We are heading to what will be our last campsite of 2014 to join the Amazon Camperforce team and tackle the holiday season rush. We covered a few less miles this year, but still made it across the country and back. We volunteered/workamped nearly half of the year, stayed put for about a month without working a couple of times, and actively traveled the rest. Below is a list of our favorite campsites this year.
Gilbert Ray Campground, AZ – this county park, just south of Saguaro National Park, is the best campground we have found to experience the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. It is a bargain at $20 per night for electric hookups, and camping among the giant Saguaros is a one-of-a-kind experience. It is a 20 minute scenic drive to Tucson and there is GREAT hiking nearby.
Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, SD (boondocking) – The Badlands of South Dakota truly are something to behold, almost other-worldly. Camping on the edge of “The Table,” a cliff overlooking them is a remarkable experience. This free spot is 6.5 miles south of Wall, SD. Look for the large antenna and turn left on the service road, drive anywhere you want and park.
North Shore Bay Campground, Buffalo Bill State Park, WY– This campground is unbelievably picturesque. It overlooks the turquoise Buffalo Bill Lake with the snow covered Absaroka mountain range in the background and is surrounded by hoodoos and buttes. It’s about 10 minutes to Cody, WY and 45 minutes to the Eastern slopes of Yellowstone National Park.
One of the ways Alayne and I afford to be full-time RVers is by volunteering in exchange for an RV site, and soon workamping for a wage. In general, we enjoy the work and experiences. However, two were less than positive, one of which, we felt completely taken advantage of. It surprised us early on, that there were few resources for volunteers and workampers to share their experiences; to help each other avoid bad situations and provide encouragement for the good. Recently we launched a website to do just this, provide a voice for workampers and volunteers.
WorkampingReviews.com is in its early stages of compiling reviews. This easy to use website is completely free and requires no registration. It also allows users to post anonymously. This new resource needs people to submit reviews to get the ball rolling. If you have a volunteer or workamping experience to share, please do, so this becomes a helpful and powerful resource for all.
There is no need to ever stay in a unsatisfactory campground. With a little bit of online research it is easy to locate campgrounds that suit your individual tastes.
AllStays.com is possibly the most comprehensive list of both public and private campgrounds. It also includes places for overnight parking. Both the website and app allow the user to search according to tastes and specifications. If I were to use a single application this would be it.
UltimateCampgrounds.com is a site I found relatively recently and have been using it more and more. It specializes in public campgrounds, which we prefer, and is more comprehensive than allstays.com in this segment.
In 2013 we crossed the country, staying at more than three dozen campgrounds along the way. Below is list of our favorites. These are, of course, subjective to our tastes and preferences. We prefer scenery and proximity to cool stuff above all. We enjoy the luxuries of a full service campground from time to time, and when stationary for extended periods, but we are happy to rough it a little for a great trail or view. We also appreciate a good value, expensive campsites really have to be something special to impress us.
This New Mexico Park is enchanting. It has sweeping vistas of the “wild west” and is surrounded by an ancient lava flow. The park has a nice hiking trail through the flow so visitors can get a closer look at the unique fauna. Camping here is a memorable experience. New Mexico parks have nice amenities, well maintained and inexpensive, less than $20. Each site has water and electric, concrete pad and a shade pavilion with picnic table.
Welcome to South Carolina! This is the home of the Palmetto and Spanish moss, Antebellum history, southern hospitality, and Charleston.
We have settled into our second workamping gig at James Island County Park, and we could not be happier. The park is only five miles from Charleston’s historic district, and is about the same distance to laid back Folly Beach. The park itself is the jewel of the local park system and is 600 acres of loveliness. The campground is luxury compared to our site in the Outer Banks. We especially enjoy the hot showers, nearby laundry, and the fast, free WIFI. The park has 6 miles of newly repaved trails that meandered through the semi-tropical foliage and marsh, two lakes, 50 ft. climbing wall, kayaks, fishing pier, play grounds, water park, and a lot of places to find solitude. This is a beautiful place to be.
Our first priority for this road trip was to escape the winter weather and find some warmer air to settle into. After almost a week of traveling south, we finally made it to the gulf coast and were blown away with the beach scape that we found here. The Gulf Shores National Seashore is incredibly beautiful, with miles of pristine white sand beaches and calm emerald green water. We had no idea the Pensacola area of Florida held such a gem!
Luckily, Christian had planned ahead and booked a few nights at the Fort Pickens campground, which is within the National Seashore, and we were not disappointed. In fact, we liked it so much, that we stayed an extra night to help us fully relax into our new life-style. There are five camping loops within the campground (A, B, C, D, & E) and we had the pleasure of spending time in both loop A and loop E.
Our first two evenings were spent in loop A, which seems to be the most popular within the campground. It’s separate from the other loops and has the added benefit of a lot of natural foliage around each campsite, which adds some privacy and good ambiance.