We are heading to Freedom Valley in Fitchville, Ohio, about three and a half hours from here. Steve met Jeff Boone the owner, online in a Yahoo chat room in October of last year. We have been well aware that they just bought the campground and are converting it from a straight campground to a male only cg. Initially, there had been some nasty press about the changes in the small community of Fitchville. It seems there is a gentlemen’s club on the west end of the small town that recently opened and now there is a “gay male campground” on the east end. So, the holy rollers believe the town is going to hell! However, now that they have been operating since mid-April, the locals realize the boom “gay dollars” are to their business, much more than they ever realized from the straight cg. As a straight cg there were 11 seasonal camping sites. As a gay campground they already have 25 seasonal sites with a waiting list for more. They have applied to the state for licensing to expand the campground already. So, it seems the uproar has died down somewhat, thanks to the almighty dollar. It’s the American way!
The drive was pretty easy and we pull into the campground to find nobody in the office. Buzz a seasonal camper pulls up on his golf cart and tells us to call the office number. We tell him we do not have cell service and he calls for us but ends up having to leave a message. Soon, Jeff arrives and greets us like old friends and checks us in. Our site is right next to the dance hall and across from the pond. We are very pleased with our site.While we are setting up Jim and Dale stop by and chat and Buzz returns to talk more as well. Everyone is very friendly. Jeff asks when we were last at a meeting and I reply it’s been two months. He says, “You are going tonight”. The meeting is in Fitchville, less than a mile away. At the meeting, they ask if anybody is celebrating an anniversary and I suddenly realize that today is my anniversary—it has been 14 years since I’ve had a drink or a drug! How much of a coincidence is that?? It is strange being at a meeting with a bunch of straight people. Their habits and practices are different from ours. Meetings are run differently everywhere, but it works!
The next night everyone gathers in the clubhouse to watch Sordid Lives: The Series on Logo. There are 8 -10 people and many agree the series might be better than the movie. It has many of the same characters but the director seems more experienced. Various people call out lines as they are given on TV.
We needed dog food and some other supplies so we went to Mansfield, Ohio. I was surprised that Mansfield is very run down and seems very poor overall. Our later trip to Sandusky for more supplies turned out to be much nicer and the area seemed more well off. I would not go back to Mansfield; they are both about the same distance.
Later we walk the dogs around the pond and discover a horse on the other side. Rosemary goes crazy, we assume over the “big dog”. We walk down the steep hill at the back of the property reserved for smaller campers and tents and see where our friend Glenn likes to camp. It is a wonderful treed area with a few campers, but mostly tents.We have free WiFi service so, we decide to work and catch up on uploading photos to our website. We enjoy meeting Tom from Ohio and his beautiful boxer Annie. They are both friendly. Jeff takes us to another meeting on Friday night which is also movie night in the rec hall. The movie is in progress when we return. Michael set up a big screen and projector TV to watch Tom Murray’s movie “A Portable Tribe”. Everyone seems to enjoy the movie.
The pool is one of the nicest pools we’ve been in yet! It was just finished before July 4th. They have a nice water feature at the end. They have recently graded the soil and seeded. We literally are watching the grass grow. This place is new but on weekends already most of the chairs are filled! So, there are several hot guys to watch! We have discovered that usually, most guys gradually relax eventually removing their bathing suits. It is no different here!
Saturday is Country Western night in the rec hall and the place is packed, but the Country music only lasts briefly before disco picks up. Music started at 10, the crowd peaked at 11 and by 1 had mostly dispersed. There was a great crowd of guys several dressed in CW attire. Everyone was having fun. I like getting to bed early!
We decide that we are going to stay another week here to continue to catch up on our work. Next weekend is the Flea Market Weekend, and someone has reserved our site, specifically. We will have to move in the middle of the week. I’m not so sure that guaranteeing sites is the way to go. Maybe guarantee with qualifications.
We relax a little more, knowing we do not have to leave and we are getting to know the guys here. They are interesting men. Jim and Dale are planning to spend their winter at Thousand Palms just outside Inverness, Florida. They have bought another trailer to park here and will drive the trailer here to Florida. Apparently, the new trailer they bought is in mint condition, having been stored in a barn for 15-20 some years by it’s original owners. Thousand Palms will not allow trailers over so many years old. Thousand Palms is owned by the same people who own Campit in Saugatuck, Michigan and is right next door to Camp David. In January we stopped in to introduce ourselves to the owner Michael O’Connor. They already have a gay group that has formed at Thousand Palms.
Buzz is trying to figure out how he can retire a little early and live full time on the road as well. Our friend Glenn from Michigan has called Buzz asking him to convince us to stay a few days longer so that we can see him when he arrives.I took the truck to Don Tester Ford in Norwalk, Ohio to have the oil changed and a 40,000 mile service completed—all for $88.00—that’s great for a diesel oil change and service check. I certainly spend more money than that in Alexandria, Virginia. New London, Ohio which is 4 miles from the campground is a very nice little town and the grocery has fresh baked goods and is easy to access. It is very different than going to the grocery at home. I am beginning to like the advantages of small town living.
The additional weekend brought a “flea market” weekend. Everyone is setting up their sites to sell their “stuff” to everyone else. They also set up the rec hall with tables to display wares. This seems to bring in some unusual characters for the weekend, but overall the seasonal campers are a social and entertaining group of men. Again, the pool is packed on weekends and it is obvious that “day passes” are getting used more and more!Sunday we receive a call from Randy at Roseland, asking for specifics about our rig size and scheduled arrival time. After telling him the rig is 38 feet, he says they are moving us to site 800, from 104 because of a scheduling conflict. I ask if we should plan to pull in as far as the office then because we had been told to stop near site 104 and walk to the office. He tells me to pull all the way into the office.We have enjoyed meeting everyone here but it is time to head to Roseland in West Virginia—where we have been warned that getting our rig up the mountain will be treacherous. Several people have told us not to go and that they would not take our rig up there. We are not timid, so we do not change our plans.
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