Well we started the new year out right. Got up on January 2nd and headed out camping for the weekend. A short jaunt of about 120 miles from the CurbCrusher castle to Savannas Recreation Area in Ft. Pierce, Florida. This is a nice country run campground located right near the Indian River. Hopefully it is not a sign of things to come in 2009, but getting a reservation here was half the battle. Lady CurbCrusher made the reservation back in July. When she called in October time frame no one had any record of the reservation, so she made another one. She called again two days before we left, and we were told that we had a reservation, and we’d be on site #1 right next to the playground. As a matter of fact, if we wanted to come a day early the site was empty and we could come on down.
When we arrived, there was no one in the office, and site one had a very settled in 5th wheel on it. We had lunch and sat around for a while, and finally parked on site #2. After about an hour and a half the office opened back up and I went in to check in. The guy in the office was clueless. We told him we were on site #1, but there was a rig on it. He walked out to site #1, knocked on the door and started yelling at the people to move when they opened up. Well, they yelled back and after everyone decided they knew how to talk loud, Mr. Clueless walked back to the office. I followed him back, and proposed that I was happy to stay on site #2. Mr. Clueless said, no he had someone coming in tomorrow (Saturday) that had site #2, so I needed to move to the back of the campground. We discussed this some, as site #2 was right next to the playground, and made it easy to keep an eye on Little CurbCrusher. Mr. Clueless said that the people coming in “tomorrow” were friends of the park manager and he couldn’t move them. He then went on to offer some long winded commentary about the competence of the campground manager, as opposed to working on a solution to our problem. In looking over the counter, I saw the “site schedule” that showed who was scheduled in what site. I noticed that site #2 was empty until Sunday on the schedule, so I asked Mr. Clueless if the schedule was accurate or if there was some other indication that people were arriving “tomorrow.” Mr. Clueless insisted for about 45 seconds that “tomorrow” was Sunday and I couldn’t stay on Site #2. Finally, after looking at a calendar and talking about the day of the week, I convinced him that I was arriving on Friday and departing Sunday, and the schedule showed an empty site #2 for the weekend. Finally we were able to complete the campsite transaction and move on to the next order of business which is securing a prox card for entering the campground after hours.
Unlike most campgrounds with a combination lock on the gate, this campground has a prox card reader. So each camper is required to provide a $20.00 cash deposit for a prox card. This will allow you to come and go after hours. But… you better plan your departure during office hours as the only way to get your $20.00 back is to track down Mr. Clueless during the “office hours” (note that “office hours” seems to just indicate when the office is supposed to be open. It is not uncommon to go over to the office and find a “back at ???” sign on the door.) I was fortunate on Sunday when we departed to head over to the office at about 9AM right after it opened. I walked up and Mr. Clueless was on his way out the door fixing to set the “be back” sign and was able to get my $20.00 back. If I’d waited another five minutes before walking over to the office, it would have delayed my departure by about and hour and a half.
Campsites Savannas Rec Area gets a solid B on their campsites. The sites are large enough, although arranged a bit oddly. The odd sites are pull intos, and the even sites are back intos. This puts the utilities of the rig facing each other, and the sites are fairly close on the utility side. Each site then has a separate drive way for parking a toad/tow vehicle. So the site that you face on the awning side is a good ways off, there are two parking driveways between you and them. A number of the sites have full hookup, but there are some water/electric only sites. The pull into concept would be nice on some of the canal front sites with a motorhome, as you’d have your big window facing the “view” as opposed to the inside of the campground. The campground road and sites are not paved, but there is plenty of grass between the sites. Most campsites have a fire ring, although there are parts of the campground were the is a “community ring” that is shared among sites. There is also a large open area with a pow-wow circle in the middle of the campground.
Stuff to Do There is sort of an open “walking area”, not really a trail as it is a more of an open island between the canals that has an observation tower at one end. In addition, there are some parks in the area. We visited Savannas Preserver State Park, Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, and Avalon State Park on Saturday. In addition downtown Ft. Pierce is nearby and on the Saturday we were there a small craft fair was going on downtown. It was a pleasant place to park and walk around. For those that like to fish there is an abundance of fishing both in the park and nearby.
Overall We liked the park. Dealing with the St. Lucie county employees (it was not just the CurbCrushers, another local family was camping for the weekend, and asked us to please not judge St. Lucie County based on the county employees) is a bit of a pain, but the park itself is nice and a pleasant place. There is a variety of things to do nearby, including the beaches and some historical stuff. We met a couple of local families that were out for the weekend, so the park seems to have a good family appeal also.
|Savannas Recreation Area|
|Savannas Preserve State Park|
|Ft. Pierce Inlet State Park|
|Avalon State Park|
|Downtown Ft. Pierce|