Our first year of RVing officially began September 5, 2005 when we took delivery of our 2006 Allegro Bus @ Kings Campers. What a year! Our experiences were unforgettable and we both feel the RV lifestyle is even better than we had expected. We logged 9,200 miles in the Bus, traveled through 11 states, camped in 10 at 31 campgrounds and even spent one night in Canada on our maiden voyage.
Since Tom is still working fulltime, our trips are limited to long weekends, a few longer trips in the Spring & Summer and about 10 days over Christmas. Because we took delivery of our Bus in Wisconsin we were able to visit many states that normally would be difficult for us to see - so the number of states we visited this 1st year was pretty unusual.
Here are the key stops we made this 1st year and a few highlights (excludes most overnight CGs)
Fall 2005 - Wausau, WI; Mackinaw City, MI; Traverse City, MI; Ontario, Canada; Milton, PA; Pinehurst, NC; Marion, NC
After taking delivery of our Bus in Wausau, we headed out on our maiden voyage to return to North Carolina - our home. Since we
were so far North, we decided to return home after visiting parts of Michigan and then move East then South.
We traveled on Route 2 and 31 around Lake Michigan - a superb drive especially on a sunny day.
We spent 4 nights visiting Mackinaw City and and the Traverse City area - including Sleeping Bear Dunes. Heading south we spent the night at Port Huron and then crossed into Canada. Due to our time constraints, we only stayed 1 night @ the Lundy’s Lane KOA so we could see Niagara Falls. A short stay - but atleast we saw it.
Our drive continued down thru New York and into Pennsylvania. Traveling on Route 15 through the PA countryside was an unexpected surprise - simply beautiful.
We happened to land in Milton, PA the same weekend of the Hershey PA RV Show. Although Hershey is about 1 hour South of Milton, we were ready for a break so we stayed 2 nights @ Shangri-La on the Creek and took in 1 day at the show. A trip down memory lane as this is the RV show where we first saw the Bus.
Winter 2005 - Cape Hatteras, NC; Port St. Lucie, FL; Santa Rosa Beach, FL; Red Bay, AL
We headed to the Outer Banks for our first Thanksgiving away from home and stayed at Camp Hatteras CG.
Unfortunately it was cold, extremely windy. and lots of things were closed for the season. We did enjoy the Wright Bros. Memorial, and took the ferry to Ocracoke Island, etc. Though we could not go up into the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse - we did see it and it is massive. The wind was incredible — we even pulled in our slides at night so we would not have to listen to the slide toppers flapping and Tom joked that if the wind ever stopped we’d probably fall over.
This was also the first year we did not spend Christmas & New Years at home. We flew our kids (who are in their 20’s) to NC for an early Christmas and then we took the Bus to Florida to spend Christmas with Tom’s folks. The day we headed out - we had a slight delay as Tom hit his head on our bedroom slide. It was a bad cut that required seven stitches to fix. Ouch!
We stayed @ Port St. Lucie Motorcoach Resort - about 1 hour North of Boynton Beach, FL where Tom’s folks spend their winters.
We spent 2 nights with his folks and then brought them back to the resort on Christmas day to get their first look at the Bus. They had never been in a motorhome before.
We left Tom’s folks on Dec 26 and headed Northwest to Santa Rosa Beach, FL and stayed 6 nights at the popular Topsail Hill State Park - which we loved. The beaches were amazing and the weather was warmer than we had expected. At Topsail, we met 2 couples who frequent the RV.NET forums - Nita and Eric ( PASCO1215) and Eric and Pat (ERPA). Topsail is a place they revisit often and we hope to do the same. After New Years, we took our Bus back to the factory in Red Bay for a scheduled appt to fix a few post PDI (Post Delivery Inspection) items.
Spring 2006 - Longs, SC, New Bern, NC; Boydton, VA; Bassett, VA, Wilmington, NC
In March we decided to checkout Willow Tree RV Resort in Longs, SC. which is about 3.5 hours from our home and are we glad we did. What a gem. We extended our stay there so that Tom’s son Ted could join over his Spring Break - our first overnight guest on the Bus. In mid April, we took a weekend trip to New Bern, NC.
In May on our big Spring trip we fell in love with COE CGs after spending 3 nights @ North Bend on the John H. Kerr Dam and 3 nights at Goose Point on Philpott Lake. Goose Point is about 15 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway - so we visited Mabry Mill and other areas of BRP we had not yet seen.
In June we took another long weekend down to Wilmington,NC to checkout some retirement property a few friends have bought into, toured the Battleship North Carolina, and stopped @ Howard’s RV just to checkout a few 2007 Newmars. We fell in love with the ‘07 Mountain Aire - but it is a future dream for now.
Summer 2006 - Charleston, SC; Hilton Head, SC; Lake Hartwell, SC; Lake Toxaway, NC, Salisbury, NC
Our big summer trip started in Charleston — and it was fabulous - but hot and humid. Historic Charleston is really something and we loved the old homes and large plantations. We stayed @ the James Island County Park - a nice CG with 3 large wonderful bike trails.
We then headed further South spending 4 nights @ the Hilton Head Outdoor Motorcoach Resort. Our intent was to take a day trip to Savannah from there as it is only 35 miles, but due to the heat - we ditched that plan.
We just decided some downtime was a better idea. We have visited HH and Savannah before.
This resort is great for downtime — it looks like a park and a wonderful place to walk and ride bikes.
After Hilton Head, we drove across the state to Twin Lakes COE near Clemson, SC (on Lake Hartwell) — another great COE that i had located via the forums.
The CG is wonderful, unfortunately it was here that I had a nasty fall on my bike which landed me in the emergency room and a visit to a Blue Ridge Orthopedic Surgeon as i fractured my wrist. Surgery was required to repair it - but we were told it could wait til we got home as the swelling had to subside. We continued to our final stop the Outdoor Resorts @ the Blue Ridge Parkway but we did not do much sightseeing - i just did not feel up to it. I had the surgery 1 week after we returned home.
In August we closed out the year by attending our first FMCA Convention @ the Lowes Motor Speedway and spent lots of time checking out the new motorhomes including that 2007 Mountain Aire we first saw in Wilmington. While we considered staying onsite @ the convention like many other RVers - we decided to try out the nearby (well kinda nearby) Dan Nicholas County Park in Salisbury, NC.
You can see many more pictures and read more detail about these trips by clicking here. This link will take you to our first stop in Rapid River, MI after we left the dealership. Just hit “previous page” at the bottom of each post to page through the rest. Of course you can also read about the specific stops by State or read a CG review by acccessing the campground link on the side bar menu or simply click here.
Another first year accomplishment - the start of this website. It has been a joy to capture my thoughts and share them with family, friends, and fellow RVers. I have received so many emails and lovely comments throughout the year - which i really appreciate. Hopefully you have found a destination or campground that you might like to visit as a result of your visit here.