Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm peeved.

Rae and I decided to have a "girls night out" camping trip, since both of us have been positively itching all summer to get our tents out and enjoy the outdoors. And at the last minute, realized we could both do it this weekend. Wah-hoo! So, I set about to look for a campground that would be suitably close to where we want to go, reasonably priced, and reachable by a Civic. (At least one of the campgrounds would have required a somewhat higher slung vehicle.)

And realized I was going to have to put one more requirement in: must not seek to inquire into my domestic arrangements. One campground put right up on its website that it would only rent its campsites to families consisting of a mom, a dad, and dependent children. Excuse me? I don't believe I can have understood you correctly. Are you implying that I could not go camping with my sister, my brother, my cousin, or my parents (now that I'm an adult)? And of course, friends never go camping together. Is this how far narrow minded bigotry has led you?

Right then. State parks do not inquire into my wish to go camping with a friend, but will simply allow me to drive right up to the ranger station, fork over my portraits of George Washington, and pitch my tent in the spot indicated by the ranger. They do not inquire into my relationships, my morals, or my definition of "family".

They will charge me a little extra if I try to shoehorn more than 6 people into an individual campsite, but otherwise do not inquire into my intended arrangements, other than to recommend that I put any unconsumed food into a bear canister and don't wear the clothing I cooked in to bed. I think I can manage that.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have honestly never heard of a campground doing such a thing. Wow. They do discriminate against tent trailers sometimes but... Sheesh. You should inquire via phone if that is REALLY what they meant. Have they never considered the different mix of relationships? The implication is clear -- Oh no, we are all comprised of our heterosexual nuclear families and we only camp thus!

Have fun by the way!

7/20/2007 10:58 AM  
Blogger Kate said...




*wanders off, shaking head*

7/20/2007 11:14 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

The campground is maybe... 15 minutes? from a hotel/spa that does restrict itself to only heterosexual couples "in a committed relationship".

It also says that "Family camping is strictly enforced" in Big, Red letters. And reading more closely on the offending website, even my family of origin would be unacceptable - too many children. Perhaps you can pay a fee for an extra child, but I suspect that two women camping together are right out. I might call to find out if I'm wrong.

On the up side, however, while the state park is further from where I wanted to go (a state park with no camping, but free access to warm springs), it also has Serious Amenities. Not just hot showers, potable water, and flushies, but also an interactive nature center with presentations featuring birds and reptiles that were too injured for return to the wild. And guided owl walks at night, for those interested. Plus boat rentals on a still lake - no gas powered vehicles permitted. Frankly, the state park just keeps looking better. If it also featured a hot spring to soak in, they'd have to enforce the "no stay longer than 3 weeks" rule on me.

7/20/2007 11:45 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Oh, and how do they discriminate against tent trailers? I remember going in one of those as a child. And why? I mean... why? I can see not wanting some of the biggest trailers on difficult to maintain roads. Or possibly getting snide about those of us who have large tents, I suppose... But what's the matter with tent trailers?

7/20/2007 11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tent trailers: you've got me. We saw the sign in a private campground on the OP. Dunno' -- indicates low budget? Indicates that you might be noisy? There are some high-end tent trailers out there so I'm at a loss.

Sounds to me like the State Park will be a lot of fun. Soak an extra time for me, will you?

7/20/2007 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to camp with the vice squad...

These people clearly have too much time on their hands.

7/26/2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger Little Black Car said...

That's a load of . . . well, never mind. I won't put it in writing.


(On a lighter note: I'm contemplating developing a new language based on word verification codes. This comment got "ogthitg". Hmm. Sounds like a WordCodian term for a really uncomfortable chair, or the contents of a vacuum cleaner bag, or something equally unpleasant . . . )

7/26/2007 12:18 PM  
Blogger Theresa Coleman said...

This is indeed a stupid regulation.

Tent trailers -- some state parks don't like them because they want you to park things with wheels on hardtops ONLY to preserve fragile ecosystems and then hike in to the actual camping spots.

8/02/2007 5:32 PM  

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