Camper Van vs Motorcycle Trip to the Lake for a Weekend Campout
This week, Kait and I try something new as we head to the lake to do some camping. [intro music] Thank you to Storyteller Overland for sponsoring this video. Well, it's official. Kait and I are going solo. I'm taking the motorcycle, she's taking the van, and we're meeting at Patoka Lake Campground in Southern Indiana.
We're gonna be camping with some friends this weekend and decided why not see what it's like to go separately and use the van as a basecamp? Well, I am all ready to rock and roll. The van is packed, ready for a weekend of adventure. I'm gonna wait to take off until Joe hits the road. And as you can see, I still need to get suited up from my ride. I'm not going in flip-flops, shorts, and a t-shirt, so I've gotta gear up. I've also gotta fill up with fuel, and Kait and I are gonna have to meet at the campground.
She's taking a more direct route, but I'm gonna take you on my route. I've got all my vents open because it is a hot day. I think it's getting up to the low 90s.
And Joe is off. This isn't the first time that we've separated. We used to carry the DR-Z with us quite a bit when we were full-time on the road, and when we do split up like this, we always share our location with each other. Since we both have Apple devices, it makes it very convenient, and I can see where he is, especially when we're taking different routes.
I also make sure to have water within reach, because when you're solo, there's no one who can get up and grab something for you from the back of the van. All right. All fueled up. Get this bike started, and we're off. As Kait would say, "like a herd of turtles." I don't know where she got that, but it works.
Looking forward to taking y'all along with me for this amazing ride. It is a gorgeous day today, despite the fact that it's quite warm. What's nice is, once you're on a motorcycle and you get going, I have all the vents and everything open on my jacket, and that air just gets in there, hits the sweat, and it's like air conditioning. So in case you haven't noticed, we do live out in the country, and there is all the corn. So, it is gonna be knee-high for the 4th of July. I'll say that much. So, while the road is pretty sedate, I figure I'll tell you more about why Kait and I are going solo.
So, we wanted to do more of this travel where I'm on the motorcycle, she's in the van, and, you know, we can kind of go our separate routes to get there, but once we're at the campground, she can take her gear, throw it on, we can go for rides and really explore some fun roads and areas on the motorcycle, and not have to always be taking the van. Now, as many of you know, we have another motorcycle that we would carry on the back of our camper, and that is a Suzuki DR-Z, which was a great bike, but the problem is, over 55 miles an hour, you really don't want to be on that thing, and it's not comfortable for two people. Kait could go a max of like 15, 20 minutes on that before her butt was just killing her. So this is a huge upgrade for her, and for me, it's a lot more comfortable. I've got the cruise control. It's a 1300,
so this thing has oodles of power, which I have to be careful I don't get in trouble And it's just great to ride. So we are gonna be taking a trip later this year-- Or later this summer, I should say, out to North Carolina, and taking a bike with us and kind of really exploring those roads in that area on a motorcycle. So, the road that we're on, this is the Ohio Scenic Byway.
It's actually running parallel to the 64 right now. Kait's taking the highway, I'm taking these back roads just cuz they're more fun. It's better scenery, and I figured I'd show y'all kind of this southern area of Indiana. There is the Blue River. When it's up, you can actually go kayaking on it. Kait's done it, I haven't yet. These roads are definitely pretty, they just don't have the corners that canyons do. So,
when you go canyon riding, it's all very like knee off the bike, drag it along the ground, really go back and forth. These are just big, long, sweeping corners, and it's nice and relaxing. But to me, it doesn't add any sort of challenge to the road. So I'm looking forward to getting out to North Carolina where they have a lot more of those really tight and twisty roads that I love. Well, we are currently looking at the Ohio River.
This is our first ride. There's still some bugs and things to work out. I do apologize for any audio issues. I'm still trying to play with the mic and its placement. All right, let's do this. Okay. I got my GPS.
Uh, I don't know if I want to turn here. Where am I going to? I'm gonna keep going. Oh, detour. I have to turn. I love riding motorcycles and going on trips like these. So,
I do think we'll need to find a trailer of some sort. You know, if something were to happen to me, like, let's say, I fall coming out of the van or I'm sick, or any number of things - but if that happens, someone would need to ride the bike home or get it somewhere. Kait's not able to do that. And if we don't have a trailer, we have no way of taking it unless I'm physically able to ride. So, I think if we're gonna do this on a regular basis, we'll need that trailer, but for now, we're just testing and playing around with it. Okay. I think I'm gonna do some more of these,
and you guys let me know. I was thinking about doing a Sunday Ride With Joe, where I answer your questions about anything. So leave comments, questions, whatever, and I'll try to get on there and answer them. Okay. I'm gonna pull over for a moment. And what I'm going to do is figure out the route I want to take since that road was closed.
I need an alternative, cuz I don't feel like getting on the highway. Let's see here. Exit out. Yeah, I think that's good. Let's take-- We'll go north and then cut over this way. That way, we can avoid the 64 - the highway. All right, let's do this.
Cars, cars. So many cars. With a 1300, you do get really nice acceleration and gobs of power in pretty much any gear. I absolutely love this bike. I hope this is sounding well for all of you. Let me know what you think about the camera placement, the audio, those types of things, just so I can get a kind of perspective as to what you are experiencing when you watch this. I do want to thank all of the viewers that were suggesting state parks for us to go to in Indiana.
So far, we've been to O'Bannon. We really haven't camped there. We've hung out at the campground. And now, going up to Patoka Lake. It'll be a nice little experience. Our friends are bringing boats so we can take the boats out, and-- Oops. There we go. And that was one that a lot of you recommended so we're really looking forward to it.
I think Turkey Run State Park was probably the top winner in terms of number of people who recommended it. I always enjoy riding through the country. I mean, there's so much stuff to see. Just little things, small country roads to go down and get lost. My last long ride that I did in this area, I was actually riding along down this little country road I found. No lines in the road, just wide enough barely for two cars to pass each other.
And I get to the end of it, and it was literally the end of the road. It dead-ended at someone's farm, and I had to-- I didn't have any cell phone service, so I had to turn around, go back to where I had come from to kind of pick up cell service again, turn the GPS on and try to figure out where I needed to go, but it's a lot of fun. That's one of the things I love about being on a motorcycle, is you're really nimble and agile, and it makes it easy to do stuff like that. It makes it fun. You don't have to worry about a road being too small or anything else, and when you get tired, you just pull over, get off.
But you get to experience the air, the wind, the sights, the scenery - a lot more than you do in a vehicle. Let's see if these guys wave. I'm gonna wave. And wave. Hey. Hey. There we go. I got one.
This is kind of an in-between bike. It's a sport bike, but it's a touring bike, so it's meant to go long distances. And sometimes, I get the Harley wave, sometimes I don't. I always get the sport bike wave, so... I think people are always a little confused too, because, here I am. I wear full gear and a helmet, you know, jacket, pants, everything.
And a lot of the people, like the ones you just saw go by, wear shorts, T-shirts, no helmet. And I think they look at me like I'm crazy, especially in this heat. The thing with these country roads, however, is you have to be a little careful. Sometimes, corners will come up and you don't get any notice about 'em, like blind corners.
And, a lot of times, you'll find gravel on the road. So, people like have these gravel driveways coming in and out. That gravel will collect, and you'll find it a lot of times in the corners, so you have to keep your eyes up and be wary of stuff like that. And also, since there are no lines in the road, people like to kind of drive down the middle, especially on not-so common roads.
Unfortunately, this isn't nearly-- Well, I wouldn't really call this "scenic" - not nearly as beautiful as the Ohio Scenic Byway that we missed, but-- And I apologize for that. But, it is what it is. You just kind of gotta roll with it and see where the road takes you. This is pretty. I take all of what I said back.
Road, you have redeemed yourself. Good job. Back on the main-ish road. All clear, and we go. Okay. Let's do the wave test. Oh. Two out of three. There's always that person in the back. They're like, "Eh."
Well, Kait has certainly beaten me to the campground. She took the highway and she will have gotten there first. Got us all checked in, got a parking pass. Also told them that Joe was on his way, so let's go check out this campground. This is a really nice campground. It's huge. So, apparently, there are 404 sites in this modern campground.
That's a lot of sites. Got the van parked. Now, I'm just waiting on Joe. Looks like we've got a fire ring. It's a pretty nice site. It is definitely warm. The temp gauge is showing 89 in the camper. Well, less than 10 miles to get there. This has been a nice ride. A lot better than taking the highway.
And my MPG on this ride so far has been 51.6. It beats the van any day of the week. I just checked the location sharing and I think Joe's here. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for coming along on the ride with me. It was great to have you, great to show you some of Southern Indiana, and really have that kind of one-on-one conversation.
If you liked it, let me know in the comments down below. And again, I'm thinking of doing Sunday Rides With Joe. We'll see if that happens or not. But it would basically just me answering your questions on a ride kind of like what I was doing today. So that's it. We're at the campground.
Apparently, I missed Kait's text, and I have to go back to the office to get some stuff done, get our annual pass. But outside of that, I am just ready to relax. It's hot. This is what happens when you go solo. Joe has no idea what's going on. - I didn't see the text come through. - I did send very detailed instructions.
She did. I can see them now. I didn't get Kait's text message, but what I did get was a camp that was already fully set up, the air conditioning running, and lunch waiting for me. I don't know. This solo travel thing might be working out pretty good in my favor. I made a pesto pasta salad last night. There's chicken in here, some fresh mozzarella, some greens, and pasta.
And it's absolutely delicious. Thank you. Pretty sure I just heard our friend roll up, so we're gonna go, say hi and check out their site. As we approached our friend's campsite, we realized they had a lot more to set up. But if anyone didn't like it, they were directed to this sign. Well, since this site is in direct sun and it's going to be that way for most of the day, we decided to see if there are any more sites, and we found one. It is completely shaded, so we're currently moving all of our stuff over there.
Luckily, with a camper van, it's an easy take down and then move out, and Kait's gonna leave me. All right. It's time to get Ian's tent set up. Oh, by the way, I didn't introduce everybody. This is my friend from college, Ian.
- Ian, this is everybody. - Hello. And he's tent camping with us, so we're gonna be comfortable in the van. He's gonna be miserable outside. And I did offer, we did offer that he can sleep in the van if he needs to, so there's that.
After discussing the finer points of tent placement, we finally got to work, putting up Ian's tent. Okay. Well, I think we're gonna go over and hang out with the hot mess over here. Ian has got his tent set up. We have our beverages, and - we'll see what happens tomorrow. - And I'm safe from bugs.
Joe likes it all, we all know that. It's everything-- I call it "Jill's everything sauce". It goes good on literally everything.
- Oh, that's good. - It's ****ing crack there, dude. - Oh my God. - It's got jalapeños in it and everything. It's really good. Ooh, yum. With chips and "everything" dip in hand, we settled in for a night around the campfire.
Good morning. Now, we're gonna go see what the natives are up to and what the plan for today is. A cup of coffee. Once I have some of this, I'll be good to go. - Do you have any idea what the plan is for today? - Um, get on the water. - Yeah.
Sometimes, the simplest plans are the best. So we got on the boat and headed out on the lake. With Drew focused on where he was going, Ian and I sat back and enjoyed the cruise along Patoka Lake.
When we arrived in our cove, the Redneck Yacht Club formed up, and we hopped in the water. So, Ian and I, after we got back from the lake, decided to take a hike. And so far, the park is absolutely gorgeous. Kait only came for a very short period of time, and then she went back.
I think she wants to nap and relax while the boys get their exercise. You know, one downside of riding a motorcycle is I can't drink coffee while I'm riding. I can drive the van and drink a cup of coffee, but I can't do that on my motorcycle cuz I don't like open-face helmets.
For this trip, bringing the bike was kind of extraneous. It was nice to have the ride to get here. But outside of that, I really haven't used it. Joe did forget that we had to ride the motorcycle to the camp host to switch our site, so it did come in very handy. - Yes, it is nice having a vehicle like that at camp. - Especially when the campground is this big, and there are 404 sites, and it would've taken forever - Yeah. - for us to walk out to get our site switched.
150-horsepower motorcycle is the perfect around-the-campground shuttle. Making fried rice. Here's our delicious fried rice. How is it, Ian? It's very good.
Everybody's been coming by and taking a bowl. It's delicious. Let's see. Oh yeah, those are good-looking rib-- - Ribeye? - Ribeye and strips. - They look like ribeye. Patoka Lake was two thumbs up.
Had a great time camping here with friends, enjoyed all the potluck meals, including this morning Sunday breakfast. But now, we are gonna pack the van. Joe's gonna get on the motorcycle, and we're gonna head home. Really fun to check out a new state park in Indiana, and looking forward to doing more motorcycle-van trips, so stay tuned for the Blue Ridge Parkway, coming up next.
Thank y'all for watching. If you enjoyed the video, give it a thumbs up, subscribe to the channel, and check out weretherussos.com for more content. See y'all next time.