Now’s the time when the reservations start flooding our world…the sun is shining, the tents and RV’s are begging to be opened up and aired out. In the Spring, most of my morning and evening work hours are spent in front of the computer, answering e-mails, returning phone calls and booking sites.
This is my 23rd summer of this responsibility and I take it as seriously now as I did before I had grey hair and needed glasses. About two thirds of our guests are either returning campers or have been referred by friends and family. These folks usually fall into two categories: they either love us and feel like any site in the park would be fine because they know that to the best of our ability all the sites are level, spacious and comfortable OR they have very specific sites in mind and are willing to plan their vacation dates around the availability of those sites. These are easy bookings because there is a lot of confidence on both of our parts.
The other third of our guests will be staying with us for the first time. Like any new relationship, there can be trust issues on both ends of the telephone. In a perfect world, people will trust me to choose a campsite to the best of my ability based on their vacation dates, site availability and their use of abundant adjectives for ideal site descriptions. There is a certain amount of compromise required if the only goals are “privacy, oceanfront, July and weekend”…but with a little wiggle room I can usually find something nice. First, I understand how important this getaway is…when Steven and I travel it’s fiercely important to us too that our time/money is spent as well as possible. Second, almost 100% of our guests understand the atmosphere we offer and want to be part of THIS world, so consideration and friendliness are the norm and not the exception…it’s good to know that your neighbors are wonderful too. Finally, we don’t try to fill all the sites in the park so when you get here, we’re happy to show you the site we’ve chosen and then offer up any other available campsite.
As I write this, I realize that maybe another good article would be about the difference between campsites and the reason behind some of our policies…stay tuned, because I’ll ponder this while I work in the garden and get back to you. This would be a great time to comment with questions I should address in the next posting. In the meantime, I’ve started a collection of photos of specific campsites that should help first time visitors envision our sites. and a request…if you’ve stayed with us before and have some great pictures of you and your family on a campsite…could I have copies please? you could either e-mail them to email@example.com or put them on Facebook. I get so wrapped up in the summer, I forget to get outside and take pictures.
This is what it looks like to stand at site 93 and look to the ocean…site 73 is the site in front of this one…both are really wide, shaded wonderful sites…a minute to the bathhouse and playground…2 minutes to the beach…
Between you and me, I wish it would get cold and snow because I’m tired of new projects and that tiny little voice that keeps nudging me to take advantage of our unseasonably warm weather (think 50’s, not 70’s). But alas, it’s still really nice out and this morning Steven was outside working with a crew by 7AM…this time they’re expanding the workshop space underneath Dad’s deck…’cause boys never have enough room for their endeavors 😉
We got together this morning for pecan Cinnamon rolls and coffee…just to catch up a bit and talk about the months to come…but as always, the subject drifted to camping…and then to “what are we going to do next summer?” And the 50’s-60’s weekend was born…just like that.
Tentatively slated for July 30-August 1, Searsport Shores Ocean Camping will pull on our poodles skirts, fire up the muscle cars and dance to Rock & Roll Legends and Surf Tunes. Got ideas? We need them. Please come camping for the weekend…Bob promises it will be memorable 🙂 More to follow as we figure it out.
The Penobscot Bay Watch has been collecting information this fall to establish the importance of the upper Penobscot Bay fish nurseries. Their blog is one of my “must reads” and one of the only RSS feeds I subscribe to. Although we’re not able to stay as active as we’d like, we do manage to participate sometimes and we were happy to invite the group to use our beach for their research.
Trained by marine biologists from the University of Maine, the researchers used a 60′, 1/4″ net held on either end by wet suit clad volunteers. They dragged at the slack tide for a maximum catch.
While they were here they also tested water quality using a marine aquarium water testing kit that used a litmus strip with 4 parameters: nitrate, nitrite, alkalinity, pH, to give approximation readings. Temperature readings of the water were also made.
In spite of the cold and foggy weather, a group from the Bay Watchers came to our shores and netted the waters at low tide and caught several species of fish (juvenile cod, hake, perch, flounder, herring and a few that remain unidentified), shrimp, seastars, crabs and sea urchins. Click here for the complete photo gallery.
Part of the fun of doing the tree work is smelling the fresh wood chips and burning the brush at the beach…last night the stars were out, the breezes were calm, a few good friends gathered and we drank red wine while the pine branches crackled…might not be the glamor of Desperate Housewives et.al. …but it’s all good to me 😉
We’ve been enjoying unusually warm, calm days here on Penobscot Bay…so I brought my spinning to the seashore yesterday and spent several hours listening to the gulls scream, the young male loons call and watching the seals bob up and down in the Bay. I tried to capture them in a photo for you but my very best efforts only gave me tiny black dots on the top of the water…definitely not worth posting…but my wool, that’s another story! If you’d like to see more of this sort of picture, check out this Fiber College post.
While I’ve been enjoying spinning, Steven has been clearing out the old apple orchard with Mike on the Northwest corner of the campground.
It seems that someone planted apple trees and dug berms to channel the run off during hard rains. Clearly the trees were planted in rows and cared for once-upon-a-time but now many have fallen over and grown new trunks. During the next few years we’ll prune them back to life for the pleasure of walking under the apple blossoms in the spring and having apples to feed the goats and deer during the winter.
This year wasn’t a good year for apples in anyone’s orchard so we’ll need to wait and see what kinds we have…hopefully some good, old-fashioned baking apples.