Monday, February 5, 2018

Strange Night at Free Camping

Well that was interesting. My lovely wife and I had set up camp. A young man pulled in beside us and asked about camping. He and a couple friends wanted to try camping but were unable to find room in any campgrounds. Us snowbirds had filled up all the normal campgrounds.

I explained to him how the permit system worked. He wasn't sure there were any sites available. The young man seemed like a nice kid so I said we would not mind if they camped next to us. There was plenty of room.

Right after dark the guy shows up with his friends and starts trying to figure out how to set up camp. I wasn't paying much attention, but then there was another vehicle stopped and a lot of flashlights were moving around.

I got out of the van and was greeted by two deputies from the Sheriff's Department. They were checking camping permits and seemed somewhat surprised to see we actually had one. Since we said the young guys could camp on our site, they were covered by our permit and were fine.

Right about then a whole line of pickup trucks and other vehicles showed up. They were loaded up with everything needed for a wild party. Everything, that is, except a camping permit. The deputies moved them on. I don't think the party animals were very happy about that.

By then it was pitch dark and the young men were struggling with the tent. They'd never been camping before. I flipped on the van's flood lights. My lovely wife and I showed them how to set up a tent. Later I helped them get their charcoal grill going.

Randy, Christian 1 and Christian 2, turned out to be pretty nice guys. They shared their grilled hot dogs with us. They never get to see the stars living the city and were amazed. My lovely wife pointed out a few constellations to them. It was a pretty good evening.

Every now and then pickup trucks would roar by, playing loud music, hooting and hollering. They looked like the same ones who didn't have a camping permit. They didn't cause any trouble beyond that. However, it was nice to have an additional three young men staying on our site.

So how did my lovely wife feel about the whole experience? She thought is was interesting. We plan on staying the next two nights we reserved. She also feels like she might like trying this again. She's a trooper.



  1. Approved campgrounds are always a crap-shoot. A few years ago in Newfoundland we drove down a 20 mile dirt track to access the only available campground in the area. When we got there we found the local end of summer party going on full-tilt-booggie. Music, lights, fireworks and a couple hundred drunk zombies. By now its 9pm. Stopped long enough to wire up a broken exhaust hanger and trucked back on out the 20 mile dirt track and found alternative arrangements.

  2. Glad to hear the deputies were on the ball. Otherwise you might not have gotten any sleep. Perhaps your helping the 3 young men will get them enjoying more of the great outdoors, but what a shame they didn't even know how to put up a tent.

    1. I'm sure they could have found a youtube on how to do it.

      The officers here are really pretty decent. If you don't give them any hassle they'll let stuff slide.

  3. I can't say it any better than Momlady.