The people of Sweetwater are more of a camping crowd rather than a majority of them being a full-time RVing crowd. The full-timers that end up there are usually doing it to get out of Pio Pi for the one week that you need to be out of the campground before checking back in or they might just be quickly passing through. There are TONS of open spaces, so the crowd is more spread out. Everyone generally keeps to themselves. People will say ‘Hi’ and chat a little bit, but it isn’t anything like the people that are in Pio Pico.
Sweetwater is more inside the city of San Diego instead of being ‘back country’, as they would call Pio Pico. Because of that, there is a lot more city sounds than Pio Pico. It seems people keep to themselves a bit more or perhaps it is that they are out in the city more often. Our dog, Ana, gets greeted less frenquently and we see less people out for a walk. Ana is such an attention craving dog. She needs to see others out on her walks or she starts to get antsy…or so it seems. I haven’t really asked her much about the matter. Either way, while there, she gets less attention from neighbors.
Other than the social aspect, there are still a couple more downsides, like the fact that they do not have a laundromat. So to do laundry I either have to take the kids to a laundromat or go to a friend’s house. Lucky for me, I have a couple great friends that let me do laundry at their house. They do generally charge visitors a parking fee when they come to visit us, and once we were even charged a fee for our extra car. It also costs us to stay there where it costs us nothing extra, aside from our membership dues, to stay at any of the Thousand Trails resort.
The main perk of staying in Sweetwater, other than being closer to the city and friends, is that we can actually have a wood fire there. In Pio Pico, you can only do composite wood or coal. It’s nice to have an actual wood fire and roast marshmallows over it. Here in San Diego county, we take fire safety seriously. It is so easy to spark a wild fire, so campgrounds like to have more controlled fires. Also, here in Pio Pico, they don’t have fire pits at every site like they do in Sweetwater.
Another good thing is we do have cell signal in Sweetwater, but no wifi as we do in Pio Pico. However, that doesn’t help us any when we put on a (educational usually…hah) show for Owen. Streaming eats up our mobile hot spot data. We can still easily make phone calls, which we are not able to easily, or reliably, do in Pio Pico (it involves hiking up a hill for guaranteed signal or hoping wifi calling works).
After spending a couple of weeks in another Thousand Trails resort, we decided we probably will only go to Sweetwater when we are wanting to have friends over for a campfire. Basically, just for a fun weekend. There are some really pretty views, hiking trails, and a concrete slab to park our rig on, but it isn’t enough to keep us there regularly.
Have you stayed at many different campgrounds? Do you have a favorite that you always return to? Next blog post will be about why we move every 1-3 weeks!