On the Road Again … And Loving It!

After much planning and organizing, we were finally ready to hit the road again, this time in our newly-purchased 1987 Terrapin. 

on the road again with Dashboard Jesus guiding the way

We booked our first trip in mid-November:  one night at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, located just 45 minutes from home.  This was all new to us, so before we committed to too long of a drive or too many nights away, we wanted to make sure we were comfortable with all the ins & outs of RV life.  

turn off from US441 onto CR724

But as we started coming up with places we wanted to go, we quickly found out that we weren’t the only ones with this idea.  Many campgrounds are booked far in advance, especially the more popular dates and locations.  If we wanted to go anywhere over the next 12 months, we needed to make our reservations as soon as possible.  So before we even took that first trip, we had already booked several more dates including the Great Smoky Mountains in April.

Great Smoky Mountains image courtesy of Subparparks instagram page

One overnight does not require a whole lot of advance prep:  making sure we had coffee for the morning and all necessary camera gear was about the extent of our packing.

morning essentials!

Kissimmee’s check-in is a breeze and the equestrian campsites are laid out such that you don’t feel like you’re on top of your neighbor.  There is plenty of space between each and the sites are angled so that you aren’t looking straight into someone else’s tent.  There are two single-occupant restrooms with flush toilet, sink, and shower stall located near the entrance of the campground area.  

campground pano

We pulled into our campsite at 2pm and by 2:30 we were ready to relax.

Terrapin tucked into site #35

I wanted to explore some of the paths we rarely hike on our day visits but I could not get too far: they are still quite flooded from all the recent rains. 

the paths are flooded as of this writing

So I stuck to the main gravel road.

gravel road between park office and equestrian campground

It was a beautiful afternoon and I saw many of the prairie’s “usual” residents.

KPPSP resident

Dinner was pumpkin-lentil wraps under a tree canopy …

dinner under the tree canopy

with Oscar and Maddie keeping watch over us …

Oscar and Maddie watching us through the screen door

while we watched the setting sun paint the sky pink and orange.

Just as dusk turned to dark, a herd of deer walked through our site, much to Oscar’s chagrin.

deer in our campsite!

By 7pm the skies were dark and clear, and we were treated to a spectacular view of the Milky Way and Leonid meteor shower. 

night sky pano

We set up our tripods for continuous 15-second exposures and then sat back and enjoyed the stars shooting through the sky while fireflies danced above our heads. Bedtime came early after sitting in the fresh air for several hours.

Star stack (303 images taken over about 2.5 hours, then stacked together)

We woke before dawn the next morning and enjoyed sunrise coffee along with the deer and turkeys.

morning coffee
female turkeys strolling through the campgrounds
deer (again) at sunrise

After another short walk, it was time to pack up and go home.

early morning pano
morning vultures

There were a few things we forgot and notes were made on what to do different next time.

But all-in-all, our first trip in Terrapin was a great success and we can’t wait to get back on the road again!

TG enjoying the rooftop deck on Terrapin

Author: TG&jet

Nature photographers - wildlife, landscapes, underwater; travelers; bloggers

One thought on “On the Road Again … And Loving It!”

  1. Glad the Terrapin survived it’s maiden voyage and you had fun.
    Would like to hear more about the peak times and places.
    What is the draw of Smoky Mountains in April?
    Regardless, great job👍👍👍


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