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DOLLY COPP and THE PRESIDENTIALS

Posted 09-23-2012 at 09:10 AM by TAKINBETZ

We've been Campground Hosting at Mt Ascutney, Vermont for the summer, due to depart Labor Day Weekend. They asked us to stay on through September which sounded great but we already had a trip planned to the White Mountains and then over to the Maine Coast.

So, we took two weeks off, headed east to return to Mt Ascutney mid-September.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND
The ride up and over to Gorham, NH was beautiful, just as we had expected it to be in this part of God’s country, but still wide-eyed and amazed at the beauty that is Vermont.

Around St Johnsbury we headed East on I93 toward Littleton NH and then Route 2 toward Gorham. This is where it got dicey as can only be appreciated if you’re driving a 35’ motor home towing a car (backwards) behind it.

THE ROAD OF NO RETURN……….

One set of directions said to turn right on Pinkham Road whereas the TomTom said to continue on past Pinkham.

Since TomTom had also routed us way south and we were losing confidence in this instrument, we decided to go with Google directions, making a fast right on Pinkham Road. The lack of signage for Dolly Copp Campground, one of the largest in the US Forest Service. should have been our first clue! I remember it passing through my mind as we ventured down this road but we were on the road of NO RETURN!

No way in hell were we going to be able to turn around and go back … even if we disconnected the car … had no choice but to continue and move forward.

We drove from rough blacktop to no blacktop and a sign that said, “Road not maintained in the winter”.

I don’t think it’s maintained in the summer either. There was no shoulder .. hah! .. and the dirt road exact width of our wheel base just fell off into large holes that would have turned us on our side or grabbed the dolly and done bad things to that! I kept leaning to my left as if that would make the MH go away from the side of the road.

We continued on and on and on and on …. through the White Mountains National Forest … then…. we started meeting cars coming from the other direction. Fortunately they were able to squeeze over and let us by.

I saw hiking trails going off from the left and right so figured that’s what the road was used for. Come to find out it’s also used as a “cut through” by locals who have the correct vehicles to cut through!

We were on this climbing, rough dirt road for several miles in the hope it came out somewhere. In about 5 miles we came to black top. Turn right … entrance to Dolly Copp Campground. Turn left … Route 16. Much easier way to get to the park! Apparently we were on the Class B road!

Got to the Ranger’s Hut to check in .. along with the “throngs of thousands” of other campers doing the same thing. Of course I had no paperwork since I don’t have the printer hooked up to my computer, and this campground does everything manually. No computers here! No credit cards, cash only for those who had too many cars or too many people than they paid for.

If I didn’t know my campsite number, my choice was to go back and hope I could get internet and find the reservation or go through the list of over 100 campsites and find our name.

I opted for the computer hoping we had a bar of signal and we did! Site 48. I was in. Went back to the hut, to the back of the line, and waited for our turn to check in.

While waiting saw pictures of black bears that frequent the campground picking up the apples from the numerous apple trees here. We were given a slip on “how to behave around bears”….all food inside, don’t run away, talk gently to them….not worried. We got them in VT too.

The CG Host was very efficient having to write the same thing in three different places and I asked if they were the volunteer hosts. She said they were and I told her we were hosting in Vermont for the summer. Got a big smile and welcome to the campground. We have a sisterhood!!

The campsite is very nice, the campground is great. We didn’t have any problems backing in and setting up. Very easy when you don’t have utilities. Sat down with a beer and read the “Dolly Copp News”.

Apparently there are no hot showers here. You have to drive to the visitors center five miles down the road for a hot shower … bring quarters. No worries … we brought our own.

No dump station. If we want to empty our tanks, we need to drive to the sanitation center in Gorham and for a fee can relieve our tanks. Hopefully Acadia will have a dump station when we get there.

Didn’t get to see too much as it was late in the afternoon and thunder was heard in the distance. Came inside for a short nap and it poured. Haven’t had a thunder storm in a long time. It rained and rained and rained. Continued to rain into the evening and off and on all night.

So……we’re camping in the rain …. Whatelse is new! Dragged the picnic table under the awning and fired up the grill. Not sure how long it will last but it’s dark and still raining.

All is good!
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