Now that we purchased this big beautiful RV, we figured we needed a “practice run” to figure things out. We know we didn’t want to head out too far (just in case) so after looking around the web for a while we found a small no frills campground west of Chicago in Geneseo, Illinois. At this point we were looking for a quiet place just to get our feet wet. Geneseo Campground – right smack on their homepage, the first line read “Friendly, quiet camping in the midst of nature’s wonders!”. I was like – perfect! I also loved the fact that you could submit your reservation online. Really it just makes things easier when you can see the campground map, know what sites are open and choose the one you think is best. Nothing against, having to call to reserve, but doing it online is just easier.
We spent the week prepping – purchasing things that we knew we needed (dishes, cups, silverware, towels, chairs) basic stuff but man it adds up. It’s like moving into a new house!
The weekend couldn’t have come soon enough. We were super excited to finally take Harvey on the road and begin our new RV lifestyle that we had been dreaming about for the past 5 years.
Typical summer weather in Chicago, right as we were getting ready to leave, a big thunderstorm rolls in. So we wait… and wait… and wait some more. It took several hours for the storm to clear and now we were looking at rush hour traffic on a Friday afternoon. By that time we were looking at alternative routes to avoid major traffic. Our RV doesn’t have a built in navigation system so we relied on Google Maps on the phone (bad idea, more stories about this later). Long story short, we ended up going a little north to head west and ended up on some very rural roads. Which, if you were in a car would have been a nice scenic drive, however in a massive 34ft RV you kind of want to stick to the highways. Lesson learned (ok well kindof – more about that later).
So what should have been a straight-forward 2 1/2 hour drive, ended up taking a little under 4. We finally arrived at the campground close to 10 pm. We were exhausted! Luckily we had already reserved the site so it was just a matter of finding it (in the dark).
Just like their website said, the campground is a smaller quiet place. There are 60 spots with hook ups and about 12 tent sites. We had chosen site #28 because towards the back of the campground on the end next to a large field. We don’t particularly care for sites that are in the middle of other folks, esp when the site are really close together (as these where).
Overall a really nice place. They had a small cute little general store and a cafe. The campground is situated next to several farms and along the Hennepin Canal Parkway Trail. It was hot and really humid that weekend (very thankful for our dual air conditioners). Since we were getting our feet wet we pretty much hung out at the campsite and walked along the trail.
We spent the majority of our time looking at the RV going “Is this really ours?” and then figuring out what else we needed to buy. The one major thing we found out was that our dogs had a hell of a time getting in and out of the RV. Our dogs are pretty big (70 and 50 pounds) and they just could not get used to all the steps. Also, our older dog is over 10 years old so in fairness to him we really needed to get them a ramp before the next trip. Other than getting in and out of the RV the dogs seem to love it.
We also realized we needed a new tent – not for sleeping, but a place to hang in the summer when the bugs get bad. The one we had we purchased years ago up in Montana. We actually found a Walmart in god knows where and looked for a screen tent since the bugs were so bad. But as you can see from above pics, it’s old, and falling apart. So tent added to the list.
Our “practice run” weekend flew by but we had a great time making our “lists” and figuring out how everything in the RV worked (which we are still doing). Geneseo Campground – a great place for a quick weekend getaway if you are looking for someplace quiet just to hang out.