camping, Out West, Travel

I have reservations

Just a brief note, basically to remind myself what a nut I have been with reserving campground sites for our trip.

For each campground on recreation.gov, you can reserve a campsite exactly six months before the date you plan on camping. So Tuesday was our first go-round with North Rim Campground. I got up ready to book a site before heading off to work when I got an alert that I couldn’t actually book until 10:00 a.m.  Well, by 10:00 a.m. I am in a kindergarten classroom, trying to keep everyone safe and kind and learning. There’s no time to go to the bathroom, let alone surreptitiously sneak off to book a campsite online.

So the husband is in charge of booking, which made me quite nervous. He has not combed through campsite photos and minute details on a site by site basis.  Was he fully equipped to bear such a responsibility?  It is scary.

We’ve only booked North Rim so far. The real test comes tomorrow when he has to book Watchman Campground in Zion. Watchman routinely fills up and reservations are strongly recommended. Since we probably will never take this trip again, I do not have the time or inclination to get out to Utah and spend our time cruising campground loops, hoping for someone to start packing up. So tonight I went through the campground loops A and B (the only ones with electrical hookups) and looked at all the sites. Little shade? Full shade? Riverfront? Inside loop? Outside loop? I carefully chose my favorites and then started to go through the booking process. Even though I know the window doesn’t open until tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. I like to just check and make sure.  Just poking at the perimeter, trying to find a weakness. Most moms would be doing the dishes. Ah well.

Then I realized that some of my favorites (actually all but one) were already booked! Some sneaky camper had booked ahead of time. You can do this if you are staying for a few days or weeks and the beginning of your booking window has already opened. I wondered if I could have pre-booked, say, the entire month of June and then cancelled all of the dates except for the three nights I needed? Would such craftiness be rewarded? At any rate, someone had booked up ahead of me and there was nothing I could do about it now.

After readjusting my expectations, I went back through the campsites and found four left that were riverfront and had hookups. I debated internally (and externally) full shade or no shade? pull through or back in? Was it worse to be close to the group camp BUT with full shade or close to the river access path with no shade? The mind boggled. My eyes have officially glazed.

Now the husband is on the hook to book at 10 am tomorrow. I printed a map of the campground and circled the sites. I emailed a link to the campground reservation page. I gave him careful instructions what to fish for if my four new favorite sites somehow got snagged before he could book.  It’s up to him. No pressure.

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