Washington, District of Columbia
June 5, 2005
They offer a huge selection of gear for rent at moderate cost: tents, packs, coolers, grills, lanterns, fishing equipment, sleeping bags, water skis, 16-foot camping trailers, kayaks, canoes, powerboats, trailers, and bicycles, just to name a few.
An excellent campground is directly across the street form the center. It has comfortable, wooded sites for every type of camping from primitive tent to RV with full hookups. The quality of the shower and laundry rooms available is a big campground discriminator for me. The facilities here are among the best I’ve seen anywhere. The showers depicted below are individual occupancy, with the toilet and sink integrated into the same room—much better than the standard split type you find at a lot of campgrounds. There were four of these; all were super clean, well heated, and the showers instantly produced hot water.
Adjacent to the outdoor recreation building is the boat launch you see pictured below. You can rent many types of boats here, and they’ll put them in the water for you. The catch, as is typical with many military activities, is that you have to have a boater’s safety card in order to do so. They offer the class required to get one of these every Saturday at 1pm May through September. The launch is on the Chena River, which is a very popular canoeing destination for Fairbanks residents.
I rented a mountain bike for $10 a day and set out exploring. I found a post-managed multi-use wilderness area. Once one obtains the ubiquitous required permit, this area can be used for all sorts of activities ranging from four-wheeling on ATVs or jeeps to big-game hunting. Brochures are available at outdoor rec.
There is also a ski area on post for winter fun. The recreation center also offers discounted tickets to a variety of area attractions. I turned in my bike right before closing. The kid behind the counter said, "No worries, man". If you were late, you could just leave it out back." Overall, the Outdoor Recreation Center here is an excellent facility and a great benefit to the soldiers stationed here or those like me who are just passing through.
Building 4050, Ft. Wainwright
From journal Just Passing Through