|Indian Lake in the fall|
What I quickly discovered was that folks have been busy making reservations, especially for the weekends. I was right back to where I was a year ago when I wrote the article "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Campground Reservations." You'd think I would have learned my lesson to reserve early, but I've been busy and I have to confess, I am a bit of an optimist.
|Rathbun Lake, Army Corps Buck Creek Campground|
It was pretty easy to find Sunday through Thursday sites, but then I'd have to find somewhere else for the weekend. An alternative plan would be just to camp five nights during the week and then come home for the weekend. However, although that would be fun for me, since my wife still has an active business, that would disallow her from enjoying some camping off-time. The solution was to utilize my knowledge of local campgrounds, to not "go big" but to consider the more humble city and county campgrounds close by home.
|Tent camping at Indian Lake, before we owned a travel trailer|
Indian Lake Campground has a rustic feel to it. Yes, it has a small Sewer Alley of about ten sites, but it also has tent sites and a campground within a circle of trees that is tucked away from the hubbub. That little campground provides 30 amp electricity but no water. I called the campground hosts (the park has permanent host residents at the facility) and made my reservation! Then I called the next day and moved the reservation to a few days later because of Father's Day and the extreme heat. Now I'll be arriving on a Monday and leaving on a Monday--unless I decide to extend my stay. The host said that an extension shouldn't be a problem. I was also told that they had a "spill-over" site with a nice view of the lake that I might be interested in, one that is usually used when the campground is full.
If I were traveling on a road trip, I'd probably book some sites in advance and then take my chances for overnighters, knowing that I could find a Walmart or Cracker Barrel or Harvest Host site for the night if necessary. I'm finding, though, that I'm enjoying setting up for longer stays, and I'm just going to have to remember that during the busy season of camping that I have to plan early or to just take my chances on a "walk-in" site, one that I can stay at for up to two weeks once I get my rig parked. I can stay a week and then decide to stay another week.
|Bike camping at Oakland Mills, a campground 25 miles from home|