|Sunset at Prado Regional Park, Chino CA|
For this trip I booked two nights at the Prado Regional Park in Chino, CA. I did my homework, looking at thing like space size, hookups, and cost. I made my reservation online and printed out my confirmation and a campground map.
On Thursday afternoon, as we sat in the hot, non-air-conditioned waiting area of the Freightliner shop, I looked over the printout. Strange ... up to now the parks we have stayed at had check-in times in early afternoon. This one said no check-in before 3 PM. No problem, it was almost 4 and our rig wasn't quite ready.
OMG ... the fine print said the Park closes at 5, but that the gate was locked at 4. Campers arriving after 4 were to call the office for an after hour code.
I looked at the clock: 3:55 PM. I called the number and got a recording saying the office closed at 3!
EEK, we were going to be locked out! I didn't have a code.
What to do? I was very upset to say the least. Craig pointed at the door and said "go there". It was about twelve miles away. Fortunately the Accent wasn't hooked up.
I arrived at the park and of course the gate was locked and there was no one around. I could not see the campground from the entrance, but I did see a couple of fishermen about a block away at the edge of the lake. I climbed over a low fence and went to ask them if they had a code (no) and the location of the campground. It is at the far back corner of the park!
I decided that walking in to the campground and finding the camp host was my best option. It was very hot, close to 100F, and I was still pretty riled up. As I approached the gate again I saw a truck heading out. Wait! I ran across the grass and climbed the fence again. Turned out the driver didn't know the code either.
Just then another camper pulled up to the gate and started to enter his code.
"Wait, wait," I yelled as I ran over to his pickup.
I must have looked like a crazy woman! Clutching my reservation binder I told him my situation and he gave me the code number!
He looked a little suspicious. He asked me which space number we were in (27) and told me they were in 25.
I thanked him and explained my husband was with the RV at a repair place and I had to go back and get him.
Which I did ...
We drove back to the park, entered our code, opened the gate and drove to our spot.
We met our neighbor, and we all laughed about "the crazy lady waving a clipboard!" They also told us it was often very hard to get someone to answer the telephone and they usually got a code when they placed their reservation.
The lesson? Read all of the print out!
Have you ever been locked out of a park at 4 in the afternoon?