Old Diary

Too many trees, Too few trees

The Best PeachNo matter what you do, you’re never going to please everyone.  On Thursday I was chatting with another camper (whom we seem to be following from campground to campground) about Corps of Engineers campgrounds.

They are a lovely couple, have been full timing about as long as we, and they have been working their way around the country going to Corps campgrounds in every state — this was the last Corps campground in Wisconsin that they had to try.  And it seems “this is the worst Corps Campground we have been in.”  — so says the husband.


Highland Ridge Campground, Eau Galle Lake, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Spring Valley, Wisconsin

Two years ago when we were hosting here a camper arrived from NJ (not on a single day’s drive — that’s where they were from — and he proceeded to tell us that there were too many trees here, and the sites were too hilly.  “The Corps should just chop all of these trees down and make the sites bigger and easier to get into” he was quick to tell me.  They left the next morning.  Evidently they didn’t like it either.

And then you have us, (and hundreds of others) who love the campground as it is, and hope they never do anything to change it.  We have stayed here three out of our almost four years of full timing.  I think that’s a reasonable demonstration that we like this place.

I participate in an RV’ers community called RVillage.com and one of the curiosities has been the number of people who participate in an online community and expect others to do their research for them.  “We’re buying an RV in the next couple years, can you tell us which is better a 5th Wheel or a Class A” ,  “What kind of tires should I buy,”  “How can I get from Pueblo CO to Kansas City”…. you get the idea.  I sometimes wonder if they really want to know something, or if that’s just their way of trying to make conversation (I don’t think it is).  Then again I remember that some professor in Oregon (I think) has concluded that there are something like 26 different ways of learning — and I guess expecting others to do your research for you is one of them.  But I just don’t get it.   Still and all, the point is everyone has their own opinion and when it comes to camping and RV’ing we all do it differently because we are all individuals.

There are days when I think I need to get the phrase, “There’s No Right Way to RV” tattooed on my forehead.  But no one’s paying attention anyway!

Our stay here looks like it will be lovely this year.  The campground is on high ground.  Temperatures between here and the town of Spring Valley in the … duh… VALLEY…  can vary by as much as 10º over a distance of scarcely 5 miles…. this is a little microclimate;  one of those areas where drafts and tree cover do fascinating things to temperature and precipitation.  We’ve been in the low 80’s on the thermometer but it feels much cooler.  I haven’t had the A/C on since we arrived and the sun-dappled light is easier on the eyes when you’re outside.

We’ve been getting reacquainted with people.  The Corps staff has changed markedly in 2 years but those who know us have been a pleasure to talk with and those who don’t are becoming fast friends already.

This is NOT a flat campground.  Well… there might be two spots in the campground that are flat but they aren’t very large.  Our twice daily walks within the campground put on at least 1.3 miles each and I can feel it in my knees and my calves especially.  After the flat terrain of Thomson, and Blackhawk we’re working other muscles than we were there and it’s good for us.

Tent-Camping-ImageThis is very much a family campground.  To us it seems as if there are more grand parents and grand kids here than at almost any other campground we have ever visited.  Every campground does have it’s own personality.  Many of the campers are here every weekend and the majority come from … oh,  about a 50 mile radius.

The Rangers and county sheriff make regular tours through the park and even at capacity it’s rare to find rowdy campers or campground abusers.  The only time we witnessed that the Sheriff made short work of ending that situation.  It’s nice to be in a place where people are polite to each other and outgoing.  Sitting in our chairs in the afternoon shade yesterday it was even hard to get through a few chapters in the book I’m currently reading for all the friendly folks who stopped by just to chat.  We could have turned out chairs away from the street and they would have walked right on by, but it’s more fun to face out to the road and see who might make the 10 step detour off the road and over to talk.  Being on a corner in the campground people walk around two side of our site so there’s plenty of time for interaction.

The diets are coming along.  We’re both down 10 lbs (over differing time periods) and we are feeling good.  With any amount of luck I won’t get yelled at by the doctor for gaining weight this year and I might be closer to my weight from 2 years ago instead of last year’s embarrassment.walking

Being on a diet means that we aren’t going to some of the restos we discovered 2 years ago.  For a rural community we found that there were several little ma & pa operations nearby that we really enjoyed and the people were lovely.  I’ll miss seeing them and getting re-acquainted but you can’t have everything and right now getting healthier is more important.  I realized a couple months ago that after the double dose of the flu that I had during the winter and spending several weeks in bed, followed by the sprained ankle that my stamina needs improvement so I’ve been trying to be good about regular exercise in addition to watching the pounds.  We’re getting there.

Oh, and that couple that think this is the worst campground… well they have more experience of Corps camping in Texas and we got a couple ideas for what we might do in future winters; once we get past this winter’s stay at Bosque del Apache.

Thanks for coming along on our Life Unscripted.  It’s nice to hear from those of you who follow regularly.  And, I’ll talk with you tomorrow.



2 thoughts on “Too many trees, Too few trees

  1. Linda Sand says:

    We made a camp host nervous once. We were camped in a state park in our little Winnebago View but there were ten of us sitting around the fire so he bicycled over to check on us. It was Dave’s family visiting for a wiener roast–they weren’t staying overnight.


    • Oh, Linda, that’s funny!

      Even though it’s just the two of us traveling I have noticed on recreation.gov that the sites list the capacity — and I have seen some sites with an occupancy as high as 16 per site — and not being ‘group sites.’

      I love more than seeing a large family gathered around an evening campfire. I’m not much on campfires anymore. We sometimes have one when Katy comes to visit but I’m up so early in the a.m. and by the time everyone else wants to build a fire I’m ready for bed. Must be genetic: my paternal grandfather was an early riser and was known to leave a houseful of guests at 9 p.m. to go to bed. :-\



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