I asked if they had a full hookup site available for the night and she said, “Sure, no problem!” I then asked if they had a full hookup site available right now for the night and she said, “That may be a problem.” She told me that people had definitely pulled out already that morning, she just didn’t know from what sites as they don’t have to check out when they leave. She gave me a map, told me where to look, and said to park at whatever site was open and to just let them know when we found one. Thankfully, we found a spot after driving around for a bit! We were also thankful that we were able to get parked and settled in before the rush of departing campers — the streets are narrow and don’t allow for two vehicles to pass each other which can make it difficult while you’re trying to park/leave. By noon, we had the place almost to ourselves! It was a tad less mosquitoey here and we were able to take advantage of the refreshing pool. We also appreciated the 20% they offer for veterans!
Address: N5334 Neshonoc Road, West Salem, WI 54669
After an aggressive travel schedule/route that began in Arizona, we made it to our hometown of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin on April 24th. There aren’t a lot of options within the city for places to stay with a travel trailer, so we opted for Breezy Hill Campground, which is located right outside of the city. There are obvious indicators of its formal life as a KOA, such as the distinct cabins and bright yellow benches, but Breezy Hill is in its fifth season as a privately owned, family run campground. When we pulled into Breezy Hill, they were less than a week out from a spring snow storm that left four inches on the ground. While there was very little snow left, it was quite wet throughout — and it remained that way during most of our month-long stay as it rained at least every other day. The campground is very well maintained and has a lot of amenities that cater to families. At least a third of the 144 sites are for seasonal (aka permanent) trailers and there are six sites that are year round with heated water so you don’t end up with frozen pipes. While busy on the weekends, the weekdays were very quiet, as there were usually only about a half dozen other sites occupied, including seasonals.
We spent a week at the fantastic Blue Springs Campground in Fleming Park in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, which is right outside Kansas City. The campground is run by Jackson County Parks + Rec. It’s well maintained, gated, and has two camphosts onsite that take turns manning the entrance booth. Travis had to travel to Minneapolis while we were here, which is why we picked this particular campground — it’s about a 40-minute drive to Kansas City International Airport. The Royals and Chiefs stadiums are about a 15-minute drive and downtown is about a 25-minute drive, so the location is pretty fantastic. It was quiet and peaceful during the week, while the weekend was a little more lively with the arrival of weekenders. We had full hookups at a rate of $33 per night. If we ever travel through the Kansas City area again, we will definitely return to Blue Springs Campground!
Address: 5400 NE Campground Road, Lee’s Summit, MO 64064
Phone Number: (816) 503-4805
Water Spigots Throughout Campground
There are so many things to do in the area that we easily could have spent another week here!
The campground itself is located in Fleming Park, which consists of two lakes; Blue Springs Lake and Lake Jacomo. There are plenty of seasonal water-centric activities such as fishing, sailing, swimming, and boating as well as a number of hiking, biking, and horse riding trails.
There is also a reproduction of an antebellum farming community, Missouri Town 1855, comprised of buildings and homes that date from 1830-1880 that were dismantled in their original locations and moved here to be reassembled. There are chickens, sheep, a horse, a mule and pigs that live on site.
In another area of Fleming Park, there’s a native hoofed animal enclosure where you can feed elk and American bison.
There are some great museums in Kansas City that I highly recommend visiting.
The National WWI Museum and Memorial was designated America’s official museum dedicated to World War I in 2004. I spent two hours there and barely scratched the surface. The museum tells the story of the Great War and related global events from their origins before 1914 through the 1918 armistice and 1919 Paris Peace Conference.
After the museum, I ate lunch at The Russell, just a short drive up the street. The menu is limited, but I had a hard time choosing as everything sounded amazing. My sandwich was delicious and I grabbed a yummy cupcake to go.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art maintains a diverse collection of over 40,000 pieces of art including contemporary, photography, African, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, European, Chinese, South Asian, Japanese, American Indian, and American. Whatever your flavor — they have it. The best part?! The museum is free!
Lee’s Summit is also in close proximity to Independence, Missouri, which is the hometown of President Harry Truman and the location of the Truman Home and Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. The house, which he and his family lived in before, during and after his presidency, was bequeathed to the United States upon his wife Bess’s death and is taken care of by the National Park Service. Nothing has been touched and it’s so interesting to get a glimpse into their lives after their White House years. Unfortunately, no pictures are allowed in the house.
After the house, we visited the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, with a replica of his Oval Office and other mementos from his life and presidency. He and Bess, as well as their daughter Margaret and her husband, are buried in the courtyard.
Also in Independence: His childhood home and high school, Clinton’s Drugstore (his first job), the church where the Trumans were married, and the Jackson County Courthouse where he served as judge.
We loved exploring the area around Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs Campground and hope to make it back in the future to what else the area has to offer.
As we continue our journey towards Wisconsin, we made what was supposed to be a two-night stop, but became a three-night stop, in Dodge City, Kansas. The weather along our route has been cold and windy and we decided to sit tight an extra day when our original travel day had a forecast of sustained winds of 35 mph with gusts up to 50.
Fort Dodge RV Park is a fairly new, well laid-out park. We had a long pull through site with full hookups. Due to the below freezing temps, we filled our fresh water tank upon arrival and put the hose away for the rest of our stay so it wouldn’t freeze. During our stay, we left the trailer once to go to the grocery store and once to drive around town to check things out. Otherwise, we stay snuggled inside to avoid the brutal wind and cold temps.
Even though the park was nice, we wouldn’t stay again, for two reasons: 1) Dodge City doesn’t really have a lot happening, and 2) The park just doesn’t feel secure and we felt like sitting ducks at times. Surrounding the RV park is a soccer field, a dog park, a city park with free zoo, and a water park. The soccer field is so close to the RV park property that on our first night there, people watching soccer parked in the RV park parking lot and sat at their picnic tables. Anyone and everyone had access to the RV park, because there’s no gate. This must be a continuing issue for them because the main building (office/store, bathrooms/showers, laundry room, storm shelter) has a sign on the door that says ‘No Public Restrooms’. At one point, we were the only ones staying in the park and seeing as the office is only open from 4pm-8pm, we were often completely alone. I usually use the showers at parks/campgrounds if they’re decent because I like to take a long shower when I can and it’s easier to wash my hair than it is in the Airstream, but the accessibility of this place to the outside world made me uncomfortable – anyone could walk into the bathroom at any moment. The facilities, however, are very nice, and when there are more people around, I’m sure there’s a different vibe.
We stayed at Northern Plain Campground in Lake Pueblo State Park in Pueblo, Colorado for two nights. Lake Pueblo, rated a fishing “hot spot,” provides over 4,600 surface acres of water, 60 miles of shoreline and almost 10,000 acres of land. The park has three campgrounds and all three have very limited availability during the time of year that we visited, which was April 10-12. Reservations for Northern Plain Campground need to be made on www.reserveamerica.com. This particular campground has 217 campsites, but only 14 are open (and only five were occupied) this time of year, which made for a very quiet and peaceful stay.
Unfortunately, we did have one issue. When we arrived at our site, someone had piled stuff on the picnic table and placed a reserved placard in the site marker. The campground registration office was not open, as it’s off season, and there’s a self-pay kiosk. There is also a note posted on the window of the office that sites are available by reservation. We assumed that whomever put their stuff in our site did not know a reservation was needed and since a vehicle was not there, we just pulled into the site and started setting up. When we were just about finished, a man pulled up in his truck camper pulling a boat, yelling at us that this was his site. As we figured this might happen, I already had my confirmation email pulled up on my phone. I showed it to him and he just kept saying, “How was I supposed to know. No one told me.” He was incredibly angry and almost ran over my toes as he gunned his truck up the road to the next site. He moved all his stuff, but he wasn’t happy about it. It was an uncomfortable situation and we were happy when he decided to leave altogether a couple hours later. From that point on, it was quiet and relaxing. Coincidentally, or maybe not, the next day a park ranger came through the campground and put reserved placards with dates on all the site markers. We used the showers once, and they’re pretty decent, although there’s no temperature control — luckily the water heated up nicely.
The site was $24/night, plus $7/day for the daily park entrance fee.
Address: 640 Pueblo Reservoir Road, Pueblo, CO 81005
Phone Number: (719) 561-9320
Bathrooms with Flush Toilets
Covered Picnic Table
We went out for dinner and drinks one night to Brues Alehouse, located along the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk. Travis raved about the Leadhead IPA. Not a beer drinker? No worries — they serve cocktails too! We split the Charcuterie and Cheese Plate as well as the Berry Margarita Salad with Chicken. Everything was delicious and the location along the river can’t be beat, but most importantly, their patio is dog friendly! After dinner, we went for a walk along the riverwalk where we were lucky enough to see an otter grooming himself.
Our stay in Pueblo was a relaxing one, but that was probably due to the fact that we were there during the off season. I imagine that when the campgrounds are open fully and at capacity, the vibe is a little different.
We stopped in Santa Fe for less than 20 hours and saying that’s too brief an amount of time in that city is an understatement. We look forward to when we’re able to return and explore more. That being said, while in Santa Fe, we stayed at Santa Fe Skies RV Park. We didn’t have a lot of time to explore the RV park, but from what we experienced, it’s a nice, clean, quiet park located 15-20 minutes from everything Santa Fe has to offer. The gentleman that checked us in was very nice and we were able to get our propane filled while there.
Address: 14 Browncastle Ranch, Santa Fe, NM 87508
Phone Number: (877) 565-0451
After getting settled into our site at Santa Fe Skies, we went to get a bite to eat at a local brewery, Duel Brewing. For drinks, Travis had the Bad Amber ale and I had a Pinon Kola — both were great. To eat, we split the Frankenthaler (smoked trout sandwich) and the Pollock (meatball sandwich) and they were so, so good. If you’re ever in the area, stop in.
And while you’re still in the neighborhood, check out Meow Wolf, an immersive interactive art experience. From their website: “Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is an explorable, immersive art installation filled with technology and fantastic environments to inspire visitors of all ages. The wildly imaginative art space is a collaboration of over 100 local artists and is a unique combination of children’s museum, art gallery, jungle gym, and fantasy novel.” It’s really something that needs to be experienced firsthand in order to understand it.