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RV’ing Kinzua

We are freshly back from a weekend road trip to the Kinzua Dam area in PA. We took in the Alleghany parks in PA and NY, and did some touring of NE OH, as well.

Towing our trusty Viking Spirit, was our 95 Astro conversion. No problems with the truck at all; the Astro continues to amaze, and is the best purchase I’ve ever made. At 100,000 miles, it’s as strong
as it ever was.

We did manage to have some problems with the trailer, however. About half-way there, we heard something dragging, which turned out to be the tounge jack wheel. I cranked it back up, and re-checked it’s operation. It worked fine. Since I’m usually almost anal about checking such matters I was a little surprised by it’s dragging. But, since it seemed to be in good repair other than some fresh road wear on the wheel, I mentally chided myself, shrugged, and kept going. I had no further problems so the matter was forgotten… until the next morning, as you’ll see.

We had make quickie reservations at the KOA Kinzua East [1], which seems a nice enough place.

As usual, I did check around, including a Google search on this NG, which revealed at least one person who seems to have had some problem or other. However, I’ve been by this place previously, and it looked of interest. Besides, Woodall’s listed it pretty highly, so…

We had a great time while there.  The management was friendly in the extreme.  I had a chance to strike up more than one conversation with the owner, who as it happens, came up from Jersey / NYC several years ago to set this place up. He and his wife fell in love with the area, apparently, and one can certanily understand why. The owner was busy helping an older couple with their new (to them) 5th wheel. For reasons I won’t get into here, I will report that the owner went well out of his way to help those folks. It was nice to see. One got the feeling the owner liked to help folks in need… all too rare, I’m afraid.

The place was fairly quiet, except for some area dogs, which apparently were not a part of the camp, but rather kenneled around the area.

The site was level and dry and covered with last fall’s leaves which gave it a feel like the deep woods. There were also a lot of sites for those who like open areas, as well.

The facilities were in fair enough shape, and quite clean, though the showers could have used some help, in the area of the curtains. The water was hot and plentiful however, and came with the cost of the site… no extra $$$.

Seems to be a fair number of perm and semi perm campers, but not overly tilted to such people.

The camp store appeared to be pretty well stocked, enough to get you out of a spot of trouble, but don’t depend on much food being there. You’re a good hike from the nearest grocery, so bring it with you. A few Vid games, the usual 45 RPM jukebox, a reasonal playground and a heated pool completes the picture.

We had a nice campfire that night,… $10 for very good quality wood, a generous wheelbarrow full….. and slept pretty well.  Weather was wonderful, and nearly bugfree except for a lot of fireflies. Nobody complained when we left the fire burn until well after quiet hour…. but of course we were very quiet ourselves, anyway.

When we took up camp the next morning, the tounge jack surprised us by letting go, just as I was cranking it up to put it on the truck… nearly taking my foot with it. It would no longer function at all,
apparently for the same reason it had dropped down on the road down. Out came the tools and my hydrualic jacks. I removed the tounge jack and then put the tounge up high enough that I could get the truck under it, and we got hitched up and ready to go.  A wave from the owner as we left.  We will be back.


We took our time getting home, going through the parks on the way, and taking the scenic drive up SR5 by way of NE Ohio, checking out Lake Erie State Park, (Never stayed there but plan to) and Virginia’s Beach, (I’ve already written about this one) along the way. IMO, those are the two premium sites for lakeside camping along that stretch. Everyone else is third and forth string on quality along that stretch, or on the other side of the road, out of view of the lakeshore. There’s a KOA there too, though I haven’t had much of a chance to check that out. yet. We plan a trip with just myself and the older boy to that neck of the woods later this summer, so, we’ll see.

One of those three, I think, for that one nighter.

Next on the list: the Detroit area to visit family there for a one nighter, and to Maine for a week again… Maine is turning into our favorite summer spot. Then to Scranton PA for Steamtown for an
overnight, and likley a few other spots.