Well we made it back to East Texas Sunday afternoon. We were able to find an RV Park in Hallsville, Hitchin Post RV Park. It’s a small park, no pool or playground, but they have facilities, a laundromat, a 24 hour gas station next door, and their rates are really good.
So far everyone here is really nice and the owners even welcomed us our first day. It is very laid back and comfortable here, so I think we will stay for a bit.
Our travels back on Friday went without any further mechanical issues, thank goodness. Just some beautiful scenery and sunset. We had planned on stopping at the Ameristar Casino RV Park in Vicksburg, MS Friday night, but they were full. So we pushed on thru to Monroe, LA where we had planned on stopping Saturday to visit with one of Harold’s old Army buddies.
We pulled in to the Ouachita RV Park about 11pm Friday night and got everything set up. They had a night drop box so we went ahead and paid for two nights. It seems to be a nice little park. Reminds me of summer camp. They have a nice clubhouse with pool table, playground for the kids, and a swimming pool. It’s an older facility, but not too bad. My only issue was that the bathroom and showers look like they havn’t been cleaned in a year. Yuck! I don’t mind old, but filthy, no I can’t stand that. But overall the rest of the park is really nice.
Saturday afternoon we went and had lunch with Harold’s Army buddy, Norm. It was great to get to catch up on everything. The rest of the day was really relaxing. And quite surprisingly quiet. For being as close to I-20 as this park is, you don’t hear the road noise. It’s just peace and quiet.
They even have a pond that you can fish. Harold ran to the local Wal-mart to get some poles and bait, and him and Stormy set out their hand to try and catch something. Right away Stormy got the first bite and reeled in a little catfish. He wasn’t huge, but to her he was five feet long! 🙂 We fished the rest of the evening but only got a few more bites. But it sure was enjoyable. If you would like more information on Ouachita RV Park you can visit their webpage here!
Today we head back to East Texas. We were hoping to get back in at Fernbrook RV Park in Longview, but when I called Saturday to check our reservation for Sunday, we were told that they were full till after the balloon races, so we would have to wait a week. Let’s just say I was a little upset. We had reservations! But they rented our space out to a weekly camper to make more money. Let’s just say they won’t be getting any more of our money. It’s such a shame that they are so hard to deal with because it is a nice park and there arn’t too many nice parks around Longview. But we found another one in Hallsville that would love to have us and our money :), so we are headed there instead. I’m looking forward to returning to East Texas for a bit. At least for the next two weeks before me and the girls are off on our East coast trip to see my family.
We finally arrived Friday evening and got all settled in. When we first pulled up to Park Place RV Park we had reserved I was a little scared! It didn’t look anything like the pictures online 🙁 It was quite ghetto. But it was cheap and we were tired.
A full week was only $200, which is almost half of any other RV Park in the area, plus being that our RV is 16 years old, most of the other parks here wouldn’t allow us to stay. So we made the best of it. It is very tightly spaced in here and anyone with a larger RV will not be able to fit here at all. We only have a 32′ bumper pull and we take up almost two spaces, but they only charged us for one, thank goodness.
So far everything has been good. Most are full-time residents here and all are really friendly and helpful, even a few from Texas, and one who’s family is from Longview. They do have facilities but you have to put a $5 deposit down to get a key for the restrooms. We use the showers, but not the toilets as there are no locks on the stall doors nor any toilet paper.
The best benefit of this park is that it is right on Front Beach Rd, and within walking distance of the Ripley’s, Wonder Works, and about a dozen amusement parks, go-karts, and putt-putts. The Wal-mart is a five minute drive down one of the side roads and we are close by everything.
Being that we were right across the street from Cobra Amusement Park the girls couldn’t wait to ride the golf carts. So Saturday morning after a restful nights sleep we made our way across the street to have some fun.
Next door to the Cobra Amusement park was another amusement center and Stormy got to ride their go-karts all by herself. She was a little leery at first while she was getting used to the pedals, but once she got the hang of it she was off and having a blast!
Next the girls had a blast on the bumber boats. It took Stormy a few minutes to figure out how to make hers go, but once she figured it out she was off chasing Holly across the water.
After having some fun, we decided to explore some more of Panama City Beach and find the Pet Friendly beach.
We found it just past Pier Park Mall on the other side of the pier.
Our first glimpse of the ocean! It was so beautiful. The sand is so soft and white, but I didn’t realize how hard it was to walk on the sand. Dad took Sugar down to the edge of the water to see how she would like it, and yep she did.
It was wonderful to see her enjoying the waves. The girls couldn’t wait till we could go swimming. They played for a while in the surf.
Once we had enough of the beach for now we took Sugar back to the RV and got cleaned up and went back to Pier Park Mall. It’s like the Boardwalk in Shreveport, only better. There was a guy and his bird walking around letting kids pet and hold the bird. The girls got a kick out of holding the bird.
For dinner we decided to go to Margaritaville. We were hoping to be able to watch the sunset, but we couldn’t see it from our table.
They had stilt-walkers doing balloon animals for the kids, that was really neat. But we were very disappointed in the food and service there. We will not waste our money there again.
But overall today was an enjoyable day with the family.
Woke up this morning to a beautiful overcast sky and as I sipped my coffee I thought back over our trip so far and just had to laugh. Well, it was either laugh or cry so I chose to laugh. I took this down time to try to organize the trailer a little better. One thing I have learned is that bouncing down the road is a lot different than living in it stationary. I had stuff fly out of latched cabinets and found it at the other end of the trailer. Crazy! So I spent the morning doing laundry and cleaning.
While I was trying to straighten up the girls decided to explore Okatoma. Holly took Stormy up to the pool house where they had a great snack bar and played ping pong. Then they made their way to the club house where I was able to join them and found Stormy playing a game of pool with a couple of girls she made fast friends with.
Someone had just finished baking homemade fresh bread and the clubhouse just smelt yummy. I loved the rustic charm and the rock fireplace was just beautiful.
After a giggle filled game of pool Stormy went swimming in the parks pool with her new friends. At least till it started raining for the second time today.
But we enjoyed an ice cream from the snack bar and watched the storm pass under the cover of the pool house. The breeze was a really nice break from the humid afternoon heat. Once the rain passed Stormy discovered the sand by the pool and started getting her sand castle practice in.
After building sand castles Stormy and I explored a little bit around the lake. It sure is beautiful and so peaceful out here.
You can even bring your pools and go fishing. There are several RV spots that back right up to the lake. Even with the narrow roads there are several larger motor homes out here as there is plenty of room. There are lots of ducks and geese that wander all around the lake and park.
I saw a mama duck and her little ones waddling past our camper. It was so cute. It was relaxing to watch them and enjoy the afternoon.
We finally got the call that our hitch had arrived so Harold drove into town to get it replaced and see if he could get some Freon to recharge the AC. A few hours later he called to tell me we were all fixed up! The hitch is on and he found a small leak in the AC system but he got it recharged for now and blows cold once again.
Sugar even had a good time this afternoon. They have a nice Doggie Playyard where Sugar could run off some of her extra energy. I think she had fun.
It rained most of the rest of the evening so I finished going through the trailer to get it ready to get back on the road tomorrow!
Wow this day was filled with quite an adventure! The roads thru Jackson were so awful it felt as though we were riding in a really bad boat on rough seas. We stopped for gas just past Collins, MS on Hwy 49 and as we were filling up my husband noticed that the trailer looked like it was riding a little low and when he looked a little further, low and behold one side of the trailer hitch under our pick-up had sheared one bolt and snapped the hitch itself and was just dangling under our truck. All the bouncing had actually broke our hitch! Thank goodness the gas station we were at had truck parking so we were able to park the truck and try to locate somewhere to get a new hitch and get it installed. Little to say I was a little more than frustrated. So far if it could have gone wrong it has. But I am extremely thankful we caught it before the other side gave way and caused our trailer to nose dive into the pavement behind us.
We first stopped at one old boy’s place that builds trailers, Custom Trailers of Mississippi in Seminary along Hwy 49, but he didn’t have what we needed so he referred us to Camper City Truck Accessories in Hattiesburg a little further down Hwy 49, so we headed off again. Well after about thirty minutes of calling around Todd was able to find one hitch back in Jackson, but it would not be able to get here until tomorrow around noon and then he could put it on, but it was going to be later in the afternoon by the time we were done.
It was so incredibly frustrating and I was ready to just pack up and go home, but we weren’t going anywhere at this point. So we were stuck here for at least another one to two days no matter what. But we knew we had to get our trailer out of the truck stop and find somewhere to put it for the night. The guy at Camper City referred us to Sam’s Welding and Fabrication Shopback up the road, which happens to be about the only welder in the area, so that we could at least get the broke hitch patched up enough to tow the trailer to a local campground. So we head over to Sam’s shop and no one is there! Thankfully there were some numbers spray painted on the doors, so I called and spoke with Sam and he came back up and got us fixed up.
I made a phone call and pushed our reservation in Panama City Beach till Friday, then I googled local RV parks and found one close by, Okatoma Resort & RV Park just off Hwy 49, and between the truck stop in Collins where the trailer was and Hattiesburg where we need to be tomorrow, so I called and made a reservation for two nights and once we got back to our trailer we headed right out there. The lady I spoke with was really friendly and helpful and the daily fee was only $24.00 so it was a great deal.
The park is a little off the beaten path and a few miles off Hwy 49. The road is narrow and windy on the way out to the park and once inside the park it was very narrow. But we were able to navigate fairly reasonably. The road in the park is mud and gravel and it had just rained quite heavily, and from the looks of it they really needed the rain, but it made the roads muddy. There are no concrete pads in the spaces; you park right on the grass and muddy gravel so it is quite a soupy mess. But it is very quiet and peaceful out here.
There are several stocked ponds you can fish at and they have a nice pool and clubhouse. There are also showers and a laundry area available. They also rent cabins and have tent spaces for rent. At seven each evening kids can bring bread and crackers to feed the ducks. Stormy got to hold a two day old baby duck at this time and was just thrilled. We will be here till Friday morning if everything goes as planned tomorrow.
Today was definitely a rough day and we really considered just getting the repairs and going home, but we just never knows what lies ahead. Maybe something else will go wrong, or maybe we will have just an awesome time. You never know, but we opted to continue our journey and see what happens.
After such an eventful first day I awoke this morning after only four hours of sleep with a renewed hope of things getting better and an overcast sky. Well that didn’t last long. I was preparing to head up to the office to make our payment for the night and my wallet was NOT in my purse!
I started to feel very sick and my mind raced as I tried to think of where it could be! Did I leave it in one of the bathrooms we stopped at? Oh heavens I sure hope not.
I started frantically looking through our trailer then on to our truck. Just as I thought I was going to cry…. There it was! It had fallen down into the back seat and up under the seat. Whew! Total meltdown and crisis averted! Yeah!
Now about our stop for the night, I found them online using Google maps’ “search near here” option. There were only two parks listed in the area and the first was almost $70 per night. The second is run by one of the local Casinos and offered a daily rate of only $22.50. I wasn’t sure what it would look like for that rate, but for just a quick stop-over it would work.
I have to say I was impressed. It is an older park and some of the pads are a little uneven, but overall were nice. There were quite a few spaces with enough room for larger RV’s and easy to get in and out of as all spots are pull-thrus. The facilities were nice and the showers were small, but were clean.
They even have a swimming pool and free morning coffee, and the staff was extremely helpful and friendly. The one thing I noticed was how quiet and peaceful the park was. They even had a nice area for our Sugar. And the rate was a flat $22.50 including tax with no extra charges or add-ons. This will definitely be a future stop when we need a one night stay again and I would recommend it.
It wasn’t long once we started out for it to start raining again. I can only hope we don’t have rain our entire trip. It sure didn’t help matters much either that I-20 from Vicksburg through Jackson and 49 to Hattiesburg are worse than Louisiana! Well, we are going to enjoy our day as much as we can as we make our way to Panama City Beach, FL.
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