Campground Review: Grants, New Mexico KOA

Easy access off I-40

We stayed at the Grants/Cibola Sands KOA in Grants, New Mexico for two nights on our recent roadtrip. The campground was well marked with signs and was an easy access off of I-40. The first thing that grabbed our attention was how nice the owner was. She got us registered and on our site very quickly, and even gave Fabgrandpa a couple of fresh chocolate chip cookies.

the office

The office building also contains a camp store, a game room, a small diner type restaurant, and a laundry room.The management offers a free continental breakfast, and you can buy dinner meals from their menu. We ordered dinner on our second night, and it was delivered to our door. Fabgrandpa had the turkey and dressing and I had “Suzanne’s Favorite Plate” which was a boneless chiclen filet baked to order with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. The person working the desk was very familiar with the needs of a gluten free diet and was able to suggest several choices on the menu that would be gluten free.

the store and diner

Most of the sites at this campground are long pull throughs, and are very level. There aren’t many trees on the property, but it is New Mexico and in this part of the state there aren’t many trees anywhere. It is a nice campground, though, if you are passing through on I-40 to somewhere else, or if you are planning a stay in Grants to see the many unique sites the area has to offer.

our site

There weren’t many campers staying at this campground this time of year, but it was still cold out, with temperatures dropping below freezing at night. There were several units that pulled in in the evening both nights, though. The campground offers tent sites, and has two Kamping Kabins as well. There was a nice playground for the children.

Kamping Kabins

the playground

The campground, laundry room, and showers were very clean and well cared for. They provide free wi-fi access, which worked very well for us. There is a dump station on the property and they sell propane on site.  There are several interesting local attractions that would be well worth staying an extra night, such as Bandera Volcano and Ice Caves; the New Mexico Mining Museum (call ahead to make sure they are open); and Acoma Pueblo.

As with most campgrounds, the camping fees vary according to what type of site you require. We had a long pull through site with full hook ups and 30 amp electricity. The charge per night for our site was $44.50 plus tax, making a two night stay cost $94.95. If you have a KOA Value Kard, you get a 10% discount.

Roadtrip: Georgia to Arizona, 7th Day

We listened to the trucks rumble into and out of the Flying J down the road from the campground all night long, but we slept soundly, being lulled to sleep by the drone of the diesel engines. We were up and on our way earlier than any other day of this trip. We knew it was going to be a windy day from checking the weather channel, but just how windy? Just look a this:

The wind blew the bed cover open on our truck as we were going down the highway. We had to stop so Fabgrandpa could bungee it closed.

The cover blew open!

A little while later, the RV steps blew open! I happened to notice it in the mirror, so we had to stop again to close them up. We also used a bungee on them to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Never happened before!

And dust! So much dust you could barely see in spots, and there was road construction added to that mix as well!

Dust and wind in New Mexico

We were really glad to get off the road today in Grants. It was snowing when we pulled in to the KOA there, and cold, about 35 degrees. Those sway bars are hard to handle when it is that cold!

We’ll be staying here for two nights, so tomorrow we can go see the sites around Grants. I want to see the Ice Caves and Bandera Volcano. I’ve see the advertisements for them for five years now and it about time to go see them.

 

 

Roadtrip: Georgia to Arizona, Day 4

Yucky weather

Yesterday we woke up to really yucky weather in the Oklahoma City area. We were staying at the KOA located about where you see Midwest City on this map. We decided to wait until the rain stopped to start our travels since we were only going about 200 miles.

The alternate route is highlighted in blue.

Kevin, one of the employees at the KOA gave us an alternate route to get around Oklahoma City. Last fall when we were on our way back to Georgia, going through Oklahoma City on I-40 was a torture for us and for our RV. The road was really bumpy and full of cracks and holes. I think Kevin said they are working on it now, so it is also under construction. The alternate route was a dream compared to that ride on I-40. To get a bigger picture of the route to print out, click here.

Crocheted washcloths

This is what I have been doing to keep myself busy on this trip. I love the feel of crocheted cotton washcloths, so I have been making them. I can make about one a day. I’ll be putting some for sale in my online store as soon as we get to Arizona.

Wildflowers blooming

The last couple of times we came this way, it was still cold and wintry looking. This year, though, warmer spring weather has us looking at wildflowers blooming along the side of the road and in the fields.

Cows. Lots of Cows

We’re seeing lots of cows in the fields, too. This was in western Oklahoma about five miles before the Texas state line.

Texas!

We crossed over the Texas state line, and only had 13 more miles to go. We are staying two nights in Shamrock, Texas. We love Shamrock, even though it is just a tiny town. We stop here every time we travel from Arizona to Georgia and back, mosyly because we love Big Vern’s Steakhouse. Last night was no exception. As soon as we got ready for dinner, we headed over there. I had a filet mignon, and boy was it ever delicious!

Downtown Shamrock

Today we’ll go into town and buy some groceries, and see if we can find a thrift store or an antique store to look around in. Tomorrow we’re headed to New Mexico.

Mean sky in Texas

There was a threat of severe weather posted by the weather service, but it never rained here last night. What a relief that was. I will leave you with this: Fabgrandpa showing off his biscuits!

Fabgrandpa showing off his biscuits!

Campground Review: Oklahoma City East KOA

the office building

We decided to stay at the Oklahoma City East KOA, which was about half way between Russellville, where we stayed last night, and Shamrock, Texas, where we want to be tomorrow. This KOA is easy to get to off of I-40 exit 166, but it is not right on the highway like a lot of KOA’s we have stayed in.

Julie registered me for a site

The people working behind the counter and in the yard of the campground were both so nice and friendly, and offered lots of information about points of interest in the area and, more important to us, information about the condition of the roads in Oklahoma City. Last fall when we came through Oklahoma City, that road just about beat us to death. Kevin gave me a map and showed us how to get around the city without having to get on that rough part of I-40 in town, which to us was worth gold!

Our site

This campground is really beautiful. I think it is the most beautiful KOA we have ever stayed in, and we have stayed in a lot of them. There are lots of trees so the sites are shady, and lots of grassy spaces in between the campsites. We did have to put a 2 X 6 and a 1 X 6 under the trailer tires on one side to get level, but that is not unusual. We have had to do that in other campgrounds we have stayed in. The site was plenty long enough for us to not have to unhook the trailer from the truck, too. I had a voucher for a free stay for one night, but if I had had to pay it would have cost us $41 plus change.Rates change from season to season and also depend on what type of site you get, and whether you have 50 or 30 amp electric service available. You can check rates on their website.

The laundry room

In addition to the store that sells some food and camping supplies, there is a laundry room, showers, and a swimming pool. The pool was not open while we were here, but it is only April. The laundry room had 4 washing machines and 4 dryers, and I did see an ironing board in there. It was very clean.

Showers

The showers were in individual rooms, which I liked because it affords more privacy than just a shower curtain in a bathhouse. They looked and smelled very clean, too.

the pool

It looked like they were filling the swimming pool to get it ready for the season.

Children’s playground

The children’s playground looked like it had a lot of fun things for kids to play on.From their website:

Connect with the city’s cowboy legacy at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum or Stockyards City. While in town, take a canal barge ride in Bricktown, pay your respects at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, stop at Bass Pro Shops or visit any of the other exciting museums and shops the city has to offer. Or you can just spend a few quiet days at the campground. Ride the hay wagon, roast marshmallows, let your pet run free in our Kamp K-9 Park, stroll the 1-mile nature trail or enjoy a home-cooked meal at the café (open weekends seasonally).

Oklahoma City East KOA Kamping Kabins

If you don’t have an RV, and really don’t want to tent camp, you can try one of the Kamping Kabins. These cabins are primitive–just a step up from sleeping in a tent, but offer a way to go camping without having to buy a tent.

Kabin 1 had bunks with a large one on the bottom and a small one on the top

They have bunks with mattresses, some have a restroom with a toilet, and a sink where you can wash your hands and face without having to go to the bathhouse.

Kabin 1 also had a toilet and sink

Each one at this campground had a fire pit with a grill, and a picnic table where you can prepare meals. You’ll have to bring all your supplies, just like if you were camping in a tent, but have a more secure feeling of being in a building with a door.

Each Kabin has a fire pit with a grill and picnic table

For some families that can be important, especially if you have small children who have never been camping before.

This campground has about 50 campsites; 9 tent sites; 6 Kamping Kabins and 1 lodge type cabin. They can accomodate groups, and have a clubhouse, and do have overflow camping when all the sites are full. They can accommodate even the largest RV.

We liked this campground very much, and will probably stay here again sometime.

Roadtrip: Georgia to Arizona, 3rd day

I-40 in Arkansas

Sleeping in and getting a slow start to the day was just what we needed. We only traveled 250 miles today, and ended up in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma City East KOA for the night.

There wasn’t much going on today, just Fabgrandpa driving and me crocheting, and every now and then taking some pictures. He let me know when we got close to the Oklahoma state line so I could get a picture:

Rolling in to Oklahoma

We stopped at the welcome center to rest a bit, and get a weather report. Thunder storms are expected tonight, and I am hoping they go south of us.

At the welcome center

Fuel stops were easier on us today. I don’t know if it is because of all the reservations in Oklahoma or not, but diesel is $3.899 cash, and $3.919 credit here. We’ll make sure to fill up before we get into Texas tomorrow. We saw these cute barbecue grills at one fuel stop today:

Barbecue grills for sale at a fuel stop

I also spotted this home made RV:

Unusual RV we spotted today

Tomorrow is going to be an even shorter day, because we want to stop in Shamrock, Texas for a couple of nights. We’re looking forward to going out to eat at Big Vern’s Steakhouse there. We’ve been doing really good this trip, eating all of our meals so far in the RV. I’ll refresh our salad fixings in Shamrock, too, so we can continue to eat at home. This is actually the first trip we have made in our 12 years of RV’ing that we are doing most of our meals “at home”. Cracker Barrel really adds up and gets expensive!

We Have Our Start Dates!

We have been waiting for our official dates for returning to work at the North Rim, and just heard from the boss. We’ll be heading out sooner than we thought! Fabgrandpa needs to be on the job April 22! That is less than a month away.

I’ll be spending today and tomorrow planning our trip to Arizona, and deciding which campgrounds to stay at along the way. We know for sure we’ll be at the Sallisaw KOA in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. We’ll also be staying at least two nights, maybe three, at the KOA in Flagstaff, Arizona. We always stay a couple of nights in Flagstaff, stocking up on groceries and other supplies before heading up to the job. I’m excited to be on the road again, but frantic as well because I thought I had more time to get ready! I’ll also be talking about my roadtrip in the KOA Campfire Community each night after we get set up.

I have to finish cleaning out cabinets and closets in the trailer, something I do every spring and fall, tossing out foods that haven’t been eaten, clothing that has stains or tears, and other “junk” that accumulated over the past few months. When I get done with all that, then it’s time to decide what I need to put back in the trailer of the items that I took into the house. You know, like my sewing machine, sewing supplies, and at least some of the fabric! I don’t think I could get through the summer without that stuff!

Come and join me at the KOA Campfire! There are a lot of good discussions going on right now. I’ll be glad to see you there.