Expect the unexpected when traveling


Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
We were camped recently in Deadwood, S.D., in a commercial campground. The second day the manager gave us a hospital band ID to wear on our wrist. He said it was going to get very busy and we would need this ID band to leave and enter the campground. He said it was the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. We had no idea what to expect.

By nightfall the campground was packed to capacity and the partying went on all night long. One woman came over to our site and asked for ice. I thought she was wearing a skimpy halter top but soon discovered she was topless with a tattooed halter top. We left the next morning but my wife thought we deserved a refund. It still bugs her. Should I have demanded my money back or just moved on? —Harvey in Hog Heaven

Dear Harv:
I think it was worth a night’s fee just to have the story to tell about the woman with the tattoo. You are always going to run into the unexpected while traveling. It is part of the adventure. You will often stumble onto festivals you didn’t know existed. Sturgis is the Mother of all motorcycle rallies. The Black Hills are alive with rally-goers and most campgrounds are filled to capacity with people “letting their hair down.” There are so many boomer bikers now (with no hair to let down) so the rally gets bigger each season.

I would suggest you go with the flow and move on if you can’t fit in. The campground owners had no idea you weren’t there for the festivities. They probably could have rented your space ten times over. It sounds like they are trying to manage the crowds as best they can with the ID bands. You pay your fees and take your chances. Odds are in your favor that most of the time you are going to get exactly what you are looking for. I’m just curious, how long did it take to figure out it wasn’t a halter top? —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

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12 Thoughts to “Expect the unexpected when traveling”

  1. Ellen

    Forget the refund; if you paid their regular rates during the rally, you got a deal already. We once stopped at an RV park in Sturgis where we’d stayed before, but this time the rate quoted was at least double what we’d paid before. “Why the increase?” we asked. “Rally,” they said. But the rally didn’t start for another MONTH! “Good luck with that,” we told them, and drove on.

  2. Jann

    I think the hospital wrist bands given out by the manager, was a red flag. Right?

  3. Jillie

    My mother and I years ago did some tent camping near Holland Michigan. We pitched our tent and did our thing until Sunday morning when some holy rollers came up to us and said you are joining our church service right? Under this pavilion were chairs and almost no one there. We looked at each other and left quickly. We felt bad that no one showed up but still the look of anticipation on their faces.

  4. Laura

    Excellent advice! I will now start googling motorcycle rally when I make my reservations, just so I don’t overlap!

  5. Robbie

    Just one more reason to stay away from RV parks and learn to boondock.

    1. Summrbrz

      No. Not really. Everyone doesn’t have the capacity to boondock. I see it as an option, not a total lifestyle. Thanks.

      1. Robbie

        I was referring to my lifestyle, not yours.

  6. Tommy Molnar

    This quote makes the whole article – “I’m just curious, how long did it take to figure out it wasn’t a halter top? “

    1. RV Staff

      😀 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

    2. Jann

      Yep I am wondering the same thing.

    3. Doug

      Wondering if it was a nice halter top.

    4. Steve

      I was wondering if you got a picture – Or was the issue when you asked your wife if she would get a tat!?

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