Not All Campgrounds are Created Equal

If you have read my books or listened to my wife Jenni and I describe our campervan travels, you know we are not typically fans of organized campgrounds.  We prefer boondocking (dispersed camping) in state or national forest land or, out west, on Bureau of Land Management acreage.  Our campground experiences have rarely been positive.


One time at a KOA west of Yellowstone we were packed tight like sardines, the showers were one degree above frigid, and the campers next to us were growing broccoli on their picnic table. In the Poconos our van haphazardly huddled around the electric outlet pole with several other RVs trying to get juice to keep us warm on a wet, cold night.  And once in Maine we confirmed the campground had showers only to walk in to the building and discover they were coin-operated with no change machine on site and all of our quarters had gone toward washing our clothes!  No, our experiences have not been great.


Until a couple weeks ago, that is.


As our thoughts turned to Spring Break and taking Wanda (our van) out for a warm-up to Spring travel, the incredibly kind folks at DuPont Yurts and Campground offered us an opportunity to try out their brand-new campground.  The campground is located on Staton Road just a mile from DuPont State Forest and it’s right next door to their fabulous yurts (which you really ought to try if you ever want a ‘glamping’ getaway).


This campground is different from anything we’ve experienced.  First, there is no ‘cookie-cutter’ template here.  The roads and RV sites coexist with the terrain and it is obvious much thought went into the layout, landscaping, and experience. The shower/bathroom facilities will likely make you want to go home and remodel your own; they were that nice.  Currently there are about twenty-three sites that can accommodate the whole range of RV sizes.  We were most interested in the six sites dedicated to small trailers or campervans like ours.


The site we chose had a generous base of rock and was level.  After backing in and setting up camp, we slid our door open and listened to a small stream as background noise.  We made use of the picnic table and fire ring as well.  Typically we do not burn campfires because the smoke smell is a huge negative for me.  But having already seen the luxurious showers, I knew that could be easily remedied that night!  With a crackling fire, we spent time reading and relaxing.  Even Annie, or dog, chilled. But like clockwork at 6PM, Annie signaled that it was time to eat.  Jenni asked me if I was hungry and I declared I was ready to eat so I could get to the smores we had planned to make!  So after a tasty dinner of pork BBQ we quickly moved on to the dessert round.


The first smores were done traditionally, with the perfect brown color on the marshmallow sandwiched between graham crackers with Hershey’s milk chocolate in the middle.  

Then we got a little crazy.

Jenni had found “Stuffed Puffs” at the Dollar Tree.  One, or both, of those details should have triggered an alarm.  Stuffed Puffs are marshmallows filled with a very hard chunk of chocolate.  The smell I noticed opening the package should have been enough to stop me.  I checked the expiration date and it still had thirty days to go but it smelled “manufactured”. (As if marshmallows are naturally grown).  We found it impossible to hold over the fire long enough to melt the chocolate.  And the taste was far from pleasant.  Neither of us ate a full one, instead we tossed them all into the fire.  I put one on top of a burning log and twenty-five minutes later, the marshmallow was still WHITE and holding its shape!  So……don’t cut any corners on your smores.


With the campground so close to DuPont State Forest, the recreational options are almost endless--biking, horseback riding, hiking.   If you have ever been you know how fantastic the waterfalls are.  Triple Falls is probably my favorite but the thunderous motion of High Falls is mesmerizing.  But on this trip, we wanted a new experience.  Just outside DuPont’s boundary we took Wanda down the gravel Cascade Lakes Rd to Merry Falls.  It is right on the shoulder of the road so it meets our number one requirement for old, fat hikers—a short trail.  It scores high on the scale for both beauty and photography too.  Now that we have found it, I definitely want to return and spend more time taking photos.  It was also a joy that day to drive the gravel road around Cascade Lake and view the spillway.



Having DuPont Yurts and Campground as a base of operation makes it so easy to explore the many waterfalls in the area as well as everything offered in Hendersonville, Brevard, or even Sierra Nevada Brewing.  DuPont Canteen, at the entrance to the yurts, was having its grand opening a couple days after we visited but they will have food items, ice cream, and drinks.


Grab your gear, clean your RV, trailer, or van, and make a reservation!  Get outside and explore!

If you enjoy my writing style, please consider reading my books, 
describing adventures in our self-built campervan
available today on Amazon in eBook and Paperback.
Also available now in Travelers Rest, SC at
As The Page Turns bookstore.


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