Caesar Creek State Park, OH
Wilmington, OH - Events of Friday, August 10 to Thursday, August 16, 2012
We took our time again leaving Little Farm on the River RV Resort on Friday because we had another short drive of only about 1½ hours to our next destination at Caesar Creek State Park near Wilmington, OH. Caesar Creek SP has always has been a favorite place of ours. It is located northeast of Cincinnati, and it is about 5 hours from where we used to live in Pittsburgh. We used to camp there on almost every long holiday weekend.
One of the things we like about Caesar Creek is the widely-spaced, grassy sites. Another thing we like is the fact the place us usually pretty empty during the week. In fact, Caesar Creek, along with some of the other Ohio state parks, honor Passport America from Sunday through Wednesday nights for half-price camping in order to help boost business during the week.
We pulled into Caesar Creek shortly after noon. Caesar Creek, like most Ohio state parks, has only electric hookups. There are spigots about every 8 or 10 sites where you can fill your fresh water tank.
The electrical hookups are 20/30 amp. When Margery made our reservations for this stop, however, she noticed a number of the sites have been designated as tent sites. When we arrived, we saw sections where the electrical boxes had stickers on them that said "20 amp only." Paul's theory is some of the underground electrical cables for the 30-amp circuits have gone bad, and budget shortages have prevented replacing them. Therefore, the 30-amp service to those sites has been shut off the sites are only used for tenters. The tent sites are clearly indicated on the reservation web page, so you don't have to worry about arriving to find out you only have 20 amps.
The roads and pads at Caesar Creek are paved. Most of the pads are rather short, and some of them also have a bit of a slope from front to back. The one we had this time was a little low in back, but at least we didn't have to put blocks under the rear wheels like we have had to do on a couple of occasions at Caesar Creek.
Although Caesar Creek is usually quiet during the week, it is close to both Cincinnati and Dayton, and it can be very crowded and zooy on holiday weekends. The size of the crowd varies on regular weekends during the summer, but the campground is usually nearly full. This time, however, the campground was only about half full. The next photo shows some of our neighboring sites, and you can get an idea of the size of the crowd. The campground emptied out on Sunday, and we pretty much had the place to ourselves the rest of our stay.
The weather has been getting a little cooler as we head north, and a cold front went through just before we got to Caesar Creek. That was a good thing because we only had 30-amp electric. Daytime highs were predicted to be in the 70s to low 80s, and the lows were supposed to be in the 50s and 60s. When we got up on Saturday morning, it almost felt like fall.
The fact that there are several large flea markets in the area is another thing we like about Caesar Creek. We used to go to two or three of them on a weekend when we had a stick house. Now we only go to one or two. After breakfast on Saturday, we headed to Caesar Creek Flea Market, which is located only about 5 miles from the campground down at the interstate exit.
Caesar Creek Flea Market has both indoor and outdoor vendors, and they have a mix of new and used merchandise. We weren't aware of it until we arrived, but the flea market had a fire back in March that damaged part of the indoor area. Fortunately, the fire was extinguished relatively quickly, so the fire damage was limited to a fairly small area. Unfortunately, smoke spread throughout the entire indoor area, and all 7 buildings had to be closed for cleaning and restoration.
Immediately after the fire, the market owners contacted the vendors and offered them all an outdoor space at no cost until the buildings could be restored and reopened. The outdoor portion of the market was only closed for one weekend following the fire.
Building 1, which was the farthest from the area of the fire, was reopened in May, and Buildings 2 and 3 were just reopened in late July. They expect the remaining 4 buildings to open within another month or so.
We first headed down the covered outdoor area toward the far end of the market. This is where most of the indoor vendors have temporarily relocated, and we recognized some of them from previous visits to the flea market. It was a cool morning so there weren't too many customers in the outdoor area yet.
When we got to the far end of the market, we couldn't see any fire damage apparent from the outside of the buildings, but we could see dumpsters between the buildings. We also saw where work has been going on inside.
We headed back toward the three buildings that were open and worked our way through those. The inside looked nice and bright after the renovations. Everything has been cleaned up and repainted, and all the pegboard dividers between the booths had been replaced.
Margery stopped at her favorite used book vendor. He used to have a large booth that encompassed 7 stalls, but now he had one temporary stall in the recently reopened Building 3.
Margery found several books by one of her favorite authors. Even though she has a Kindle reader, she still buys some hard-copy books because not everything is available in Kindle format. She was happy to be able to support one of her favorite vendors.
Paul stopped at a vendor in Building 1 to check out electrical connectors, tools and hardware. He didn't find anything he couldn't live without, so we escaped without making a purchase.
In addition to the indoor areas and a covered, outdoor area, there are also large vendor areas in the parking lot. After finishing up inside, we headed there next. By this time, it had warmed up significantly (Paul was wishing he had worn shorts), and the outdoor area was fairly busy.
The outdoor area also has a food service area. There was a very good bluegrass band playing when we walked by on our way back to the car.
After the flea market, we headed back to the campground for an afternoon of relaxation watching the Olympics. On Sunday, it was more relaxation watching the NASCAR race and more Olympics including the closing ceremonies in the evening. We also enjoyed watching the campground empty out as the weekend warriors headed back home.
Other than the flea market, we didn't have any activities planned for Caesar Creek. We drove to nearby Lebanon, OH on Monday to stop at Walmart and Kroger. Kroger is Margery's favorite grocery chain, and the one in Lebanon is particularly nice. It recently moved into much larger building that used to be a K-Mart.
On Tuesday, we had to run out to Lowe's in Wilmington to get materials for Paul to make a new tie-out chain for Freeway. The maintenance crew ran over the one we had with their mower while we were out on Monday and chopped it into little pieces. We use a custom-made tie-out chain that is shorter and lighter weight than the standard ones that are available because Freeway is so small.
Paul puttered around doing a couple of maintenance items on the car and the motor home, but we spent most of the rest of our time at Caesar Creek relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet. One of the advantages to an almost-empty campground is the opportunity to see wildlife. Paul saw a doe and her two fawns walk by at the end of the road on a couple of mornings; and on Wednesday evening, they paid a visit to the site next to us. We watched them graze for several minutes before they moved on.
On Thursday morning, we packed up, hitched up the car, made a stop at the dump station and headed out to our next destination. We'll tell you where that was in our next post.