Tag Archives: shortstop

2018 – Shenandoah Valley Campground – Verona, VA


We only intended on spending three nights at Shenandoah Valley Campground, Verona, VA. It turned out that our stay was shortened by a day. The campground is reasonably near I81, nestled in the Middle River valley. The campground is all about that river, which is a gentle stream, perfect for tubing most of the time. Then, near the popular tenting area is the real gem of the campground: a beautiful waterfall dropping in from the higher ground opposite the campground. Again, our stay was brief and in the week following heavy rains from what was Hurricane Florence. With the river running high (and it was flooding the campground in the days prior to our arrival), the waterfall was stunning.

There is a camping area on the plateau above the large camping area on the river; that’s where we stayed. Really, we were glad to be a bit higher, knowing that the river was pretty full and that more rain was forecast. My thinking was that even if the river overflowed its banks again we would be high enough to be clear of any danger. After the Hurricane Florence related flooding the campground staff worked many hours putting fresh gravel down throughout the large water-front area of the campground which is all gravel – roads and campsites.

This is a destination campground with a large, heated pool and several hot tubs located indoors. There’s also a nice fishing lake and a couple of playgrounds. The kids have a blast bike riding, fishing, tubing, swimming, and feeding the many mostly-tame rabbits.

WiFi is slow and only available in the campground store.  My Verizon signal was poor to zero.  I got a satellite signal but not many people would.  Having a homestyle dish on a tripod let me set up in the only sweet spot, just peeking over the trees to the south of us.  The sites themselves are pretty tight with neighbors very close in on both sides.

As I said, our stay was supposed to be three nights but after a night of rain on Saturday night a staff member knocked on our door telling us that the entire campground was being evicted by the sheriff’s office. The issue wasn’t flooding in the campground. Rather, it was the county road leading to the campground that was in danger of going underwater. We were told that we needed to be out within the hour.

So, we skipped breakfast and gave up on attending church and began preparing to move. It usually takes us a bit less than an hour to be ready to pull out. In this case, we were ready to go in around 40 minutes. The road out was fine, but there is one section that dips down right beside the river for a 100 yards or so. Water was lapping against the pavement as we came through.

For us, it was more of an inconvenience than anything else and we just moved down the highway to our next scheduled stop. I do feel sorry for the campground especially in light of all the work they did to get open again following the flooding.


See individual photos with captions here.

2018 – Bear Creek Campground – Bristol, CT


Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut is the oldest continually operating amusement park in the United States. The park recently added a Bear Creek Campground that features cabins, teepees, a tenting area, and, of course, a large RV area. The campsites are laid out with water-electric hookups located in a shared grassy area on the driver’s side of the sites. If the place is full, there will be a shared front yard between campers as well. Most people, I think, come to spend a few days at the amusement park. There’s even a shuttle operating from the campground to the main gate of the park.

Our shortstop stay was just for one night as we traveled from southern Maine into Pennsylvania. The campground is about 10 minutes from I84 and the campsites are all pull-through, making it a handy place for an overnight stay. When I asked about discounts the lady I talked to on the phone offered me a nightly rate based on a three night stay rather than just one night.

Here are a few things you might want to know. The sites are all water/electric (30/50 amp), no sewer. Individual shower rooms are available. There is campground WiFi – ours got slower as the evening progressed. There’s a nearby power plant that can be heard non-stop in the near distance.

I had a strong 4G signal and, since the campsites are pretty much out in the open, satellite TV is no problem. The campground has a play area, but the main recreation is the amusement park. I think Bear Creek is a good choice for a stop in the Bristol, CT area.


See individual photos with captions here.

2018 – Shortstop: Quinebaug Cove Campground – Brimfield, MA


We stopped off at Quinebaug Cove Campground in Brimfield, MA for just a couple of nights as we worked our way on north. One of our campground memberships is with RPI and this campground is included in that membership. We are supposed to be able to stay in RPI campgrounds for $10 but booking costs another $2 and, upon arrival I was informed that since I wanted electricity there is another $3 a night tacked on. It’s still a low price but a surcharge for electricity seems a bit over the top to me.

Anyway, our campsite was reasonably level and very close to our neighbors on each side. Really, there is barely room for an awning to be put out. Also, since the campsites are rather shallow, the only place to park our pickup was between us and the folks next to us. This makes the “packed in” feeling even more pronounced.

There are other sites for travelers at the top of a rather steep hill. I saw several campers up there, and the sites are roomier, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to pull our 5th wheel up such a steep hill. Since our stay was only two nights I was okay with the tight quarters where we were.

The campground has a nice big pool and several kids were enjoying it. The nearby town of Sturbridge is historical with lots of shops. We opted to spend our day going to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, about 40 minutes away.

My Verizon signal was great and I was able to get satellite TV by putting our tripod just outside our front door and raising it to its maximum height. This was one of those rare times when having a roof mounted dish would have actually been an advantage.

Everyone I talked to in the campground, especially the staff, was friendly and helpful. I think this place is okay for travelers who want a brief stop or for those who want a seasonal spot to get out of the city. As a traveler it wouldn’t be very high on my list as a place to spend anything beyond a night or two.


See individual photos with captions here.