Imagine being a city dweller in a windowless cube five days at a whack... fifty weeks a year. Your getaways are precious and few; you don't need Govie messing with you on your time. Oh boy, I feel a bit of a rant swelling inside my gut; let's see how I do at suppressing this "gas bubble."
Say you're a workin' stiff and manage to finagle a three day weekend. You get up early in order to pack the pickup, hook up the camper, load the groceries and ice the coolers that holds the beer that medicates the "edge" you got from working all day in the cube and driving half the night to get to the peace and serenity of one of our fine National Parks... like Arches over near Moab.
You were a good patriot and tried to make reservations for a campsite three days prior to leaving... even before you had the final "Ok" from the boss. You jumped through a thicket of idiots in a concessionaired out system that's the dinasaureal equivalent to Alexander Graham Bell's first phone... the one that he kept saying, "Watson old boy, can you hear me now?" and got no response. But you must make reservations Waaaaay in advance... as if it were 1942. Why... why, why? Doesn't the information highway go like a bazillion miles per second? Is there like a background check or something to get into our Nation Parks now?
But hey, it's March; who goes to Moab in March? Who needs reservations? Besides, there are a few sites that are first come first served... which doesn't help with your midnight arrival, but at least you will be first in line the next morning cause you slept in the cab in the parking lot.
Bobbie and I got lucky on two counts. First, we had no "cube" to deal with, and second, we snagged the last campsite due to a cancelation. WoW! The lady at the gate told us to contact the camp host at 8 am sharp the next morning. We slipped right into our assigned site 31, unloaded, set up and thought we were good to go for the duration. Life was good... dawn broke to clear skies, sunshine and chirping birds.
Enter the "dunces."
Bobbie tried to pay for several nights as soon as we arrived but there were no envelopes in the box by the sign that said, "Please take an envelope and Pay Immediately." Insult to injury was a sign on the camp hosts cabin door that basically said, "Go Away, I'm off duty!" a sign that never came down the whole time we were there. On her way back to our site Bobbie came across another couple and asked how they signed in without envelopes. Boy, did she get an ear full. The guy was really pissed, said he was going to write a letter of fury to a Congressman. "You've got to move to a new campsite every morning!"
It seems that the on line reservations system makes it impossible for drop-ins to stay more than one night in one place. You get all settled in, bikes unloaded, chairs out, gear stowed under the camper only to wake up to a sign that says your spot is reserved and you gotta be out by 10 am. Sure enough, we got the eviction notice in our box.
Well that sucks! So you go in search of a Ranger or camp host... anybody with a badge, uniform or clipboard... only to find twenty five other campers doing the same thing. Everyone's checking each site box to see if it's reserved, then leaving shoes or a jackets to hold it so they can go pack up and move. There is no one to ask what the hell's going on, I can't find an available site, so I go stand in line at the cabin with the "Go Away" sign with about a dozen other pissed off campers. I finally beat on the door. Nothing.
I started crawling the loop, looking for someone who might be packing up, but all I got were people packing up to move to another site. It was musical freaking chairs; there were no "happy campers."
Finally I spied a young man with a clipboard. He was seriously engaged with what looked like might be a lynch mob. A lady shouted out, "I've moved three days in a row and I'm not moving again. This is the stupidest thing... to have to move every day in order to camp here."
The poor guy was about to be crucified because he was the messenger, trapped between a Confederacy of Dunces, a thicket of idiots and pissed off campers.
We moved to a new site for one more night and then got the hell out. A nice boondock feels better anyway; no rules, no dunces, no idiots.
|Landscape arch... 306 feet long! It's so fragile and delicate at one end too. You must see it before it collapses like Wall Arch did a few years ago, only a quarter mile from Landscape Arch.
|Brilliant sun, no clouds. A bad day for photos so I made some lemonade with black and whites.
|One of Double O's two arches
|A maze of slot canyons lies between hoo doos and fins, and the La Salle Mountains make a nice snow capped backdrop.