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becoming very disillusioned with most state parks


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#41 OFFLINE   Skipper Dave

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 04:36 AM

Most of us might have started off as tent campers when we were young. I think a lot has changed since then, and we have changed as well. There are more secluded camping spots available but dont expect to have water or electric hook ups. You can always choose to go to National Forests or BLM lands and find your own space away from the crowds. Setting up on a tent site rather than an RV site may give you more privacy as well. 

 

Going to a spot with hook-ups usually means a more crowded campground, and RV parks can really pack you in tight. I found this very evident at Yellowstone. The campgrounds without hookups were more like "camping", while the RV Park sights, like Fishing Bridge, with full hookups were packed on top of each other.


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#42 OFFLINE   farmer

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 05:23 AM

A lot of small towns have fairgrounds.
We have stayed in a few, usually a dump station available and fresh water, no hookups.
Close enoungh to walk to town for dinner and window shopping.
Most were big empty grass fields

#43 ONLINE   Bedlam

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 06:35 AM

For us, the campground is rarely the destination - It is a place to stay close to what we want to do or see. As long as the campground does not look like a white trash trailer park, I really don't mind the proximity of other campers since we are gone most of the day and only come back to eat and sleep. We often camp close to an event or city so we have easy access without paying high costs for downtown or venue hotels. Many times we will bring a smaller vehicle with us to get around or get better parking spots.

 

When we boon dock on public lands, we do it as a group. In open areas, we typically create a circle with the middle being the social center of our activities. In tighter locations, we may still scrunch together a little more to create a "common" social area.

 

I guess we don't camp to be isolated. We camp to see and do things or to socialize with friends.


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#44 OFFLINE   the tc life

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 07:38 AM

For us, the campground is rarely the destination - It is a place to stay close to what we want to do or see. As long as the campground does not look like a white trash trailer park, I really don't mind the proximity of other campers since we are gone most of the day and only come back to eat and sleep. We often camp close to an event or city so we have easy access without paying high costs for downtown or venue hotels. Many times we will bring a smaller vehicle with us to get around or get better parking spots.

 

When we boon dock on public lands, we do it as a group. In open areas, we typically create a circle with the middle being the social center of our activities. In tighter locations, we may still scrunch together a little more to create a "common" social area.

 

I guess we don't camp to be isolated. We camp to see and do things or to socialize with friends.

 

that's the plan next week.


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#45 OFFLINE   atchafalaya_man

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 10:54 AM

There are three things that we gravitate to for places to stay.   One reason is that being east of the Rockies, we have probably 1/1000th the open country of National Forests to use.

 

So, first, we camp almost elusively in State, National Forest and COE parks.  The COE parks have proven to be the least crowded, probably because they are not advertised like SP's or NF's sites and generally won't find them on a travel atlas nor a state map.  But the social media apps are now making them as known as all other places.

 

The second thing we generally strive for is to not travel or camp (other than the occasional overnighter) WHEN SCHOOL IS OUT FOR SUMMER.   This means a September to June travel/camping season for us.   Once students are back in school, the campgrounds (other than the prima places on the coast, etc) are pretty empty.   And third, we try to avoid moving around on weekends, when places do fill up.

 

As an example of how empty some places are in the off season, on a trip one October, it was only us and the Camp host in a 100 slot, NF full-hookup place.   Another night, we found a COE park and other than a 'full-timer' on the far end of the campground, we were the only warm bodies there, other than the camp hosts.    A few nights later, we pulled into a COE place that was 100% empty.  The camp hosts drove by our camper at dark and told us 'You've got the place to yourselves.  We're going to our home in town for the night. Call our cellphone if you need us."  

 

If we had backroads to nowhere as those in the west do, I'm sure we'd camp differently, but for the most part, everything east of the Rockies is private land.  So, we pick when we go, and usually have our choice of parking spots with 'The million dollar view, for 20 bucks a night.'



#46 OFFLINE   the tc life

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 12:39 PM

yeah...lots of great places to see during the non peak times of the year for sure. heck...one of the campgrounds we go to during the winter is packed full during summer. winter...we had to share over 40 sites with one other person. but...its colder...so you take what you get.

 

choices...lots of choices if you look far and wide. at least from the rockies to the pacific that is.


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#47 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 04:49 PM

Right now the closest COE park to us is canyon Lake. If we don't start getting more than a misting it will be as dry as Medina Lake It now stands at 80ft below full with 6% of the water left in it. Canyon down 30ft Most of the parks in Texas are hard hit by the drought Its in its 5th year. What I like about Canyon Lake is The one park that does have hook ups can reserver only 1/2 the park of the half saved for those that just show up. weekends it can be a zoo at most all Camp grounds when school out I find hit the parks on Late Sunday or Monday can get the best sites most of the time. Most of the state is under a burn ban. And that includes camp fires.


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#48 OFFLINE   the tc life

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 05:37 PM

there is a core of engineers park in northern idaho that we like to go but it too has been pretty busy lately so we have not gone. they also have it set that only half can be reserved and the rest are first come first served. 


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#49 OFFLINE   the tc life

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 05:57 PM

This evenings stop on our trip is maryhill state park in Washington. Awesome park. Huge sites, full hookups, modest prices. I would come back here again for sure. Even though it was 102 degrees today...its a great place. Tons of shade from trees.
Tomorrow we will stay at battle ground state park in Washington.

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#50 OFFLINE   DakotaCamper

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 04:56 AM

This evenings stop on our trip is maryhill state park in Washington. Awesome park. Huge sites, full hookups, modest prices. I would come back here again for sure. Even though it was 102 degrees today...its a great place. Tons of shade from trees.
Tomorrow we will stay at battle ground state park in Washington.

 

How busy was the SP campground?


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#51 OFFLINE   the tc life

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 04:58 AM

Full last night. I'll see how full battleground is tonight...should be less since its a Sunday.

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#52 OFFLINE   DakotaCamper

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 05:12 AM

Let's hope Battle Ground is less crowded tonight although it is closer to the Portland area.


Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien

 

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#53 OFFLINE   Coast Ranger

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 06:57 PM

As a civil war reenactor, I relish a camp that has no modern amenities.  What many consider a necessity, I would think of as an extravagance.  Alas, as I become older, sleeping on the ground is much less attractive.  Hence, I have a "new" truck camper. ;-)



#54 OFFLINE   the tc life

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 07:08 PM

Battle ground state park Washington.
Nice state park. Sites are pretty spacious. There are a couple that are close but most are very roomy. There are a few sites with power and water, we are in one for tonight. Lots of trails to hike, fishing and kayaking/conoeing.
Overall rating is a ...will visit again park.
Next several nights will be at fort Stevens state park in oregon.

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#55 OFFLINE   the tc life

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 07:10 PM

Let's hope Battle Ground is less crowded tonight although it is closer to the Portland area.



Even though maryhill was full...it was still very nice. It did not feel crowded with the huge site areas.

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#56 OFFLINE   the tc life

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 03:09 PM

Fort Stevens state park oregon....

Over 300 Rv sites and very busy. Place is full on a Monday night. Summertime you need reservations. Some sites are pretty close to each other. Pick and choose wisley. We are in a pretty good site.
The park is gigantic with a lot to do and see.

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#57 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:35 AM

We all need to support our state parks even hound our leaders to expand them. Or the land will go private and no one will enjoy it. several lakes around us are private lakes only home owners allowed to use the boat ramps. All others have to go up river and pay to use them. In and out of the water. Tight spots yes but once schools back in lots of room then.


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#58 OFFLINE   Oliver

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:05 AM

You are right about schools. That's why we normally do almost all our camping in the spring and fall. Nothing agin families, just not too many, too near where I'm camping! September and October, midweek, you almost have the park to yourself!

#59 OFFLINE   kayakin

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Posted 18 July 2014 - 05:45 PM

British Columbus's fires have the Rocky Mountain state skies thick, gray and oppressive. That is a BIG campfire.

#60 OFFLINE   KnightEagle

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 08:48 AM

Up at Inks Lake from end of May to the end of Aug its wall to wall people. there are three major cities close by. DFW to the north 200 miles east 70 miles is Austin and south is San Antonio. Also not all State Parks are funded the same. Just east of Austin about 50 mi or so the area of the park is twice the size of Inks yet 1/3 the camp spots. This where we all need to get together and let them know what we want and or need. Will it change just because of one call or letter, No it wouldn't but anoff over time can change there minds.


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