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Old 04-23-2012, 06:24 PM   #1
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Question First Trip! Need advice

We are leaving Birmingham headed to Kansas City Missouri. We thought we would spend our first night at Rend Lake. A friend suggested Fitzgerald's State Park. From there we will go to St Louis and head west on I-70. We plan to be gone about 10 days.

1. What are some "Must Haves" that have to be packed?
2. What must be avoided?
3. Where is the best place to get gas?
4. Any other advice...

Thanks for any help.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:27 PM   #2
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1. Tool Kit, spare fuses.
2. Avoid I-70
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
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"OOPS" to quote one of the early GOP candidates. I think you may be looking for something more specific and since I have 0 knowledge of the area, I will slink off and bother my wife.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:01 PM   #5
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Thanks Jim- I just ordered the book!
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:10 PM   #6
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What we always take; besides stuff for trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tartimisi View Post

1. What are some "Must Haves" that have to be packed?
2. What must be avoided?
3. Where is the best place to get gas?
4. Any other advice...

Thanks for any help.

1. Good book, camera, bug spray, wine (2 pinot noir, 2 cabs, 1 chianti, 3 of any kinda white) and a really good sense of humor (if not double wine order!)
2. Beans and broccoli
3. See # 2 ; use "next exit" or other book reference for truck style fuel stations; love's, pilot, etc.
4. Keep us posted. Take a journal to document where you go and stay so you can use it as a reference for future stops/advice or fond memories.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tartimisi
We are leaving Birmingham headed to Kansas City Missouri. We thought we would spend our first night at Rend Lake. A friend suggested Fitzgerald's State Park. From there we will go to St Louis and head west on I-70. We plan to be gone about 10 days.

1. What are some "Must Haves" that have to be packed?
2. What must be avoided?
3. Where is the best place to get gas?
4. Any other advice...

Thanks for any help.
I70 is a mess most of the time but it's the easiest route. We're in Olathe KS and I used to drive to St Louis a lot for work and hated 70. You can go north of 70 and take 36 all the way across to Cameron then down South on I 35 or take I 70 to 54 South then to 50 then across. Where are you staying in Kansas City? Rend lake is very nice! Enjoy your trip and drop us a line if you need anything. Gas buddy works pretty good but if your running low on gas but can make it to Missouri, it's a lot cheaper and Kansas is also higher.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:33 PM   #8
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First night stop

We have camped at Rend Lake. It is nice. Johnston City also has a nice city park on the water for only $7 a night, if you are a senior.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:49 PM   #9
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1. Good book, camera, bug spray, wine (2 pinot noir, 2 cabs, 1 chianti, 3 of any kinda white) and a really good sense of humor (if not double wine order!)
2. Beans and broccoli
3. See # 2 ; use "next exit" or other book reference for truck style fuel stations; love's, pilot, etc.
4. Keep us posted. Take a journal to document where you go and stay so you can use it as a reference for future stops/advice or fond memories.
Thanks for the suggestions- we will be packing the liquor and humor first! I think I will lay off of the beans and broccoli. What are you trying to do? Kill me! I already know it is tight quarters. Is "Next Exit" an app for the phone? I will keep a journal. I think we have a lot to learn- But the good news is... I hear that the Airstream people are really nice and helpful! Thanks Again
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:51 PM   #10
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We have camped at Rend Lake. It is nice. Johnston City also has a nice city park on the water for only $7 a night, if you are a senior.
I will look into that. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:02 PM   #11
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I70 is a mess most of the time but it's the easiest route. We're in Olathe KS and I used to drive to St Louis a lot for work and hated 70. You can go north of 70 and take 36 all the way across to Cameron then down South on I 35 or take I 70 to 54 South then to 50 then across. Where are you staying in Kansas City? Rend lake is very nice! Enjoy your trip and drop us a line if you need anything. Gas buddy works pretty good but if your running low on gas but can make it to Missouri, it's a lot cheaper and Kansas is also higher.
Thanks for the news on !-70. We will be in the Parkville Area- Not far from the Airport. I go up to KC often to help with weddings. My sister-in-law has a barn and does weddings there. She keeps a pretty busy schedule. I felt like I wanted my own space, so I retired in December from teaching and my parents bought me an Airstream. Neither me or my husband has ever been around camping- So we are in for a treat! My sister-in-law just bought a 1962 Airstream from Florida. It's in rough shape but we are trying to restore it to be used for the bride's room. If you are ever in the area- Fresh Air Farm is the name and you can get info on line. Stop in if you are in the area. Thanks for your help!
Treva and Dennis
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:11 PM   #12
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First Trip! Need advice

Greetings Tartimisi!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstreaming!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tartimisi View Post
We are leaving Birmingham headed to Kansas City Missouri. We thought we would spend our first night at Rend Lake. A friend suggested Fitzgerald's State Park. From there we will go to St Louis and head west on I-70. We plan to be gone about 10 days.

1. What are some "Must Haves" that have to be packed?
2. What must be avoided?
3. Where is the best place to get gas?
4. Any other advice...

Thanks for any help.
Should you find that you don't want to travel as far as Rend Lake on the first night, Giant City State Park in Makanda is about an hour South of Rend Lake. Giant City State Park features a very nice campground with an excellent lodge that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (they are renowned for their family style fried chicken . . . and I am partial to their filet mignon). The park is known for its vistas, rock formations, and hiking trails.

If you are looking for local favorites for lunch or dinner, one of mine is the Maid Rite Diner in Christopher, IL . . . if you aren't familiar with Maid Rites, they are crumbled hamburger sandwiches with a unique seasoning mixture, and was likely what the Loose Meat sandwiches on the Roseanne show were patterned (in fact, Roseanne and Tom Arnold operated The Big Food Diner in Eldon, Iowa that feature Loose Meat sandwiches for a time).

There are two excellent pork bar-b-que restaurants not too very far from Rend Lake (both to the South). My favorite is Dixie Bar-b-Que in Jonesboro, Illinois. Dixie has been a family run business since 1936, and serves home smoked pork bar-b-que with a unique home-made sauce. Some of my family members prefer Schemwell's Bar-b-Que in Cairo, Illinois -- another family owned business with a very long history they serve a home-smoked pork bar-b-que with a very interesting home-made sauce. If you choose to try Schemwells' don't miss Fort Defiance park in Cairo . . . it has a spectacular view of the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. If you choose to try Dixie, the Bald Knob Cross of Peace in Alto Pass is an attraction to see . . . it has been said that three states can be seen from the site of Bald Knob Cross.

Enjoy your adventure!

Kevin

P.S.: I second the advice to head North to US 36 for a more scenic and leisurely drive. For more than a decade, I traveled from Cape Girardeau, MO to Hays, KS, and I much prefer the US 36 drive.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:07 PM   #13
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Greetings Tartimisi!

Welcome to the Forums and the world of Airstreaming!



Should you find that you don't want to travel as far as Rend Lake on the first night, Giant City State Park in Makanda is about an hour South of Rend Lake. Giant City State Park features a very nice campground with an excellent lodge that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (they are renowned for their family style fried chicken . . . and I am partial to their filet mignon). The park is known for its vistas, rock formations, and hiking trails.

If you are looking for local favorites for lunch or dinner, one of mine is the Maid Rite Diner in Christopher, IL . . . if you aren't familiar with Maid Rites, they are crumbled hamburger sandwiches with a unique seasoning mixture, and was likely what the Loose Meat sandwiches on the Roseanne show were patterned (in fact, Roseanne and Tom Arnold operated The Big Food Diner in Eldon, Iowa that feature Loose Meat sandwiches for a time).

There are two excellent pork bar-b-que restaurants not too very far from Rend Lake (both to the South). My favorite is Dixie Bar-b-Que in Jonesboro, Illinois. Dixie has been a family run business since 1936, and serves home smoked pork bar-b-que with a unique home-made sauce. Some of my family members prefer Schemwell's Bar-b-Que in Cairo, Illinois -- another family owned business with a very long history they serve a home-smoked pork bar-b-que with a very interesting home-made sauce. If you choose to try Schemwells' don't miss Fort Defiance park in Cairo . . . it has a spectacular view of the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. If you choose to try Dixie, the Bald Knob Cross of Peace in Alto Pass is an attraction to see . . . it has been said that three states can be seen from the site of Bald Knob Cross.

Enjoy your adventure!

Kevin

P.S.: I second the advice to head North to US 36 for a more scenic and leisurely drive. For more than a decade, I traveled from Cape Girardeau, MO to Hays, KS, and I much prefer the US 36 drive.
Kevin-
Thanks so much for the great information. Sounds like you know the area really well. Looks like we need to go in US 36 for sure. I better get the maps out and start studying. We better be ready to eat on our way through! Great Suggestions!
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:08 AM   #14
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First Trip! Need advice

Greetings Tartimisl!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tartimisi View Post
Kevin-
Thanks so much for the great information. Sounds like you know the area really well. Looks like we need to go in US 36 for sure. I better get the maps out and start studying. We better be ready to eat on our way through! Great Suggestions!
You are welcome, and I am happy that you enjoyed my suggestions. My mother's family has called this area home for more than a century, and I have called the family farm of 100 years home since 1973. My aunts and uncles took great pride in showing me around the area and teaching me about places of historical significance when they realized how much I wanted to know about our new home when we moved here from the Chicago suburbs in 1973 (I was 13 at the time).

I hope that you enjoy your visit to Southern Illinois . . . and if you are like many of my friends, you will wonder whether you are actually in Illinois if your prior expriences have been with Northern Illinois!

Kevin

P.S.: When considering US 36 as your route, there are several ways of getting there from Southern Illinois. My usual route has been IL 127 North to Interstate 64 West . . . from I-64 take exit 23 (Mascoutah/Lebanon) . . . head North on IL 4 (toward Mascoutah) . . . continue on IL 4 about 30 miles . . . then Interstate 55 -- North toward Springfield about 50 miles . . . continue onto Interstate 72/US 36 West at Springfield . . . if you have time, Springfield has much to offer the tourist . . . one of the few remaining operating drive-in theaters in the state (Route 66 Drive In) and there are two museums that I always try to take friends to visit . . . Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois State Museum.
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