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.
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.
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.
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!