Walk with me 

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It’s been a beautifully warm and dry spring.  In the past couple of weeks we’ve hosted many more guests than we usually see before Memorial Day Weekend. Some years I cringe at the thought of sharing our muddy roads and cold fog with people who have traveled so far to be with us; but this year, the flowers are huge, the grounds are ahead of schedule (thanks to the weather and the crew’s hard work) and the sun has been kind.

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lupine buds and snow on the mountain populate the gravely soil of the boardwalk

When the ocean is sparkling, it’s easy to feel like we’re living in a magical place, and our tagline “tidepools, gardens, goats and honeybees” takes on a life of its own. We plant with the intention of feeding ourselves, growing herbs for flavor and healing, making things pretty and nourishing the soil.

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There is a seemingly effortless quality in how our grounds flourish in the everchanging combination of groomed gardens and controlled wild spaces.  Really, the gardens are a result of carefully feeding the soil with sea weed, compost and worm castings and the hard work of our dedicated team who spend the summer making the park better…  and choosing plants that thrive in our environment.  We find our plants most often the local fire department and garden club plant sales and from our friends at nurseries who grow plants from seed and propagation…we don’t get our plants from the big box stores.

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from the top left, clockwise: lily of the valley (insert scratch and sniff for a touch of heaven), apple blossoms, sweet woodruff, Solomon’s Seal, hostas by the sea, the rec hall door

Yesterday Sue Riley asked me what the gardens were looking like this week and in particular, the state of the lupines.  I don’t need a big excuse to abandon the office and the computer to take pictures of our world…so take a walk with me, the plants would love to meet you…

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Don’t you just love to forage?  We’ve been eating dandelion blossoms with butter and filling our salad bowls with chickweed and tender lettuce…with some pea shoots and garlic greens to make us feel cosmopolitan.  The flowering fruit bushes are looking promising…the quince, blueberries and bing cherry blossoms are abundant this spring.

It’s hard to believe Memorial Day weekend is upon us…if we won’t have the pleasure of your company, we hope that you’re surrounded by friends and family.  If we are lucky enough to have you share our world…make certain you find time to wander through the gardens.  If you’d like us to draw you a mapped trail of some of our favorite plant nurseries (including stops for lunch and cocktails) don’t hesitate to ask.

 

Choosing a campsite

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.

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RV1and2This 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.

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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.

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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 relax@campocean.com or put them on Facebook.  I get so wrapped up in the summer, I forget to get outside and take pictures.

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RV Industry Statistics

Life is Good!

RV Shipments to Grow for Sixth Straight Year in 2015

The RV industry’s shipments will total 361,400 units in 2015, a 3.9% increase above the projected 2014 total of 348,000, RVIA President Richard Coon announced at “Outlook 2015: Good Things Ahead,” the kickoff event to the association’s 52nd National RV Trade Show.

“This is a great time to be part of the RV industry,” Coon told attendees during his presentation. “We’ve recovered from the recession with five consecutive years of growth, and we’re going to make it six in a row in 2015.”

The forecasted total for 2015 is more than double the industry’s 2009 recession low, and results from innovative RV designs, a deep-seated preference of consumers for the RV lifestyle, and an improving economy.

“Key economic indicators have been shifting in the right direction for the RV industry,” Coon said. “There’s still room for improvement in consumer confidence, wages and employment, and home sales, but the economy is strengthening in important ways for our continued growth.”

RVIA forecasts growth in every product segment of the RV market in 2015. Gains are expected to be strongest among conventional travel trailers and fifth wheel trailers. Shipments of towable RVs will rise to 315,200 units in 2015, an increase of 4.1%, with motorhome shipments growing 2.0% to reach 46,200 units in 2015.

“We’ve had a good year in 2014,” Coon said. “Our October numbers were up 30% from September and were the best October total we’ve posted in 38 years. We’re building momentum and there are great things ahead in 2015.”

The RV industry’s resurgence reflects the ability of manufacturers to quickly deliver new features and options that appeal to changes in the marketplace.

“We’ve done a great job getting consumers that right mix of features and price,” Coon said. “We’re going to have to stay smart and fast in the years ahead to reach our potential.”

Coon emphasized that great products are no guarantee of success. “Achieving the kind of sales and profits that are within our grasp will require continued investment in our world class marketing and public relations efforts,” he said. “We need to cement our status with current owners and traditional buyers while reaching out to non-traditional buyers who would enjoy the RV lifestyle.”

What do you think? What “new features and options” have appealed most to you?

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Home?

Another Snow Storm in March

Like anyone else in a mom and pop business, we juggle a lot of balls and are always hoping that we didn’t lose one up in the clouds or under the couch.  Last Saturday I was in Augusta to be part of the Fiber College Class Jury…if you’re curious about the September classes proposed, check here.  On Sunday after we notified the 2013 instructors, I travelled down to the Boston Gift Show with the hound and found a few treasures for the store.  Among the more interesting things were clay ornaments designed for us by a lovely artistic couple and socks knit in NH…with honey bees, flowers and lobsters of course.  And it snowed again…In another month, if the Gods are smiling on us, I’ll be busy repainting the store and the rec hall before the merchandise arrives  while Steven works with an outside crew assuming the snow melts and the muddy ruts dry.

It sounds cliché but while I did the shopping, Steven stayed home and took care of business.  He finalized the details with two wonderful marine biology students who will be interning with us this summer;  started the early seedlings and designed a few new microcabins.  He took care of Maggie and the goat flock too…look at the video he made for me so I could laugh at her dancing and I wouldn’t miss her first run in the snow:

Pictures of campsites and a desperate plea for a photo filing system!

I’ve been looking for a postcard image since I made coffee two hours ago and still no luck…but as I slog through the pictures, I spend most of my time smiling because of the memories they bring back. Because it’s reservation season and we seem to have more “new” guests than we’ve ever had, I thought you might like to see some pictures that show specific campsites.

These are photos that we’ve accumulated in no particular order. Nothing has been staged and most are snapshots taken for a different reason than showing the site. I say this because you’d think that because I live in paradise, it would be easy to show you breath-taking pictures. Well, the truth is, most of the activity that I’m involved in during the camping season generally happen in other areas of the campground (like the rec hall, lobster shack, art studio and gardens), not on people’s campsites. AND it feels a bit close to stalking when you barge in on someone’s campsite and ask to take a picture…do you know what I mean?

With the aforementioned caveats in place, have a marvelous, good-surpise-filled day and I hope that these pictures are helpful if you’ve never been here before and that they trigger a smile if they remind you a time you’ve spent here in the past.

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Looking at site #42 from Site 50
site #6
ocean tent site #6
site #15
standing at low, low tide looking up towards the premium RV sites
standing at mid-tide rising looking towards the ocean tenting side of the campground
Ocean tent #14
site #50
platinum site #2
Shirley on site #12
picnicking in early June on site #51
sites #43 & 44
site #9
Hanging on site #6 or 7
Ocean tent #4

So here are two requests: 1. If you have nice pictures of your campsite, could I please have copies and 2. If you have a fool-proof photo filing system, I really need to hear about it.

For Cheryl…your campsites

Hi Cheryl,

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…

Site 93...a huge pull through

We’re in Trailer Life!

It's the December '09 Issue...on newstands now!

The phone’s been unusually busy for the last few weeks…and then we figured out why…there’s a picture of one of our campsites and a mention of us in an article about Waldo County Maine…YIPPEE!

 

Don’t get me wrong, we really like being part of a more hidden piece of the Maine Coast…but who doesn’t like to see their name in a National Magazine?  If you’re into electronic versions of magazines, you can buy a subscription on the Trailer Life website.

We've always known where to find Waldo...it's over by Brooks 😉