- A. Skinner
Kicking Off The Lewis & Clark Summer Tour!
At the start of 2021, Mike and I were excited to start planning an RV adventure in our new Featherlite bus. We had been traveling in a Newell since Mike raced full-time in NASCAR, and enjoyed the condo like space that a 4 slide Newell offered while parking most summers at Mountain Falls …. But the majority of our friends all had Prevost buses…. And we were always wondering what it would be like traveling in a Prevost chassis with our 2 dogs Ella and Clyde!
We had some smaller trips in our new bus named Saint Germain, but knew we should plan an over two month expedition out west to really see what all the fuss was about traveling the USA in a bus.
Step 1 was complete: We got the bus
Step 2 was a little more difficult. WHO can we travel with that will want to see the same sights, drinks the same wine, eat the same food and bring along their furry kids?
While in Naples, FL … we were visiting our good friends Tom and Laura Berenger, sipping a good bottle of vino. They mentioned their more northern trip would have to be changed since us good ole Americans are still not allowed to enter Canada per the pandemic. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to throw out the idea…. Why don’t you come with us out west?
I mean… we all love good cocktails, food, pickleball, history – and the most important – we treat our pets like spoiled-rotten children.
It took just a few minutes and they were already throwing out locations that needed to be include in the summer tour.
I absolutely love to plan trips and activities – hence my nickname of Julie the cruise director!
( remember The Love Boat? )
I offered to plan our stops based on some locations that all four of us really wanted to experience, and realizing that we all needed to make sure that we ended up in Sturgis early August for the bike rally, with a desire to end the grand adventure in Petosky, Michigan – then we head our separate ways!
I knew I wanted to see Utah, specifically Zion – and take in the Oregon coast. Laura put in the Lake Tahoe request. Mike wanted to make sure we stopped in his hometown of Susanville, CA, and make sure we play a round of golf at Bandon Dunes while en route to Newport, Oregon, and Tom was already quoting must-sees based on his readings of Lewis and Clark.
Within a week – we had created the Lewis & Clark Summer Tour!
Not only did I want to blog about our adventures and offer detailed notes on routes, RV Parks, good eats, and activities while traveling – Mike and I also started RV Round Up. A series of videos focused on our RV Life and adventures airing on our YouTube channel Skinner Round Up.
Since Mike and I make Mountain Falls Luxury RV Resort in Lake Toxaway, NC our summer and fall home – we elected to have the Berengers join us a month prior to enjoy spring in the Carolina mountains. Before we knew it – June 15 was a day away – which meant the tour would start with a drive to Nashville for the first stop.
We set off around 10am for an easy 6 hour drive to Nashville, where I secured two parking spaces at the Prevost facility. The location was perfect for quick rides into town to enjoy Broadway and the amazing restaurants surrounding the honkytonks.
Since we had some time to kill, Mike called his buddy Big Kenny of Big & Rich fame. We were treated to a nice cocktail hour at Kenny’s home. A few beers and bottle of champagne later, we were off to dinner at The Southern – followed by music at Twelve Thirty Lounge – and final finals at Roberts for some real old-time country jams.
Our second day in Nashville would be about fine tuning our bays, making sure tires looked good, picking up our new Buzz electric bikes and grocery shopping for the drive across Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
You can’t not go back out in Nashville, so we met our amazing friend Stacy Mitchhart ( The Blues Doctor ) for dinner at the historic restaurant Skulls. We had to eat a little early, because Stacy had to perform at 8pm sharp – and YES we went to the show!
We decided to do one more lil' lap around Broadway before heading back to our buses, because the morning would bring another 6 hour drive to Batesville, Arkansas. We thought.