Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, December 21, 2019

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The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene and sometimes the staff of RVtravel.com

DISCLAIMER: Information is believed current at press time but conditions can change quickly. Check ahead for specifics about dates, rates and rules, as well as a campground’s location, site sizes and conditions, reservation policies and road conditions in the area. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.

DATELINE: December 21, 2019

ALABAMA ARSENAL CAMPGROUND OPEN TO PUBLIC
Redstone Arsenal MWR RV Park near Huntsville has 70 full-service RV sites for Active, National Guard, Reservists, Retired, 100% DAV, DoD civilians, and NASA employees. They can be booked for eight weeks and reserved three months in advance. The campground, managed by Outdoor Recreation, also has two bathhouses, a dog park, laundry and a pavilion.

ARIZONA CAVE TOURS AT STATE PARK
Cave Fest on January 25 at Kartchner Caverns State Park in southeastern Arizona provides extra ways to explore the natural phenomenon that is these massive limestone formations and caves. Hear expert talks by cave researchers. Play games, do crafts, participate in activities and science experiments. See and touch formations, hear about bats, dig for fossils and test your caving skills in the simulator. The all-day festival runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All RV sites in the park have water and electric. They are single wide and range in length from 35 to 60 feet.

CALIFORNIA FAIR TO RUN A WHOLE WEEK
Riverside County Fair at the fairgrounds in Indio is a week of music, food, blue ribbons, carnival rides, animal adoptions, a parade, cotton candy, the famous Queen Scheherazade Scholarship Pageant and much  more. This is also the National Date Festival, celebrating the end of the area’s date harvest. The fair is held February 14–23, 2020. RV overnight parking is $15.

CALIFORNIA CAMPGROUND TO HAVE HALF MARATHON
Start training now to ace the half marathon to be run next November at Joshua Tree RV Park, a private park not associated with the national park. The destination park has many special events that sometimes close the campground to campers, but camping at the marathon event will be open to registered runners. Reserve online only. Follow directions on the website, which recommends against relying on GPS to get there.

FLORIDA MEDIEVAL FAIRE HAS RV SITES
Alachua County Fairgrounds are the site of Gainesville’s outstanding time travel experience, when attendees return to the Middle Ages for jousting, knights in shining armor, period food, gypsy dancing, jesters, artisans selling medieval wares in the village marketplace, games, music and full-flight falconry. RV sites at the fairgrounds have water and electric hookup.
Dates are the weekends from January 18–February 2.

GEORGIA RV PARK HAS MUSIC FESTIVAL
Walkabout Camp and RV Park in Woodbine has scheduled a star-studded music lineup for a music festival on March 7. Hear a succession of bands, eat at food trucks, shop the vendors. The family-owned park has 70 pull-through sites with full hookups including 30- and 50-amp service, laundry, clubhouse and a dog park with run. Located in coastal southeastern Georgia, the park is a good base camp for visiting historic barrier islands, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Woodbine Opry and the attractions in Jacksonville, Florida.

ILLINOIS OPEN AIR FESTIVAL SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER
Ear-blasting, death-defying, extreme music and free camping are features of the Full Terror Assault Open Air Festival scheduled for September 9-12, 2020, at Cave-in-Rock. Now in its sixth year, the music festival presents a long lineup of headliners including Swedish grindcore legends General Surgery in their first appearance at FTA. The weekend opens on Thursday with a DJ party and presents more than 50 bands plus parties, contests and entertainers. Camping upgrades include RV sites available in the wooded, 100-acre campground. Reserve the ticket-camping package early.

LOUISIANA STATE PARKS HAVE MARDI GRAS
At least two state parks in the Pelican State have Mardi Gras parades on February 22. Lake Fausse Pointe State Park near St. Martinville and Palmetto Island State Park go all out with marching bands, elaborate costumes and all the happy hoopla that goes with this last hurrah before Lent begins. Lake Fausse Pointe has 46 improved campsites, 14 with full hookups. Pelican Island State Park south of Abbeville has 108 RV campsites, some with full hookups.

RESERVE NOW FOR NORTH CAROLINA FEST
Willie Nelson & Family and Alison Krauss headline this year’s MerleFest, the revered traditional mountain music concert festival founded in 1988 in Wilkesboro. Dates are April 23-26 and tickets are already going fast. The enormous grounds fill with four days of music on multiple stages, a large vendor village, a songwriters’ contest, nightly jam sessions, a family area for “little pickers” and more. RV camping is for self-contained, hard-sided rigs only. No tents or pop-ups are permitted, and you must be ticketed for, and stay for, the entire four days. See merlefest.org  for a complete list of rules for RV camping.

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE PARK HOSTS ART FESTIVAL
Applications open in February for artists and artisans to bid for inclusion in the esteemed Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival to be held at this historic art center in September 2020. Huntington Beach State Park at Murrells Inlet is the home of Atalaya, the Moorish-style winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, philanthropist and sculptor. They left the “castle” and gardens, now a National Historic Landmark, to the state. Tour the mansion any time. The park has RV sites.

WEST VIRGINIA STATE PARK TO HAVE VALENTINE DANCE
Plan now to be at Twin Falls Resort State Park, Mullens, on Saturday, February 15, for a romantic dance evening in the resort’s Azalea Room. The park’s year-round campground has 50 campsites, half of them with electric hookup. Weekend camping reservations require a two-night minimum.

Stay Tuned
• The sewer hookups planned for Bullards Beach State Park in Oregon will be delayed another year. Construction will close the campground starting on November 16, 2020, and will continue through March, 2021.

• A new, 65,000-square-foot storage facility to be built in Sonoma, California, is good news for RV owners on two fronts. First, there will be 70 RV sites on the property. Second, it’s said to be the area’s first air-conditioned storage facility, ideal for RV travelers who are going on an extended trip and need storage space for household goods. The facility will include wine storage units and back-up generators to guard against power failure. Boat storage will also be available. Vineburg Wine and Self Storage will open next summer.

Janet Groene is the author of more than 25 books including Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Edition, available at Amazon.com. Her brand-new book, “March Malice, a Yacht Yenta Mystery,” is available at Amazon.com. See Janet Groene’s weekly Solo Woman posts at SoloWomanRV.

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