This booking was made to serve a dual purpose, but led to a serendipitous and unexpected opportunity. Richard’s uncle was celebrating his 80th birthday this weekend, (Happy Birthday Edwin!) so naturally, the first question we asked upon hearing about the get together was, “Is there camping nearby?” There were a couple of options and we went with this place, having been there a few times already. The only downside was that, by the time I looked up reservations, all the good spots were taken. But since I’m working on not being a campsite Premium-donna, I figured, whatever, it’ll be fine.
I’ll say this about site “A”: it is definitely close to the bathroom. Like, it’s only a slightly farther walk than it is to Dory’s bathroom, from inside Dory. It is also right in the middle of every kind of campground traffic. People, kids mostly, would come so close to Dory as they passed, we could feel little vibrations. It wasn’t awful in the greater scheme of things of course. There was no actual suffering happening here. But it was enough to cause my eye to wander over to the empty site by the river.
It turned out site 63 had a cancellation and we were able to move into it. The woman in the office told Richard something about how now we “own the site.” That sounded like wonderful news, but he had no idea what it meant. I guess it’s common practice for private campgrounds to allow you to reserve the premium site you’re in for the same time next year, before it becomes available to the public. This is a very sweet site, lots of room, right on the river, shade trees, and up against a cabin on one side so there’s a bit more privacy. Campsite Premium-donna was pleased on a premium level. To hell with “working on stuff.” Now we could sit in our Nemo chairs and catch the cool breeze coming off the water, while lazily staring down at the river rafters as they drifted by. All the RV sites have electric hookups, so you can throw AC into the blissful mix that we now get to reserve every 4th weekend in August. SWEET.
The little historic town of Coloma is always a fun visit and one of our favorite activities is eating at the Argonaut restaurant. They feature a farm to table menu in the summer, utilizing whatever is fresh and local that day. Since the last time we’d been there, they have built a whole outside dining experience, complete with an outdoor wood burning oven, a full size grilling station, picnic table seating, and a place for live music. We went there for dessert on Friday and had a grilled peach with ice cream, candied almonds, topped with an edible marigold and sprinkled with gold dust. Wow. Saturday we had their special roasted corn and cotija cheese pizza. The crust was done to perfection and the fresh cheese was just out of this world. All the taste sensations were perfectly paired with an IPA and musicians doing covers of oldies but goodies. We highly recommend Argonaut. When camping, it’s just a short walk across the historic bridge, but it would be worth a drive just for dinner.
Since we had our site reserved for Sunday night as well, we were able to leave Dory while we went off to the birthday party. We probably could have parked her in the shopping center lot, but we both felt better not having to deal with towing and parking.
It was a hot weekend and nice to dip our feet in the frigid river water. Actually it was just on the far edge of what you’d call refreshing, seeing as it was coming right from snow melt. Our AC at home actually died on Friday, so we kind of just abandoned the offspring. “Ooooh, looks like it’s gonna be hot. Bummer about the AC. Well, bye!” Parents of the year right here.
Now that we know we will be back every year, I will have to do some investigating about the many river activities out there. It seemed way too fast for my kayaking abilities. Or at least during the day, that is. We learned that river levels can change. Like, I was genuinely confused when I noticed the drastic difference from the middle of the day to evening. I looked back at pictures to compare, and sure enough, the water was much lower.
I have now learned from my smart fb friends that this is common, especially when there’s a dam upriver. Now we know that there is actually a predictable, published, time table for water release, specifically designed to benefit river based recreational activities. Huh. Never knew.
One last thing to report: following our summer trip, we splurged and put in a new shower curtain. This was purchased on our return trip to the mothership in July of ’18, and we finally felt it was time. I’m telling you, it’s like we have a brand new trailer. #itsthesimplethings
Happy hot weekend turned into future camping tradition. I can now make plans for catching up with friends near Coloma a full year in advance, (rather than, say, texting her at the last minute to say I was there and had forgotten how close she lived). 🙂
Total miles: 120.2, 16.8 mpg, 3 hours 51 min with traffic, under 3 hours getting home. Site A, then 63. Water and electric. Shady site. Good campground wifi but no ATT. LTE for Verizon however. Also ParksWiFi across the river in the state park.