Amana & Kent Park

F.W. Kent Park

The week has flown by. There were 18 Excels here from the midwest and it was nice to meet lots of new folks. We joined the Iowa Excel club and hope to see some of these folks again. The only thing is I really don’t know how well we fit in. We enjoyed the people but sometimes we felt a bit on the outside. We were the only full timing couple there and as people talked to us, we could tell they really don’t get why we would want to do this. Most of them are winter snowbirds, the majority to Texas and a few to Arizona, most going back to the same park every year. It is funny how I can understand their need to keep a “home” but somehow they couldn’t understand us wanting our rig to be our home. John and I were talking about how now that we have been out here almost a year and a half, we certainly understand this lifestyle isn’t for everyone,but we hope that others would understand why we choose to live as we do. There is room for all of us out here. In some ways I think we fit in a little better with the Escapees, they too have both part timers and full timers but everyone seems to understand both sides of the coin. I won’t go into the specifics but just that we are still finding our place in the larger community of RVers.
Lilly Lake, Amana IA 
One of the highlights of the week together was going to the musical “Sudz” at the Old Creamery Theater here in Amana. This is a professional troupe and the play was excellently done. The music is right out of the sixties and so much fun. Also ate out at both the Ox Yoke Inn and the Ronnenburg restaurants. Good family style Amana cuisine. Many of the group did the Amana shopping and some even went to Kalona. These are all areas we have been to many times and because money is a little tight right now we opted out of those excursions.

 Today, the last of the group left and by afternoon John and I were the only Excel left in the park. We wanted to do some hiking so we headed to F.W. Kent Park, it is a Johnson County park. We have been here before but I had forgotten how beautiful this park was. We drove through the campground to see what improvements they had made. This campground is very nice and we would fit well in many of the sites (electric only) but the road though the campground has a very steep hill which makes it a little less attractive and if you had a really long rig, I would be worried at the bottom of the hill. Other than that the park is a gem. It has a small lake for fishing with a very nice beach for swimming and great hiking trails. One crushed limestone trail that goes around the lake is a beautiful walk. We walked that trail and the Prairie View trail that winds thorough a very mature prairie. The view was beautiful but the humidity was oppressive and we didn’t make it as long as we had hoped for. If you are in this area it definitely is a park to check out.
I do feel like this week we have started to get back in touch with the things that set us on this path to full timing. The desire to get out and experience this beautiful country. We biked almost everyday and got out to do some hiking. Now that I am done teaching I really hope that we get back to those things. For me, those are the moments that make life worthwhile.
Happy Trails.............


  1. We love the Amana area and the "Ox yoke Inn" When I was working for GM we had lots and lots of functions there! Down home family style dining.

    Don't give up Janie on the clubs and rallies. You STILL haven't met up with us yet. We be FTer for darn sure. The few Excel rallies we've attended we felt very much a part of the community. Just lucky I guess. Enough for now! rockin'

  2. some people just don't get it... and won't get it!

  3. Very nice pictures. Looks like a beautiful place. YOU know why you are full-timers, to heck with the rest. Glad you are getting time now to do what you started out to do.

  4. I'm not much for those group campouts. Most generally consist of couples, so I'm a bit out of the loop.

  5. We haven't done any rallys or clubs yet. We have belonged to the local Jayco club since 1981 so those people have been our friends for such a long. We're just enjoying our time wherever we are, and are definitely not worried about what anyone else thinks of us :)

    I loved Lilly Lake, all those Lilly Pads. Your last picture with the willow tree is gorgeous.

  6. I imagine we will be very selective with our meet-ups, too. We've been with a small group of RVing women, which was great, but I don't see us spending a lot of time with people based on what kind of rig they drive. Maybe based on "getting" the full-time thing, or other distinctions that are dearer to us. I'm sure you'll both figure it out as you go.


  7. We had never belonged to a camping club until we bought our Excel (2007 rso). We joined the WI group, which are mostly retired folks. We didn't think we would fit in (we're 54), but it's nice getting together with them. They know we are going to be fulltimers (hopefully by next fall) and ask us about our plans.
    I enjoy reading your blog (and many others) on the great places to see in the future.
    Happy travels.
    Wendy & Ray Wright


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