Posted by: eaubeauhorn | June 11, 2011

Kampground Follies

It’s astonishing, sometimes, to run headlong into a culture one has read about but not experienced first hand.

I’m at a KOA in northern California, in a tent. Last night, as it approached dark, two vehicles arrived that were both full of people of a different culture. One that I recognized based on their dress and language, but I won’t identify it beyond that. What I will describe it as, is the polar opposite to what I would expect from the Swiss, espeically the German Swiss.

Twelve people and a dog piled out of these two vehicles and bedlam ensued. Children started running around screaming, the dog started barking, the adults were also barking at each other, and they appeared to be going to set up camp. In short, Bedlam had arrived, en masse. Amidst all the loud talking, running around, and dog barking, a large bundle was removed from one of the vehicles, and several smaller bundles. The driver of that vehicle, which was an extended cab pickup truck, then decided to move his truck out of the way, which meant moving it up a slight incline to get it back out of the camp site. It has been unseasonably rainy here and the ground is wet. He proceeded to spin the rear wheels trying to back up the truck, gassing it even harder when it slipped. He did this for several minutes, trying numerous times using the same technique, which didn’t work any better on subsequent tries than it had on the first. Finally, he realized that he could pull forward, go in a circle, and drive the truck up the incline forwards.

Harbinger of things to come.

 Next, they decided to set up what was their tent, something I have never seen the likes of. Think of the top of a covered wagon, with the hoops, but make it very, very large. It was like watching the Three Stooges try to set up a tent; they would set up some of the hoops, and then a great hue and cry would come out when the hoops fell down. No concept whatsoever of how to do this simple task; a complete lack of what I would call the Swiss-German way of doing things, that would have had a logical sequence to get the job done. No, there was just all this exclaiming and running about, with completely haphazard attempts showing a lack of even the concept of organizing a task before attempting to do it. Meanwhile the children running all over the place yelling and screaming, the dog barking, and general mayhem.

 Well, they decided where they wanted the tent, and a branch on a tree was in the way, so they just ripped the branch off the tree. No matter, the tree has more branches, right? They did finally get the tent set up, but that was after I packed up my stuff and moved to an entirely different area of the campground, one out by the road that I had rejected a week earlier for noise problems. However, the noise problem of the road paled in comparison to the noise problem of this group of campers, who at 9 PM were “just getting started” on their evening, with a big roaring fire and the continuing loud talking, children running around, and the dog barking.

I think that’s the end of public camping for me.



  1. Amusing post, excellently written, but I do feel for you!

    How are things going? I’m surprised you’re still in the area. Hopefully you’ll be able to get home soon.

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