Lesson learned this week: not all campgrounds are created equal. Oh, and toddlers can be finicky travel companions.
In the last week, we have stayed at 5 different privately owned campgrounds on our trip from Arizona to the Houston area. The good news is we (and by that I mean Scott) got really good at setting up and tearing down the trailer.
The bad news is it was pretty exhausting for everyone. We ended up spending two nights only 3 hours from our final destination just because we all needed a day off. Having family close by to visit was an added bonus.
By far our favorite campground this week was Hidden Valley Ranch RV Resort in Deming, New Mexico. It is a long 7 mile drive down a gravel road to get there, but it is well worth it!
The owner was so nice and welcoming. He drove up to greet us and offered to help Scott get hooked up. He even invited us to take the kids to visit the horses down at their stable when we arrived. The RV park is in the middle of a working cattle ranch, which honestly is why we picked it. We have a cow and horse obsessed toddler right now.
We arrived in Beaumont, Texas (our final destination) Monday night. We were able to meet with a local pastor on Tuesday about helping his church with their flood relief efforts. It honestly was refreshing to meet a pastor who was so excited about finding ways to serve his community after a disaster.
Although Scott and I have been responding to disasters since Hurricane Katrina (when we met), this is our first disaster response as a family. That adds a whole new element to the mix, like not meeting with a pastor with a one-year-old in tow right before naptime.
All of the campgrounds we have stayed with this week have been affiliated with Passport America. (not an affiliate link, we just really like them). Scott got a deal on a 15 month membership for $29, and this week alone we have saved $122.81.
Not every campground has been our favorite, and two we definitely would not return to because I felt like they were trying to take advantage of me by charging more than they should have. But in terms of cost savings, Passport America campgrounds are definitely the way to go. (In case you are curious, we keep track of all of our trips on Roadtrippers and my goal is to leave a review there for every place we stay.)
We are moving to a more long term campground for week 3, when the real work will begin!