All things must end….so our trip does.

We started our camping trip on the 27th of July and returned home yesterday. We had a good trip that took us 6115.5 miles from driveway to driveway. As usual, we enjoyed or trip and as usual, we had some interesting experiences. Some of our experiences are not so good but we always manage to laugh about them later.

This camping trip took us to Goodlet, Texas for a night stay. We always stop in Goodlet if we are going up highway 287. Another night is spent in Raton, NM. We generally stop there for our second night on the road. The next night found us in Cheyenne, WY at a KOA. We have never stayed in Cheyenne so this was our first time to stop there. We were on our way to McCall, ID but our airconditioning problem changed our plans. We had a scheduled appointment in Idaho Falls so rather than go directly to McCall and then have to back track, we decided to go the Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons for a few days and then stop in Idaho Falls on the way to McCall. After our stop at the repair facility we went to McCall. The repair place had to order a part which meant that we had to stop in Idaho Falls on our return trip.

After the repair to the A/C, we went to Estes Park and spent a few days over 3 weeks there at Elk Meadows Lodge and RV Park. We went from Estes Park down to Colorado Springs and spent 2 night there. We visited The Garden of the Gods for the first time. What an interesting place that was! From Colorado Springs we went to Santa Fe for 2 nights and went downtown for a few hours the full day that we were there. Leaving Santa Fe, we went to Carlsbad, NM for a night. We had been there several times and did the caverns last year. While there this time we found that there are a number of other places to see in the area. We plan to stay longer some other time to take advantage of some of the other sights. Our next stop was in Kerrville, TX at Buckhorn Lakes Resort. What a nice campground! I will venture to say that it is the nicest campground that we have ever stayed in.

We had planned on stopping in Jucnction, Texas and staying at the Junction KOA. My wife call the Junction KOA a few days before to check on rates. That campgound changed hands several years ago and the owner seems to think that he is in a garden spot and charges more than most other KOAs. We like Junction, but it is not exactly what I call a destination spot. Anyway, when my wife called, the rate was going to be $47.50 for the two of us and $13.00 for each additional person. We had our grandson with us, so it was going to cost over $60.00 per night to stay at the Junction KOA. What a rip!!! My wife told them that we could find something better and would not stay there again. She called Buckhorn Lake Resort for their rates. Our stay there cost $38.70 per night. That was with our grandson and the tax included. What a world of difference in the amenities of the two campgrounds. Buckhorn has everything and the Jucnction KOA has some white ducks roaming the property. Jucnction is just an overnight place whereas Buckhorn in Kerrville is a destination.

We are becoming more and more turned off by KOA campgounds. As everyone knows, they are a franchised operation. Because of that, there are more internal cost that have to be overcome before a profit can be made. If KOA Kampgrounds aren’t careful, they are going to price themselves out of business. We only stay at a KOA if there is no other good choice. Don’t get me wrong, there are many good KOA campgrounds, they are just usually always higher in price than other campgounds. We have stayed at a number of campgrounds recently that were KOA and the owner just got tired of the franchise crap and left the KOA family.

Anyway, we are home again. Today was spent taking things out of the camper and washing it. Tomorrow, we take it to the dealer to fix a few items under warranty and a couple of small dings in the back of the trailer. I’d like to blame the dings on my wife, but I can’t find a logical way to do that. In less that a month, we will be on our way to Maryland to visit our son and family.


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