Well, without further ado, here is our cheap rv living blog update for days seven and eight, as we continue our trek west…have you missed us? Today marks day 8 since we left Rantoul, Illinois – but given I was too damn tired and lazy to even look at the computer last night, you get two days for the price of one!
Speaking of PRICE, I’m so glad I did the research on cheap rving sites to date, because once you get into the tourist utopias of the “Badlands” and “Yellowstone” – well, goodbye frugality. Cha-ching…that’s the sound of everyone making money on your desire to explore the west. It is too funny……..every state has “the gateway to Yellowstone.” Gateway? It’s hundreds of miles away!! We got some laughs on those signs in the past few days. Yeah…turn off here…you’ll get there in a few days.
But I digress……
DAY 7 – Moorcroft, Wyoming
So Day 7 we left our little $5/night gem in Wasta, SD. The good news is that this was the best day for gas prices ($3.39/gallon), the bad news is that the “hills” ain’t hills no more so gas savings are out the window. Your vehicle, as you climb, will start making those revving noises that scare you to death. You start feeling sorry for your vehicle, knowing it is towing thousands of pounds of camper behind you. You begin wondering (you have lots of time to wonder, because the ascent is so slow) if you shouldn’t have dumped some more clothing off, a few more books, that blender you never use…ANYTHING to lighten the load. Maybe the gigantic, 20 pound cat you travel with?!
Anyway, we made it to our destination in Moorcroft, Wyoming. We stayed at the Rangeland Motel and RV Park there. It was $25/night, which isn’t terrible, given it was the ONLY RV site in Moorcroft. Let me say right now, oh ye happy campers, that rvers have few options once you enter this part of I-90 in Wyoming. You have to plan, be prepared and be careful. We were going to stay at Keyhole State Park (I thought it was $10, but that was only for residents – and it had electric only, no showers, pit toilets, 6 miles off the highway, $22/night AND you had to have a reservation, even if they had empty sites…we decided to skip it). Moorcroft was right after that…and the “rv park” we found was all there was.
The owner was nice but you have to understand there are very few sites (six I think) and they are all back-in – AND they are right on the street, so traffic is noisy. The town is cute, we walked around…as is typical (and as we’ve missed) people out west are actually kind and happy folks. But not our dream campsite. The pictures below are all of that rving campground. If you are a gigantic motorhome pulling a toad behind you, this will not work for you!
Day 8 – Sheridan, Wyoming
So I woke up this morning at 4:30 a.m. which only proves I’m getting older – if the bags under my eyes, more wrinkles and gray hair (I like to call it ash blonde highlights) hadn’t already convinced me of this. Yes, waking up at 4:30am and thinking that was somehow ok just proves I…am…old. Actually, I woke up early for a few reasons, which I will conveniently use as my excuses at this point in time:
- We changed to Mountain Time so I’m a mess – I woke up early on central time, so now I’m really in trouble
- We are camped on a street corner, with sounds of trucks, trains, cars…once I wake up, I’m sunk
- I really had to use the bathroom – probably too much information for you, but I have to be honest
- Hannah decided to drink her entire bowl of water at one time and then gagged it up on the carpet so before morning coffee, I was washing the rug
- The sun rises here at just about that time, which is absolutely ridiculous if you ask me
So that was the start of the day. Needless to say, we were on the road early and got to pull off at our next stop at the KOA in Sheridan, Wyoming in the afternoon. Now anyone traveling this way needs to truly listen to the following…THERE ARE FEW STOPS FOR GAS during this 200 mile stretch through Wyoming. I’m not kidding. There isn’t the little 100 year old Texaco station for a reprieve….even if gas is overpriced there. Nope, there is nothing.
You need to fill up with gas in Gillette, Wyoming. After that, there is nothing for nearly 70 miles. Not a drop of gasoline. Fortunately, we have a duel tank system on our truck, so we filled up both tanks to make it through. Maybe 70 miles doesn’t sound too bad, but your gas mileage will plummet at the same time if you’re rving. These aren’t hills you will be encountering, they are 30mph ascents in the middle of nowhere. You need to get gas in Gillette – don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Plus, we’ve had terrible gas mileage most of this trip because of the intense winds out here. It never ends!!!!
So let’s move on to talk about KOA’s, shall we?
KOA – it stands for Kampgrounds Of America and is probably how most of the USA’s children actually spell campgrounds these days…knowing no better. We dodge these places at all costs, because they stand for everything we try to get away from.
Let’s use day 8’s site as an example. Now I will say that the KOA in Sheridan, WY is run by the nicest older lady you’d ever care to meet. But here is the thing….they are BIG BUSINESS, independently owned. The rv park was 95% empty and we were hoping to choose a site. But at KOA’s you can’t choose a site…they pick it for you. But that’s not all….there is a KOA formula – we tell them the length of our 5th wheel and the 80 sites we had to choose from shrink down to 8. She put us right next to one of the six rvs here…that wouldn’t do. So I walked up to the office to beg for a different one. AHHHH, but the formula looks at the length of our fifth wheel, which disqualifies us for most sites without paying “extra.” Now this older woman is a Wyomingian (not a word, I know) – and she didn’t want to force us to pay more so she typed away into the computer HOPING it would accept a different site for us without having to take more money from us.
KEEP IN MIND THE KOA FRICKING KAMPGROUND WAS EMPTY!!!!!!!!!!! STILL IS AT 730 PM!!!!!!!!!!!
Do you get what I’m saying? There are no people here, but KOA’s are some type of calculation, not an rving experience, so don’t get too excited. An empty park does not mean you will get privacy….so be sure to lie about the length of your camper. I don’t think they truly look…I should have said we have a 240 foot motorhome……we’d get the whole damn park to ourselves!
I’m sorry oh loyal rvers – KOA’s are convenient when desperate, but they aren’t camping. They are great if you have kids you wish to shove off in the direction of the swimming pool, but for folks like us we’d gladly stay at places like we did in Wasta, SD for $5.00. It is just too commercial. We want the rv campgrounds where WE choose our site…..
Anyway, the following are the pictures from the KOA we are at tonight, in Sheridan, WY. The wind is wild, as always…but no worries. Mr. Ed and Wilbur are keeping us cozy.
Signing off on our cheap rv living blog for a little while. Tomorrow we will be at another KOA in Billings, MT, because there are very few campgrounds available…YES, I SAID MONTANA!!!! I won’t be blogging for a bit because we are visiting family for a few days, but will post again on our rv blog when back on the road. I will close with this picture for those who have doubts our pets actually travel well and get along…….Hannah and Spot are absolutely exhausted, but still they are buddies, as this photo shows………….
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