Campground of the Year

We stay at KOAs. But only when we don’t have a choice. I find most of them to be too expensive for the experience which is generally very tight sites, gravel pads and, for big rigs like ours, tight access and issues with clearing trees.

Every year, KOA selects a campground of the year. For 2018, the winner is the Delaware Water Gap/Pocono Mountain KOA Holiday.

This would be one of their sites:

If that was the campground of the year, I was curious to see one of the worst KOA campgrounds. I didn’t have to work that hard to find it. Acton/Los Angeles North KOA. A typical review on tripadvisor:

Disgusting rat hole of a campground

This is the worst place ever… with the sewer smell from the septic tank… ants crawling all over the walls and toilets in the bathrooms and the laundry room is a joke and the prices this place charges you can go up to the rv resort on Sierra Highway for the same price you have cell phone service and WiFi and a beautiful view of the valley and a swimming pool that is taken care of properly …. so people if you are passing thru the Acton area this is not the place to stay. Again go to the rv resort on Sierra Highway for top of the line camping experience

Pretty brutal comments all around.

The sites there appear to have no boundaries. They look to be offered on an unpaved parking lot with very little separation.

It makes me appreciate some of the beautiful spots we have found in our travels to date. Especially in the Petoskey, Michigan area.

And I am certain that we will find many more beautiful spots for our coach in the years to come. If that means the occasional stay in a more rustic KOA setting in transit, so be it. All part of the experience.

The Tillmans

This is another couple that I follow on YouTube, the Tillman’s. They have a channel called This Little Adventure.

They are a family of four living out of a renovated 1999 Damon Intruder. Toni and Karlton run a photography business out of their coach — their website is here — and they clearly have a great eye for design.

The interior of this 18-year old coach looks amazing!

They cut a promo video of their coach which you can see here:

And, if you want an extended tour of their coach with Toni and Karlton as your hosts, you can watch it here:

Hearthside Grove Sites

I wanted to post some of my images of the sites at Hearthside Grove. Not all of the sites look like these ones, but most of them do. In a way, it reminds me of how Disney might choose to design a luxury motorcoach resort. Everything here was just so, well, perfect!

Harbor Springs Michigan

During our stay at Hearthside Grove in Petoskey, Michigan, we had a chance to tour many of the small towns in the area including Harbor Springs. We were told that there were some summer cottages that lined the waterfront and it took us roughly an hour or so walk that part of the town.

Hard to consider them as cottages. More like massive estate homes.

No people though. The area seemed empty and devoid of life. Except for the occasional vintage automobile.

Here are a few photos of the summer cottages.

Mackinac Island

During our time at Hearthside Grove, we made two trips out to Mackinac Island. We had visited the island once before, many, many years ago.

Shepler’s Ferry took us back and forth both times. On the first leg to the island, we had a chance to get a closer look at the Mackinac Bridge. Big Mac, or Mighty Mac is the longest suspension bridge between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere. The span is almost 5 miles in length.

We visited Fort Mackinac and enjoyed lunch at the Tea Garden. The restaurant offers a wonderful view of the harbour.

Along the main street of the island are some impressive cottages. From where I stood, they appeared to be more like mansions.

Exploring the island by foot is possible. Just be prepared for a lot of walking.

There are no cars on the island, only horses and bicycles.

Some of the houses have a very unique entrance, like this one.

We walked all the way up to the Grand Hotel. We did not go in as they charge $10 USD per person to enter the hotel. They don’t charge you for taking photographs. I suspect this building is one of the most photographed on the island.

Mackinac Island is home to a number of other smaller hotels and inns. They all looked very nice.

Lots of heritage buildings like this old American Fur Company Store from the 1800s.

Walking into the island takes you through Michigan’s first State Park, the Mackinac Island State Park.

Some wonderful views of the pristine waters that surround the island.

Getting back to the main part of the island took us the better part of our second day. It seemed like we had stepped back in time to a simpler age. Quiet and peaceful.