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A Tale of Two Campgrounds

Posted by on August 23, 2010

An empty but beautifully kept campground.

Remember when we first arrived at the Ashuelot River Campground? I noted how beautiful the campground was and how conveniently located it was to Keene, NH and our birth center. Those were two big factors in why we chose to call that campground home for the season. But, I also noted that there were a few challenges that we hoped would work themselves out over time. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to happen so we had to move on a few weekends ago.

Like I said, it was a beautiful campground. The owners did an excellent job of keeping the grounds immaculate and the facilities clean. When we first arrived there in May, however, Chris and I both had a bad feeling about the management. They didn’t seem to want us there and we felt more like a burden than welcomed customers. We thought that with time, we would earn their trust and we (and they) would feel more comfortable. As the summer progressed, we knew that would not be the case.  They just were not very pleasant people and did not seem too interested in having campers come to their campground. And, we still seemed more a burden to them even though we were quiet and had few requests.

Hello KOA! So nice to see you again!

Perhaps other visitors to this park have felt the same way as I’ve never seen a campground so empty during the peak summer months — and I’ve been to a lot of campgrounds.  Even during July 4th, there were few campers at this campground.  So, it was a lonely summer.

Chris and I grew accustomed to the lack of people and unpleasant management.  We could tolerate it although we did long for the happy campground camaraderie that we have come to know and love. We thought we could continue on with the way things were primarily because we’ve met so many awesome people outside of the campground and we really  enjoyed the area.  Our patience, however, was tested when we had family members come visit us  to meet their newest family member.

Halloween Night at the KOA.

The majority of our family stayed at the campground. It was great to have family around to help us out with a newborn baby and keep us laughing and sane at a time when Chris and I were severely sleep deprived and overwhelmed.  But, this so-called “family campground” wasn’t very welcoming to our family. The treatment our families received from management made our their’ visits awkward and uncomfortable at times.

I won’t go into the specifics of everything that happened but the actions of management did frustrate us to a point that we felt it was best for us to leave the premises despite the fact that we had paid and intended to stay through October 31.  So, with the help of family (to whom I am eternally grateful), we packed up and somehow managed to get the Airstream out of our campsite–not an easy task!

We decided to go back to the KOA in Brattleboro, VT–the campground we initially started out at when we first arrived in this region.  We were instantly greeted with smiles. The owners, who remembered us, ogled over my child and welcomed us and our family members.

"Okay, Mama and Daddy, I'm ready to do some Airstreamin'!!"

As we were setting up camp, the owner came by on his lawn mower/tractor pulling a wagon and offered my nieces and nephews a ride around the campground. As noted by my brother-in-law, it was as though we had entered a new universe. The campground was (gasp!)…happy and fun. Sure, it didn’t have a river and gigantic campsites but it had people. Friendly people! And, activities! Now, I’m not one who seeks out social activities or requires kids’ events when searching for a campground (at least not yet), but the Halloween in July events that took place while we were there were a welcomed change (as was the free ice cream night!)  While I wasn’t sure if I could handle the sudden  move in my emotional state (hello, baby blues!), it turned out to be a very positive change for us.

So, we are officially back on the road again. Let’s hope Emerson a) doesn’t get us kicked out of campgrounds for excessive crying, and b) likes her car seat for extended periods of time.  Oh, please let her like her car seat.  Please, oh, please!

36 Responses to A Tale of Two Campgrounds

  1. Mom

    Great entry but in my opinion you were too easy on the owners of the Ashuelot Campground. I am sorry but the word, rude, comes to mind!! However, your happy little threesome is “on the road again” and you sound much more content!!! Again, great entry…..

  2. Frankie

    Yes my suspicions were on the mark —with I first encountered them about a rally —for my vintage trailer –club —- the Owners said basically —Thanks but no thanks —- never approached them again till you folks moved —- If you go to Maine ck out Bailey ‘s in west Scarborough —-They have a web site — I had a blast there last week end — lots to do and great sites way out back —- Till we meet again travel safe ——————-frankie

  3. Lani

    Hey Frankie! Yep, they just don’t seem to want the business. I’m just sorry we paid for a season! Oh well. We’ll be back in the region (different campground!) in a few weeks…maybe we’ll see you again before we head back south. Thanks for the Maine recommendation!

  4. Lani

    Mom, this was the 4th draft. The first three were not as nice. :)

  5. Nicki

    I am sorry to hear about your trying time at the other campground. I am glad you have gotten away from them.

    Twice we took our son on a four hour trip to the grandparents, and he started crying in the last hour and would only stop if I played the same song…over…. and over….and over again!!

    Strangely, it was only that drive he had problems with. Anyway, here is hoping she adores being in her seat. By the way, she’s precious.. and I’m not just saying that!

  6. marlene

    Our youngest was 5 months when we started our trip… And hated the car seat. We had to plan our driving times around her naps. We adjusted and it was fine. Then at 6 months, she only wanted to sleep in her car seat and not in the airstream anymore. We could never win. Just go with the flow and everything will be okay :-)

  7. Lani

    Thanks, Marlene. Yep, I think the key is definitely flexibility…especially with driving. We are going to have to get used to shorter driving periods and frequent stops. We’ve already experienced the painful cries while driving. Yikes! That’s not fun.

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