The RV Atlas Blog

Thoughts on camping, parenting, and travel.

28 Jul
Robert Lake Park, Montreat: A Playground for the Soul

Robert Lake Park, Montreat: A Playground for the Soul

We were looking for a peaceful way to spend the day, so we decided to return to Montreat, a Presbyterian retreat community on the outskirts of Black Mountain, North Carolina. I don’t know much about the history of this place, but I do know that they managed to build what may just be the most beautiful playground ever. With rocky streams running through the whole park, the equipment is spread out in little pockets that our kids could discover in bits and pieces, as opposed to the phrenetic but brief enjoyment that most playgrounds offer.... Read More
27 Jul
Daddy’s First Descent Down the Swannanoa…

Daddy’s First Descent Down the Swannanoa…

We were staying at the Asheville East KOA to visit family and attend what would be a big, beautiful wedding.  Both the wedding site and the campground were nestled along the banks of the Swannanoa River, about four and a half miles apart.  The river was running high and fast because of two weeks of steady rain.  One afternoon, as Stephanie and I were helping the boys get dressed for a pre-wedding dinner,  she made a simple suggestion that would lead to a great adventure. “I think you should tube down the river to the wedding site and... Read More
25 Jul
Hickory Nut Gap Farm: No Berries? No Problem…

Hickory Nut Gap Farm: No Berries? No Problem…

We were sitting on a porch with friends, looking out onto the Blue Ridge Mountains and sipping sangria, when the conversation started. The talk was about who had moved to Asheville and why the rest of us New Jersey folk hadn’t yet. Jeremy just had to pipe up…Not all of us are looking for an exit strategy from New Jersey, he said. And then looked at me…Right? I agreed. We love to travel, but we love to go home to the Jersey Shore. It’s just that some days, when you wake up in the mountains and go berry picking at one of... Read More
24 Jul
The Campground Inspectors File Their Report….

The Campground Inspectors File Their Report….

On the second or third day of our visit to the Asheville East KOA I noticed a a bright yellow fifth wheel adorned with KOA logos and advertising pulling into the campground.  I sleuthed around a little and discovered that the inspectors from company headquarters in Billings, Montana were visiting for the campground’s annual inspection.  I am fairly certain that I also spotted the actual inspectors the next morning at the campground’s pancake breakfast.  Two thoughts came to mind as I saw them munching away.  Firstly, these... Read More
22 Jul
Chrome Shining in the Sun…the Southern Truck Parade

Chrome Shining in the Sun…the Southern Truck Parade

As I’ve already mentioned, the Asheville East KOA is a delightful campground to stroll through.  I’ve been taking about two walks a day there, sometimes with the boys, and sometimes without.  I enjoy walking along the banks of the Swannanoa River and then heading over the little bridge to walk around the spring-fed lakes out back. This weekend I noticed another lovely sight while strolling around the campground.  A whole bunch of shiny pick-up trucks–both old and new.  I like the way that chrome looks shining in the sun... Read More
21 Jul
Dynamite Joe and the Caffeine Kids, Black Mountain

Dynamite Joe and the Caffeine Kids, Black Mountain

When you travel and camp with kids coffee is more important than gasoline.  I would rather be stranded on the side of the road with the tank on empty and a fresh cup of Joe in my hands than be woken up in our camper by my twin boys at 6:15 a.m. only to discover that we’re fresh out.  Our kids are naturally caffeinated but we are not.  So luckily for Stephanie and me, when I noticed that our supply of coffee had dwindled down to the last bean I discovered one of those Great Good Places that make life worth living.  The Dynamite Roasting... Read More
28 Aug
Campground Review: Branches of Niagara, Grand Island

Campground Review: Branches of Niagara, Grand Island

Three generations of my family recently enjoyed an action packed, two week RV trip through upstate New York.  We kayaked and swam in the Finger Lakes, hiked past 19 waterfalls along the gorge path at Watkins Glen State Park, cliff jumped into a crystal-clear swimming hole near Buttermilk Falls, felt the rush of cool mist blowing off of Niagara Falls, and toured lighthouses and ate like kings and queens in Woodstock and Saugerties. The highlight of our trip, though, may have been the time we spent at one of America’s most exciting new... Read More

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