Old Diary

Can I have change for the showers?

It’s early on a Sunday morning and we see a camper approaching our door — with money in his hands.  What’s up?

I get up from my breakfast — that’s one thing about camp hosting:  interrupted meals. coin-op showers (Last time we did this gig we never finished a meal without interruption in 6 weeks!)  Nice looking middle aged guy comes to the door and asks, “Can I have $10.00 in change for the showers.”

It’s not often I get to tell someone that the price of something has gone down, but that’s my pleasant duty this morning as the CORPS has removed the coin-operated feature of their campground showers.  Nice that.  It’s only ever been a few of the CORPS campgrounds that charged for showers.  Several of them in our area do — so I always took it for granted that showers cost $0.25 for 3 minutes and it never bothered me.  I can’t say that for campers who are from other parts of the country and were outraged by pay showers — a lot of whom we met on our last tour of duty here.

I guess it was a matter of public opinion.  Then again it might have been a matter of securing cash on the site — seems the CORPS is particularly interested in how cash is handled at their locations — so getting rid of the coin-op feature may have more to do with trusting their own employees as anything else.  I know loss by theft had been an issue when we were gigging for the Forest Service.  The staff there were sure that volunteers were stealing free showers. So much for trusting your volunteers…

But, showers are free here now. And everyone is happy.

It used to be that the CORPS sold firewood at this site.  They don’t any longer.  Haven’t for over 5 years. In fact, they tore down the corral where they used to keep the firewood the last time we did this gig — so… three years ago…

im000329Yet, people still come up to us and ask where to get firewood — clearly expecting that the answer would be right there.  I’m sorry, but we don’t.  There are two enterprising farmers nearby who sell wood for as good a deal as you’d get at any other campground — $5.00 a bundle.  Or $15 a wheelbarrow full.

Remembering what used to be always seems to come up. And as the campers here said today,  “Now it’s real camping”  — when the power’s out!  I’m sure the power company will have the problem fixed in 4 or 5 hours.  In the meantime, we’re gonna sit back, enjoy the peace and quiet, humor the campers when them come up to tell us the power is out and think to ourselves how nice it is to be out in the woods on a pleasant Spring day…

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be here again tomorrow morning.


5 thoughts on “Can I have change for the showers?

  1. DK says:

    Free is always good. In the national forest at Cloudcroft, the showers are $5 each. 😦 We just make do in our RV shower with water from our tank until it runs out.


    • WoW…. Pretty pricey, but I’m guessing that water is a scarce resource in that area? Or is it a campground run by concessionaires?

      We haven’t used the CORPS showers here yet. Last time around we used them exclusively. This time, not at all. Go figure?



      • DK says:

        The campgrounds are not far from town, so I can’t imagine that getting water is an issue. I think it is managed by an outside group, and I also think that is why they are basically only open in the summer months, which is pretty ridiculous, as the weather is very nice there in late spring and early fall, too. I wish the forest service would keep them open in those months, even if the vendor they’ve hired doesn’t want to do so. Those campgrounds could be managed so much better than they are right now, for sure. I also wanted to ask you where we can check to see if there are any Corps campgrounds in New Mexico? Would appreciate your help, if you can find any. 🙂


      • I’m not sure what you’ll get when you try this web address. I think you’ll go to an AGENCY list of campgrounds, not to the one that I’m seeing — which I suspect is located using a cookie on my machine. IF you do NOT see a list of CORPS facilities then use the pull down menu on the left to select the state of NEW MEXICO and hit search.

        The list I see includes 17 locations, not all of which are web reservable (looks like only 3 are reservable)


        recreation.gov does allow you to search by agency — a nice feature that I use fairly often.

        There are a number of federal campgrounds, and other facilities, managed by private contractors. Some of them do interesting things with rates. From what I’ve seen they apply the 50% senior reduction only to base camping fees and if you want electric, or full hookups or “scenic” sites they charge you the full uncharge for that addition. So much for private enterprise and whatever the traffic will bear.


        Liked by 1 person

  2. DK says:

    Thanks so much for the help. I’m just not familiar with the federal systems but need to learn more about those campsites now. I will check this out in a bit!


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