Saturday, July 2, 2011

Campground Contrasts

      We know where we are going, but we do not have any hard and fast plans about how we are getting there. On Thursday we arrived in Mystic Connecticut without any plans about where to stay. We had read some reviews about some of the local campgrounds and were a bit concerned about what we would find. Quotes like “Mudhole”, “Filthy”, “Worst place I've ever stayed!” and “We packed up and left after an hour !” made one a little leery. Instead we decided to find a Tourist Information Centre and ask there.
Aces High
       The historic town of Mystic Connecticut with its tourist attraction the “Mystic Seaport” was a logical place to find information. We found the Information centre easily and discovered that the first weekend in the summer is not the best time to get “Information”. Many of the “Local Experts” behind the counters of the “Information Centres”, and nice young students earning money for school next year. They might learn something about their communities by the end of summer, but now they are pleasant and cheerful but pretty well useless. She didn't know of any campgrounds except the flyers on the shelves, and she did indicate that she thought she had heard some good things about one called “Aces High”. The pictures looked good on the flyer, and “Heard some good things” was better than “Mudhole” or “Worst place I've ever stayed.”, so we had her call for a reservation. We should have realized that “It's not necessary; there's lots of spaces.” speaks volumes.
Aces High
      The campground was easy to find, and was very nice looking as we drove in. There was a pond with a beautiful fountain, and we could see work being done on a new swimming pool. The place had lots of big rigs parked on big clean sites, and we could see lots of available sites.
      We checked in and the attendant started adding up the charges, $50.00 basic fee, $10.00 for each additional person, $2.00 for the dog, and somehow $3.00 more was added for some services for a total of $75.00 ! Wow, the most we've ever paid to “Camp”. At least the Wi-Fi was free, but we discovered you had to pay for the showers.
Once we got settled in we discovered that it was a nice spot. The spaces were nice and big, and everything was clean and well maintained. There was a walking path around the pond, and the campers sitting out in front of their big rigs were friendly as we walked around. It was very nice, but Wow; $75.00 a night!
Beaver Valley
      The next day we did not leave Connecticut until 2:00 PM so we did not know how far we could go in the remaining hours of the day. We had to get past New York City, and today was the first day heading West rather than South. As it worked out, we made it into Pennsylvania, and the Welcome Centre provided a book with lots of campground choices. We set one, called Beaver Valley Family Campground, into the GPS, and made our way there, pulling in in time to get set up before the sun went down.
      This campground cost about $40.00, and we did have to pay for additional people, but the dog was free, and the showers were clean and free.
Beaver Valley
Both these campgrounds were nice clean places to set up the trailer, but they couldn't be more different. Aces High had all big expensive class A motorhomes, and people who could obviously afford the $75.00 a night fee. Beaver Valley was off the beaten track (Another Blog to come about that), and it served a completely different clientele. Here there were bigger trailers, but the little boy who stared at us pulling in and said to his mom “Wow, look at that HUGE trailer!” gave some indication. We were small at Aces High and HUGE at Beaver Valley. The campground was built into a wooded hillside and most of the sites were smaller and tucked into the woods. We saw lots of tent trailers, and families camping in tents or older trailers and campers.
      We haven't booked campsites in advance, so we will be running into lots of different places. I'm hoping to find more places like Beaver Valley that provide good clean stays at reasonable prices and hope to avoid the highly priced luxury spots.

1 comment:

  1. AHHHHH! I'm looking forward to enjoying another two months of entertaining internet reading and vacationing, vicariously, with the Hills.
    I'm sure none of the sites you visit during this trip will come close to the "digs" at the Dutch Mason Blues Festival last summer (especially being serenaded, both going to and rising from bed, by the "neighbours").