We had only 3 days to drive from Bristol, Indiana (Renegade’s home) to central Florida. We charted a course using 3 military campgrounds. We would spend only one night in each because when you get old it seems you plan your life around doctor appointments.
First Stop: Camp Atterbury Campground
This was our first-time staying at a National Guard base, but if others are as nice as this one, we will be frequent visitors. The 33 campsites all provided large, level cement slabs with full hookups. Cable TV was also available. But the big draw for Denise was the free firewood, which was neatly stacked at each campsite. We spoke to several long-term guests and learned that the camp stays open year round and firewood is always available. Several campers even came over to help Denise start the fire.
The campground is a short drive from the guard post. We found the restrooms, showers, and laundry ($1) were clean and orderly. The camp host took the time to introduce herself and was available to answer questions throughout our short stay.
The next morning, we decided to take a walk before driving to our next stop and came upon a bar and restaurant open from 0600 to 2300. We stopped in and found a small family owned business, offering freshly made breakfast. We enjoyed a breakfast burrito made to order and had a lovely chat with one of the owners. On a busy Saturday night, she claimed they could do as much as $10,000 worth of business. Wish we had known that the night before!
Second Stop: Arnold AFB FamCamp
We have stayed at Arnold AFB before, and though not our personal favorite….it is more than adequate for a one night stay. However, if you like to boat and fish plan on staying longer as rental kayaks and even pontoon boats are available to rent. After checking in at the recreation center, we drove about 3 miles to the base’s 9-hole golf course. As they were playing winter rules and using temporary greens, we were charged only $16 for the round. This layout is very nice, heavily wooded and very interesting. However, perhaps because they are doing a lot of work to the golf course it was not in the best of shape. In fact, when we finished our round around 5 pm, we were the only car (i.e. motorhome) in the parking lot.
You’ll find the 52 campsites about 1 mile from the recreation center in a heavily wooded area. The ground slopes considerably toward the lake. So while the view is lovely, expect to use levelers in this campground. Once again we found the restrooms and showers were clean…the ladies had been renovated since our last stay two years ago. The campsite does not offer cable and pulling in antennae TV channels can be challenging. But we had downloaded several movies from NetFlix and Amazon to our iPads…and of course, we could always talk to each other.
The two campsites above are only $20 / night. This along with clean bathrooms, inexpensive and tidy laundries, and a feeling of security make military campgrounds one of our favorite places to camp.
Third Stop…Subject to Change
When we checked in at Arnold we learned that our reservation was actually for the next night. No worries…they had room for us that night. As this is not the first time we have made a reservation one day before or after when we actually needed it….we called ahead to Warner Robins. As it turns out the recreation center is not open on weekends, and there was not a forwarding number for the camp host.
We probably would have found a site…perhaps using the dump site if one of the 21 full hook-up sites was not available. But after cruising through/around Atlanta, thank goodness it was a Sunday, we made an executive decision…we would drive home.
We plan to use OLGA as a U-Haul van for our move to California. You see we sold our Florida house turnkey, meaning we aren’t taking furniture, cookware, plates, silverware, etc with us. We, of course, have some personal items, and clothes (frankly too many clothes and shoes)…but these will easily fit in OLGA. So while we plan to stay at military hotels as we cross country, we intend to do more “power-driving” than we would normally do.
As it turns out, we drove 601 miles that day…it took just over 10 hours with 3 stops for fuel and stretching. We listened to a wonderful mystery for the first 7 hours and sang (i.e. rapped) along to Hamilton during the final 3 hours. It was a good experiment…can we do it 5 days straight? We’ll let you know in October.
One final note, the person responsible for the recreation center at the base was wonderful. Even though he was off for the weekend, he did listen to our voicemail and called us back. Yet another reason we love military campgrounds.