Filed under: Nature & Wildlife, Other Great RV Routes, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, RV Campgrounds, Scenic Byways/Historic Routes, Tent Campgrounds, Uncategorized
SUMMER WIND in Dawson, WV – A Beautiful Gem in the Rough.
We had pulled out from Richmond, VA, late in the afternoon heading for Louisville, KY. I had no idea how far we would drive or where we would stop for the night. I simply figured that we would find a place to land when we were ready to stop.
The only problem with this plan is that I-64 across the West Virginia Mountains is not overly populated with campgrounds, especially those capable of handling a big rig. If you look in the Eastern Section of the 2010 directory you will find a scant five pages of campground listings for WV – those on I-64 are far and few between.
Using the Woodall’s Campground Directory, we located two facilities that were not too far from us. One was at exit 161 in Alderson and the other at exit 150 at Dawson. I decided to take the exit off of I-64 for the first facility listing.
Whoa Nellie… there was a tunnel smack dab in front of us with a 9’ 10” maximum height clearance! With a rig standing 13’ tall there was NO way we were going to get to this campground. Time to turn around and head back out on I-64.
Back to Woodall’s Directory and the second option, Summer Wind RV Overnight Park in Dawson, WV. The two diamonds Woodall’s rating in the big book was disappointing, but it was getting late and our choices were limited. I called the number listed in the directory and told the park host we were in a BIG rig that was 61’ long. He responded, “No problem, I’ll be waiting for you to escort you in.”
Just as promised, the campground host was standing at the campground entrance when we arrived. He walked us over to an empty pull-thru site that would easily accommodate a 100’ long rig. It was a grass site with some gravel. Full 50 amp electric, water and sewer.
But, it was not the site that impressed us. It was the magnificent view across the mountains and valleys. As we were standing there looking out over the landscape, a rainbow appeared over the top of an old barn. I did not have my Olympus camera handy so I reached for my Palm Pre and made the shot before the rainbow disappeared.
As it turns out the campground was once a farm. The owners decided that they no longer wanted to farm the land so they turned it into a campground. There are both full hook-up and partial to no hook-up sites. Adjacent to the camping area is a clean bath house.
The campground host was tremendously friendly and helpful. We immediately felt at home and ended up spending over an hour engaged in a fascinating discussion about the similarity of our educational background.
What it all comes down to is that campgrounds do not have to have a swimming pool, store, playground or hayrides to be great places to camp. The entertainment at Summer Wind was the view and the comrade of the people there.
To us, it quickly became a jewel in the rough that afforded a great evening and overnight stay.
If you ever cross the WV Mountains you should spend a night at Summer Wind in Dawson. Don’t pay any attention to the two diamond rating in the book – this is a five diamond overnight park with nice grass sites, clean bath house, friendly people and a beautiful view.