South Whidbey State Park – Whidbey Island, Washington

http://www.parks.wa.gov/585/South-Whidbey-Island
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We camped at this park at the end of August 2013. We were there with 3 other families which consisted of 8 adults and 9 teenagers. This state park is about a 2.5 hour drive from Surrey BC.  We approached the park near dusk when the road was lined with deer.  This made driving very interesting and nerve racking at the same time. We must have counted 150 deer in the short stretch of land from Greenbank along highway 525 to The State Park. I tried to take pictures but it was too dark and not safe enough to stop. Continue reading

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Montague Harbour Provincial Park – Galiano Island, BC – Campground Review

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/montague/

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I consider myself very lucky, 16 years ago my parents started their dream by selling their home and moving aboard a 52 foot cabin cruiser. We spent many great summer holidays on the boat, but as the kids got older there just was not enough room for all of us to sleep. That is where the camping came in. We would head over to Montague Harbour Provincial Campground and set up our sleeping spots. The trip to Montague starts with a short ferry ride from Tsawwassen to Galiano Island. This camping trip was a bit different because we were tenting. The cost of taking the trailer on the ferry was just too high, and because we planned to spend most of our time on the boat it was not necessary to bring it over. With only 28 sites in the park reservation are recommended during peak season and it does fill up early. There is an overflow field for tenting and this area does have a couple of hidden gem. The park does not have hook ups, it only offers pit toilets and half the sites are walk ins but if you make the trip you will not be disappointed.

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Haynes Point Provincial Park – Osoyoos BC

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/haynes_pt/

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We have only been lucky enough to book into this campground once. It is likely the most popular provincial campground there is and if you want a site you will have to get up  before 8:00, 3 months before the date you want to camp and start trying to book it, even then you are lucky if you get in. We were able to get the site because I logged on about the same time as someone was cancelling their reservation and I scooped it up. Otherwise, good luck! Continue reading

Pearrygin Lake State Park: Winthrop, Washington

www.parks.wa.gov/563/Pearrygin-Lake

As we stated in our Lake Wenatchee blog, the Cascades Loop is widely regarded as one of America’s most scenic drives.   I offer this photo as proof:

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North Cascades Loop

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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

 http://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm

The world’s first national park is also one of it’s most famous camping destinations.  Play the licence plate game, and you’ll collect cars from almost every US state and Canadian province.  They have all come to enjoy Yellowstone’s natural beauty and abundant wildlife.

campgroundmapYellowstone’s 12 campgrounds vary in terms of whether they can be booked in advance , whether they have hook-ups, flush toilets, and even whether you can stay there in a canvas-sided pop-up (due to all the bears.)  There are also plenty of private campgrounds just outside the park boundaries.   Be sure to research before you go.

Also research how cold Yellowstone gets;  our mid-summer night-time temperatures were close to freezing.  Bring blankets.

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Seaquest State Park: Castle Rock, Washington

http://www.parks.wa.gov/581/Seaquest

Just off I-5, an hour north of Portland, lies Mount St Helens, one of the “Ring of Fire” volcanoes that line the Pacific coastline.  Us old timers remember the 1980 explosion so it seamed like an interesting place for one of our first family camping trips, back in 2004.  We were not disappointed.

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Alder Lake: Eatonville, Washington

https://www.mytpu.org/tacomapower/parks-recreation/alder-lake-park/

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On the way home from Mount St Helens in 2004, we planned to check out the area up to Mount Raineer.  We hadn’t been there before, or even heard much about it, but the AAA guide book mentioned a couple of Gems so we decided to check it out.  I’m glad we did.

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Nehalem Bay State Park, Manzanita, Oregon

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imagesCION4MV1The Oregon Coast should be on every camper’s To Do list.  Being 350 miles long, there are plenty of things to do on that list so you may want to break it into 2 or 3 different trips.  While doing the north, we opted to camp at Nehalem Bay State Park because:

 

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Why it’s Hard to Find a Campsite

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How often do you have trouble booking a campsite?   Ever wonder why?  Our rough research shows that there are indeed far more campers than there used to be, and the number of camp sites hasn’t grown to meet the demand.

Some interesting numbers

1) There are probably 3 times more campers than when I was a child

To start with, there are twice as many British Columbians now than back then.

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2011 RVDA Study

Further, camping is relatively more popular than it used to be. In 2011 over 18% of British Columbian households owned an RV.  As recently as 2005, the Canadian average was just 12% of vehicle-owning households. Continue reading

My Unexpected Benefits of Blogging

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Our first tent trailer bought in 2002

Campthatsite has been up and running for almost 3 months now. About 2 months longer than most of my friends and family thought it would last. I talked about doing a blog for over a year before I actually started it up. Each trip, while making our campground notes, I would ramble on about how it would be great to write a camping blog. Finally, in December 2014, I took the leap. I think what kick started me was a friend from work had a popular parenting blog, “Discovering Parenthood” and after watching her for a few months I felt inspired. She was also there to provide support and answer questions while I got started.  Thanks Tamara! Now after 3 months of blogging I have leared a lot, both about blogging and the unexpected benefits.

What I Expected
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When I started out I thought it would be great to share my notes and experiences with other campers. I was hoping other campers would email me or comment about site number they like or campgrounds they have been to. That has happened a bit but not as much as I had thought. In BC it is very difficult to get a good campground during the peak summer season and my thought was to help others get the perfect site on their first trip. I also hoped that if my blog became popular I might have an easier time booking a site of my own. The campground would benefit from a review and I would benefit by being able to book a site. At this time I am still working on building my blog so I have not tried to use it as a booking advantage but maybe some day.

What I Have Learned

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It’s a small world after all! I would say the coolest thing about doing this blog is seeing how many countries you can reach without ever leaving your front door. To date this blog has reached readers in over 40 counties and all the continents. Starting a blog has also forced me to learn, link and navigate many of the social media tools out there. I have set up a Twitter account, Facebook page, email address, Instagram account, WordPress blog and then linked them all together. This part has been a steep but fun learning curve. I started with 1 lonely Twitter follower, thanks to my daughter, and have watched it grow to over 600. My kids have had many good laughs as they have watched me log on and off several times each day, checking as my followers and views grew. It has been interesting to learn what people like to read, who opts to follow me and what they respond to. I have been surprised how the “personal blogs” have been some of the most popular posts I have done, followed by cool gadgets and tips.

The Unexpected Benefits

Blairs Iphone 258Both my husband and I have loved reliving our 12+ years of camping trips. This blog has given all our memories a permanent scrapbook to share with our family and friends. We have laughed at the photos and memories that were filed away in albums collecting dust or stored in computer files rarely being looked at. The kids have liked hearing camping stories from years they could not remembered and laughing at the crazy thing we have done together as we learned how to become “campers”. It has also renewed my interest in camping, that along with the new 20 foot trailer we bought.112_1241
I have also been surprised by the sheer number of fellow bloggers out there. It has been great getting to know other campers. I have loved reading and learning about their experiences as well as communicating with people from so many different places and walks of life. Blogging is a world I never knew existed and have enjoyed learning about. I will keep posting as long as I am camping and I hope to hear from fellow campers as I continue this journey.