There’s a pattern developing with our campsites. After driving a couple hundred miles each day, we pull into an RV park to get an evening’s rest. We’ve planned these stops and reserved our spaces before we left. RV Parks have become the motels of our generation. Each of the parks that we’ve stayed at have amenities that make life on the road more pleasant. One of those things is a WiFi connection that makes it possible to communicate with you while on the road.
Of the four places we’ve stayed in, three were really accessible from the highway, while last night’s was . . . well, out-of-the-way. It was in Thornton, Idaho. I know! Where the heck is that? It’s a wide spot in the road north of Idaho Falls and it was a detour from Interstate 15.
The pattern I’m referring to is this. The more convenient a park is to the highway, the more the highway conveniently runs through your bedroom. So far we’ve had semi trucks, trains, freeway noise and industrial sites as our ambient background noise throughout the evening. We dismissed it as part of being on the road, until last night.
When we pulled up to the park in Thornton, we all thought we’d made a big mistake. This wasn’t a big city or quaint little town. It was a spot on a side road with a couple of abandoned grain elevators, a row of closed businesses on the east side of the road and a potato shipping plant across the street. We could easily see the railroad tracks running along the road. It was the train blaring that got us up early in Provo and we thought here we go again. With some apprehension, we turned into the driveway of the Thompson RV Park.
When we parked inside of the gate and went to the office to register, we were surprised to find a lovely park with gardens, fish pond, mature trees and lots of space to spread out. After setting up, we had a chance to wander the gardens where Linda Thompson joined us and pointed out all the flower variety growing. “You should have been here when the tulips were growing.” We could imagine what we missed because everything else was still in bloom.
She proudly pointed to a willow tree that she had planted nearly 50 years ago. “It was a twig in one of my mother’s funeral arrangements and when the flowers faded, I stuck it in the ground. I call it the Mom tree.” The house was over a hundred years old and they’ve run the park for about half that time. She explained that she and her husband want to retire and sell the place. They want to move to someplace warmer.
How was our stay? Dead quiet except for the occasional peacock call in the distance. We could hear that because it was remarkably quiet otherwise. We even talked in hushed tones around our gathering. It will be a shame when the Thompson’s leave. I can’t imagine Corporate America giving the love and care to keep the place the same.