Monday, July 30, 2018

Time at Oak Haven Family Campground in Wales, MA

A typical day is usually different at each campground where we stay.  Our last stop was at Oak Haven Family Campground.

We picked this campground because it seemed to be about halfway between Hartford, CN and Providence, RI.  Our goal was to visit those two state capitols and we were able to do that.

 We arrived on a Thursday afternoon, checked into the campground.  We had reserved a site with 50 amp service but there was a good chance we would not be able to get a satellite TV reception from there, so we opted for a site that was open.  They put us in a corner spot along the back row.
We had to maneuver around a large 5th wheel to get back there, but we had already unhooked the car and found a level spot and made sure our satellite dish worked.  It did.

We had no sewer but there is a dump station at the campground. We are one 30 amp electric this time.  We opted for an open spot in the campground and had to manage how many big energy items we turned on at once.  For example, we can turn on the TV and microwave. But if we don't turn off the a/c, we get very close to popping the pedestal circuit breaker.  It's something we do to make sure things run OK.  If we don't, we have to turn something off and go out and reset the pedestal circuit but turning the switch on/off.

Once we were settled in, drove into Hartford and saw that state capitol.  It took us about 90 minutes to get there.  After the self-guided tour, we realized that the Mark Twain Museum was a few blocks away and we also did a quick visit to that museum.

By that time, it was a little after 5:00 PM and we found a Chinese place for dinner.  It was a little 'hole in the wall' in a not-to-great neighborhood, but the food was terrific.  We had beef and broccoli fried rice, sweet and sour pork, egg rolls and a fortune cookie.  Dang!  I just realized we forgot what happened to the fortune cookie... oh well.  There was so much food in those two orders, we had a complete dinner of left-overs a couple of days later.

That night we noticed there were a few more rigs showing up and the place was starting to get more busy.  Not real crowded but we were about the only ones in the area where we were parked.  They have 3 or 4 areas of this big campground and we were in the area known as 'Snob Hill'.  Funny.  Hard to know what prompted that name.  Maybe it was because we were the closest to the small pavilion and pool and office.  But being on 30 amp in a grass field didn't seem like it was all that noteworthy.

After dinner, I found the dump station, trash dumpster and laundry facility.  The dump station looked easy enough to get into with plenty of room.  Nothing tricky about that.  30 yards away the dumpsters had permanent stairs between two.  The laundry facility was small but looked clean and orderly.  It was $1.50 and $2.00 for the washer/dryer. There was also a lending library with a bookcase full.

The campground was well maintained.  One thing I look for is if the grass is mowed.  I was surprised to see they hire someone to do that.  They also hanging flower baskets all around near the check-in office.  The office itself was roomy enough for a well-stocked camp store.  Next to it was a good sized swimming pool. It was a quiet evening of reading and TV.

Friday morning, we had a leisurely breakfast of cold cereal, bacon, coffee and orange juice.  We took showers and enjoyed some time together before we left for Providence RI a little after 9:00 AM.  We are in Wales, MA.  It is a small town and we have to drive 15-20 minutes to get to the interstate.

We left a little after 9:00 AM and drove through town over to I-84 and took it into Providence to see our second state capitol in two days.  We were able to drive right up to the building and park on the street which made for an easy walk.  The parking meters coin/iPhone app enabled if that makes sense.  It took me about 5 minutes to download the parking app and register, plus in our license plate number, and pay $2.50 for our spot for two hours.

When we finished up our time in the building, we didn't see any parks real close to us, so we had our picnic lunch in the car.  Pam makes the best lunches.  A simple turkey/cheese sandwich on wheat with some chips, veggies (celery and carrot sticks, radishes and some bell pepper slivers).  Before we left town, I saw that we were about 30 minutes from a Naval site and we drove over to it.

Turned out the map was wrong, no navy base although we did see some Coast Guard boats.  The was more like an old industrial area and a large ship maintenance area of some sort.  There was a large series of General Dynamics (Electric Boat) warehouses and at the end of the road was the ferry to Martha's Vineyard.  Interesting.  We also saw an old Air Force One jumbo jet static display.  It looked like it was open for tours occasionally but not very often.  Small area that looks like it had seen a more active time.

By now it was past 2:00 PM and we had 1 1/2 - 2 hours to get back to the campground so we left and made it back to Oak Haven.  After our return, I sorted through our brochures and information sheets and did some blog writing.

Something was going on in the pavilion next to our campsite and I found out it was a family reunion. About 80 folks from all over converged on that area of the campground for the afternoon. They were having a good time and had about three or four things going on it seemed.  Inside (the pavilion was a covered area with a wall on one side and three open access sides) they were playing music and eating and drinking.  In the field next to them I saw potato sack races and a tug-of-war for the kids.  Up near the pool a few teams were playing horseshoes.  This place is perfect for families.  It was a fun and well-behaved group.

It was another beautiful (and hot) New England day and I went over to the pool to do some more writing.  Since the campground office was only a few yards from there, I stopped in to talk with the  campground managers.  It seems as if we were now boxed in at our site with no access.  We were leaving the following morning and wanted to be sure we could get out of our campsite.  We were directly behind a 5th wheel in front of us.  He would have to move his picnic table and truck for us to get out.

When we arrived the previous day, we pulled into our site and turned around from the other side of the 5th wheel in front of us.  But at that time, the area was mostly empty and wide open.  Now however,  people were arriving for the weekend and they parked three rigs next to the guy in front of us.  Those rigs did not unhook their tow vehicles and they extended well into the row we were on.
Nowhere to move.

The front office assured us those folks were leaving early the next morning.  We didn't know what early morning meant to them, but for us it was about 8:00 AM or earlier.  They said, they'd speak to the campers and make sure we could leave when we wanted to.

Then, it was on to the pool.  I snuck in a little nap and then found my iPad did not like the direct sunlight.  The error message said, "Hot!" turn off and reduce the temperature.  That solved that for now.

I talked with the woman next to me.  Her husband and her, along with their two kids, had been coming to the family campground for years.  It was a summer get-a-way for them and they had a seasonal site.  Turns out I before I went swimming I paused at the horseshoe pits and watched the competition for a while.  I used to pitch horseshoes back in the day so that was fun.  The lady's oldest had just graduated from the American Institute of Culinary Arts near Hyde Park.  Their daughter was a new high school graduate and already had a job.

She mentioned there was going to be a "Taste of Oak Haven" food competition going on later in the evening in the pavilion.  It started at 7:00 PM.  People who entered the contest brought their favorite food.  For a quarter, you get a sample of their food in a little cup about the size of a cup cake wrapper.
Nice people. I thought I might have to try it and see what people were serving.

It was getting to be a little after 5 o'clock so I left and returned to the Roadrunner.  Pam had put a roast in the crock pot so we had that for dinner.  We watched some news and then baseball.  Meanwhile at the pavilion I could see the mass of people there for the reunion were packing up and leaving.  They cleared out the place in plenty of time for a different group who were participating in the Taste of "Oak Haven".
At about 20 minutes after 7:00 PM I took my four quarters and participated in the "Taste of Oak Haven".  I almost gave myself indigestion because of poor planning.  I just stopped at couple of dishes that looked good and almost had indigestion.  Some dishes did not mix that well.  My first choice was "Lava Rock brownies".  Rich and fluffy, with a shot of whipped cream on top, it was worth my $.25.  Next, I sampled a large smoked meatball wrapped in bacon. As I was eyeing my next taste, Kristi (from the pool) saw me and took me over to meet her husband and kids.  Their son the chef had an Asian mushroom beansprout mix that was great.  Their daughter had a simple blueberry cheesecake.  Yikes!  I was sooo full!   It was fun to meet the rest of her family and to try out some of other Tastes of Oak Haven.

When I returned to our site, I met the owner of the 5th wheel parked in front of us.  We chatted for about 30 minutes.  It was fun to hear his story.  They had been on the road in their new rig and returning from time in Montana.  They were headed back to Maine.  He was more than glad to move his truck and the picnic table.

Yesterday morning we got up our normal time yesterday morning, cleaned up, packed up and saw we had a clear path to exit.  We moved around the 5th wheel in front of us at about 7:30 AM.  We made our way to the dump station, emptied our tanks, hooked up the tow car.  By 8:15 AM we were on the road headed for 4th Cliff Military Campground in Humarock, MA.

Our time at Oak Haven Family Campground was another typical good park and memorable few days.

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!

If you haven't left a comment in a while, feel free to do so - its always great to know you are out there!  Thanks!


  1. I cringe thinking about the traffic you guys were brave enuf to drive through. I was glad you were able to get out in the morning. Sounds like a very active place.

  2. Wow, you must really need that satellite TV to give up a 50-amp site for a 30-amp with no sewer. We are currently staying in a spot where satellite is not possible (nor is there OTA or cable) for the next 12 days. You guys have to learn to rough it more. LOL

  3. Very interesting day in the life of the Warners! We have also had a few campgrounds where the exit became challenging with our 40 foot 5th wheel. Not sure if you remember, we have been following your travels the last couple of years and went full time last year when I retired. We are spending a month in Trenton, Maine. Just outside of Bar Harbor. Stop by our campground at Narrows Too sometime when you are here. We would love to meet you guys.
    Randy & Pat (