Rant #1: Respect for Lago Linda's
Lago Linda's is a
campground many climbers have come to know as either the 'other'
climber's hangout or the 'retirement' campground. It's reputation was
formed by some frequent travelers to the area who are for the most part
'locals' to the Red. Linda is the owner of the site and has learned
over time that instead of horses, climbers can be her new business.
It's been a rocky road building the relationship with Linda since the
climbing culture lends itself to some challenges for the business owner.
Climbers have a reputation for being 'dirt bags' and with that
reputation comes the quest for spending the least while out climbing. We
like our free access; we want free camping; the least amount of
reliable, free internet and a hot shower. Everything else is bonus.
Well, some would argue the shower is bonus, but I'm leaving it in the
The campground has
changed a lot since my first time staying there in 2006. Back then, the
'locals' camped in their cars, there was no internet, only a few RVs and
some tents, one shower, no cafe hours (let alone food). It was mostly a
serene, quiet place to stay. Today, the campground is littered with
tents and RVs, Uclimb brings a lot of new business, the boy scouts bring
their troops, there's a reliable weekend breakfast at the cafe,
interenet (when it's working), construction is underway on a new
dormitory, the plans for a new bath house is in the works and Linda has
bought new acreage boasting potential climbs for her guests.
Although her Hideaway is ever changing, Linda, herself is
not. She has high standards and she holds everyone to them. This means
her campsite is kept up with impeccable scrutiny. When you come to camp
there, you are embarking on a relationship with Linda. If you are not
prepared for this, you shouldn't camp there. I've compiled some tips to
help you navigate and forge a favorable impression, which will keep the
grounds open to climbers and ensure everyone has an enjoyable experience
into the future.
The first and most critial thing to remember about
Linda is that she is not from Kentucky. She's British and the
Brits have manners. Show some respect by greeting her when you see her.
Her rules around the campsite have meaning. Follow them. If something
breaks, notify her. If water is spewing endlessly from a spout, notify
her. If you see someone poaching a site or a shower, notify her. Linda
can keep the camping rates low because her costs and upkeep/maintenance
on the property can be reasonable. If she has to pay higher utility
bills, for example, then the cost is passed down to us, the climbers.
And, let's not forget the environmental issue of just letting water run
and run and run. If you want to live like a slob and not care about
anything on the site or around you, then camp at Miguel's. Linda won't
tolerate it. And, she is quick to pull the plug for the rest of us.
If you aren't feeling the ramifications of past
infractions, then you haven't stayed there long enough. Despite the
setting in rural Kentucky where recycling isn't in their language, try
to remember that Linda and her Hideaway are more sophisticated than
that. Just have a conversation with her and you will quickly realize
that she is a force to be reckoned with, a person with conviction, she's
smart and quick witted. Don't be fooled, she knows what you might be up
to and she knows it's 'fiscal' not 'physical' court, unlike many in
Linda puts her heart into her business. She
takes great care of her cabins and her property because she sees it as a
reflection of herself. For this reason, when people take advantage of
her hospitality or disrespect her rules, she takes that as a personal
Her Breezy Point cabin, for example, is a place
she retires to from time to time in the winter. For her, it's a second
home. But, for the short term renter in rural Kentucky, the temptation
is to party hearty then dissappear. Afterall, isn't that what vacations
are for, letting your hair down, cutting loose and having someone else
clean up after you? Well, not here and especially not with Breezy
Point. It took one bad experience with a renter (who happened to be a
climber) and she shut down renting the cabin to climbers indefinitely.
Linda's biggest fear is that people will cheat
her out of her due or take advantage of her in some other way (like
trashing a cabin of hers). Linda wants respect. She's not your
mother, your mother doesn't camp here and yes, you are capable of being
a responsible camper on her site. If none of this resonates with you, I
suggest you camp somewhere else. Otherwise, the best way to manage your
relationship with Linda is to great her when you see her, notify her of
things in camp that require her attention, and above all be honest and forthcoming about your
situation and your plans. She may just surprise you.