Monday, August 29, 2011

We're on Our Way


The Narrows Campground, Barren River Lake (COE), Bowling Green, KY



Today the trip began. We got underway about 10AM. A late start because we had to finish up some things we didn't get done yesterday. I had planned for Saturday to be an easy work day with not too much to do. But it turned out to be a day of fulfilling social obligations instead. So the few remaining chores spilled into this morning.
I can't begin to describe how good it felt to be pulling out of the driveway. The trip was uneventful. We traveled 308 miles to The Narrows campground at Barren River Lake near Bowling Green Kentucky. Got here about 2PM CDT, so the trip was five hours. We used I-71 to Louisville, KY then I-65 south from there. This is our first trip with the fifth wheel fully loaded. It handled fine and we got 10.5 mpg, which pleasantly surprised me.
So what did I learn today? Mainly that Love's Rewards card is worthless to RVers unless you are driving a diesel. It won't even register at a gas pump. However some Love's facilities do have RV gas lanes. As of now there is no indication of such on their website. I learned by calling. I think I'll email them and let them know that Flying J is whipping their butt.
Some words about this campground. This is my third experience at Army Corps of Engineer campgrounds (sometimes abbreviated ACE, sometimes COE -- that had me confused for a bit while I was trying to find campgrounds). I am not specifically seeking COE campgrounds. They just seem to be the ones that are convenient to the routes I am travelling. All three of my experiences have been impressive. Well maintained grounds and spotless restrooms make the camping experience extremely pleasant.
Looking at a Kentucky map, you will see Barren River Lake east of Bowling Green and west of Glasgow, KY and close to the KY/TN border. It is readily accessible from I-65. There are three campgrounds and a Kentucky State Park within the 20,000 acres. The Narrows and Bailey's Point are developed campgrounds. Tailwater is primitive. The state park offers a full range of accomodations.
Maybe I'm a latecomer to the party and am talking about stuff that everyone already knows or maybe like me you never gave it any thought. The mission of COE is flood control, so most of their facilities involve a dam on a watershed. That produces lake fishing above the dam, tailwater fishing below the dam, river fishing in the tributaries, and miles of water for boating and water skiing. Throw in some absolutely supurbe campgrounds and some marinas and they become perfect places for a fishing vacation.
Here are some websites for more information and reservations:
www.lrl.usace.army.mil/brl
www.corpslakes.us
www.reserveusa.com
www.recreation.gov

After arriving and setting up, we realized for the first time how busy we have been for the past weeks. We showered, ate leftover chinese for supper and crashed.