Day 2: A Tale of Two Campgrounds

540 miles
Rock Creek State Park, Iowa ($16)

So, another marathon day today.


In 48 hours, I’ve traveled ~1,100 miles. I’ve also stayed at two campgrounds at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Last night: Stony Ridge KOA in Perrysburg, OH. Barely-graveled rutted muddy non-level rows with crunchy leaves from Fall still intact. A day on a riding mower would be well-spent. Cloudy swimming pool.

And the one reason I stay, and pay a little more, at a KOA vs. a random campground or state park: clean bathrooms.


Let’s look inside.


Prison-like and grimy. Dimly-lit. Here’s the cob-webby view as I look up in the shower.


Note the ripped-out drop ceiling. Why bother painting the bare spots, or bare wood? Or clean the mold? Or dust away the cobwebs.

Toilet seats weren’t even attached, and there were no urinals. That, plus lots of unsupervised kids = yuck.

All that – for $38.

A few states later, I arrive at Rock Creek State Park, east of DesMoines. We had a bad experience last year at an Iowa park, but this is great. I drive in at 3:30pm, with no reservation, and pull into this spot,


Clean bathrooms. Friendly camp hosts. Paved access. Wide spots with views.

And $16. Yes, sixteen dollars, I say. With electric. It’s 90. My AC is blasting. And this is the view from my door.

The view


Soon, supper was on the table. French bread pizzas.


I hear there’s a drive-in movie theatre 10 miles away. Pity I didn’t unhook the car. I’ll just have to watch the Olympics, I guess.


Tomorrow? Colorado!!!

6 thoughts on “Day 2: A Tale of Two Campgrounds

  1. July 29 6:38 p.m. PDT

    We hope you find more of these good KOAs.
    Be safe –
    Mom & Dad

  2. Gross bathrooms are not my idea of a fun vacation, but the second place looks great. Stop by Mesa Verde in Colorado, it’s spectacular.

  3. And where will you be camping in Colorado? Inquiring (and homesick) mind wants to know.
    Travel safely, Dan, and have a wonderful time.


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