The campground in
After setting up my tent, I walked to the electrical hookup (some parks have electricity, some don’t) to charge my phone. The low battery alarm had been going off for an hour and I hate having to go the whole night without a working phone. This also makes me nervous.
I lifted the lid to electrical
After making sure the coast was clear, I found another electrical box, plugged in my extension chord, and charged my phone that way.
The next morning, after packing up all my stuff, I met the director of the place in the parking lot out in front of his office. He had the worst farmer’s tan I’ve ever seen. He bent to put his pipe down on the gravel as I talked. “You’ve got a nest of yellow jackets in electrical
“Did you get stung?” he asked.
I told him I didn’t, that I’d run away in time.
“Did you kill them?” he asked.
I shook my head no and kind of laughed thinking he was probably joking.
“Why not?!?!” he yelled.
I told him I didn’t have any wasp spray. He shook his head, picked up his pipe, and walked away.
CAMPING IN AMERICA!!!
At most parks, whether they’re private, state, or federal, the plates on 90% of the vehicles are in-state. This might be because of gas prices this year. I have no idea. I’ve never traveled like this before.
I haven’t seen a
Very few people camp in tents, at least, this is the case in the parks (mostly state) that I’ve been staying in. And the people in RVs seem to spend the majority of their time in the RV. For the most part, they stay in there all day, then they come out at night to make dinner and sit around a fire, and then they go back into the camper where the lights stay on inside until pretty late. And they don’t get up that early. This is odd to me, first of all, because many of them are old or retired, and second of all, I think camping tends to make a person wake up early even if you are tired or hung over or something. The sun heats the inside of my tent to a thousand degrees by about 7:30 a.m.
RV people read A LOT! The ones who do sit outside their RVs read for like 8-11 hours a day. I’m filing this information away for future exploitation. (I’m planning out a murder/mystery set in an RV park and then I’m going to do this same exact trip again and just sell the book to campers in RV parks rather than to library patrons.)
And really, I don’t have a problem with RVs. If I had the money, I would’ve gotten one for this trip. I’m not really doing primitive camping. I have a tent, I use newspapers and a lighter (and sometimes bug spray) to start my fires, I use the campground showers, I wear clothes, and I have a propane stove that I’ve used three or four times to cook my food when I’ve been too tired to start a fire. I’ve also slept in my van on three different nights, either because of lightning or because I was too tired to set up my tent.
I don’t feel the need to camp like I’m living in the 1600s to prove to myself that I’m a man—my gender is reaffirmed every time I pee standing up.
Aside from visits with friends and family, I’ve stayed in a motel on four nights. Twice it was because of rain and twice I just felt crummy and tired and it was getting late.
I have not been sleeping that well in the tent. I admit that sleeping inside the tent does make me feel safer than if I was just sleeping under the stars (plus it keeps out bugs), but when I start thinking about it, I realize the tent offers nothing more than psychological protection. I feel safer simply because it prevents me from seeing what’s out there. I’d actually be safer sleeping in the van, but I feel more vulnerable in there because of the windows.
While slowly falling asleep every night, I keep one hand on my baseball bat and one hand on my bear spray while listening for the sound of footsteps, followed by the sound of my tent’s zipper being opened. There’s no way to lock a tent! If I was sleeping in my house in
The burger took like 45 minutes to cook for some reason, and while I sat a picnic table waiting, I realized the same people were driving past me over and over again, and they were looking at me every time they passed.
This made me nervous so I decided to eat in my tent rather than in town. I got in my van and drove towards the park. A truck from town, one of the ones that that had been doing loops, followed me. This made me really nervous so I took a turn onto some little dark street to see if it would follow me. It didn’t. I made my way back to my tent, happy they wouldn’t know where I was staying.
Later that night, some animals were running around and killing each other and screaming loudly right near my tent. There was only one other camper there that night (because this park didn’t have any RV hookups). When I went outside to scare the animals off there were like a million fireflies everywhere and I kept thinking they were eyes.
I’m aware that I was overreacting. I was aware at the time, but camping alone in a deserted park in a small town where everyone has taken notice of your
I arrived at my campsite in
When I woke in the morning I crawled out of my tent and saw that I was about ten feet from a huge silent river. If I’d taken five steps in the wrong direction I would’ve fallen right in.
While camping in
And I said, “I hear it’s in-tents.
She didn’t get it. She was staying in an RV. I might as well have made a joke about churning butter.
That night, it was so windy near the
Later that night, I heard what I thought was a very young girl screaming. It sounded like someone was being murdered—I’ve never heard anyone scream like that. I grabbed my baseball bat, popped out of my tent, and kind of walk/jogged in the direction of the screaming. It continued for a few seconds after I exited the tent, so I’m pretty sure I wasn’t dreaming, but then the sound stopped and I couldn’t tell which RV it had been coming from. Hopefully it was just a little girl who'd had a bad dream. No one else came out to investigate. They probably couldn’t hear it—everyone within 50 meters of me was in an RV.
I quickly made my way back to the tent. I realized it wouldn’t look good if anyone saw me standing in my underwear in the middle of a field holding a baseball bat at midnight.
I wonder what happens inside those RVs, to the little kids who live in the ones that seem to be more permanent mobile home than recreational vehicle.
I stayed in