During the 2020 camping season we were lucky to find ROAM Adventure Basecamp, but we were also in the midst of the beginning of a pandemic. So, taking advantage of everything this great campground for cyclists had to offer wasn’t in the cards for us.
However, in 2021 we returned vaccinated, ready to enjoy the three things we couldn’t in 2020: Most importantly, the sauna! But also, the bathrooms and showers (which we also have in our camper, but we prefer to use on-site facilities if we can).
First up, let’s talk about the restrooms and showers.
The restrooms (no picture):
- Actual flushing toilets!
- Running water.
We were expecting the toilets to be pit toilets, so if you are a camper ~ you know how exciting it is to have an actual flushing toilet available!
The showers (pictured above):
- Good value! (Bring Quarters. See below).
We can take showers in our camper, but they are often very brief because we are trying to limit our water intake to our grey water tank. To be able to take more than the equivalent of a sponge bath was AWESOME! We went for the 4.5 minutes for 75 cents, and it was a complete luxury in the world of campground camping.
Being able to hop into the showers directly from a bike ride, and after a sauna session, are both huge bonuses! We especially can not understate enough how great it is to be able to take a good shower after a gravel ride!
This sauna is AWESOME! When we were here in May 2021 there was still a sign up sheet so that you could have individual/pandemic safe sauna time with your group/person. Sign up early in the morning, because the time slots will fill up!
Some sauna tips/info:
- This is a wood fire sauna. You need to know this because….
- If you are the first one on the list ~ you need to get there early to start the fire.
- This is a really nice part of the ritual. ROAM provides fire starters and refills the wood, so you are good to go. We were the first people in for the evening, we found the fire starter to work GREAT. It does take awhile for the sauna to warm up, but once it gets going, it GETS GOING!
- Sitting up on the top bench there is a nice window to look out at the trees. Just lovely.
Site 22 October 2020
Site 22 May 2021
In our previous Scouting Notes we recommended Site 22, we no longer recommended Site 22. Because…
New Road. Cabins will be to the left.
Where the cabins will be. That's the upper restroom building to the left.
NEW Cabins coming. Campsite 22 has completely changed because ROAM is adding a few more brand new cabins in this loop of the campground. This will be a great addition because the cabins are really popular, and a great option for winter (they are heated!). However, now that site 22 has changed we have new recommendations. [Cabins can be found directly on ROAM’s website, but also on airbnb].
NEW? Campsites. If you were at ROAM last year, you may have seen when you pulled in there was a sign for ‘Campground Host” at the left. This site is no longer there and a road with new? campsites is there. They are on the campground map, but we do not remember them being there. Regardless, this is a great new? feature to the campground. On the current map it lists these sites as tent sites, but we think site 24 would make a great site for us if they let us use it…
This trip we stayed in site 4, which is a pull through site (we normally don't go for those) that was actually nice.
But across from 4 is now our ideal site (as long as it is a dry year and not super wet behind these sites) ~ Site 6.
All of the ‘luxury’ camping experiences make ROAM well worth the price! As campers who typically camp off-the grid in National Forest land, we already found ROAM to be such a great gem. Camping at a campground where literally EVERYONE is there to bike, is just wonderful. And then on top of it to feel like you are essentially at a ‘boutique’ campground is the cherry on the top. We can’t recommend ROAM enough.
And Mo, the owner and a cyclist, is usually around and super helpful with any questions you might have or information you might need.
Hiking near ROAM
Additionally, when were were at ROAM in the fall of 2020, we used some of the mountain biking trails to hike with our dogs (on leash). We use these trails early in the morning, or late in the day ~ so have only encountered cyclists once (and they were very nice to us). Mo told us he also has a trail at the campground; we did not use it, but may in the future. Having some nice places to walk with the dogs is a great bonus. Heck, even just walking down the road here is nice.
2021 Skeeter rating:
When we were there early this year with each warming day, the mosquitos were increasing in number. That said, our skeeter rating remains the same. If you are lucky to be here on a dry year and not after a hatch, yay! If you are here on a wet year with lots of hatches, not so good…. And of course the fall is always better.
Cycling: Lake Helane Loop
During our fall 2020 visit, we found a new gravel loop we have fallen in love with. We are both kids from Wisconsin, and can honestly say we never ever thought we would be camping there as adults, riding gravel bikes there, and on top of it all finding one of literally favorite places on the planet ~ Lake Helane.
We have now cycled this loop at least four times. It is a super fun loop from ROAM as it has varied and challenging terrain. A great opportunity to beef up your sand riding skills (tip: It is OK to get off the bike and walk!).
And the reward of this ride is Lake Helane. One of honestly THE most beautiful places in the world. When we were here last, it was just us and the loons. The sense of solitude and peace in this spot is really unmatched. It feels pristine, and incredibly special.
If you are on Strava, you can follow me for more details on the route: D äventyr.
We encourage you to get out and äventyr ~ even if it is just renting a cabin, sitting in the Sauna, and eating some Tilly's Pie (see 2020 Scouting notes below).
You can read our Scouting Notes written in 2020 HERE.