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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Sunday, August 09, 2009



I’ve been practicing the fine art of tongue biting for a couple of days now. It feels more like weeks. My speech has improved as the wounds are healing, so I can once again communicate with Dan what is ticking me off. We aren’t good at Charades, so verbal skills are very necessary in our relationship.

We’ve had a very good camping and lodging season and for the most part all of our guests have been the ones you hope to see again. And it always makes it doubly nice when they aren’t finding things to complain about and in turn blame US for the reason they are complaining in the first place. An example is one I shared with you earlier this summer but I’ll share it again to give you an example!

If you go to www.rvparkreviews.com, you can click on a state, and then click on a town and see if there are any campground/park reviews about that particular campground/park. Most of our reviews have been ones to be proud of, but the one that I wrote about earlier this season is the one that the woman was blaming us for her cell phone not working in the U.P…that and mosquitoes.

OK, on with the tongue biting story. Two days ago, we had a man and his wife check in with a 40’ motor home, 3 slide outs…very nice unit. Most times the people with the big rigs are down to earth like Dan and I feel we are. Then there is the other side of the rainbow.

The man hadn’t been here even 40 minutes and he was in the office complaining about his lack of power. For those of you who are RV’ers you know how important steady, 120 volts are. And many of the units come equipped with a gizmo to measure voltage and amperage and how much their microwave uses and what their A/C is using, or their electric toothbrush…you get the idea.

He came in the lobby to let me know that the gizmo didn’t even register enough volts to run his A/C and that “YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW!!” I kept my cool and told him that all summer long no one else had complained and we had had RV’s in there just as large as his and that if he was that concerned I could call around to see if I could find a different campground for him. I explained to him that we know the voltage is 120 at the pedestals and is 120 at the transformer. He didn’t believe a word I said. He had some more words for me and told me he had spent $100 for his gizmo (he didn’t call it that) so he KNEW it was correct. Then he wanted to know if I could move him closer to the transformer. I offered to move him to a water and electric site (he currently had full hook up) which would get him closer to the transformer (his thinking is that the closer he is to the transformer, the more juice HE will have). He had some more things to say so I called Newberry Water and Light while he was standing in the lobby and asked them if they could please come out and check the voltage at the transformer and explained why. They said they’d be out as soon as someone was free. I asked the guest if he would like to stick around till they arrived since they TOO had expensive testing equipment and I thought Newberry W & L equipment cost more than $100 (by now I wasn’t being so cool and collected). He replied they had things to do but he had to have A/C so they could leave their dog in the motor home. I reminded him that he needed to pay an additional $2.00 per day for using air conditioning. His parting shot was “YOU need to get this fixed!!” And I once again offered to call other parks for him. By now, I was hoping he’d take me up on it (and no, I don’t care if he IS reading this!!)

Newberry Water and Light arrived about 20 minutes later and of course by now, this man was gone. The transformer was at 120 volts as was the pedestal at his campsite…and the other campsites too.

Dan came in and gave me the info and informed me had had picked up two rugs at this campsite. Now you may wonder why that is important, right??? In our rules it states we do not allow rugs or mats of any size or kind on the ground because it kills the grass. It also states that in the campground directory that he used to find us. AND I ALWAYS POINT IT OUT WHEN CHECKING ANYONE IN BECAUSE RARELY DOES ANYONE READ THE RULES!! And when guests check in they also sign a form that states they know we are not responsible for lost or missing items, that we do not give refunds for the discomfort of nature which includes mosquitoes and black flies and that they agree to read and comply with the rules and regulations. HE READ AND SIGNED THAT FORM.

So, I typed a note to take out and leave at his site. The note basically stated that “Newberry Water and Light checked the pedestal and the transformer with their professional, heavy duty equipment. The voltage is 120 at both places”. I went on to suggest that if he still had issues he should call Newberry Water and Light and ask for Matt. I also reminded him that when he checked in he was told there were no rugs or mats allowed and we had picked them up. I took the note out and fastened it to the dog leash that was fastened to their door…and guess what??? THEIR A/C WAS RUNNING!! Must be he found enough power some place!!! And what do you want to bet, when they leave, they won’t stop by to pay for the extra electricity for running the air???

Yep, you bet your bippy we are counting the days till we go to Alligator River and work with 4 legged critters instead of 2!!


  1. tractor guy9:02 AM

    Cathy Eric Burdo-Animals Tractor Guy


  3. Anonymous9:07 AM

    WE have a big motor home and have fount that $100 piece of equipment cannot always be trusted, so don't let the Jones's get you down!! Hope the power compnay doesn't charge you for hte trip out tocheck this stuff.

  4. Anonymous, Sometimes it is hard to not let the Jones's get you down, especially when they talk down to you like you are an idiot! Hard telling if there will be a bill from W & L since there wasn't a problem on their end. Time will tell on that one.

  5. Anonymous11:40 AM

    I bet you can't wait to head south!!! YOu and Dan need a break! I thought camping was supposed to be about getting away from it all,not taking it all with you! :-)

  6. One word for them: JERKS!
    Jesus S. Christ...if they want to have a zillion gigawatts, get a hotel. They are supposed to be CAMPING, not at the Ritz. What is WRONG with those people?????

    I can see how you could get sucked into their negative little bossy world where it is your job to be in servitude to them.
    I am sorry, but I would tell them to leave the park just on their attitude alone.
    There is a way to add comments to people's comments in those rating jigamajigs in appeal, isn't there?
    Well, if they leave a bad comment, just refer them to this blogpost.
    done deal.

  7. Retired One, Dan and I can understand why someone would be upset IF THERE WAS NOT 120 VOLTS AVAILABLE...but there WAS. THAT is why it is so difficult sometimes to adhere to "the customer is always right".

    No way to defend your park or make comments on the RV Park Reviews or any other park review websites.

    HA! Love your last comment!!

  8. Anonymous, one thing we have to remember is for some people with the big rigs it IS their home. While they have had to cut back on some things, there are still things that they want to be able to use. Some full timers have washer and dryer on board so they DO want to have a full 120 volts and would prefer 50 amp over a 30 amp. But I have a hard time trying to discuss this "stuff" with someone who just KNOWS he or she is right and we are wrong.

  9. The countdown is on! Enjoy the last little bit of summer and the camping season before you both hit the road!

  10. Ashley, yep!!! The countdown IS on!!!! It won't be long now!!

  11. Cathie - Traverse City11:51 AM

    I'm curious, did the Jones' have to come and pickup their rugs at your office?? Or did you leave them with the note??

    Just wondering if you could hold the rugs for the AC charge??

  12. Cathie, we placed them, folded up, in one of their lawn chairs...and they DID check out without paying for a/c. Figured they would! :-)

  13. Where I come from we'd call that guy a PUTZ.



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