OK…So we all have our idea of what an ideal site is. Whether it’s on the beach, in the woods or on a hilltop overlooking a valley. They are all nice in their own respect. We like them all depending on the area we are in. For us, in NY, our ideal site would be a quiet end row site in a wooded area, though with an opening so not to block our Dish Network access, not a lot of kids near by, and nothing behind us but open or wooded land. Oh, and of course, good Wi-Fi. Is that asking for too much? I did say our ideal site, which would be in an ideal world. But alas.
We always find ourselves coming back to our roots, Rochester, NY. This is where our family, friends and doctors are. So every summer we return and were lucky enough that we found Southwoods RV Resort. You see, we also are very grateful (an understatement) as they offered to build us a seasonal site so that we may come back every year. Yes, I said, “Build us a seasonal site”. Why? Well we guess it was their way of being able to give back to us for what we did for them and the guests of their park. Read on.
I won’t bore you with a ton of details but the short story is this…
The Wi-Fi in the park was horrible. It was so bad David actually went up to the park owner and said…”Do you know how bad your Wi-Fi is? It’s really bad.” Being a mom and pop operation they had not updated there Wi-Fi in a while for costs can be hard on such a park. Well, David, being the techie and awesome guy that he is, offered to help, for free, asking for nothing in return, to design and install a completely new Wi-Fi system for the park and they took him up on it. At first I think they were not too sure at first if this was some sort of scam. Who would not think that? After all, someone willing to design, program and install a commercial grade Wi-Fi system for free? Oh come on! Too good to be true right? Well they put their trust in him and took him up on it. During our month stay, which extended into two months, we became good friends with the park owners, Mike and Sue, and they wanted us to come back every year. It surly was mutual that we wanted Southwoods to be our “home base” in the summertime. The issue however is that they are a really busy and full park most of the time, so getting a reservation for a long period of time, in the same site, is difficult at best.
Unknown to us, Mike and Sue came up with a plan. A few days before we were to leave last summer they drove us in their golf cart to the back of the park and pointed at some woods. They said, “Well, what do you think?”
“Umm….not sure what you mean”, we said. Being full of thick brush and trees we weren’t sure where they were going with this. Did they need more Wi-Fi back here? Nope….
“Well, we want you guys to come back every year so we want to build you a custom seasonal site to fit your motor home.”
What?! Really?! No Way!!! Yup way!
We were shocked and amazed for we are the ones usually helping others. As some of you know, we have done several Wi-Fi systems for RV parks. All free of charge. Either doing it all or just consulting. Look…David gets bored and this gives him something to do. And you know what…he is kind of good at it. But maybe I am bias. The point being NO ONE as EVER offered to do such a kind thing for us. But we surely have, and thank, other parks that allow us to come in any time. We have made some good friends helping out. In any case, this time, we were and remain blown alway as we wanted a lot that was ours. To always have a place.
So this is how the “Bott-Lott” (Spelling Intended), as it was dubbed, was born.
August 4, 2014 was the start of the “Bott-Lott”. What had to happen first was clearing everything out. Trees needed to be taken down and lots and lots of bon fires were burned to dispose of the brush. The fires burned so hot and for so long that when we went to check on the progress the next day; the pile of ash was still smoldering and still very hot under the ash.
Sad to say lots of trees had to come down. Good news is a few of them were already rotted out so they would have come down eventually anyway. We wanted to keep as many trees as we could.
Not much progress was made during the rest of the summer. We were already gone on another adventure and the owners were concentrating on running the park during their busy season.
Once we got back to Southwoods this past May (2015), Mike, his work camper Bill and David got to work. The area was cleared out more. More trees and brush went into the burn pile until we were finally ready to start building it up again.
We had to add lots of dirt to level things off. David was super excited to learn how to drive and operate the dump truck, roller, a bulldozer, and is getting “three easy lessons” on using a backhoe. (Mike is a total pro with all heavy equipment.)
The rain really did a number on this project. There were weeks sometimes that no progress was made because we had so much rain fall. And when it wasn’t raining it was too muddy to do anything. We were all hoping that we could move onto the site by mid June but alas, that was not to be.
Once the rain stopped and it dried up for a while, we were able to really make some headway.
The sewer pipe, electric, water and cable tv were all installed.
We wanted a concrete patio to walk out onto, so we measured for a large 45 foot by 13 foot pad. Yes, we know this is big. Most people, we were told, usually stop where their awning stops. However, we like to be able to sit under our awning in the rain and still enjoy the outdoors. We also did not want to have patio furniture crowding our space. So large it was and it was a great decision. We love having the room to spread out.
Once the concrete patio was in and cured, we were able to put in the rv pad. We chose to go with repurposed asphalt as it will harden more over time and it is less dusty than the alternative, crusher run stone.
Once this was in it was, dare I say, time to move onto the Bott-Lott! So July 15, 2015 we moved the coach onto the “Bott-Lott”. Can you tell we were excited! End row site? Check! In the woods? Check! Quiet area? Check! No one behind us? Check! Low children activity? Check! Oh my, could it be our ideal site? CHECK!!!! And as a bonus…We’re not only on the end site…but in a circle and thus no one on either side! Super Check!
Well…we have a mud pit next to us as we do not have a lawn yet and more construction is needed, but this is home now.
Time to lay more stone for the fire pit area and have our first campfire with the Furno’s.
So what do you do when you want an instant lawn? You get sod of course. Now time to get rid of our dirt yard. I’m sure our neighbors are getting anxious for this project to be done soon as much as we are.
Almost done. Now we have a shed built on another congret pad that we had poured.
Once the shed was done we stained it and of course, surprise, surprise, David got to work putting in an outdoor theater. You see, that’s really the only thing that we miss from our house is our dedicated theater. So now we can enjoy movies and football and such outside on a big screen.
Oh yes, one last thing had to be done! The Bott-Lott party! We call it a “Camp Jam” where we invited anyone who wanted to come to gather around a campfire and have live music. A Jam session. Of course David got into that. This was our way of saying thanks to all the seasonal campers that put up with the construction project over the summer. And boy was it a project. It was also a way to say thanks to Mike, Bill, and Sue for making this happen for us. We are so touched by this. So we ordered sheet pizzas, played music, drank, and just had a good old time well into the evening.
One last way to say thanks and show how much this means, David produced a video with his quadcopter showing off our new home base lot….the “Bott-Lott”.
Oh, and that Wi-Fi network David built…Here it is…
We truly are grateful that the Southwoods community has embraced us like they have and that we truly feel part of the Southwoods family. Thank you to all that have helped in the building of the Bott Lott! Mike, Bill, Sue and the various seasonal’s that pitched in. Words can not express our gratitude.