Wake me up from this bad dream! I am experiencing wild and crazy dreams, more than usual. But nothing in my dreams ever envisioned a worldwide pandemic.
I am still enjoying my extended stay at Jensen Beach, FL, and will be here until the end of June. Two months longer than originally planned. If you must be socially distance and quarantined Hutchinson Island ain’t to bad. Ocean access even when public beaches are closed, and Michelle and Duane’s pool for afternoon swims.
Recently the Wall Street Journal reported that RV rentals and sales are through the roof. In the days of the virus, who wants to fly commercial or stay in hotels? Check out Outdoorsy, an Air B&B for campers near you!
As I wrote earlier my summer travel plans collapsed due to the virus. I was so looking forward to seeing OH, MI, WI, and ME friends and family. After canceling best-laid plans and numerous campground reservations, I embarked on becoming a campground host.
Campground Hosts volunteer to augment the park staff, helping clean up campsites, greeting campers, selling firewood, and monitoring campers’ compliance with rules. Keeping dogs on their leash (did you watch the YouTube video of Central Park, yikes), no loud parties during quiet hours, and in some assignments cleaning the bathhouses. You might recall my earlier career as a fleet service worker for Alaska Airlines, cleaning the biffy! I always felt great comradery with the janitors I served while working for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). So cleaning toilets and showers for free camping seems like a fair exchange. I have had 28 different jobs in my lifetime, and in my experience, you can do just about anything for a short time. Although I have always had someone else clean my homes, since the day I was able to afford it.
But I digress. I will be spending summer and fall in North Carolina working as a campground host at three different state parks. I hope to be able to regale you, readers with some funny stories. I hope they will all be funny. All within driving distance of Chapel Hill and Cary where family lives.
Beginning July 1, I will be at the Cliffs of the Neuse State Park. Named for the impressive cliffs overlooking the Neuse River, has been a landmark for centuries. Five hiking trails explore the riverside habitats and their mature forests and lead to some quiet fishing spots along the waterway. A favorite facility for the local communities is an 11-acre swimming lake with a bathhouse, grass-covered lawn, sandy beach and diving platform with rental boats available. Expansive picnic grounds are nearby. The park has group campsites, a 32-site family campground, and 3 reservable cabins. A visitor center offers museum-quality exhibits that explore the natural and cultural history of the region, complementing regular interpretive programs.
August 1, I will move to Kerr Lake, pronounced ‘CAR’. A collective of seven access areas scattered around the shoreline of this 50,000-acre reservoir that reaches into Virginia. Hundreds of campsites among five of the access areas offer a range of outdoor experience from RV hookups to group camps. Swimming, boating ramps and two private marinas serve boaters and the lake is renowned for excellent fishing.
September, October and November I will be at James Lake, a great time place to enjoy fall colors. According to the NC State Park website, James Lake is best for my hiking friends, Jamie? I will be the host at Catawba River Area that has 20 walk-in campsites, but I will have full hook-ups!
Lake James State Park offers boating, swimming and fishing in the beautiful, clear waters of the 6,812-acre lake, there are 25 miles of trails, 15 of which are open to mountain biking. Trails vary from the short, educational Holly Discovery Trail with child-friendly activities, to the more adventurous, historic section of the Overmountain Victory Trail. There are three campgrounds. The Catawba River Area has 20 walk-in campsites, many of which offer lake views. The Paddy’s Creek Area has 33 drive-to, family-friendly campsites. The remote boat-in campground on the Long Arm Peninsula offers a true outdoor adventure for those willing to paddle or steer their canoes, kayaks or powerboats to their own slice of heaven. Boat ramps at Hidden Cove and Canal Bridge on NC 126 are located between the park’s two day-use areas. And, canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals are available at the Paddy’s Creek Area from May through September.
So to my camping, hiking and RV friends – you know who you are! I hope to see you this summer or fall in North Carolina! To make reservations for your visit log onto ReserveAmerica.com.
AND Yes, there are golf courses nearby.
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