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Showing up late in campground - got a call back

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avatar Showing up late in campground - got a call back
June 21, 2014 10:43AM
I have four nights starting tonight in the Valley, but we're kind of late packing and getting ready. I called early and there was no operator at the Valley campground office and left a message with my site #, name, and reservation # - that I would be late a day and didn't want it cancelled. So everything is set up I thought.

Then over an hour later I get a call (to my number on file with Recreation.gov) from the campground office asking me if I intend to come in before or after noon. I was thinking I wanted to come in early on Sunday and maybe unload at the campsite, but the clerk tells me that they could make the site available and I could get a credit if I agree to come in after the regular checkin time. I asked about how it works, and he said they have a waiting list.

Anyone else done this before? So would it become available as a credit on Recreation.gov or just a credit to my credit card on file?

And can anyone recommend a place to stay in Merced?
avatar Re: Showing up late in campground - got a call back
June 21, 2014 03:08PM
How late were you packing? If you could arrive by 9:00 PM and set up your camp by 10:00 PM quiet hours curfew, I would just have arrived late at the campsite tonight.

In regards to lodging in Merced, the Courtyard By Marriott in Merced was fine that last time I was there.

Haven't been there in at least three years though.

.
Re: Showing up late in campground - got a call back
June 21, 2014 05:18PM
Normally if you call within 1 day of your arrival time and say you'll be a day late they will hold your reservation but charge you a $10 "reservation change fee" and you will forfeit you first night camping fee of $20. Sounds like they were trying to get your OK to give away your campsite the first night since you wouldn't be there and with your OK to do so credit you either the $20 or the $10. The waiting list they mentioned refers to the people who show up at the campground reservation office in the Camp Curry parking lot in the wee hours of the morning and put their name on a list for any called in cancellations (like you). Hopefully everything worked out and you got your campsite OK. Even if you don't call, If you arrive before noon on your second day you lose nothing and they do not give your first night away.
avatar Re: Showing up late in campground - got a call back
June 21, 2014 07:13PM
Quote
mtn man
Normally if you call within 1 day of your arrival time and say you'll be a day late they will hold your reservation but charge you a $10 "reservation change fee" and you will forfeit you first night camping fee of $20. Sounds like they were trying to get your OK to give away your campsite the first night since you wouldn't be there and with your OK to do so credit you either the $20 or the $10. The waiting list they mentioned refers to the people who show up at the campground reservation office in the Camp Curry parking lot in the wee hours of the morning and put their name on a list for any called in cancellations (like you). Hopefully everything worked out and you got your campsite OK. Even if you don't call, If you arrive before noon on your second day you lose nothing and they do not give your first night away.

They say the entire reservation can be cancelled if I don't show by 10 AM the day after the first night - or I call in.

I'm just going to leave early in the morning.
avatar Re: Showing up late in campground - got a call back
June 21, 2014 07:20PM
I just checked my reservation again, and there's something really messed up. It's now showing a reservation only for Sat-Mon (two days) when I originally had Sat-Wed (four nights). I'm trying to figure out what happened. I still have my original reservation printed.

I'm not sure what happened. Maybe someone cancelled the wrong dates? I only agreed to give up one night Saturday.

Addendum: It did occur to me that this may be the way they decided to credit me back, although two nights would seem to be strange. It's my understanding that after a site-day has been reserved, it no longer goes back into the NRRS (even when cancelled) and the campground office manually works with the "available inventory". I'm hoping that they still have me for Sun-Wed. I didn't check until after the campground office was closed, so my plan is to leave early in the morning and sort this out when I get there.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2014 08:45PM by y_p_w.
avatar Re: Showing up late in campground - got a call back
June 22, 2014 10:44AM
Got through and haven't left yet. It apparently was modified. The have my number and say that they'll figure something out since it appears to be their mistake.
avatar Re: Showing up late in campground - got a call back
June 22, 2014 12:33PM
Hope everything works out alright at the end. It would suck if your Yosemite vacation was cut short due to an error on their part.

.
avatar Re: Showing up late in campground - got a call back
June 23, 2014 07:33AM
I got a site and didn't have to move/split up night. One option was to show up at the original site and then go to the campground office in the morning to get two more nights to finish.

In the end they worked to get another site at Upper Pines. They were talking about all sorts of stuff, including (I think) some lettered sites that aren't normally available to the public. It was kind of frantic too, with two rangers working together to make sure someone didn't take a site online that they just released. So apparently the way it works is that they can hold cancelled reservations at the campground office and release them. When they're released, anyone can book it, but of course they know when. So that's their foil against scalpers - that it doesn't go back into the inventory immediately and there's no way for the scalper to know when to try and grab it after canceling.

I did have to pay. They said the cancelled dates would automatically go back to my credit card.

The site isn't bad.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/23/2014 07:36AM by y_p_w.
avatar Re: Showing up late in campground - got a call back
June 23, 2014 08:43AM
Good to hear that everything worked out at the end to your satisfaction.

Have a great time up there. Wish I had more time to spend in Yosemite this summer.

.
avatar Re: Showing up late in campground - got a call back
June 26, 2014 09:04AM
Quote
plawrence
Good to hear that everything worked out at the end to your satisfaction.

Have a great time up there. Wish I had more time to spend in Yosemite this summer.

.

It was interesting in the campground office. Several people were inquiring about availability, including some who wanted to switch to a different campground if possible. In fact, there was one person who I think was in North Pines but wanted a site in Upper Pines to be closer to friends. The ranger said sorry to them, that I had priority for this site in Upper Pines because I would have otherwise been without a site for two day due to their error.

Also - I realize that releasing a campsite reservation to NRRS the day of or the day before probably isn't going to help a scalper, since they'll need some sort of leadoff time to sell. It's not as if they could hang around the Pines campgrounds holding a sign saying "Sites Available" or "Will Buy Extra Campsites". I'd just like to see how long it takes before LE rangers show up.

I also made a mistake of starting our campfire late, but nobody complained. I started well before 10 PM, but I'm not that experienced with how long a fire should last. I admit that it was still going well after 10 PM, and I was worried when I saw an LE ranger patrol car passing through without getting out or telling me anything. I think their priority was looking for unsecured food.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2014 09:10AM by y_p_w.
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