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Rain Turns Makeshift Campground into Mud Bog

June 23, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

The Country USA campgrounds in Oskosh, Wis., site of a weekend music festival, are a muddy mess after the latest storms rolled through. Campers are being towed — but many are keeping a positive attitude, WBAY-TV, Green Bay, reported.

“This is a very low area. This is a swamp. This is for ducks,” said Lynn Mueller, whose truck was stuck in the mud.

Walk down any campsite road at Country USA and you’ll meet someone with a story of how they couldn’t make it through the mud.

Neil Schumann made it to his campsite but his camper is a tad slanted. And for now, it’s staying that way.

“Now I’m stuck, so I’m stuck in my site.”

But he’s lucky, because he made it. Since the festival started Tuesday, 50 to 60 other campers had to be towed.

Floyd Crawford’s camper was towed in. “We even had guys in the neighboring lots behind us trying to push us and help us.”

If you get stuck and need a tow, Country USA doesn’t foot the bill. You have to pay a towing company that handles the service on-site.

“If people are going to get this stuck for what we paid for our tickets, and you pay for your camping sites, they should absorb that cost,” Mueller expressed.

“Do the right thing by the people, you know? Once you have a tractor, I’m sure there’s enough profits to hire a tractor,” Crawford said.

“Most everyone is in place now,” Country USA co-owner Cher Liebhauser said.

Country USA defends its towing plan, saying it’s been this way for years and the festival works with campers arriving in bad weather, finding them drier places to park.

“A lot of the towing on the first day were people that were going down places they weren’t supposed to go down,” Liebhauser said.

Country USA says 95% of the campers have already arrived, so they’re not anticipating too many more mud problems.

While wood chips are being used to make a better surface on the festival grounds, we’re told they’re not a good solution for the camp sites.

“Our campgrounds are meant to dry out pretty quickly if we have a little bit of sun and wind, and wood chips tend to hold the moisture,” Liebhauser said.

Country USA says there are too many acres to cover with gravel beyond the parking lots.

So for campers, the plan is to put on rain boots and make the best of the muddy mess.

“Good country music, lots of entertainment,” Crawford said, “so, I mean, you put up with a few things.”

Hopefully, come Sunday, these campers can get out.

“Not unless it really dries up for a couple days,” Mueller said, “they’re going to be stuck here.”

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