Our Last Trip Almost Broke Us

I wanted to post this update sooner but life is busy….and painful. I am not going to draw this out with fluff so I’ll get right it. Our last trip almost broke us because our towing hitch was stolen that weekend. We did not realize it was gone until we were packing up to go home Sunday morning. Imagine that feeling when you realize a complete stranger took your expensive property. We have no idea if it happened at the fair or at the campground, River Forest Campground.

Your body responds negatively and panic settles into your gut. Your angry, frustrated, and your mind goes through all the reasons this could have been avoided. But the deed was done and we were hitchless. The one RV store open does not have anyone knowledgeable in parts in that could understand what we were looking for. The poor sales guy was clueless and we were frustrated.

The campground was very accommodating and permitted us to keep the RV onsite until we could find a way to get it home. We drove the 90 minutes home and immediately went to the RV store down the road. Long story short….they said we’d have to buy a new towing system and expect to spend $400+ for it.

I went home and scoured the internet. Our towing system was old and I could not find anyone selling that model. But I was determined to keep looking. I went to Craiglist and after hours of scrolling I found a guy 20 minutes away who was selling the exact hitch we needed! YES!! I responded to that ad and by Monday evening we were on our way home with the hitch for only $100. Can you imagine how good it felt to have everything line up in your favor?!?!

On Tuesday, the hubbins and one of our sons went to pick up the RV and brought it home for me to get it ready for winter. I was happy but the sting of someone taking your property was still fresh. In all of our years of camping, we’ve never had anything stolen or heard anyone ever say they had their property stolen.

Is there a lesson here? Hell yea! We are buying a lock for the hitch!!  And, if we are going to be in a public area where people are coming and going, store the darn hitch in the camper. Unfortunately, this event pushed everything I wanted to share about the campground our of my memory. This event has painted this campground with a sad memory. It may always be “the campground where we experienced the evils of humanity”.

We plan to go to the State Fair again next year. I don’t know if we’ll stay there again. But here are pictures of the one main issue I had with this campground. The not-so-nice bathroom.

So, the fried chicken and onion rings from the restaurant was meh, there wasn’t a general store for the kids to spend our money, and the bathrooms were….mmmm…let’s go with grimy.

Our camping season is over but to those out there grinding it out…HAPPY CAMPING!!

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It’s Been A Long Time…

It’s been a long time, we shouldn’t of left you without a dope beat to step to! That is one of my favorite lines from the Aaliyah/ Timbaland song, Try Again.  I don’t have a dope beat to give you but I do feel like I shouldn’t of left my blog for so long.

We have been camping consistently. I’m simply a bit too lazy to update my blog like I should. I hope to do better but I can’t make any promises. Trust me, I am that lazy!

This weekend we are in Weedsport New York at River Forest campground. We are attending the New York state fair for the very first time.

The campground is very large and clean. There is an on-site restaurant but the hours or 4 p.m. until 4 the bar in 5 p.m. through 9 p.m. for the restaurant. The other night, I ordered wings. Unfortunately I felt the wings were not that good. They looked as if they were boiled in water and then covered in barbecue sauce. I actually had to start up the oven in the RV and continue to bake them until I got some sort of a crispy skin. But I can tell you that the people here are very friendly. I haven’t looked up the cost for a seasonal campsite, but this could be a potential home.

View from our campsite.
View from the check-in shack.

It is late as I’m writing this blog but I do plan on updating this post (with photos) very soon.

 

 

Father’s Day Weekend at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park

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Spray Park at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, RV Campgrounds

The first camping trip for 2016 was a success. We spent the weekend at Yogi Bear Jellystone Park in North Java, NY. We’ve camped at this resort several years and would like to go there more often is it weren’t so expensive. The campground is very large and we always rent a golf course which adds to the expenses.

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The weather was perfect and the campground was packed. The kids loved the spray park, swimming in the pool, swimming in the lake, and playing in the sand. Unlike my sons, the girls were not hesitant to ride the paddle boats, kayak, and row boat….alone. This trip was also MY first time on a kayak. It takes a lot of energy and once you get the paddling together, you can move around pretty good.

Jellystone is the only campground (I know of) that has a rather large and diverse staff. This was the first time we’ve seen a diverse campground staff AND diverse campers. We were shocked that we were not the only black family camping. That was great to see. Now about the large diverse staff. The staff was diverse in sex, race, and age. And, when there is a large number of staff, you will run into some mess. And we did. All I will say is that some people should not work at places where they are required to be around a lot of families. I have very little tolerance for old grumpy men. I am all about respecting my elders but I will let you know who I am with the quickness. This is not the 60s homie.

Back to the positive. Jellystone has a great general store. They serve all the regular stuff but have a kitchen that delivers. Will had an emergency run home and I am not a grill master like him so I ordered pizza.

Overall, I highly recommend Jellystone; especially for beginners. They have a large amount of cabins, lots of space for ten campers, laundry facilities, clean bathrooms, and plenty of activities to you busy all day.

Can We Make It Happen?

IMG_20160403_152032Hello! Shawnice here and I am so ready to make camping what it’s supposed to be. During our Memorial Day 2015 camping trip, we broke the tow bar…again! I can imagine how upset I was. I told Will that we are experienced campers and cannot continue to let people who “think” their more experienced than use try to help with parking the RV.

I have been helping Will park the camper for YEARS! I need him to trust me and know that I have our best interest at heart.

We eventually got the tow bar fixed but not in time for another trip. But 2016 should be on like Donkey Kong.

Can we make it happen? Yes we can!

On a side note, I am on Twitter now. I have 2 followers! LOL! Will and my friend Gail. You can follow me @justsewpeazy. Yes, I am a sewer. I wrestled with the idea of creating a twitter account for BlackCampers. The work it would take to manage two account  was outweighed by my desire to remain sane.

Anywhoooo…Will and I going on our annual wine tour this weekend and will try to periscope our adventure.

Here’s to a great 2016 camping adventure.

 

Memorial Day 2015

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We had our first camping trip for the year this past Memorial Day. The Ridge (formerly known as Frost Ridge) has been our Memorial Day campground for several years. We registered at the campground later than desired and ended up in a site that is a comfortable pull-through spot for a pop-up, but not our RV. It took a little over an hour for me to park the RV. The first night was so cold, we didn’t even attempt to build a fire. We retired early and woke to a great morning with a great breakfast.

The Breakfast Bowl

20150523_101847A few years ago we started adding all of our breakfast items in one bowl. At first it made for easy clean-up but then we started loving the mash-up and made it a staple in our camping trips. Our breakfast bowls include potatoes, onions, bacon, sausage, eggs, cheese, and a drizzle of syrup.

I still keep a box of cereal and yogurt on hand because that is the only breakfast my youngest will eat. The breakfast bowl, along with a cold cup of orange juice or a cup of hot coffee, helps to warm up an otherwise chilly morning.

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Thankfully, the weather warmed up some later that day and the kids were able to go swimming. The water was frigid so it was great entertainment to see kids jump in the pool and come pop up out of the water screaming. Chaney was in the pool the longest and had a hard time warming up. As I sat on the side of the pool, I thought about the need to update this site sooner rather than later. I wanted to make note of the other black children I saw around the pool. Yet, the adults that were there with the children were not black. They called out to the adults with the titles “uncle” and “aunt.”

Dinner

It was ridiculous how much food we cooked. My eldest son ate so much when he was in high school, that I still tend to cook for 10 instead of 6. That child could eat for several people. He’s now 20 and camps on his own with his friends. He’s in this phase where he wants to do everything he did with us; but not with us.

20150524_175535While we were out camping, he and his friends were at the house and decided to have a little get-together and built a fire. These boys went through Will’s entire wood pile and kindling. He needs to pay for the next delivery of wood!

Our neighbors came out for dinner. It’ always nice to have our friends come out. And, yes! We try to sale the camping experience. At this time, they have their hearts set on buying a boat. After dinner, we headed down to the stage for the live DJ. The entertainment the previous night was night before The Christopher Gerard Band. The bands that play at The Ridge are not the flavor we desire, but if that’s what’s playing; we’re game. But there’s only so much I can handle in one evening.

Our first trip was a success. We hope to one day possibly be seasonal campers at The Ridge. I love the owners, and the regulars are friendly. I’m sure that we’re the only black family that graces there presence all season, but that’s what makes our adventures great! That’s simple how we do it!

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See Other Memorial Day 2015 Photos

Share your camping pictures with us!
Send to sonice37(at)gmail(dot)com and we’ll post them on this site!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camping Update and Many Thanks!

Every time I get a notice that Black Campers has a new follower, I am humbled and embarrassed at the same time. I am humbled that there are people who are interested in what we’re doing. I’m embarrassed that I am not on top of my blog. I have found blogs that peaked my curiosity just to eventually learn that the blogger has moved on.

We are still here and the RV still smells like love. No joking. When we need to head out to the RV to get something out of it, Will and I walk inside the RV and take a deep breath. We talk to the RV and tell it how much we miss spending time with it. Will usually ends the visit with a pat on the side of the RV and we drive away talking about how we missed our camping adventures.

We did not get any camping trips in 2014. The brakes on the truck were not reliable, the sensor on the gas tank was failing, and the tank had a slow leak. Will had problems getting gas into the tank; he could not put more that $5 or $6 of gas into the tank. The truck was riddled with problems. Will said the Avalanche was his best truck and worse truck. When things were good, they were real good. When things were bad, we were screwed. Money was tight and financially supporting our son in college put camping on hold.

The GOOD news is….we have a new truck! Will finally had had enough of the Avalanche and purchased a Ford F-150. Camping is going down in 2015!

We are looking into being seasonal campers at one of our favorite campgrounds, Frost Ridge. We’ve spent several Memorial Days at Frost Ridge. The campground is small, the other campers are very nice, and it’s a 15 minute drive from our home. It will become our “summer cottage” (insert chuckle). Current campers at Frost Ridge have until the end of the month to renew their contract. We will know after that point if a spot opens up for us. If we do not get a spot for 2015, we’ll continue to camp as we have done all this time. Neither Will nor I can see ourselves settling down anywhere else.

Until my next article, which I have half written because I was going to add it here but decided to make it its own post, many thanks to the new followers of Black Campers! If you’re a camper, I’d love to hear about your adventures. Feel free to comment with a link to your site. If you’re not a camper, I hope I inspire you to give it a try.

Ready for 2013 Camping Season

We took a year off and now we’re back! The family was not happy that we did not get out to camp in 2012, but it was necessary for us to focus on other areas. Boy how we missed it!

We have our first trip planned for Memorial Day and I still need to finalize the rest of the summer. The family is EXCITED to get back into the groove of camping!

Our annual (minus 2012) July fourth trip will be in Pittsburgh, PA this year. My best friend since 2nd grade is getting married. And it’s too expensive for a family of six to stay in a hotel for 4 nights and although my sister is in that area, there’s just not enough room.

We plan on hitting up Kennywood on July 4th with the bride and groom! I’ve not been to Kennywood since 1991! 

OK…enough about July (I’m so exited)! I just wanted to share that we are on like Donkey Kong for 2013!