I left home a week ago in the best of spirits, and when we arrived at the campground it couldn’t have been better. We were the only ones in our entire loop, set up the tents and equipment, then sat down to just look at the trees. Last Monday was pretty warm which didn’t encourage getting out to explore. It did cool down for the rest of the week and was mostly in the upper mid-80’s with very cool nights. Perfect!
Tuesday Ara got a signal on her cell phone and found a message asking her to call about a job she had applied for. It turned out they wanted to interview her on Wednesday, was hired, and worked on Thursday and Friday. Thankfully I had been obsessed with having her drive my truck and get used to maneuvering it, so I didn’t mind at all her driving it back to Sacramento. Steve and Meg arrived Tuesday evening, so I had company, and Jeannie, Donald & little girls came in on Thursday afternoon. It should have been a perfect time.
I knew the campground would be sold out for the weekend, but the peace was shattered on Wednesday when a very noisy man came in with his family, and his loud voice let everyone in El Dorado County know that several of his friends were arriving, including one with a big motorhome. This guy drove a contractors truck and was evidently in construction – carried the entire bed full of lumber ends and scraps. First of all it is illegal to burn lumber in the park. As he unloaded it he made sure the heavy pieces hit the metal bed and tailgate, and the noise was incredible.
Things went from bad to worse. The next day he moved his truck to his friend’s adjoining site, positioned a huge piece of lumber (I don’t know lumber and would maybe say 2×12, except I think it was much thicker than 2″). He proceeded to fire up a chain saw and cut pieces of this wood for his friend to burn.
Most of the group seemed to be of a religious sect, mainly because of how the women and girls were all dressed. They weren’t Amish or Mennonite for sure, but whatever they were they certainly didn’t care a damn about bothering everyone in the park. The last straw came on Saturday about 9 pm when he turned on a big, loud, commercial grade generator and ran it until 10:30. I think his truck battery had died and he spent an hour and a half charging it, and all the while had set up three extremely bright lamps, one of which was aimed directly at our campsite. So much for privacy and the light even invaded the tents themselves.
Jeannie and I debated going to look for the park patrol but ended up waiting it out. This man was making noise pounding and chopping things even as early as 6 am, and I was glad he wouldn’t be running the generator at 5 or 6am the next morning. The group pulled out early on July 4th, but the trip was nearly ruined for us, as well as for a lot of other campers. I decided I would never again go camping on a summer weekend. Early in the week is fine, and spring and fall weekends are usually ok. We have camped in this park numerous times and never had a problem.
So while I had a good time being with family I am still left with the feeling that I want to go camping somewhere and have a good camping experience. Fortunately the tent and screen tent went up quickly and with no problems, and I was fine sleeping on an air mattress – a backpacker’s Thermarest the first night and on my air mattress the rest of the time. I would probably have used the Thermarest the entire week if Steve hadn’t pumped air into the big mattress.
I also had a msg on my cell phone while camping that the eye doctor had to go out of town this week so I should call for another appointment. My battery died before I could get the office, and when I drove by this morning I noticed the entire parking lot was empty – evidently the place is closed for the week. I sure hope everything is ok with him, and that nothing serious caused this abrupt closing.