Griff's Valley View RV Park & Campground

Bryan standing in front of the Griff's sign

After picking up the trailer and getting an incredibly thorough walk through from Brady at Herold Trailer Sales, we needed a place nearby to unload everything from the truck into the trailer. We were also exhausted from the previous few days of packing and driving to Iowa, so we settled on a full hook up site just 30 minutes north in Altoona, Iowa. I don't think we could have found a better site for our first stay and to get unpacked! Our spot was right on a pond, the sites were all concrete, perfectly level pads with lush green grass all around. We were lucky to even get a spot, because most of the park was full.

Not bad for our first time...

For it being Bryan’s first time backing up our new trailer, he was a rock star. Perfect back up job on the first attempt. This was not luck, though. He grew up towing boats and his previous career in the oil industry required him to back up trailers frequently. Lumpy was pretty impressed. Catalina was too busy sleeping in her carrier to be bothered.

What came next was entertaining for anyone peeking out their window. It was probably the world’s longest set up. In our defense, all of our stuff was brand new and either still in the box or in the storage bins, so it took a while to open everything up. We weren’t just winging it; we had prepared and downloaded the incredibly handy checklist, so we went step by step and after two hours, we felt fairly confident we wouldn’t roll away into the pond or blow up.

Bryan getting the trailer disconnected


Now that we were fully set up, it was time for the most crucial step – introducing the cats to their new home. What if they hated it? What if they were so stressed that they never came out of hiding? What if all this planning was for nothing? Our fears quickly subsided as they took time to sniff and explore every inch and then they both made themselves at home on the bed.

Lumpy and Catalina asleep on the bed

All work and no play?

There was so much work to do – unpacking, organizing, making endless shopping lists of additional supplies, and working our full time jobs. However, there was a huge weight off our shoulders. We were actually doing this! Now was the time to have some fun, too. We explored Griff’s and the many statues scattered throughout the park. We checked out the setup of the other rigs and took some notes. We explored Altoona, tried some local beer, planned our next travels, and made our travel trailer feel like home. Next stop – Round Lake Winery in Round Lake, Minnesota.

Shelly pretending to be a cowgirl