Driving WestMonday, February 8, 2010 – Today is a moving day! We have been to this area before (when we drove from Bisbee to East to Deming) and we are eager to move west. Like always – we still have no idea where are we going, so while I had my morning conference call, Patti looked up some campground in Quartzsite. Based on the reviews, the rates and the pictures from the website we finally chose 88 Shades RV Park.
Got packed and ready to go in no time, and left our Benson “Resort” heading west. Our TomTom showed 280 miles to go at about 5 hours. that brings us around 5:00 pm to our campground. We drove through the Western Style desert and all those Saguaro cacti looks so cool giving the feeling of driving in a scene of a western movie. Besides some traffic in Phoenix we did not have any problems and the driving went smooth. Stopped at Flying J to check on Moe and grab some lunch, and approached Quartzsite right on time, at 5:00 pm.
We saw the site at Quartz-Site.As we drove down the street of this town we saw some RVs. and some more RVs, and a little more. Repairing RVs. fixing RVs, Buying RVs (Nice and Ugly) selling RV Flags and RV Mats and RV Burgers and RV shrinks and RV this and RV that… Wow! We noticed a car! that was weird… We drove down main street towards our RV campground, that happen to be just after an RV campground, that was after an RV dealer, across from another RV campground, and just before an RV campground (I had a feeling you knew that).
We entered a big parking lot where RVs were parked one by the other, and people looked busy going around them going in out around and about. I looked for the campground, but it turns out that the parking lot IS the campground. I looked at Patti, she looked at me, and together, like a que was given we said – we have been here. Before the 3 golf cart that rushed towards me had a chance to do anything we were already on the way out.
Now what?Patti suggested that we will continue west to the next town and see what we find. Patti grabbed her laptop to the car and looked up places while I was driving. I found something, she said, but it is in CA… Just across the border.
So we got to Hidden Beached campground at about the same time we arrived Quartzsite. We had 5:00 pm twice today!
The campground is on the Colorado river and although it had many sites and some mobile on premises, it looked much nicer than the parking lot in Quartzsite. The owner was not so sure about the quality of the Internet and suggested we will try it before staying here for longer time. We paid for couple days (they have PA rates) and got situated.
To be honest – This is one of the best Internet connection we had for a while!
Colorado River from the campground
Colorado River from the campground
Mountains and Fields
River Front Site
What is a good campgroundWhen we read reviews about campgrounds, many times we would see the same place getting a 9 and a 1 around the same time.
There is no “One Size fits all” and what appeals for one might be a burden for another. What we are really missing is a good way to categorize and sort the campgrounds, so that they are rated within the group they belong. A good overnight park would get a bad rate if a family that comes with kids to enjoy a weekend, and a family campground might be very bad for those who are looking for a peaceful time.
Based on our short experience we would like to add some dimensions to campground ratings and description, and who knows – maybe someone will pick up on it and create a better rating system for campgrounds.
Campground TypeThe first question that comes to my mind is, who is this campground for. Different types of people are coming to a campground, and the main groups I can think about are:
- Long Term Full Timers (3 weeks and more), Snow Birds, Seasonal, Residents
- Families with kids (Primarily weekends and vacations)
- Short term visitors of a local attraction near by
- Short Term Full Timers, Explorers (1-2 weeks)
- Overnight stay
- More? Any suggestions?
I think that the main difference between campgrounds in each category will be the amenities offered for public use. Long term visitors would love to see services such as local store, Propane delivery, mail forwarding, cable TV while short term full timers may need clean laundry room.
Campground LayoutThe next category would be the ‘Social setting’ of the place, and I will explain:
- The City Boy – This is what I call the parking lot setting, Crowded but paved level and lots of neighbors.
- The Town boy – More space than the previous one, larger lots (sometime on grass, or gravel) but still you have neighbors all around.
- The country Boy – This setting give you lots of space and privacy. Nice views from the window and maybe some shade trees. That could be found many times in state parks and some national parks. At many of those campgrounds the sites will not have sewer (due to the large distance between them)
- The Hill Billy – In RV terms this is Boondocking, so since we are talking campground, this group is on their own.
So where all of that takes us?Well, If I am an country boy explorer, that means I like to see attractions (Nature, Antiques, Wineries) and would like to stay at a remote place that will give me privacy and space, yet provide me with the amenities that a full timer needs.
A City Boy Long Term Full Timer may look for a whole different type of campgrounds than I do. And a campground that would be marvelous for him will make me turn around before I entered the gate.