July 4th RVers Pack Ga.'s Blythe Island Park
As they sit outside their recreational vehicle, Curtis and Lee Cowart are enjoying the quiet of Blythe Island Regional Park, located across the river from Brunswick, Ga.
The only sound to be heard around them is their conversation with friends James and Pat Carter, who are also camping enthusiasts who came to visit them at the park, the Brunswick News reported.
The Cowarts, who live in Waycross, wanted to experience the park after other friends told them about it.
After months of trying, they were able to get a reservation in early June for the week of the Fourth of July holiday, which is a rarity.
"Usually on the Fourth, with campgrounds, if you don't reserve way ahead of time, you don't get in," said Pat Carter of Racepond, near Folkston. "Camping is a real popular recreation now."
Stanley Santee, Blythe Island Regional Park manager, says all 97 RV parking sites are taken, but overflow campers are sometimes allowed if they pay the $10 park fee.
"We get people who have been driving for a long time and just want to sleep," said Santee. "They don't hook their RV up and use electricity."
An influx of RVs doesn't necessarily create overcrowding, but it does create an overflow, Santee said.
The Cowarts haven't seen an overflow, because the park gives them ample space and a great deal of privacy, Lee Cowart said.
The Cowarts and Carters, both married couples of 50 years, have been to a variety of campgrounds, including Twin Oaks Parks at Hoboken, Ga., and Fort Clinch State Park at Fernandina Beach, Fla.
"You usually have to make a reservation up to a year for some places," Pat Carter said. "It just all depends on the park."
Ronnie Douglas, campground manager for Jekyll Island Campgrounds, says that some people make reservations for one of 207 RV parking spaces there a year in advance.
However, the majority of campers there now made reservations about six months ago.
"This is not a first-come, first-serve type of camp site," Douglas said. "You have to make a reservation."
Making a reservation won't be a problem for the Cowarts. When the couple check out of Blythe Island Regional Park Friday afternoon, they're going to reserve a spot for next year.
"We'll probably come here quite a bit," Lee Cowart said.