Campground Snafu

She said…

One of the things we have been learning about ourselves is our “camping style.” We have been extraordinarily blessed so far to have found places to live that are isolated, remote and relatively private. Some people are comfortable just driving around until they get tired and find a place to stop and hang their hats for awhile. Some people are planners, and are not comfortable until they have a route and a reservation, and even though this is a life of adventure, uncertainty doesn’t have to be a part of it.

Although we may grow more comfortable with uncertainty as we mature as full-timers, right now we are definitely planners, and when things don’t go according to plan, we both stress out a little.

One of the groups we belong to is Harvest Host, a group of wineries, farms and museums that allow travelers to stay on their property at no charge. Said travelers are expected to purchase whatever the host produces, so more often than not, the visits are more expensive than campground fees, but we get to meet interesting people and keep our wine cellar full!

We had made arrangements to stay at Phelps Creek Winery in Hood River for two nights while we explored the Hood River Valley, an area full of wineries and fruit farms. Their information stated that they could accommodate RVs up to 40’, and the reviews stated that it was “a little uneven.” After getting into the site, there was no way that we could get level without lifting our front wheels off the ground, even with blocks, so we decided that we needed to find another place to stay. And it was the weekend.

I Immediately got out the computer, but I didn’t have much hope for an easy solution, as the Harvest Host had already been my solution to a shortage of spots over the weekend. I immediately found several dispersed camping spots, but we were over the size limit. The state and local parks we called could only tell us that they were full on Saturday and Friday, that night, would be first come first serve.

As it turns out, we are not the people who find the nearest Walmart parking lot (well, Hood River Walmart doesn’t allow overnight camping, so I guess we could have been those people). The path of least resistance turned out to be a Thousand Trails Encore park at Mt. Hood Village, where we got a 20% discount, but still over our budget.

So now we have added a major RV resort to our accommodations repertoire. Since we will be staying at Thousand Trails Resorts quite a bit in the next two months, I’m glad to say that there are some pros and cons. Basically we’re in a forest with hundreds of other RVs with their dogs and their kids. We can’t look out any of our windows and see a view without some RV in it, and there are people everywhere. So the whole remote private thing is gone. Plus we are not into organized activities, so all of that is lost on us. On the plus side, all the people (and their kids and their dogs) are relatively quiet and polite, and I have met several interesting folks, other full-timers like us. The resort itself is clean and beautiful, there are lots of biking and hiking trails, and they have Hagen-Daz pints at the camp store. All is well (and secure) with the world.

The pictures are from our hike to Wildwood Recreation Center and Nature Trail. Trailhead was accessible from the camp

An extra bonus at this RV resort, both Elsie the cat and Maybe the dog have enjoyed our stay thoroughly. Maybe has been on some really cool walks and met lots of other dogs, and Elsie has been transfixed by all the activity outside of her windows.

One thought on “Campground Snafu

  1. It’s hard figuring all this stuff out! We are 7 months in and have stayed in a variety of places. We loved the natural wooded areas, too, but sometimes they are over budget. Since we try to target 30-day stays to explore an area (we don’t always do that–we have week-long stays here and there when traveling a long distance between final destinations–aka Florida to Michigan), we get the campgrounds that are crowded on weekends (but the rates are much lower). I’ve decided to enjoy the variety–’cause the view is going to change when we want it to. Congrats on 78 days! Safe travels. Dawn

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