This is our 5th year now coming to Clear Lake State Park for our annual 4th of July camping trip. I counted 22 people for our cookout. That was a few more than we had last year. As usual the food was excellent. There was BBQ Chicken, BBQ Ribs, Venison, and plenty of salads.
Chuck and Rande made an encore appearance as the Host Campers. It was nice to see them back again this year at Clear Lake. They didn’t think they were going to be allowed to return to the same park again two years in a row.
We had to relocate a bit from our usual campsite. The one we normally reserved had already been taken. The spot we ended up with was just about as nice. It was large and had room for a couple of tents as well.
The big story this year was the power problem. Clear Lake State Park has a real problem with the power when they get near capacity. We shared our electrical post with three other RVs. Out of the four outlets only two are 30 amps, the other two are 20 amps.
This year unlike the last year or two, they were filled to the max. We had 5 RVs and 4 tents in our group alone. The power for our group went out several times during the day and night. Every time it went out we had to hike down to Chuck’s site so that he could flag a park ranger down and have the power reset.
Another problem this year was the weather. When we arrived on Wednesday the temperature got down to 50 degrees that night. By the time the weekend rolled around the heat had climbed to the mid 90’s with high humidity. With heat like that you really need to be able to run your AC in the RV.
One Ranger came by and informed us that we were going to need to turn off our air-conditioning. He also stated that if we continued to run the AC in our RVs that he would not restore the power next time it went off.
Before we left, I spoke with a Park Ranger by the name of Greg Kinser. He informed me that this has been a problem for quite some time. Greg said that Clear Lake State Park is an older park and was never designed to support today’s modern RVs. He informed me that the larger rigs demand more power and overload the circuits in the park.
I find this somewhat hard to believe since the power always went out at the main, not the electrical post. You would think that if your rig were to demand to much current that it would cause only your breaker to blow. Not take out everyone else. This means that there simply was not enough power for the outlets throughout the park.
Greg stated that he hoped the new Recreation Passport which will take effect on Oct. 1, 2010 will help offset the revenue loss the Parks have been realizing the past few years. The Recreation Passport will be available to Michigan residents for $10 per registered vehicle, or $5 per registered motorcycle. This will replace the resident state park and boating access site stickers. Vehicles registered outside the State of Michigan will still be required to display a Michigan State park permit.