Old dog learns…
When we took to the road on June 28th, we had heard that ALL the campgrounds were being reserved and there was nowhere to stay.
Using a planning/routing app I like called RV Parky, I have reserved 13 of the last 15 RV sites we’ve stayed in, and a couple more out west.
This app is really cool because what you don’t see below, because I have it turned off, is all the places along our route that we could stay at. By clicking on them I can see tons of information and if that’s not enough I can go to the campgrounds website and look at information, reviews, pictures as well as actually reserve the site.
This has worked well and has given us a sense of security, knowing where we would sleep each night.
But I am finding that a lot of sites on the “ol inter web” are very hard to use. What a mean is, they provide a horrible map for you to choose your site from. They may give you a little bit of information about the site, most usually whether it has water, electric or sewer and if your lucky a bit about how long and wide it is and whether it’s a pull thru or back in. Sometimes you get REAL lucky and it will tell you whether or not it’s level.
So, you have to choose a campsite based on this information and the horrible map that looks like a 4 yr old drew it. The worse part is being able to tell how far certain things are from your chosen campsite.
Which leads us to things I’ve (old dog) learned…which are many, but here are just a couple.
- Try not to pick a site near a playground, unless you have small children with you (which we do not). Small children wake up with the energy of a litter of puppies. They love to scream as if the energy cannot be contained AND parents will let their children go to the playgrounds as much as possible, sometimes as the sun is coming up. (Camel Camel growling)
2. Try not to pick a site that is across or beside or even behind the bathroom/shower houses. For some reason, even though most of the time the road goes to these places, people want to take the shortest distance to get there and that is probably going to be through your campsite.
Clinton State Park has over 500 campsites in several different loops, with about 3 bathroom/shower houses.
Because of a map that made it look like the site I had picked was perfect and somewhat secluded, I picked a corner site. I picked a site that was a pull thru right on the corner and inadvertantly across from a bathroom AND with a playground behind it.
We also had two trees but they were on the same side as our hookups,(drivers side) so our awning and our “sitting out” area (on the other side-passenger) were right on the street.
Another thing I’ve learned is that in a state or national park, with reservations made on line, there is NO chance of changing your campsite. Some places there aren’t even people to talk to about anything at the gates, if you are lucky there might be a camp host … somewhere.
This was the temperature when we got to Clinton State Park
Sometimes, when a little rain falls it’s a good thing. When we got to the campground, found our site and Paul got the electric and water hooked up, it started raining. It rained all Friday afternoon and evening, we stayed inside. Camel Camel, watched the rain.
Saturday we woke to a beautiful sunny day, we got our bikes down and rode around the park.
The dotted lines were supposed to be the hiking/biking trails but we couldn’t find them. As it was, just riding around the park on the roads and through the different campgrounds (3 of them) we rode 9.2 miles and then on Sunday we rode another 4 miles.
So, now, for the most part we are going to “wing it”. I’ve looked ahead on the map checking out this campground and that campground. Searching for those “hidden gems” or just somewhere to stop over night.
No more reservations where I can’t tell what we are getting…
Camel Camel is ever viligent as we cross Kansas…maybe he’s looking for Toto.