Remember that end-of-summer bucket list I made a few weeks ago? Yeah, I kinda forgot about it, too. BUT(!!) I managed to check something off of it over the weekend.
I bought a Groupon for Crazy Horse campground in Brodhead, Wisc. over the summer. But since we kept finding ourselves back at Indian Trails, the Groupon never got used. With a free weekend and a desire to not allow the thing to go to waste (it expires on Nov. 1), we decided to go last weekend.
We arrived Friday night well after dark but well before the posted closing time of 10 p.m. but found the registration office was locked up and dark. So we drove on in and came to the camp store to find it lit up, but also locked. Just as I started to think we would either have to squat or find a Wal-Mart parking lot to stealth camp for the night, a guy came walking up with a map in hand asking what site we had reserved. I told him site 96, and he drew a line of our route on the map and handed it to me without much more discussion. I asked him if I needed a parking pass, or if he needed my Groupon, or at least my name, but he didn’t seem at all concerned, said no to all of the above, and told me to come back to the registration office the next morning.
Once we drove through to the area where site 96 was located, it became clear why he didn’t seem too concerned with who we were or whether or not we paid. Also clear was why the folks working the registration office didn’t see the need to stay open. The place was a ghost town!!!
The Halloween weekend at Crazy Horse was the weekend before and I guess the regulars consider that the end of the season. There were two other campers in the whole place! We figured we would have lots of privacy!
I don’t know how “choice” our campsite is during a normal, busy weekend, but it worked out great for us. I told the woman I reserved with that we have two dogs and wanted room for them both to be tethered but not get tangled with one another. She gave us an end spot with a field on the other side.
The campground was plenty nice. I’d like to come back in the summer to take advantage of the Sugar River where campers can take rented rafts or canoes, or the swimming pool, or horseshoes, or mini golf, ect., ect., ect….
Even though it was nice, it was hard to not compare it to Indian Trails, in which case, it’s not as nice, if that makes sense. Things I would change if I were to nitpick: the bath house (which there was only one) needed cleaning, the ceiling was covered in spiderwebs full of bugs and the sinks were dirty; most of the buildings needed a fresh coat of paint; it seemed every empty field had a designation like “dog run” or “athletic field” but nothing was done to make those spaces meet those designations. For example, I’ve never seen a dog run with no fence. It was just a big empty field. The same with the athletic field. No boundary lines were spray painted around the perimeter, there were no soccer goals, no bases for kickball or baseball, no football end zones, ect… My final nitpick is that the site was a little odd because the water and electric hook-ups were on opposite sides of the site. If you don’t have an extension cord or extra long fresh water hose, you’re screwed. We have both, but we just used our site’s designated water hookup and the neighboring site’s electric since no one was there.
For the price we paid, which I think was about $40 for two nights, which was a 50% discount, it was a decent deal. It would have been an even better deal in the summer because it included the “resort fee” which is for use of all of the amenities. But the full-price cost is up to $45 per night, depending on the site, plus $5 per person, per day, for the resort fees. That’s getting a little pricey, in my opinion, for a campground that needs updating. I do think we will make it back there sometime in the summer months, especially if there’s another deal like the Groupon we got.
All that said … we were camping. In Wisconsin. On a beautiful fall weekend. No complaints there!