Campground Chatter with Janet Groene, September 5, 2020

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The latest news about camping and developments in North American campgrounds and RV parks from Janet Groene.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is for news for RV travelers. Information is believed current at press time but conditions are still changing quickly. Check ahead by phone directly with the campground. Don’t rely on websites or Facebook. Full facilities and activities may not be open. Get  specifics about rates, campground facilities, reservations policies, campsite specifications and the condition of access roads including tolls. No endorsement of any campground or product is implied by this reporter nor this website.  

FULL ALERT: Schedules of openings, partial openings, re-closings and cancellations are still in flux and are fixed by state, county and city authorities. They may apply differently to private and public campgrounds and to residents versus non-residents of that state or county. Check ahead.

DATELINE: September 5, 2020

ARIZONA STATE PARK RESUMES LIMITED CAVE TOURS
Reservations are essential for guided tours of the 2.4 miles of passages in Kartchner Caves State Park, Benson. Parties are limited to six people and walk-ins are no longer accepted. Call ahead, also, to schedule one of the ranger-guided Foothills Loop Hiking Series on November 14. The trail climbs across rocky terrain of the limestone hill north of the cave and descends into the wash that follows the fault between the Whetstone Block and the San Pedro Block. All campsites feature electric hookups and water. Camping fees include use of the shower/restroom, water, electrical and dump station. RV sites range from 35 to 60 feet. One of the three handicap sites is a pull-through. Restroom buildings have bottled water vending machines and dishwashing sinks. 1-877-MY PARKS (697-2757)

COLORADO RV PARK LOVES VINTAGE CAMPERS
It’s not uncommon these days for some RV resorts to turn away RVs that are more than 10 years old, but at La Vita Pines RV Park east of Alamosa and south of Colorado Springs, you’ll get a discount for an older rig. Pay according to your RV’s year. The usual price of $70 for two nights becomes $58 for a 1958 Airstream, and so on. The park has back-in and pull-thru sites, full hookups with 30-amp power, free Wi-Fi, a DVD loan library and a full menu of activities. Walk to shops, the historic district, the museum and restaurants. (719) 742-3252

FLORIDA CAMPGROUND GOES YEAR-ROUND
Camp Duffy, also known as the Sun ‘n Fun Campground and site of the iconic Sun ‘n Fun aviation event in Lakeland, is repositioning itself as a year-round public campground. The camp has electrical hookups, shower houses, dump stations and limited Wi-Fi availability, but no typical campground features such as a swimming pool and playground. Creeks crisscross the wooded grounds. Enjoy nature trails for hiking and outdoor aircraft displays. Always a favorite with fly-in campers, it has direct access to Lakeland’s international airport. (863) 904-0199

FLORIDA CAMPGROUND WELCOMES TURTLE SEASON
Now through October 31 is turtle season at Turtle Beach Campground, which has direct access to a spectacular Gulf of Mexico beach. Turtles come ashore to lay their eggs, which are protected by strict environmental laws. A county campground, this one has full hookups with 20-amp service and free trolley rides to the beach. It will be closed September 13-18 for maintenance. Veterans get special perks on Veterans Camping Weekend, November 6-8. 941-861-CAMP (2267) Email: turtlebeachcampground@scgov.net

FLORIDA HOSTS HAM RADIO BUFFS
Here’s a Valentine for all ham radio operators and their families. The AARL HamCation is scheduled for February 12-14, 2021, in Orlando. More than a trade show, it’s a chance for families to update their ham equipment and explore theme parks, golf courses, restaurants and shopping. RV spaces are now being reserved with water and electric for $40 nightly until December 1 and $45 after that. A dump station is available for use after show hours. RV campers must have a ticket to the show as well. Go to HamCation.com for info.

INDIANA STATE PARK TO HAVE FALL FESTIVAL
Celebrate the change of seasons at Summit Lake State Park near New Castle with hayrides, music and family fun under a canopy of colorful leaves on October 3. Campsites have hookups and some are on the lake. Bring a boat and use the launch ramp for fall fishing and waterfowl watching. Choose a site when reserving at (765) 766-5873.

OHIO LOST LANDS
The bad news is that the 2020 Lost Lands Music Festival in Legends Valley near Columbus was postponed until September 24-26, 2021. The good news is that 20 X 50 spaces and electric hookups are being added for next year. YouTube touts the event as  “The ballsiest, most brutal DJs and producers at a three-day dinosaur-themed music festival”. Go to lostlandsfestival.com .

SOUTH CAROLINA PARK HAS NEW FERRY SCHEDULE
Camping at Hunting Island State Park offers RV sites with water, electric and access to an unspoiled offshore barrier island that can be reached only by boat. The new ferry schedule runs Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with departures at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Take a picture, bring a picnic, beach comb, watch sea birds and hike trails on an eco-tour to St. Phillips Island. Once private, the island is now part of the state park system. Adult rate is $45, children $25. Camping reservations and ferry reservations are separate. Check ahead to learn what to bring to the island with you. (843) 884-7684

TEXAS GAINS NEW RV SITES IN HOUSTON
Lakeview RV Resort, Houston, is hoping its 90 new RV sites will be ready by next spring. It’s a destination resort and a place with a hidden plus. For people who come to Houston for its famous medical facilities, the resort runs shuttles to nearby treatment centers. Fish in the lake, swim in the heated pool, use the fitness center. It’s kid- and pet-friendly and has a business center, ping pong, pool table and hot tub. (713) 723-0973

SASKATCHEWAN PARKS TO GET UPGRADES
Central and northern provincial parks in Canada’s “Lake of the Living Skies” will get a $14.6 million cash infusion this year and next. Improvements will include a new water system in the campground at Flotten Lake, electrified campsites at Matheson Lake and trail improvements at Meadow Lake. Ongoing are improvements to washrooms, docks and signage, and much more is happening at Pike Lake, Great Blue Heron, Cradle Lake and Meadow Lake provincial parks.

Stay Tuned
• It’s only a first step but plans are percolating for a 31-acre recreation complex including boutique hotels and a campground at the Port of Olympia in Washington. The city is seeking bids for the project.

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

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