Discovering the Corps

Well finally, we are back on the road, but not without some stress.  It seems like no matter how hard we try something always happens right before we leave that throws everything out of whack.  We always work through it, but it impacts our preparedness as our minds aren’t totally focused on the trip.   Until we start doing this full time, we have to load and unload a lot of our belongings each time so inevitably some things get left behind or left undone.  That’s why I said in an earlier post that I don’t want to take a trip less than two weeks anywhere.  It just isn’t worth the hassle, in my opinion, to load and unload the motor home for any less time.   Ahhh the transition to full timing!

The initial plan for this trip was to stop in Eaufaula, AL the first night and then on to Jackson, MS followed by Tunica and then Metropolis, IL before arriving at our destination of Effingham, IL.  In the past, we have had problems finding many camping facilities in the middle

of Mississippi to choose from so we have tended to stay south and then work our way north to the Memphis area, usually Tunica, MS.  Well this time I felt Jackson, MS was a little too far out of the way and we would be better angling across the state which necessitated finding something in the mid Mississippi area.  Consequently, I used one of our phone apps to search and found the Army Corps of Engineers Whitten Park in Fulton, MS.  We have never stayed at a COE campground before, but have heard good things about them.   What a jewel this turned out to be!  If all the COE facilities are anything like this one, I will be looking for these places.

Our Pull Through Site
Our Pull Through Site
Our Site
Our Site

I checked their website and found that you can book online up to 4 days before your stay.  Since we were inside that 4 day window, I called the park and discovered that they hold a certain number of spaces for “walk ins” like us.  They informed us that they still had spots on a first-come first-served basis, and that they didn’t believe it would be a problem getting one that night.  Our rig size of 40 feet with a tow was not an issue either.  The attendant just said that we would be assigned a site upon our arrival and that the gate closed at 10 pm.  Perfect!

Liz and Montana at Park Entrance
Liz and Montana at Park Entrance
View from Picnic Table to RV
View from Picnic Table to RV

When we arrived at the gate to check in, it went smoothly and the staff was friendly and engaging.  We had another surprise, in that the normal cost of $22 per night was cut in half to $11 because of our National Park Senior Pass.  I guess there are a few perks to getting older.  That’s a price hard to beat for a park as great as this one.  If there is a downside, it is that all the sites are electric and water only so you have to use their dump site to empty your tanks.  We were there for only one night, so we didn’t even dump before leaving.

Road to Gate
Road to Gate
One of the Back In Sites
One of the Back In Sites
One of the Trails
One of the Trails
Gazebo Overlooking the Lake
Gazebo Overlooking the Lake
Beach
Beach
Map of Campground. Sites in Black can be Reserved.
Map of Campground. Sites in Black can be Reserved.

Overall, this is an excellent campground that is well maintained and clean.  It certainly ranks high on the list of places that we have stayed.  Just remember it has only water and electric (30/50 amp) so you need to dump your tanks at their station.  We didn’t check out the sites in the area, but it is close to Tupelo, MS – the birthplace of Elvis so all you Elvis fans should keep that in mind.  You can check out all the campgrounds and facilities provided to the public by the COE at the below link:

http://www.recreation.gov/campgroundDirectoryListByAgencyID.do?contractCode=NRSO&agencyID=70902

The sites are listed by name in alphabetical order, but you can do a search by state.  You will also note that you can access the campground reservation system from this site.  A book is also in print and available from Amazon that has tons of information on the COE facilities.  Here is that link:

http://www.amazon.com/Camping-With-Corps-Engineers-campgrounds/dp/0937877514

Next we are off to the casinos in Tunica, MS.  They can make great overnight or even destination stops.  I will cover casino camping in my next post.

Later….

 

 

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