Martin and Gina Picke' purchased the park, previously known as Base Camp RV Resort. Martin grew up in New Zealand in the Auckland area and became involved in flying and moved to the southern California area to attend and then teach at a college for airline maintenance. While living in southern California, he met Gina, who has experience working as an architectural drafter, and the two got married and lived in the greater Los Angeles for many years. After a while they were looking for a way to move out of the region and to move somewhere more in the countryside and in the open.
“It was time to move and do something different, in a place that was more country and quieter than living in a large city,” said Martin.
The couple had spent time in an RV traveling through many different states across the western U.S. They fell in love with the RV life and went about looking at purchasing an RV park. But before they made the leap to the RV park they purchased a small motel with a few RV spaces, in Merrill in 2015 called the Wild Goose Lodge Motel.
Both Martin and Gina viewed the motel as a stepping stone, and after six years of running the motel they started looking for an RV park to purchase. They described running a motel as a 24/7 operation and said it was difficult to get time off to enjoy themselves.
After the motel they owned sold, there was one RV park still available to purchase that was on their list — Base Camp RV Resort in Lakeview.
Martin knew the area, as he and his friends from Merrill would go on motorcycle rides through the Lakeview region and to other parts of Lake County.
“I could see the potential in Lakeview and what it has to offer to the people of the region and to travelers,” said Martin.
The Picke's kept most of the original name of their motel in Merrill by calling the RV park the Wild Goose Meadows RV Park; Martin said he and Gina built a reputation for quality of service when they ran the motel in Merrill and wanted to keep the name very similar.
By Kevin Winter Lake County Examiner
~ A Little history on RV parks ~
During the 1800s, gypsies would use covered wagons throughout Europe. This innovative technique allowed them to live out of their wagons while being constantly on the move. It is believed these covered gypsy wagons are what sparked the creation of some of the very first RV campers in the United States.
The first RVs in America were independently built as single units. According to Smithsonian, the first RV was hand built onto a vehicle in 1904. It was illuminated through incandescent lights, and it featured an icebox and a radio. It could sleep up to four adults on bunks. Pop-Up Campers soon followed.
It wasn’t until 1910 that the first motorized campers started being produced in large quantities and became available for commercial sale. These first RVs provided very minimal temporary comfort. However, they allowed for a good night’s rest and a home-cooked meal.
As automobiles were becoming more inexpensive, and with incomes on the rise, car sales were skyrocketing and so was the population of camping enthusiasts. People began finding innovative ways to customize cars by hand to have lockers, bunks, and water tanks. These custom-built camper cars were usually in the form of trailers and towables that were hitched to a vehicle.
In 1910, the Pierce-Arrow Touring Landau was the first RV to make its debut at the Madison Square Garden auto show. It was comparable to a modern Class B van camper. This original RV featured a back seat that could fold down into a bed, as well as a sink that could be folded down to create more space.
The first campgrounds for automobile tourists were constructed in the late 1910s. Before that, tourists who couldn't afford to stay in a hotel either slept in their cars or pitched their tents in fields alongside the road. These were called auto camps.