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STOP #259

This isn't our first one night stand and definitely not our last, just the most recent!

If you read our last post you're already aware this one night stand is a result of a scheduling blunder. It worked out in our favor by turning a 250+ mile travel day into two shorter travel days. It even saved us $7.00 on camping fees.

But if you have to pull off the road somewhere and spend the night, I could think of a lot worse places for that to happen than here.

Campsite #57 at Rocky Creek Park in Burton, TX (halfway between Austin and Houston).

Our lakefront campsite view, if you can see through all the rain!

MONDAY - We woke up early this morning and checked the weather forecast. It hadn't changed much from the night before, around 10AM it was going to start raining and not stop until after dinner sometime.

We got most things taken care of to leave the night before and this morning finished up tasks like dump our holding tanks, connecting the truck to the trailer and disconnecting the electricity. By 8AM we were all set to go and that's when I made the decision to just go ahead and get on the road and try to make it to our next stop before it started raining.

We almost made it! About 10 miles from our next stop it started to rain, we called ahead to see if we could check-in to our site early, knowing no one had occupied our site the night before. There are two Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds on Somerville Lake here in Texas and we called the phone number listed on our reservation confirmation.

A nice woman answered the phone and I asked if we would be able to check-in early for our reservation. She asked which campground I was in and told me and I quote, "They are a little bit strict about the rules over there". That implied to me that she was at "the other campground" and they weren't so strict.

We got off the phone and I figured we might as well continue on to the campground just a few miles ahead. Best case scenario was we arrive and no one is manning the check-in station and we just pull in and set up on our site. Worst case scenario is we have to wait until someone does man the check-in station and then find out about getting on our site.

I know we were very early, five hours before the 3PM check-in time, but I didn't really expect there to be a problem since our site was empty the night before. Was I ever wrong!

Phil's latest rant is next! - T

We arrived to find no one at the check-in station, but the gate was wide open. We pulled past and soon saw a second gate located after a small parking lot and turn around lane. This gate was closed and padlocked.

We pulled into the check-in lane for RVers and sat in the truck reading our books for a good 45-minutes. The camphost site was just a short distance away and figured we would see them when they finally opened the check-in station, or at least they would see us waiting. I wasn't about to go up and knock on their door if they weren't "on the clock" yet.

We saw two cars pull up to the gate, enter their code and proceed to the campground. The third car stopped next to the trailer and asked if we lost our gate code that came in our email confirmation. I told them I didn't see it there, but again that was six months ago I received that email.

As I was hooking up my laptop to retrieve the code another truck pulled up, this time it was the camp host. He not so kindly informed me that check-in time wasn't until 3PM and that I had to remove myself from the property. I asked if there was somewhere nearby I could wait and he directed me 3/4 mile back up the entrance road to the intersection where there was a general store/gas station/restaurant business with room to park.

We moved over to where he sent us and began another long waiting period. About an hour later I saw another motorhome towing a truck turn down the entrance road headed to the check-in station. Sure enough 15-minutes later he was coming back up the entrance road to pull in next to us to wait his turn too.

He didn't wait long and left to once again headed down the entrance road to the check-in station, only this time after 45-minutes he didn't come back? I thought maybe he was told to come back at noon to check-in so I soon followed his lead and once again started down the road.

After going around a short bend in the road I saw him stopped in the roadway, out walking his dog. He approched my window when I rolled it down and I asked him what the camp host told him about check-in time. He repeated the 3PM time and just then the camp host drove up and exited his truck.

He informed us that we weren't allowed to block the roadway and we would have to move. The other guy responded we weren't blocking the entire roadway and there was plenty of room to maneuver around us. The camp host insisted we move and went back to his truck and left, I assumed to call the sheriff.

I pulled around the motorhome while he finished walking his dog and went back to the businesses parking lot. This time I went inside and asked if it was alright to park outside in his lot and he said it was fine, that it happens all the time. He further mention that sometimes there are five or six big trucks and trailers filling his parking lot on the weekends, just waiting for check-in time. I guess it might benefit him and send some business his way.

When I came back out I noticed the big motorhome was not sharing the parking lot with us. I looked back down the 3/4 mile long entrance drive to find him parked on the opposite side of the street, around the bend and out of site of the check-in station.

I waited until 5-minutes before 3PM and then once again made my way down the entrance drive towards the check-in station. As I passed the big motorhome on the way in I rolled down my window and joked that he should wish me luck with checking in early (by 5 minutes) and he joked I should check my clock because he believed it was seven minutes early.

I finished my approach while I saw him pulling down the road to make a u-turn to follow me. When I arrived at the check-in station the camp host made a witty comment aabout seeing me again so I just went with it and tried to remain pleasant in return.

I have mentioned on this blog before how I understand the need for rules. This is the 27th different Army Corps of Engineers park visited and I just wish they could all be consistant with the rule following, that way I know what to expect when wanting to arrive early.

There you go, my rant is over! Thank you for putting up with it!

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