RV Adventures with Bug Smacker

Outdoor Adventures – Saginaw Bay Resort

We checked into the Saginaw Bay Outdoor Adventures Resort the week just before school let out for the summer and the park filled up with people.Saginaw Bay Resort

We found a nice end site with full hookups. The only downside was that the electric for this site was only 30amp. This is usually not a problem except the temperature outside is now pushing 100 degrees. The 30amp line meant that we could only run one AC unit.

The next night a storm passed through. This lowered the temperature and humidity quite at bit afterward. The rain pushed most people into their campers to ride out the storm. However, the people next to us just grabbed all their beer, huddled under the camper awning and continued partying into the wee morning hours.

The second week at the park we had to go to work during the day. We really don’t mind this as we can return in the evening to enjoy being away from home (and away from all the household chores).

One morning before work, I went out to dump the tanks. When I opened the valve the hose sprayed water from a small slash in the side. On the plus side, I did notice that the grass had been freshly weed whacked around my RV. I mentioned that my sewer hose had gotten damaged to a park worker that morning. He said he would leave a note for the park manager. I returned that evening after work to find a brand new hose installed on my RV. That was very nice of them.

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Traverse City State Park

On the Friday of the Memorial Holiday weekend the state park workers were still mowing, weed whacking, blowing and raking leaves. Did they not know the holiday was approaching and that the park was going to be packed with campers?

During one of my walks around the park, I ran into Charlotte Kiefer, the Park Supervisor for Traverse City State Park. When I asked why the park hadn’t been ready prior to our arrival, I was told they were working until it started to rain on Friday. She explained that the late spring snow and some water main problems got them off to slow start this year. I am glad I got the chance to talk to her and even more appreciative that she took the time to explain these things to me.

Weeds Weeds

Our campsite never did get mowed before or during our stay. The weeds were higher than the campfire ring. They did show up to mow on the day of our departure.

Weeds Weeds

The pollen was extremely bad over the weekend, as you can see by our windshield on the truck.


Saturday, we ran over to the Underground Cheesecake shop only to discover that they were sold out of cheesecake. Go figure!

On the plus side, the weather was a lot better than we expected it was going to be. It rained but not very often. When it did rain it was brief and followed shortly by the sun.

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Little River Casino RV Park

Big Lake BuffetIt’s my BIRTHDAY…HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TO ME! I’m gonna eat Prime Rib and Crab Legs till I can’t eat no more!

That’s right for my birthday weekend I elected to head to Little River Casino. I was looking forward to sitting in their brand new hot tub, after eating a great dinner, and after winning loads of cash in the casino.

Well, I guess 1 out of 3 ain’t bad. I did get to enjoy the best meal I have had all year and Terri & I have been to a lot of great restaurants that offered some terrific meals. This just happened to be the one that topped them all. The Prime Rib was hand cut into juicy, tender, thick, succulent slices. The Crab Legs were done to perfection. The best part was these along with several other selections were offered on a Buffet allowing me unlimited access. Couldn’t think of a better Birthday Treat.

As for the Hot Tub, well all we got to see was this sign.


Did we win big at the slots? Nope, not even close! My promotional birthday money was gone in half the time it took to have them put it on my player’s card to begin with. No Joke! This place was horrible. The only winning I was gonna see was at the Buffet. I definitely beat the “House Odds” there!

As Terri and I were kicking it back in the lobby I happened to see a familiar face walking down the hall towards us. It was Gary “Lambo” from work. That was a nice surprise.

Overnight it snowed. Really? It’s the middle of May! The neighbors all gathered the next morning to see that Frosty had come back to life on the hood of my truck.

snow snowman

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Renfro Valley RV Park

Renfro Valley RV ParkFollowing a long days drive and a really great meal from Tony Gore’s BBQ in Tennessee, we were getting pretty tired and needed to find a place to setup camp for the night. Since we were northbound on I-75 in Kentucky at this point, we first thought of the Kentucky Horse Park. I got on the phone and called to see if they had a spot for us. They informed me that they happened to be full, so we now needed to think of a new plan.

I saw another place on the map called Renfro Valley RV Park. We had heard of this place but had never stayed there before. We thought this would be a good time to check it out.

Check-in was a bit challenging. We drove right past the office then took a chance turning on a road where we didn’t know if we could turn around or not. We got lucky. Upon our arrival at the office, we found the quarters to be a bit tight there as well for getting back out.

We chose to spend the night in the 50 amp section. The park offers Cable TV hookups, 30 & 50 Amp electric service, Water & Sewer, Convenient coin laundry, Bath House, some shaded creekside sites, pull-thru sites available up to 46′, a dumping station and 24-Hour Security.

The park was pretty nice. The sites are gravel. They were level, quite large and each was a pull-through.

The location was close to the expressway and we found it a good place to spend the night while traveling. I wish it wasn’t so far from home. Renfro Valley is host to several events, shows, and concerts throughout the summer. It would be a lot of fun to come back for some of them.

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Ocean Lakes Family Campground

We originally were headed to Pigeon Forge. We had reservations and everything. Then at the last minute, after several previous attempts a spot opened up at Ocean Lakes Family Campground for the dates we were to be on vacation. Better yet, it wasn’t just any old spot it happened to be our very favorite spot in the whole park. So we booked it and headed to the BEACH!

Ocean Lakes Family CampgroundThe plan was to take a couple of days to get there but with all the excitement we arrived a day early. We knew our site was not available so we checked into another one. Our site had an empty trailer sitting on it. The owners must have gone home already. Their RV was stored at the park between visits so we just needed to wait until the park trailer towing guys showed up to move it out of our way.

We kept a close watch and bright & early the next morning we noticed the trailer getting towed away. So we gathered up our stuff and jumped onto our new site. We just totally love the beach here with the gentle breeze and sounds of the waves coming in from the ocean.

During any one of our several walks down the beach, we would encounter seashells, jellyfish, pelicans, kids building sand castles, people sunbathing, kite flying, football tossing and picnics. On one occasion we discovered baby turtles fleeing from the sea (I believe that the rain the previous night caused the inland ponds to overfill and the storm drains washed the turtles out to sea). They were now just trying to get home.

Ocean Lakes Family Campground Ocean Lakes Family Campground Ocean Lakes Family Campground Ocean Lakes Family Campground

Ocean Lakes is adding a new two-acre water park to its Sandy Harbor Family Fun Center this year. It will open sometime this spring. The new water park will feature a 705 foot long “Adventure River at Sandy Harbor.” The hybrid lazy river features a speed lane called “The Rapids” and a slide known as “The Tube” which lands in the Adventure River. The 28,110 square feet of water surface in the park will also include a new kid-themed “Splash Zone,” a semi-covered kiddie pool called the “Tad Pool,” and a four-lane “Drop Zone Mat Racer” that will begin 35 feet up in the air. The lounge area will also be expanded to 61,232 square feet of pool deck, complete with cabanas.

Ocean Lakes Family Campground Ocean Lakes Family Campground Ocean Lakes Family Campground Ocean Lakes Family Campground

This trip we decided to rent a golf cart. This proved to be a great way to get out and meet new friends. We met a guy who had worked for Kodak that was stopping here on his way home to New York. The day that we had to return our golf cart we ran into another couple from New York and started chatting. We had a lot in common with them. The next day they rented a golf cart and ran into us at our site. The day we left we ran into them again on the drive home.

Ocean Lakes Family CampgroundWe had a very nice chat with a guy from Ohio that owned a Jayco just like ours. He shared with us all the modifications he had done to his rig. We even had a woman down the street offer us brownies that she had just made in the oven in the kitchen of her brand new RV (Terri said afterwards “I didn’t know RV’s even had ovens, isn’t that the place where we keep our bread?.. LOL)

We enjoyed several great meals during our stay in Myrtle Beach. We ate at Angelo’s, Dagwood’s, Eggs Up Grill, Bullys Pub, Nacho Hippo, Creek Rats, Carolina Roadhouse, Meet N Eat Cafe and The Original Benjamin’s.

We discovered a NEW favorite this year, Simply Southern Smokehouse. Simply Southern offers: Barbecue, Fried Chicken,  Ribs, Barbecue Chicken, Chicken and Dumplings, Sweet Potatoes, Rice/Gravy, Macaroni and cheese, Collards, Biscuits/Cornbread, Peach Cobbler, Banana Pudding and Ice cream just to name a few. It is the best deal on home cooked southern favorites you can find anywhere. I like to tell people that this place fills me with “Smoky Goodness”.

Simply Southern Smokehouse Simply Southern Smokehouse

The one thing we could have done without during our stay at Ocean Lakes was the Ducks. We were told that the people who occupied our site before us fed them cracked corn. Now that we moved in we could not get rid of them. They are messy little creatures and boy are they noisy. We had the pleasure of getting to hear them quack all day and all night. The only thing louder than the ducks were the drunk karaoke singers from the Quarterdeck Beach Bar next door to us. On one occasion while the ducks were on our lawn sunbathing we had a couple on a golf cart stop to ask if I had painted them myself. I just replied ” yes and you are welcome to take as many as you would like, they’re free”.


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