We had planned to come out today (Thursday) but hearing a forecast for rain and getting nervous about getting a site, we decided yesterday morning that, with a little push, we could make the trip in the afternoon. We arrived around 5:00 and the host told us there were only a few non-reservable sites left, but that he had just gotten two cancellations in the loop near our friends.
Now. Here's the scoop on that kind of situation, at least in Corps of Engineers campgrounds. If someone goes online and grabs up that spot before you claim it, you are out of luck, even if you are standing at the check-in booth and they are in Timbuktu. So you really don't want to drive around checking out the sites, fill up your water tank, get a pedicure, or finish reading (or writing) a book before you act. We opted for one of the sites immediately, showed our IDs, senior cards and paid our money.
And we lucked out. The site was a little tight to back into but spacious and shady with a view of the river. We shared a simple supper, went for a bike ride around the campground, and watched the sunset. On our bike ride, we noticed that most of the non-reservable sites had been taken and if we had waited until today, very possibly would not have gotten a site. The host did tell us that next year, all of the sites will be reservable. Ironically, that may make it easier for walkins. In a lot of these campground, local people pay for a site for extra days in order to be sure they have one for the weekend. Now that won't be necessary so more spots may be available during the week.
Meanwhile we will enjoy our good fortune. The forecast is for HOT before it gets HOTTER. I think the wineries are air conditioned.