Trial by Fire: River Bottom Farms Family Campground (Swansea, SC)

I gripped the steering wheel with white knuckles, heart racing, wondering what I’d gotten myself into this time.

A few hours earlier, I had received a text from Steven saying he wanted me to haul the camper to the campground for the weekend while he finished up at work. I’d been saying I wanted to learn to pull the camper, so I could help him drive and be able to step-in in case of an emergency, but being thrown to the wolves wasn’t what I’d had in mind. That said, I’m not one to back down from a challenge, so I packed-up and headed to my in-law’s house to hook-up.

Before I knew it, the final checks were done, and I was sitting in the driver’s seat trying to remember to breath. Luckily, my father in-law was sitting in the passenger seat coaching me, and we only had an 18-mile trip on backroads to River Bottom Farms Family Campground in Swansea, South Carolina. River Bottom also was the site of our very first camping trip, so it only seemed fitting that it be the destination for another first: my first time towing.

It may have been the longest trip to Swansea we’d ever taken, but we eventually pulled into the campground without any damage to people or property: success in my book! We checked-in, then headed to our site, a large pull-through at the back of the park. With a little more help from my in-laws, I got the rig parked, unhitched, and got to work setting up. It was new territory to be setting up on my own too, since usually Steven does everything outside, while I set-up inside and watch the kids. Finally, I completed my mission and headed home to pack up the rest of our supplies for the weekend.

The rest of the weekend was much less traumatic. We’re lucky to have a campground like River Bottom as our “local” campground. It’s a smaller park, with large lots, full hook-up, fishing ponds, and lots of fun activities for the kids. It’s also close to Columbia, if you’re in town for a football game or want to visit any other attractions. They also have decent WIFI and good cell service, if you want to work or do virtual school from your site. Pricing also is affordable at $38-45 per night, depending on your dates and site selection.

We had snagged a spot for one of River Bottom’s popular Halloween weekends, which run throughout the month of October, and the schedule of activities didn’t disappoint. The boys particularly enjoy the costume contest and the trick-or-treating. This year, our oldest assigned our costumes based on the Jurassic World Lego movie. So, he was the Indominus Rex. I was a raptor. Steven was Owen Grady, and little Jase was a hot dog. Unfortunately, we were robbed in the costume contest again this year. We’re coming for that prize next year!

When we weren’t enjoying the Halloween festivities, the boys enjoyed mining for fossils and gems, jumping on the jump pillow, and playing on the playground. Everett even ran into some friends from his preschool on the playground. The adults enjoyed fishing, sitting by the campfire, and the company of friends. We did get a little bit of rain on Saturday, but nothing severe, and the boys loved the opportunity to jump in some puddles.

On Sunday, we packed-up, and I got behind the steering wheel again. The return trip was slightly less terror inducing, despite damp roads, and I had a sense of accomplishment when we got to our destination. I’m definitely not ready to hit the road alone, and I’m still nervous about the prospect of tackling interstates, but I’m getting there!

River Bottom Farms – March 2019
River Bottom Farms – 2020

Until next time, don’t forget to seek the scenic!

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