b'ON CAMPGROUNDSOpen Year-Round, Harmony Lakeside Offers Plenty for Campersstage where the park hosts three con- Customers tell the owners of Harmony Lakeside that thecerts a year that are open to the general park isnt an RV park, but rather a resort, due to its amenitiesReports frompublic. Harmony Lakeside also has bas- and lodging accommodations. the field:ketball, pickleball and horseshoe courtsand a portable dance floor.Bob Ashley Wevehadthreeweddingshere,Joyce Hinkley said.Adorning the park are dozens of rho-dodendrons and five bronze statutesLocatedabouthalfwaybetween created by artist Jim Demetro that in-Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens, clude an 11-foot-tall Indian chief, a littleHarmony Lakeside RV Park and Cabins boy and girl playing and a man by a lakein Silver Creek, Wash., is more than it spearing a fish. They were here whenmight seem at first glance. we bought the park; they add a lot of theThe park sits on 12-mile-long Lake atmosphere, Joyce Hinkley said.Mayfieldwhichwasformedby Opening in 2003, the park originallydamming the Cowlitz River, and Joyce was a trailer court that served workersHinkleywho owns the park with hus- building the dam. Hinkley said it took sixband Ron Hinkleypurposely under- years to get paperwork approved when the snowbird season, Lea Taylor said.sells the park. the couple initially thought it would take We know that if we have the spots, wePeople tell me this isnt an RV park, two years. We got through it though, can sell them. We thought about addingthat its a resort. But we dont want to and everybodys happy, Hinkley said. cabins, but the problem is, we are in aoversell what we have here, she said. We This coming summer, Lakeside al- flood zone if there is a hurricane andwant people to find out for themselves. ready has booked 35 groups. We had a floodinsuranceissoexpensive.WeOpen year-round, the Hinkleys are wonderful year last year, she said. And eventually will bring in trailers to rent customers. During the winter the parkabout to embark on their 16th summer it looks like this year will be good, too. that we can move out when we need to. is filled with snowbirds staying a monthseason. In 2019, they opened 42 new During the winter, the park, about The original owner planned to build or more. In the summer its weekendsites across the highway from the origi- 100 miles south of Seattle, mostly sees 105 RV sites, she said, but it never hap- campers who maybe live three hoursnal park for a total of 122. Eight years workersonconstructionprojectsor pened. The current expansion, which away, she said. It a totally different an-ago, they started building cabins and people working on the Mayfield Dam a Taylor said should be complete late this imal. There is a lot more turnover in thenow have 24, 19 of which are deluxe and few miles away. About 15 sites were full year, probably will be the last. summer.five that are camping cabins. We have for the winter in February. We dont want to get any bigger than * * * * *gorgeous deluxe cabins, Hinkley said. A major seasonal draw, Hinkley said 50 sites, she said, because at some Shirley Belleville, owner of Merry DAll you need to bring is food and a is that Harmony Lakeside is about 60 point you have to start hiring people. RV Sanctuary, remembers Kissimmee,toothbrush. miles from Mount Rainer and Mount St. Besides owning Bay Hideaway, the Fla.,beforeDisneyWorldwasbuilt,This off season, they are adding a pool Helensineitherdirection.People Taylors rate parks in Louisiana and Ala- spawning other recreation venues thatthatcanbeeitheropenorenclosed, come here from all over the world, she bama for Good Sam. brought tens of millions of people toalong with a playground. The couple reported. We had three rigs from main- Located four miles from the Gulf of visit and to live in Central Florida.rents pontoons, fishing boats, paddle land China last year. A lot of people Mexico, Bay Hideaway amenities in- My family has owned the land sinceboats, kayaks and canoes. They also ac- come from Canada and a lot of people clude a rec hall with seating for more the late 1800s and my parents movedcommodate RVers who bring their own come from Oregon. than 40 people, outdoor pavilion with here in 1935 when there were just two-boats to launch off one of 26 docks Har- * * * * * a stone fireplace, off-leash dog park, lane dirt roads, said Belleville, who hasmony provides on Lake Mayfield. Leaand Randy Taylor, owners of Bay playground, nine-hole disc golf course owned the campground in partnershipOther park features include two club- HideawayRVPark inBaySt.Louis, andaheatedandairconditioned with her brother, Dan Dickson, for 10houses, one of which can hold 80 to 100 Miss., are adding 10 sites to the 40-site laundry. years.people and the second in the new sec- park they bought two years ago. There is a major difference between For a number of years the 126-sitetion that can hold 40. There also is a We are turning people away during BayHideawayssummerandwinter park, built in the 1960s, was a bird sanc-tuary, and still advertises itself as a placeto retreat from the stress and bustle oftodays Central Florida tourist attrac-tions and get closer to God and Nature.Wehavethatkindofmentality,Belleville said.About 40% of Merry D sites are oc-cupied permanently.Merry D features a fellowship hallwith bathroom, laundry facilities and ameeting room where potluck dinnersand ice cream socials are held. Theresalso an outdoor pavilion and an out-door chapel.Belleville said business this seasonhas been excellent, noting that thepark has two kinds of sitesone forsmaller RVs and another for 40-footerswith triple slide outs.Merry D also has a storage area thatcan hold up to 300 RVs or boats. Somebigcommunitiesaroundheredontallow RVs or boats to be stored on theowners property, so they store themhere, Belleville said.WCM Editor-at-Large Bob Ashley is a Central Indiana-based freelance writer/editor and a 25-year newspaper veteranwho has focused on the RV industry andnational recreation issues for the past19 years. He received the 2013 Distin-guishedServiceinRVJournalismawardfromtheRecreationVehicle Industry Association (RVIA). WCM12 -April 2020Woodalls Campground Management'