You’re a mean one, Mr. Camp Host…



There are days when I feel like Mr Grinch. It’s hard to tell people who want to go camping that we’re full.  I’m working on finding newer, less painful ways of saying “We’re full.”  Not that any of them make the disappointment sting any the less.

I guess I find it interesting that in this day and age so many people think they’ll be able to just pull in and find a place at the spur of the moment.  Even people from considerable distance.  In the last 2 weekends we’ve had at least 5 campers from greater than 1000 miles away arrive hoping to find an empty site.

be specific, plan ahead, don’t assume

I know I’ve used this graphic before, but these really are my three rules for life.  And I can’t emphasize how often they have kept me from disappointment and catastrophe.

  • Be specific
  • Plan ahead
  • Don’t assume

It’s been several years now that the Wisconsin State Park system fills all it’s most desirable summer sites and dates within days after the reservation window opens in January. I know other states are the same — I just don’t have experience of them.  I know that some states even have lottery systems to help allay the problems where some people always seem to be able to get into the telephone rotor quicker than others.  Still others have staggered reservation windows — 6 months + 1 day.  or 12 months + 1 day.  And it’s surprising how many sites to at the first available date.

So many parks used to have sites reserved for walk-ins.  This location did away with walk-in sites a couple years ago.  Some of the other CORPS locations have done as well.  The days of working the system and showing up on Sunday afternoon or Monday  — after all the weekend walk-in sites have emptied out simply isn’t as reliable any more.  I really feel bad for some of these folks.  I hate to see the little ones disappointed.  And I’ve also seen some tuckered senior citizens who drove all day thinking they were going to crash here — only to find  that we’re full.  Sad.  Times are a changing.

Just a shorty today. Thanks for stopping by.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll go on a little more at length, but today was my day home alone with just my CORPS chores to do and no wife or daughter to keep me out of mischief. Talk to you tomorrow.

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5 Comments

  1. I really feel sorry for those families who have driven that long distance to find out there are no sites available but I have to wonder why they didn’t call first. And it is so easy to go to recreation.gov to see what’s available in a federal campground. We have been part time rv’ers for ten years and have never just pulled into a campground without calling first to be sure there is a spot. If we have a specific campground where we want to camp we always make a reservation. It may just be two days ahead of time but we know we will have a spot when we get there.

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    1. I agree completely.

      But people just don’t seem to think…. Which I think accounts for some of the things I write about. Anyone can go out and buy an RV but maybe everyone isn’t the right personality for RV living.

      We do get those who call ahead — LOL — they are usually right there to TELL me they called ahead because weekends are so full and it has happened that between the phone call and their arrival someone else has shown up — but that can happen!

      It’s all part of the gig and while I don’t like being the bad guy I’m used to it by now. And it only happens a few times each week. Might as well have some fun with the situation when you can. 🙂

      >

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  2. Some of the places which we used to go to were first come, first serve…no reservations. Lots of locals would arrive Thursday evening for a weekend getaway even if it meant doing a long commute to work on Friday morning.

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