Tag Archives: campgrounds

Spring Break vs Spring Fever

I am sure that one causes the other…unless your break is drowned out.

I’m just thinking of you poor families living in the northern regions where snow hasn’t melted off your lawn yet and the kids are crying, “when can we go camping?!”

mowed lawn

Maybe it’s time to unpickle the RV!  Don’t wait until the week before you want to camp to flush the antifreeze, check the heater, water heater, stove, batteries, etc.  You don’t want to be making last minute repairs with the kids breathing down your neck.

Gathering Firewood
Gathering Firewood

Find that camping checklist or make a new one.

You’d be surprised how many people show up in a campground without the basics: axe, matches/lighter, flashlight, can opener, etc.

Tent Camping with Kids
Tent Camping with Kids

If tent camping is your deal, set up the tent in the backyard (or living room) before you head to the campground.  Tents are really of no use without poles.

When camping with your kids, consider a campground with an on-site host.  Hosted campgrounds are generally more family-friendly.  The rowdies tend to go somewhere else where no one will be complaining about their inconsiderate behavior.

Check out American Land & Leisure for some of the friendliest campground hosts you’ll find in the US.  Choose a state under FIND OR RESERVE YOUR SITE.  Many of their campgrounds begin opening in April; some are open year-round.

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Agate Hunting Tips

I allotted myself 45 minutes before 8am for agate hunting.

Agate Bed
Agate Bed

I caught my limit!

Some rocks are fully exposed
Some rocks are fully exposed

I don’t know what kind this is.  It’s not an agate but it will polish up really nicely.  The sand has done all but polish it.

Metal Bar in Sand
Metal Bar in Sand

Metal rusts in the salt water; of course.  But the interesting thing is that the sand cakes onto it and rocks attach to it.  They easily pop off when you tap them.

You can see sunlight shining through the agates
You can see sunlight shining through the agates

Some say you should walk with the sun at a certain angle so the light shines through the agate.  But that’s just one technique.  I like looking for them when they are wet because that’s what they’ll look like when they are polished.  See the pretty orange rock in the middle (above)?  That’s a nice little carnelian agate.  Here’s a bigger one.

Carnelian Agate
Carnelian Agate

Some, like that one, I think “Oh, I won’t pick that one up because it won’t polish well.”  Then I decide to pick it up because it will look good in my flower bed. 🙂

I saw the smallest sliver of red and white and uncovered it before I took a pic.  It turned out to be a really nice jasper and quartzite.

Well, my time was up so I watched the ground as I headed back to work.

Wow!
Wow!

When I least expected it!  That’s when we find all our treasure’s, isn’t it?

Is that a blue agate?  Looks like it to me!

Notes from my Workamping Journal:

It’s fairly easy to find a water leak in a desert.  You just look for a green spot amongst all the brown.

But how do you find a water leak in a rain forest?

Campground Etiquette (USA)

I had to talk to a picnicker today about where he was having his lunch.  I started remembering other times when people weren’t familiar with different aspects of campground etiquette. They seem like common sense to me but maybe that’s because I learned them as a child.  Maybe these things will be helpful to you who are either new to camping/RVing or new to the USA camping culture.

1. Basics:  Do not annoy other campers.  A “good” camper is self-sufficient, quiet, only uses the area they pay for and leaves the site as clean or cleaner than they found it.

2. Respect other camper’s space; whether they are present or not.  Don’t walk through a campsite that you have not rented unless you are invited.  Just because the renter is not in the campsite at the moment, does not mean you can use it until they get back.  That would be like someone sitting down at your dinner table while you are in the restroom.

3.  Don’t use soap (of any kind) or leave food waste at the water faucets.  It attracts animals (from mice to bears).

4.  Use flush toilets for human waste and toilet paper only.   Flush toilets in campgrounds can handle the toilet paper supplied but cannot handle feminine products or “flushable wipes”.  This is because the septic systems are usually not as robust as a city sewer system.  We have noticed that campers, from countries that do not have good sewer systems, put their used toilet paper in the garbage can or on the floor.  If this describes you, be assured that our toilets are always designed to accommodate used toilet paper.  (Kleenex is not toilet paper.)

5.  Pit/vault or portable toilets should be used in the same manner as flush toilets.  You may think, “hhmm, big hole, no plumbing issues here.”  However, the hose used to pump the waste out of these toilets will get clogged if there is garbage, rocks or other non-biodegradable debris in the tank.  (By “biodegradable” I mean within a couple weeks, not years.)

6. Pay your fees before you camp.  You wouldn’t wait until you are leaving the theater before you pay for the movie, would you?

7.  “Green” wood does not burn; it just smokes a lot.  If the stick snaps, cracks and breaks, it will burn.  “Green” wood refers to wood cut from a tree that was recently alive.  Depending on the area climate, it could take a year for the wood to dry out enough to use in a campfire.

8.  Nails from pallets don’t burn and they are difficult to remove.  So, if you must burn pallets, remove all the nails first.  (RIGHT!  That’s why most campgrounds don’t let you burn pallets.  You may try showing them the huge magnet that you’ll use after the firepit cools though.)

9.  Look up before you set up your tent.  A tree that is leaning, especially if it is uprooted, is a hazard.

These are not in order of importance.  Some may be stating the obvious but, like I said, things that are common sense to some are not so obvious to others.

Happy Camping!  And enjoy the tranquility.

Tillicum Beach Sunset
Tillicum Beach Sunset