Filed under: Destination Camping & RV Resorts, Nature & Wildlife, RV Campgrounds, Uncategorized
Coyotes and Taps…A Balancing Act Between Comfort and Nature
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, as full-timers our goal is not the same as many campers in that we are not trying to “get back to nature.” For us the ideal campground is not one that is set deep in the woods with no phone, satellite tv, or internet connection where the only activities are fishing, hiking, hunting, and sitting around the campfire. While this might be an ideal vacation for someone, it is not the ideal for us to do every day of the year.
With that said, though, we do enjoy nature. Just yesterday morning we were sitting outside drinking a cup of tea and watching the birds, butterflies, and bees as they were visiting our flowers that have already returned after our freeze this winter. The challenge we face in our travels is finding those locations that provide you with this close-up contact with nature, but are still close enough to restaurants, events, theater, movies, etc. that we feel as though we are still engaged with civilization.
Many parks and campgrounds that are conveniently located within cities have gone the opposite direction; they have become concrete parking lots with no grass or trees. They provide the convenience of being near everything in the city, but only provide the contact with nature that you experience sitting in the parking lot at the typical mall.
We’ve found a few parks in our travels that do a great job of providing convenience to civilization as well as plenty of nature and peace and quiet for relaxing and enjoying those times you just want to sit. While it would be impossible to provide an exhaustive list in this column (we’ve been full-timing a few years now), the few that stand out for us are Retama Village (Mission, Texas), Buckhorn Lake RV Resort (Kerrville, Texas), Winchester Bay RV Resort (Winchester Bay, Oregon), Charleston/Mt Pleasant KOA (Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina), and The Wild Duck Campground and RV Park (Scarborough, Maine).
We have specific memories for each of these locations that range from the “Do not feed the alligators” signs at the Mt. Pleasant KOA to the harbor seals (and occasional sea lion) and osprey feeding in Winchester Bay to the ducks and kayaks at the Wild Duck and the bird watching and fishing at the Buckhorn. Each of these locations provided the relaxing opportunities to enjoy nature yet were also within minutes (sometimes walking distance) to restaurants, stores, and other amenities.
Of course, my favorite experience happens every evening at Retama Village. Across the field from Retama is a VA cemetery. Each night at 6pm taps is played at the cemetery and as long as the wind is not blowing the wrong direction, you can hear the sound as it drifts over the fields. Soon after taps begins to play, a chorus of coyotes joins in. For me it is a good reminder—if the coyotes can stop what they are doing each evening to join into this ritual honoring our fallen veterans, then we should also take a few moments to stop and remember. Balancing nature and comfort often results in some
incredible insights for us as we work to deal with such a hectic world every day. All we need to do is be willing to stop, listen, and watch every now and then.