It’s been a long spring. Although the wild flowers arrived on schedule and the sun took the chill out of the crisp winter days, the need to social distance turned the season of blooms in to the season of waiting.
Over the last three months Sierra Teardrops has seen trips that were planned months in advance get cancelled, adventures put on hold, and Northern California’s quaint attractions, natural wonders and campgrounds sitting quiet and abandoned.
As campgrounds began to reopen, we decided to venture out to test the proverbial waters. We arrived on a quiet day at Railroad Park Resort, in Dunsmuir, California. It was our first visit to this gem, and even though it’s unique railroad car lodge and restaurant were closed we were delighted to learn they were open for campers in self-contained RVs and trailers in its sites equipped with full hookups.
We were equally amazed that they had available sites on just a days notice. We made quick reservations and hooked up the nuCamp T@B 400 we call Sequoia. With a full bathroom, kitchen and queen bed, this roomy teardrop was fully equipped to keep us socially distanced under the pine trees in the hills of Mount Shasta, near Castle Cragg State Park.
We were charmed by the woodsy atmosphere. Some RV parks feel more like a parking lot than a camp ground, but looking up at the trees from the stargazer window above the bed, we could have been nestled in any of the local state parks. An icy cold stream gurgled along one side of the grounds.
Besides all the luxurious nature around, the Railroad Park Resort had a lot of awesome amenities. Of course, they were all currently shuttered during this time of social distancing, but with just a bit of imagination we could see the charm of this park in full swing.
Just a short walk from the campground a circle of retired railroad cars make unique lodgings around a pool and hot tub. Next to the gift shop more railroad cars boast a full service restaurant, and just past that a bridge leads to a charming trail around a picturesque little pond.
A courtyard area equipped with games like corn hole and oversized jenga sat peacefully empty, but we bet lots of great memories get created in that space under more normal conditions. Our kids climbed on train cars and road their bikes in circles around the resort until their little bodies were exhausted and their curiosity content.
We spent two short nights here at Railroad Park Resort. Then we had to get back to the task of running our own small business in these challenging months, but our souls felt restored. We left with the feeling that maybe – just maybe – we had discovered one of the area’s “secret spots,” the kinds of places people whisper to their friends and return to year after year, filling the quiet spaces with laughter and joy.