Memorial Day 2020 is now in the memory books. Americans honor this holiday in many ways: visiting cemeteries, gathering with family, somber stillness, family summer vacations, … … … and some go camping. Many campgrounds also offer patriotic tributes during the weekend.
CampColorado paid tribute by posting not about camping but about those who gave their all for their country, this beautiful United States of America.
This Memorial Day would be different. COVID-19 seemed to have changed everything. Earlier this spring, Colorado began taking steps to re-open. Parts of Colorado are still re-opening. Nothing is back to normal, yet we’re moving in that direction.
However, the virus hasn’t changed nature! Song birds have returned. Flowers are blooming. Twigs still sprout leaves. Bunnies still hop. Fish still take the bait. Nature is abuzz, and nature continues to offer some of the greatest healing and rejuvenating powers of all!
This weekend, millions of Americans chose to return to nature! And many of them chose to sleep in nature, using their RV or tent, or renting a cabin or a yurt if that was allowed during these restricted times.
So we were curious. What did the weekend look like at Colorado campgrounds? After all, this holiday weekend marks the unofficial launching of the summer camping season!
We visited with many campground owners & managers about how things went. While we received many more responses than we’re sharing, the following selection represents all of them … the good and the bad, the happy and the sad.
SAMPLING OF RESPONSES
“Guests were thrilled to be out of the house and we didn’t have any issues.”
“What we did have was a nice group of people interested in experiencing nature and the relaxed atmosphere at the park!”
“We had / have a main line water break which is keeping things interesting!”
“We had beautiful weather for most of the weekend and of course not to disappoint our guests….we had moose in the campground!!!”
“Memorial weekend was busy! … busier than expected … with no issues and lots of happy campers.”
“I have to admit, the shower house was left very clean. Everyone was great and stayed in their own space.”
“For the most part, the park was quiet and folks simply enjoyed the fresh air.”
“Fabulously low-key, back-to-nature experience.”
“We found out that we could open just two days before the weekend …. Guests were very appreciative of having a place to be able to camp and get out from their stay-at-home life.”
“It seemed very quiet with the store being closed and offering no activities…. Look forward to easing of restrictions regarding camping with safety and health in mind for staff and guests.”
“We did not open for Memorial Day Weekend. The county had an order…”
“One noticeable difference, there was a huge feeling of gratitude. So many people simply wanted to get out of “lockdown”! I cannot tell you the number of guests that profusely thanked me for simply being open.”
“While our guests couldn’t go into Rocky Mountain National Park (next door to the West) for a hike, we pointed them to the Roosevelt National Forest (next door to the East). They discovered the same kind of “fabulous” in another of our country’s public wonders.”
“In fact, I had one guest come into the office and here is what he said, ‘I have only one suggestion for you…Keep doing what you’re doing.'”
“Had 1 couple (out of about 50) upset because our bathrooms weren’t open. Other than that, people were allowed to do everything in our area they wanted – hiking, biking, fishing, paddleboarding, kayaking,…”
“It was anything but “low-key”. You could see the rejuvenation on everyone’s faces. It was an internal explosion of sensational for the guests. Our guests crave the outdoors and sincerely missed it being in lockdown. They came to our campground to feed their need for “NDD” (Nature Deficit Disorder).”
Coloradans can hop in the car and go camping somewhat spontaneously. Not so for many in our audience! Colorado camping trips are often planned weeks, months and even several years in advance. For them, we offer this additional information.
This blog post offers insight (and links to more insight) on our colorful state, and here’s a search feature to our campground directory which lists hundreds of public and private Colorado campgrounds.
Another county opened up today (5/27), and still others are expecting to open on 6/1.
CAMPING DURING COVID-19
For those who enjoy podcasts, this one (click here) offers more information to further assist you in these days of COVID-19.
CampColorado hopes everyone stays well and enjoys many healthy camping trips when you feel it’s time to travel!