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Leonard - Motorcycle Touring contributor

Leonard's Campground Review - Part 1

Camping is half the fun of touring. Camping lets you talk to other people with out feeling intrusive. The other campers are sharing the same experience. This is not something you get staying in Motel rooms and eating at restaurants. We tent camped on our tours for 20 plus years, before our ageing bodies suggested other accommodations. We went from directly on the ground camping to foamy mattresses and evolved to cabin camping when ever possible. We've been KOA Kabin camping for about 8 years now. (KOA spells cabin with a "K".) The following are our experiences and opinions of the KOA grounds on our Fall of 2008 trip.

Saturday, October 4th.

The Craig, Colorado KOA: Four years ago, when we were riding a 1996 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic and pulling the trailer, we had booked into this KOA, months in advance, reserving a Tee Pee to sleep in. Yep! A genuine look-a-like Indian Tee Pee. We thought it would be more fun then a cabin, since this KOA offered them for sleeping. When we arrived at 4:00 in the afternoon, we learned that the KOA had already rented the tee pee to a small family (pulling a trailer home, no less) and the family was already well entrenched. So, the KOA put us way-and-hell-in-gone down to the most distant point they could for our tent site. (We carry a tiny tent for reasons like this.)

Leonard and his Victory with trailer rig Problem number two with this KOA, was the driveway and parking lot. The highway is much higher then the camp grounds, which means you enter the grounds by going down a hill. The KOA had surfaced the area with fist size rock, which made it very difficult for us to navigate over. We made it to our tent site, but a hapless couple on a Gold Wing were not so lucky. We saw them go down right in front of the office and rushed over to help lift the bike back up. Needless to say, those people were not happy campers. They negotiated around the building and left with out ever going inside the office or setting up camp.

About an hour after we had set the tent up and were cooking supper, a crop duster plane decided to dust the crops next to the camp ground. As it dumped it's dusty chemical, the wind would carry the dust over onto us. We abandoned cooking and grabbed some snack stuff and ate in the laundry room. After the sun went down, the crop duster disappeared.

About midnight the same night, we discovered that the rail road tracks were less then 50 feet from our tent. The tall weeds between us and the tracks had prevented us from seeing the tracks. Have you ever had a mid night train blow his whistle next to your tent at 50 miles an hour? This happened twice more the same night at about two hour intervals.

Four years later we find ourselves once again at the Craig KOA. Had I remembered our past experience, I would never had made reservations here. But as soon as I hit the driveway and those large slippery rocks, the memory of our last visit came flooding back. Oh, how I kicked my self in theā€¦ but, this time our stay was better. We did get to keep our reserved cabin. The train was far enough away it didn't bother us as much and we did get a good nights sleep. I know now, we shall never forget this camp ground and will not stay here again. Riding over the rocks is to nerve wracking and camping here is not worth damaging the motorcycle should we suffer the same fate as the Gold Wing couple. On both stays here, the people in charge, did not seem very willing to personalize their service. Perhaps making money was their only interest.

Both the Minturn and Steamboat Springs, Colorado KOA's, which were the two closest to Craig, are no longer listed in KOA's directory. The nearest KOA's seem to be about 3 hours away in any given direction.

Sunday, October 5th.

The Green River, Utah KOA: We took the long route through town to this KOA. There is a shorter route if you stay on the interstate and loop around the town. The grounds are level with the highway and the grounds surface is very hard packed sand. Nearly as good as concrete. We found riding on this surface to easy and comfortable. Even thought our cabin reservations had been made months in advance, the owners did not forget and put us in cabin #1., which is the one we had reserved. However, cabins 2 & 3 would be equally as accommodating. All three cabins are close to the facilities and office. The remaining cabins are at the far end of the grounds, but just as easy to ride to.

Leonard and Judy stay in cabins when they tour The Green River KOA is perfect. The manager personally checked the interior of our cabin to make sure it was ready for us, which it was. He offered help with carrying our "stuff" to the cabin, which we agreed to, putting our things on the cabin front porch. Later in the evening, he stopped by for some small talk as he walked around the grounds. He, his wife and the staff were a delight to talk to. The cabins are new. The bathrooms are ultra clean and the building has a well stocked store.

At the camp grounds manager's suggestion, we ate at a restaurant called Tamarisk. It's only about 500 feet from the KOA cabins and easy walking distance. The restaurant looks "up scale" but really isn't. It has the usual menu entrées including an "all you can eat" salad bar that had a large variety, for about fourteen dollars each. (And I did pig out at the salad bar.) And, if you mention you are at the KOA, you get an additional 10% off your tab.

Because of travel & fuel station locations, we had to book back into this KOA on Friday, October 10th on our way back to Colorado. Although we made reservations on a short notice, the KOA was able to put us back in cabin #1 and again, we ate our fill at the Tamarisk. On our second stay, we learned about many parks and attractions near by. We will probably schedule another trip to Green River and this KOA someday. I highly recommend this KOA and the restaurant.

Read Leonard's Campground Reviews:

Campground Review Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4

More of Leonard's articles: Two Wheels by the Campfire

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