Guntersville, Alabama (or Bass Capital as some call it) known for the pristine Lake Guntersville that frequently hosts the Bass Master Classic. It’s mid-November and our visit is a four-day stay. Lake Guntersville State Park is located along the banks of the Tennessee River in NE Alabama. The park overlooks the majestic 69,000-acre Guntersville Lake and ranges over more than 6,000 acres of natural woodlands and touts an 18-hole championship golf course. The Main Campground includes 321 improved campsites, a primitive camping area, bathhouse, playground and recreation area, and country store. All improved campsites have water and electrical hookups, picnic table, grill, and fire ring; some sections also have sewer hookups.
The moment we unhook, the boys grab their rods and hit the lake in hopes of getting something on their line. This is the second time we’ve camped at Lake Guntersville State Park. The last time was three years ago and we visited during the month of May. That trip was great, but only days after we broke camp and headed home a tornado hit the area and caused severe damage, closing the RV camp until restorations could be completed this year in May of 2013. It was a little sad to see the trees that once stood in this area are no longer around — it looks like a completely different park in some ways. If you do stay at this park in the spring months (April thru June), be sure to have a weather radio that automatically turns on and tune it to the area as tornadoes are not uncommon with spring storms. We prefer to visit late summer or fall for that reason.
I particularly love how I can look out my window and check on the boys fishing on the shoreline or dock. The sites are fairly close together which I am not too crazy about. They do include a fire pit, picnic table, and are a gravel parking surface. Our chosen space was not very level and required effort on our part to get it right. We have two doors on our travel trailer and the back door by the bathroom was a little high off the ground but more level by the main door. We did have full hook-up and that was convenient. Our nightly rate was $19 for full hook up + a 12% lodging tax surcharge. Sites are first come, but it is helpful to reserve in advance in case it fills during busier times of the year. The conference center is situated on the bluff and overlooks the Lake and RV park (see photo below). Some young trees have been planted, but none to offer shade or beauty yet.
We did some geocaching within the park. The first one was easy access, but the second one was a bit more intense and I wouldn’t advise it with little ones and no path. I feel a bit uncomfortable with four boys enthusiastically clamoring thru the woods — it puts my mama safety-senses into overdrive. The kids, of course, are oblivious to my silent concerns over poisonous snakes, falls that could cause a broken limb (of a child, not tree), or hunters that aren’t paying attention … and they climb over rocks and logs in the heat of the hunt for new-found treasure — the cache did not disappoint them. 😉
I’ve been pinning areas of interest we’d like to visit via Pinterest for awhile now. But, today I began the process of requesting Visitor Guides from the states we plan on traveling through as a way to involve the kids (holding tangible brochures with pictures and information) in the planning process. We can also use the materials for educational purposes as they learn about each state they visit and add it to their scrapbook. Each state also has digital versions available to download. Click the link and look for “Travel Guide” and you’ll see usually both options: print and digital. Hope this helps your research!
Arizona + Pins
Arkansas + Pins
California + Pins
Colorado + Pins
Florida + Pins
Georgia + Pins
Indiana + Pins
Kansas + Pins
Kentucky + Pins
Maine + Pins
Massachusetts + Pins
Minnesota + Pins
Nebraska + Pins
New York + Pins
North Carolina + Pins
Ohio + Pins
Pennsylvania + Pins
South Carolina + Pins
South Dakota + Pins
Tennessee + Pins
Vermont + Pins
Wisconsin + Pins
Save the date! The 2015 Atlanta Camping and RV Show will be January 23-24-25 at the Atlanta Exposition Center South (3850 Jonesboro Road, Atlanta GA 30354. Hours: Friday, 11-7; Saturday 9-7; Sunday 10-5. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for adults 55 and older, $5 for ages 6-16, and free for children under the age of 6. It is important to note that they accept CASH only — there is an ATM machine on site if needed. You can save a dollar or two here by printing out a coupon in advance and bringing with you to the 2015 Atlanta Camping and RV Show. This event showcases products like motor homes, fifth wheels, trailers, wheel chairs, power scooters and more etc. in the Marine & Boat industry.
Our first time boon-docking was a bit of an adjustment as we are accustomed to being at a campsite – not on pavement. We weren’t entirely comfortable with the attention we got from curious folks we asked if we were “camping”. My pride twinged a bit and I shook it off as I reminded myself that the money saved that night could go back into the travel and play fund. A woman sat on a nearby curb, having a smoke and talking on the phone – an odd spot being that we were parked at the furthest point away from the store.
The kids felt a bit uneasy, too. My middle child asked if he could lead us in a prayer. I loved that he knew God could be our source to qualm any fears and that we could place our trust for safety in Him. Daddy headed into Walmart to grab some ice cream – a great treat as we watched the sun set.
The evening was warm and we found it more comfortable to sit outside and enjoy the breeze. At one point, while settling in at night, a van towing a pop up tent parked right outside our front door. My husband asked if he couldn’t park further away being that the whole parking lot was available.
When it came time for bedtime, we fired up the generator and the AC did it’s job to make everyone comfortably sleep. Everyone except Daddy that is. He never quite settled into sleep as any noise had him up checking on things.
Evidently we had a drunk wander past and continued on after hubby opened the door to make himself known. The parking lot cleared out quite a bit. Our youngest woke us up at 7 am, so we just packed things up and off we went down the road in search of coffee and breakfast.
I have to hand it to to Walmart at Hamilton, TN. The manager was very accommodating and friendly. There were other trucks and another camper that joined our area later that evening.
I think one nice addition for our own peace of mind would be so sort of video on the front to see the vehicle and door as well as the back if the trailer – that would give my husband and I some eyes to what might be outside. I know my Mom’s Tiffin has these feature and I can see why that might come in handy now. Otherwise, I loved how we saved money and would be open to trying it again!
Before heading out on a longer trip or cross country by RV, it’s a good idea to do a practice run at a local campground close to home. You’ll be close enough to run home to collect any forgotten items saving you money for the trip ahead.