“Life is better at the campsite”. That saying can be seen on tote bags, coffee cups, T-shirts and other camping supplies. I agree… mostly.
I have stayed in some beautiful campgrounds in different parts of the country.
And I’ve stayed in some that are not so great. In Middleton, Tennessee, the sites were overgrown and weeds grew up through the cracks in the tennis court. Sturbridge, Massachusetts was so muddy after several days of rain that I needed a ranger’s help backing in. I just hoped I wouldn’t sink down and get stuck!
A campground I really liked was Horseshoe Lakes in Indiana. It was peaceful with lots of trees, foliage and water. The mosquitoes liked it too, so I got out my electronic bug zapper. I sure don’t mind seeing one of those irritating insects get zapped.
Another Indiana campground, in Thorntown, was close to the 1880’s homesite of my great grandparents. I loved experiencing the long sunsets and seeing the same creek and fields they would have known well.
A few Texas campgrounds had an abundance of rainfall, and their lakes were more than full. Lake Tawakoni had a dock and walkways covered with water. The sign says “No vehicles beyond this point” because golf carts usually drive along the sidewalk!
In Illinois, I camped at the state fairgrounds in Springfield to be near the Abraham Lincoln historical sites. The campsite I chose was on blacktop with full hookups: water, electric and sewer. One morning, I opened my door and was about to step out when I saw my camping neighbor hosing down the pavement. He sheepishly explained that there had been a “mishap” with his sewer hose and he was cleaning it up. I looked more carefully at the color of the water running beneath my steps, under my trailer and on down the line of RVs and campers. It was like a Cousin Eddie scene from Christmas Vacation.
Fortunately, that afternoon there was a heavy thunderstorm that washed the asphalt clean.
A campground that I really enjoyed and made a return visit to was Gettysburg Farm in Pennsylvania. Trailers and RVs camped on a working farm in the cornfields and with a variety of farm animals.
Recently at one campground, an employee’s weed eater inadvertently tossed a rock into my back trailer window which immediately crackled and looked like this.
The maintenance supervisor and campground administrator assured me that they would cover the cost of replacement. I’ve reinforced the window and will have the work done when I’m near the dealer in California.
A small Colorado town proclaimed on their website that the first night in their municipal campground was free. I made plans to stay overnight there and went to city hall to get a camping permit.
“Free” turned out to be $25 because the city council had just enacted a new fee structure the day before I arrived. I said to the clerk behind the counter, “So yesterday it was free and today it’s $25? Your offer of a free night is all over the internet. This seems like bait and switch.” Since it was late in the afternoon and I had not made any other arrangements, I paid the $25 and got settled in my site. A couple traveling to the east coast pulled in nearby. We chatted a little, and since he also assumed it was free, he did not go to city hall, did not get a permit, and did not pay $25. I was annoyed by all this and emailed a city administrator, mentioning some of the online sites where their city offered free camping. I asked for a refund, not really expecting much. Well, the next morning, I received a very apologetic letter from the Community Services Director who admitted that the city should have immediately changed their website and given campers a grace period. He sent my refund that day. Moral: It never hurts to ask!
This is now much of northern Nevada looks.
It was a wonderful surprise, then, to find this campground just west of Wells, Nevada. Welcome Station is an oasis with lush, green lawns, huge shady trees, artesian well water and a clear flowing brook. What a restful place to stay!
Frequently, birds or animal visitors make an appearance in the campground. In Wyoming, Bambi and a friend came to dinner one evening. Campgrounds by water usually have geese or ducks.
On my epic camping trip, I’ve stayed in dozens of campgrounds across the US. Everywhere I go I meet friendly and helpful folks camping in tents, trailers, and RVs. It’s the best adventure ever.
Life really is better at the campsite (mostly).