Kamping, kinda: Things were AOK at KOA

Seeking shelter in Saugerties, Ace and I opted for a KOA campground, just down the road from my grandparent’s old house.

This time though, rather than pitch the tent, we upgraded to a “Kozy Kabin,” which, while it didn’t require kopious amounts of kash, was priced slightly over our limit at $50-plus a night, plus a dog fee.

But it was pretty much perfect for our needs — those being something close to warmth, something soft to sleep on and a place for Ace to romp.

We opted for a one-room cabin and were assigned to K-8, which was right next door to K-9. The cabins don’t have plumbing, but they do have electricity, allowing me to recharge all the various devices I’m toting. The bathroom and showers were just 50 yards down a path. And we directly across from the fenced in dog park, which, while not huge, was filled with agility equipment.

And best of all we had not just a grill, but a fire pit, and a picnic table and a front porch swing — sturdy enough to hold us both.

Ace immediately chose the lower bunk, though he spent some time on the big bed too.

The Saugerties Woodstock KOA was highly pet friendly; and its owners have two dogs of their own — a bulldog and a lab mix — who live there with them.

When they took over the campground, six years ago, only one cabin was open to dogs, but they’ve since changed the rules and now allow dogs in all of them. Squirrels and humans, they noted, have been responsible for much more damage than dogs have.

KOA’s pet policy permits dogs at all campgrounds, but not all of them allow dogs in the cabins.

KOA’s website advises that guests “check with the campground about its specific pet policies. Some don’t allow pets in Kamping Kabins, for example, or may have limited pet units. Others don’t accept particular breeds that insurance providers have identified as having a history of aggression.”

Upon arriving, I unpacked my camping gear and set up housekeeping, pulling out my remaining foodstuff to see what might be for dinner.

I opted for a can of green beans, combined with can of mushroom soup, topped with crumbled up crackers.

On night two, I cracked open my can of Spam, which made Ace perk up and led to a visit from the dog next door, named Micro, who was staying with his owner in a restored 1960 Airstream trailer.

The owner, an artist named Tim, gave me a tour of his house on wheels, which he rebuilt himself.

Some KOA campgrounds are now offering guests the option to spend the night in Airstreams. The shiny silver trailers are being rented overnight at KOA’s in Santa Cruz, California; Bar Harbor, Maine; Key West, Florida; and Las Vegas.

We might have to give one a try.

Our cabin served us well, though, its space heater keeping us cozy at night. We built lots of campfires, made lots of coffee and made full use of the porch swing.

When the time came to move on, I decided that, rather than putting my sleeping bag and pillows back on rooftop carrier, I’d use them instead to cushion Ace’s ride a little more. He seemed to appreciate the fluffier ride, and it spared me the hassle of getting things out of and back into the rooftop carrier.

Even after buying a new carrier, I’ve noticed its contents are still getting wet. And that’s the last thing we want — now that we’re in a kolder klimate.

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