Even now when campers have been banned from campgrounds if they have reservations of fewer than 14 days, this is a busy place. All the vacationers left, but the full-timers are still here—those who work on site and those who live here but leave for other work very early each morning to return like clockwork at 5:30 pm.
DUMPSTER UPDATE: Everyone, and I mean everyone, visits the dumpsters with their trash on the way to work and on the way home. Who has trash with them after a day at work? There must be tons of job types where you have to haul out your own trash that I just don’t know about. What are they?
Yesterday at Dump Your Trash PM, we were enjoying sharing what passes for happy hour now with friends via FaceTime so sitting inside, but come Monday we’re definitely sitting outside so we can watch the parade of people dump their mystery trash after a day of work.
In any case, the point of this post is that the campground is very busy even when those folks are away, with the staff here tackling what I imagine to be the annual spring, “Get prepped for summer vacationers” time in the maintenance schedule. (How long management here can continue to pay staff is something I won’t joke about.)
As I watch the flow of life around me, I feel like we’re guests in a tiny, bustling town with its own unwritten rules we’re not entirely privy to.
The grounds here are divided into sections for different kinds of campers: full-timers, weekenders, folks with mobile homes (yes, the terminology gets tricky here), rental RVs and cabins, sites that you rent for the summer with wooden decks overlooking the pond, and probably a bunch of types I don’t know about because this is such a specialized world here.
What I do know for sure is you need to go 7.5 miles per hour at the entrance. (How does a person even do that?) And the dumpster is the most important landmark in the place. Duh, we figured that out right away.
A bunch of hiking signs have appeared since we arrived to show all the new people (none?) how to access the new trail, YAY for that. It looks like we’re going to be here for quite a while, and we are getting to know every inch of that trail.
I love this signpost on the right, as if we were in the most isolated and touristy spot on the planet. It’s hard to see with my cruddy photo, but the miles are listed to Richmond, Charlottesville, and other famous places people might be curious about. 🙂
Maybe in the summer months when this place is teeming with kids at the pool and people tooling around the little roads in their golf carts visiting each other, it feels like a resort.
Stuff for Kids
There’s a playground and a well-manicured mini-golf course, thankfully closed to all kids right now. There’s also some kind of inflatable, bigger-than-I’ve-ever-seen bouncy thing (today two young women were painting the maintenance building for the inflator) and something like a game of cornhole built for giants. I can’t even imagine how that things works; it was too big to get in a photo.
I wonder what it’s like for the kids who live here year-round, if it feels like it’s a special place. Do they get bored with the playground soon after they move in? Or does the ebb and flow of tourist kids and kids who come every weekend each summer make it all seem fresh?
I bet they normally run around like wild beasts, owning this place like their own kingdom. I bet it is magical and a place of freedom.
Stuff for Us
The important spot for us is the entrance to the now-closed camp store where mail is delivered. We track our deliveries so we know right when they come and can grab our packages before they get handled by even more people. That mailbox is chuck-full, and it’s the only item on the entire grounds that we touch (other than the dumpster lids, which is a story itself how we manage that. Yesterday Banjo got mildly injured during the process.)
I don’t even know what this is with its a sign saying “Quarterdeck,” other than when I peek inside it looked like a bar. It’s near the pool and the mini-golf, so I’m imagining in the summer parents sitting outside pretending to watch their kids play.
Man I wish I could travel in time to see this place full.
Around Our Site
We’re parked near the entrance where they put weekenders—because the first time we made a reservation here was for just a few days (that has morphed now into monthly).
What this gives us is the luxury of being in the woods but looking out over this field between us and the road. It’s a sunny place to walk Banjo, and deer gather here at night.
The newish bandstand (see the Firefly right behind it?) must have been used last summer at least, from what I heard from a couple of little girls gabbing while they rode their bikes by me last weekend. We’re imaging country bands, particularly patriotic country bands, with that Liberty Park title.
There’s a big crew here working on several projects at once.
They’re building a new bathroom and shower building, a pavilion, and we hope another new path through the woods.
There’s also constant mowing, and—exciting for us— improvements to a couple of neighbor campsites so they can be filled as soon as the ban is lifted.
I’m guessing that the maintenance task list posted somewhere has an asterisk at the 8 am slot, saying,
Whatever work needs to be done with big, loud machinery, do that first thing right in front of the newbies in the Airstream.
On cold days when I’m stuck inside, I can’t express the illogical joy I feel to be able to watch people move stuff with a tractor and a bulldozer. I’m not sure what they’re doing, but they’re hard at it, and I’m glad for that..