Friday, July 18, 2008

The end of the road?

Globe and Mail - Canada
Halfway through summer, Milton Heights Campground looks as pristine as Augusta National Golf Club on opening day.

The grass is an untrampled jade.

The spruce limbs are teeming with complaining birds.

The camp store shelves are well stocked with barbeque briquettes and junk food.

About the only thing missing from this RV park is the RVs.

“Usually we'd be full up this time of year,” says manager Jean Casarin, looking none too hurried as she smoked at a picnic table.

“You wouldn't be able to see the grass for all the RVs.”

Instead, she estimates that three-quarters of the spots sit vacant, waiting for rigs and lawn chairs.

Ms. Casarin sits and waits too, for paying customers, many of them RV-piloting friends who make an annual habit of visiting her and her campground.

“You can't really blame them,” she says.

“When a $600 gas tank last year takes $1,200 to fill this year, it makes it tough.”

For hundreds of thousands of Canadians, rumbling across the continent by motorhome is not just a vacation, but a lifestyle. They are children of a continent-wide cruising culture that germinated during the highway-building frenzy of the fifties and sixties. Many use their mobile palaces as a primary residence, intent on embracing the freedom of the open road.
Full Story...
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