Pacific City 9/16/06
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     When we purchased our camping trailer, we received a “special invitation”. A free 3 night stay at Pacific City, Thousand Trails resort. Like many of you who have been wizened to offers of free 3 night stays, we knew how this would work. “Free” in this context translated to “No Obligation to Buy”. Giving up even a little bit of precious weekend time to listen to a sales pitch is not an easy thing to do, but Travis had been to Thousand Trails a few times when he was a kid, (his Aunt and Uncle were members), and he had liked the resorts- so, we decided to take them up on the offer.

     When we arrived we were greeted with much fanfare and were even assigned someone who would help us to find the perfect spot to set up camp. We hopped in the official Thousand Trails minivan and headed out. Just a little ways down the road, we spotted a good site- a forested area near the entrance. After we had pulled the trailer into the new spot, however, our tour guide came back to tell us that he’d made a mistake and this section of the campground was closed for the season- which explained why there were no other campers here. We got back into the van and he took us up to the other parts of the campground. This was where all the campers were. Just minutes before we’d been talking about how strange it was that the place was so empty, now it turned out to be packed with people, all in RV’s. Each spot was completely geared to RV camping. Most didn’t have fire pits, and there were signs saying “no tents” in all the places that looked like they’d be perfect for tents. We found out later that most people don’t tent camp at Thousand Trails. There are certain spots where they can, but it’s certainly not common here. This is where we began to get the full scope of the culture that is full-time RVing. Once we were finally settled in, it was dark. We fell into our normal camping routine and enjoyed the rest of our evening.

     The next morning we noticed how many rabbits there were. We’d seen a couple of them the day before, but thought we’d caught a rare glimpse. Here at the Pacific City resort, though, there are thousands of little black bunnies. They’re pretty tame, actually, and will hop right up to people offering them something to eat. You can even buy bunny food at the little store inside the park. We were careful not to let the dogs loose. Marley, especially, seemed to want to get a closer look. We took a few pictures of the bunnies lazing around, and then headed down to the sales pitch.

     Michelle was our friendly sales person. She admitted to being fairly new, and we could tell she hadn’t yet gotten that full salesperson vibe, which suited us just fine. Michelle drove around the park, showing us everything they had to offer- lots of campsites, some with views, a lodge, a store, activities like mini golf, horseshoes, and swimming. We went back to the little sales office where she showed us numerous pamphlets and books regarding the other campground/resorts, and explained to us the costs and benefits of being a member. We crossed our arms, looked skeptically at the information, and laughed at the audacity of the claims that this would make our life complete. We told her that we’d need to think it over and she left us to talk it out. We weighed the pros and cons and finally decided that, given our future plans to travel, it did make sense for us. She came back and said, “You’re not going to take it are you?” When we said we were she was shocked and so excited! This was her first big sale, she told us. We filled out all the necessary paperwork, gathered all of our free gifts and membership information, and walked out feeling like we belonged. This was now our park- we belonged here. That didn’t stop us from talking and worrying and thinking about it all night, though. There was still time to opt out, we could change our minds, get our money back. Had we made the right choice, been rash in our decision, made a wrong move? We’re very happy to say, though, after several months of using Thousand Trails and having been to more of their campgrounds, we’re very happy with our decision and intent to keep using it for years to come. See our pictures from this trip.

By the way, if you’re interested in a free 3 night stay at Pacific City, Thousand Trails resort- we know the number.