Day 3 and 4 of our Southbound RV trip places us at the Pennsylvania Dutch Campground – a little over 200 miles from our first stop in Saugerties, NY. The route takes us down I-87 to I-287 around NY City to I-78 and West for 110 miles (+/-) to I-81. The route has heavy traffic but is fairly smooth and doable for the most part. The worst stretch of roadway to date is several rough frost heaved, patched and re-patched miles through the Allentown area. This patched stretch – though shorter – is much worse than I-88 which we chose to avoid on this trip for the same reason – roughness.
First off, though the campground is close to the Interstate (I-78), as the crow flies but that’s just not so by RV. It’s a winding path of narrow backroads to get here.
They advertised they are open until 9pm on weekends but the office was closed for the day when we arrived at 3pm.
They had taped our paperwork on the office door with a map to our site, which was at the farthest end of a gravel “field” apparently made to hold transients. It appears that the majority of the 233 sites in the campground are occupied by Seasonals with decks, flowers and a definite semblance of permanence.
The campground home page boasts of cable TV, WiFi and a full service restaurant. After monkeying with the cable connection for a long time I gave up on it working and used our antenna which was more than adequate. Local WiFi service is non-existent and the included paperwork alluded to the fact that the restaurant was only open on weekends.
The next morning I visited the “Hostess” in the office to inquire about my misconceptions. She told me that “the WiFi is only receivable near the office area, the restaurant closed two weeks ago and your cable should be working fine!” As far as the cable goes Abbott and Costello worked on it for a little over an hour and discovered that our neighbors had disconnected us at the junction box so they could have cable but never mentioned to the office that they had trouble. Just like anyplace else there are neighbors who are thoughtful and sometimes you run into the other kind.
Pennsylvania Dutch Campground is a Passport America campground which purports to offer half-price camping Sundays through Thursdays but the fine print reads “*$3 additional charge for 30/50 Amp, pull thrus, Direct TV and A/C & electric heat.” There are many Passport America member campgrounds that we have visited which are nice and totally satisfactory and a great value at half-price. This is not one of them and falls into the minority that some RVers point out as reason for not joining PA. We are lifetime members and shall continue to root out the good, the bad and the deplorable (which Niki calls the “Deliverance” campgrounds) as we find them.
We make it a point to ask the office staff wherever we stop for suggestions of their favorite Mom & Pop restaurant but since the office staff had gone home early we Googled our options and chose a multi “starred” Mario’s Pizzeria in the Village of Bernville. Though the campground is listed as being in Bernville we quickly found out just how large a “small” township can be and how many twisting and winding, narrow backroads can be linked together to get from point A – our campground – to point B – destination Mario’s Pizzeria.
Thank goodness for the invention of the GPS or we would still be trying to find our way back to the campground! In summary the service and pizza at Mario’s was quite good but probably not worth the excursion on the backroads after dark.
One bright spot in our stopover at Bernville, PA was a trip on day two to Oregon Dairy Restaurant & Buffet in Lititz, PA. Why would we drive an hour for lunch you would ask? Because we stopped there once before and rate it in the top three buffets we have had on the East Coast. Home cooking with a definite PA Dutch influence and everything fresh and well prepared. If you are ever in the Lititz or Lancaster area we do highly recommend it.
As the sunsets on day 4 of our trip we prepare to bid a fond farewell to the Town of Bernville, PA because we doubt we will be stopping here again – at least not at the Pennsylvania Dutch Campground.
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Interstate Rest Areas
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