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  • Writer's pictureTina Witherspoon

Lifestyle Photography: KOA Life

When I first met my husband, I was clear: I'm not a fan of camping. I don't like to sleep on the ground, I hate being cold or wet, I don't like "cowboy coffee" or having to rough it in general. When we were dating I gave it the old college try, but one sweltering weekend in eastern Washington that we now refer to as the weekend of so many bees was enough to make him stop asking me to go. Over the past few years however, we've discovered there's a way of camping that I actually really enjoy. It lands somewhere between sleeping on the ground in a tent and luxury RV living, and there are lots of options. We first rented a Teardrop camper in 2016 — it was cute and small and came with a whole kitchen set up in the back. It was literally just a bed on the inside, so when Whiskey came along we needed more space. We then upgraded to the Cricket Camper — the roof pops up so you can actually stand up straight and there's a sink hookup!

We pulled that Cricket behind our Jeep from Seattle to Durango, Colorado and back in the summer of 2018 for a family reunion, and it was incredibly comfortable! We stayed at RV parks and a couple of KOA's and just hooked up our water and electric like the RV owners, but felt ever so slightly cooler because of our Cricket. People even stopped to ask what it was.

All the KOA's we've stayed at have been clean, cute and the people were friendly, but when we were planning our trip to Lake Tahoe this past summer, we didn't really need a camper because we would eventually end up in a house with all the family together for a week, so we got creative. The KOA in Grants Pass, Oregon has converted a shipping container into a rental unit! It's so cute and so practical. There was even an air conditioning unit blowing lovely cool air in the room as soon as we arrived. And they allowed dogs!

They got very creative with the decor and for a super small space, it was just what we needed for a one night stop on our drive south. We stayed there on the way back as well and Whiskey got to say hi to those fat goats. The place was so cute and had so much character I couldn't help myself but purchase all the gift store items as souvenirs. The best part? The hot breakfast and large coffee served on the outdoor patio — just off the gift shop. Eggs and pancakes made to order!

We stayed in another KOA in Yellowstone with our canvas glamping tent — but that's a whole other story. I'll dig up those photos and share soon!

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