Friday, May, 2023

The RV Lady

The RV Lady

The RV Glamper Lady 

Photo Credit: Paul Tellefsen at Sulfure Ridge 

Hello! My name is Patty, and I’m a full-time RV camper, along with my husband Steve. After being married for 46 years, we decided to ‘hit the road’ on a non-stop adventure. This blog shares our recent experiences along our journey across Putnam County, Tennessee. 

If traveling has always been your DREAM – this is a fun way to do it!!  Full-Time RVing is one of the terms that we use on the road – another term is “glamping.  We are not roughing it in the traditional sense of campingThis means that we are enjoying all the luxuries of homeand then someYour home is on wheels, and you can relocate whenever you get a bee in your bonnet to move on to another exciting location.   

In 2021, we experienced a very fun adventure called workamping.   Yes, it is spelled correctlyIt is working wherever you campIf you go to and read their newsletter, you will find many opportunities out there that just fill up your bucket (temporary and permanent) – any experience you love can be yoursThe testimonials are fun to read. Most people are asking “What took me so long to do this?”  Any type of countryside can be yours as hosts in various State Parks, marinas, resort/spa parks, beautiful RV parks and campgrounds of all kinds.  If you are retired like Steve and I, you might miss being actively involved in your community or volunteer activities. You can still do this through RVing by reaching out to local organizations like the Chamber of Commerce or Veterans groups to find ways to give back along your journey. This is one of the greatest experiences, because you can continue giving in every single stop you make, while picking all your favorite places and people who you want to spend your time withPeople in RV parks are a fun bunch – sharing their life experiences together around a campfire, in a pavilion while listening to music, fishing on a riverbank, or wine tasting, etc. The fun never ends. There are RVers that go from community-to-community following disasters to offer a hand and help others. Other RVers have vast backgrounds in health and fitness. They take advantage of the beautiful trails and outdoors across this amazing country. Join @WORKAMPER via FaceBook to learn what everyone is doingMany people do not retire like we did – they bring their jobs with them while they enjoy traveling and working from their rigs as a virtual experience.   

Before you begin your full-time RV experience, you need to get educated in what type of rigs/vehicles are best suited to your lifestyleWe chose to pull a 40’ Fuzion Toy Hauler 5th wheel trailer with a Ram 3500 pickup, and we love itNow, our choice to pull a 5th wheel toy hauler came because we have a golden lab. There is a drop-down deck off the rear garagethat makes a nice area for her to hangWe also do our business from the toy hauler “garage,” which we converted to an office area with its own ½ bath. 

Did I say we were retiredYes, I did, and for two summers, we were workampers in an RV resort in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where we got to venture out to venues like Mt. Rushhmore, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Monument, Deadwood, the Badlands, and Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, among others.   The fun thing about full-time RVing is that when you want to see something new, you can hitch up and head out to wherever you wishWe were ready to escape the coming fall/winter, and head for a warmer climate, so we left South Dakota in September and came to Tennessee to visit the kids and workI will share that opportunity with you, and its something anyone can do!! 

When we arrived in Silver Point, TN, near Baxter/Cookeville in late September, we experienced the most beautiful weather we had encountered in several monthsWe have stayed put for 6 months in this beautiful place – about to head out for the next 6 months on an adventure which I will share, but what a beautiful place Cookeville/Baxter/Silver Point, Tennessee has been to stick around!   

To help differ costs for our travels, we found an opportunity thru workamper news with a company called SEPI. We make maps and guides for the RV Parks and Campgrounds across the nationWe also make maps for Chamber of Commerce offices, Visitors Bureaus, Colleges, and Universities.  We started in late July, making maps and guides for 4 parks in Rapid City area of South Dakota, before heading out to Tennessee to visit the kids and grands. We came and stayed at that beautiful Old Mill Campground, just across the street from Cummins State ParkWhat an amazing place to stay and explore! 

It is a peaceful park with waterfalls, camping, natural pools and so much wildlife. While here, we also went to Paris Winery and enjoyed amazing wines and got the most beautiful decorative guitar bottle full of olive oil , ate amazing Mexican food at Azteca Mexican Grill in Baxter, as well as its sister restaurant, El Magueyel in Cookeville. While exploring things to do in the area, we stopped by the Cookeville Visitor Shop. What a joy it was to meet the Director of Tourism, Shan Stout. She helped us learn about all the parks and events coming to this local area, as well as the businesses and volunteer opportunities. One event was near to our hearts, and we can hardly wait to assist as volunteers for the “Run For the Wall” Veterans event coming in MaySteve is a Navy Veteran and we leap at any chance we can to honor our Vets. In addition, we have met others who are supporting our Vets here in Cookeville including Winn from Operation United Hope. 

Along our RV journey, we landed at Twin Lakes Catfish Farm RV Park and Campground. The tournaments and events going on there just blew us away.  We went fishing with everything provided by the park, caught lots of fish, and had many delicious meals in their restaurant. The catfish dinner is amazing!  We enjoyed our stay there so much that we camped for over a month.  Looking out over the lake in the evenings by the fire pit was our favorite part. We also spent time at Whispering Falls RV Park which borders Burgess Falls Natural Area. You can even hear the roaring waterfalls from your RV site. Just around the corner, the Chestnut Oaks Farm Store and Kitchen has fresh vegetables, a gift shop and the best sandwiches around. 

Taking a drive on the highway to Granville was a country lovers dream come true. We took our grandkids to Historic Granville during the Scarecrow Festival, 10 Museums within walking distance of each other, followed by great southern cooking at the T.B. Sutton General Store. It certainly lived up to its promise of being namedTennessee’s Mayberry Town”. While in Granville, you must visit Wildwood Resort & Marina. We loved sitting out on the deck enjoying the best margaritas followed by a tour of their resort, gourmet restaurant, house boats, airstream RV camps, cabins, tiny houses and the unique boardwalk levee that allows a leisurely walk on the water. Can you tell we are having fun? 

There is always a good balance to traveling, cooking at the RV and/or experiencing healthy choices, and we have been introduced to it all in this areaWe saw an ad on FaceBook for the Art 2 Zen approach to health, located in Cookeville, and wanted to make sure that we were making good food choices all along the way, while getting involved in the culture of this beautiful place – farm fresh eggs, homegrown beef, vegetable markets – so we get our supplements and lots of guidance from this wonderful wellness center to stay healthy and fit and continue enjoying our lifestyle.  

When it comes to shopping, we love a good outdoor store. The Outdoor Experience and Caney Fork Cycles made the top of our list. We shopped for ourselves while also shopping for gifts to ship to our family. They also have the Outpost at Meadow Creek Park in Monterey where you can get kayak and mountain bike rentals 

Now, let’s talk laundry! A good laundry service can make or break your RVing experience. When we came to Cookeville area, we searched for a laundry center that provides clean, coin-less and attendant servicesWe hit the jackpot when we found Willow Avenue Express Laundry CenterThe family-owned center even said “RVers WELCOME.”  What an amazing business. 

Our visit to Cookeville is coming to an end, as we are about to head out on a new adventure.  We are heading to Michigan this Summer, around the islands and lakes, St. Ignace, Mackinaw Island, and Sault Ste Marie. We plan to see some amazing Amish communities and go on ferry ridesThere should be many stories to tell you when we returnWe will meet many new people along the way, as we have thus farIt is a time in our life we are excited to be RVing and thanks to you all, we have enjoyed our stay, and will be back to Cookeville in October 

Happy RVing to ALL! 

Posted by Amber Asberry at Friday, May 05, 2023