Tuesday, June 19, 2012


We are at Oak Park, a municipal park in Dayton, Iowa (map). There is a camping area here in between the golf course and the rodeo grounds, where 30 amps of power can be had for $12 per night. We've moved into hot, humid weather, and having the power to run a couple air conditioners is not yet essential, but welcome.

After leaving Cabela's yesterday, we diverted a bit west of the freeway onto US-69 in Albert Lea, MN. Knowing we are now in the part of the country where many towns have small municipal campgrounds, usually right in town and often with inexpensive or even free electric hookups, Louise combed through the directories looking for a power pedestal along our route.

She came up with a wonderful city park in the town of Webster City, right on the Boone River. The guide said they had quite a few pedestals, and the first night or two would be free. On top of that, Webster City is exactly where we had planned to cross over from US-69 to IA-17 a bit further west, and while it was a little past the halfway mark en route to our friends, it was still a comfortable day.

The park turned out to be a real gem, just a short walk from downtown. Unfortunately, it also turned out to be closed, with a hand-written wooden sign to that effect leaning against the closed gate. We assume there is some damage still from last year's river flooding in this region. It was very disappointing, especially at 4:30 in the afternoon, when we were both ready to stop.

This park was our backup option, but it was nearly another hour of driving, including a very tricky 3-point turn to extricate ourselves from the closed park in Webster City -- with the gates closed, there was not really enough room to turn the coach around. In hindsight, we should have stopped just a bit earlier, at the Winnebago headquarters plant in Forest City, along the Winnebago River in Winnebago county. Two night's free power are available there, too, and you don't even need a Winnebago. (No, we did not stop to take the factory tour, although clearly many people make the pilgrimage to do so.)

The extra driving yesterday means we will have a short day today, with just 65 miles to go. Dayton did not have the dining options of either Webster City or Forest City, so I ended up grilling a steak for dinner, which was a little strange standing more or less on the golf course. There are only three other rigs here, notwithstanding some 40-odd power hookups. I imagine it fills up when the rodeo is in town on Labor Day.


  1. Is it worth the trouble buying diesel from indian reservations?

  2. Not sure what you mean by "worth the trouble"... We buy strictly on price. I use the GasBuddy site or app to research prices, and if the low price happens to be on a reservation, that's fine with us. In some states the tribes get a tax break on fuel and that might tend to lower the price, but that's not universally true.

    At 6-7 mpg, it's seldom worth going very far out of our way for fuel -- I do the math every time. So usually such reservation pricing only helps us if the reservation is already on our route.


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