As I mentioned in my very first “American Nomad” post , my husband and I once lived a truly nomadic lifestyle, calling a 24-foot-long travel trailer home for well over a year. Besides relishing the open road – and the intriguing people and places that we encountered along the way – we were fascinated by RV parks in general. Through our screen door, the scene was ever-changing – from the rugged terrain of a campground beside the Grand Canyon  to the wooded, summer camp-like setting of one near Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park  to the bright, desert-like landscape of a resort in Phoenix .
Our cat – who has sadly since passed away – seemed to appreciate the ever-changing scenery, too. Every time we arrived in a new place, we'd set up the RV – which, essentially, meant struggling to get it parked (often requiring a lot of shouting), hooking up the hoses and electrical cord (unless it was a primitive campground), unfurling the awning (in non-windy locales, of course), and making sure that nothing had broken during transit (which was usually a guarantee) – then we'd watch the kitty as she took in her new surroundings. She could sit beside the screen door for hours, watching our new neighbors and the other critters that went by.
Just yesterday, I was looking at some old photographs of our days as full-time RVers, and I remembered another wonderful facet of RV parks in the United States – something that our cat certainly valued. No matter where we ended up – or how long we stayed – we noticed that every RV park had its own unique flora and fauna – a fact that made many of these temporary locales more curious than the attractions we'd come to see. There were the cacti and lizards of New Mexico, the wildflowers and fish in southern Arkansas, the swaying palm trees and jackrabbits on South Padre Island, and much, much more.
While some campgrounds, such as Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park  in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, encourage people (kids especially) to treasure the natural world with outdoor activities like pond fishing and duck feeding, such diversions aren't necessary for travelers to cultivate an appreciation for the different places they encounter. So, remember that the next time you venture out on your own RV vacation. Even a primitive campground can offer a wealth of natural sights – and even better, most of them are free!
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below or contact me at laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com.