July 20 – Pseudo Camping

We are camping snobs, you could say we have “pseudo-itis”. It’s a horrible disease, one where the the cure may be almost as bad as the illness, where the symptoms may not be readily apparent to anyone least of all those affected (or “infected” as the case may be). It can also be highly contagious as friends and family have experienced when they travel with us. I will try to elaborate.

As we’ve visited a number of campsites during our limited travel experiences we have determined what we do, and do not, prefer with regard to: privacy, or lack thereof, treed or open, big or small, and perhaps a natural setting or man made. This criteria is not the only means to measure our camping experience but it covers most of the key physical factors

Our taste typically runs toward the private, treed, large(ish) and natural. And to clarify, when I say private I’m referring only to the relative privacy each individual site has, whether you can be easily seen from the road or any adjacent sites, and can you be heard by other nearby campers. I’m not referring to Gov’t or private campsites, and won’t go so far as to say we will or won’t stay in either a state/provincial park, or alternatively a privately run non-government campground. Both equally run a diverse range of pros and cons.

While I thought we have seen (what we thought was) all types of camping I am still occasionally surprised, as I was today. I think this is where the snob”itis” comes in.

While looking for a spot to camp tonight we pulled into a State park in North/Central Washington. It was situated on a pretty lake in a small valley, a few trees provided shade and there was a number of greenspaces where one could play catch, toss a football, or just hang out and enjoy the sights.

The RV sites themselves left much to be desired however, with the available RV spots being on a large asphalt pad, divided up into stalls, and each stall being approximately twice the width and length of what you might find in any supermarket parking lot. There were a number of them all lined up, like so many rows of used cars. There was nothing green nor any break between the sites, you would literally be sitting in your lawn chair below your neighbors windows. Not my idea of an ideal situation, I would call it pseudo-camping. We chose to move on, the disease was taking hold.

After an hours drive or so we finally did pull into another State Park, this one on Wood Lake just outside Bridgeport. The drive up from the highway was somewhat intimidating, climbing up out of the river valley and leaving orchards of fruit trees behind. The gray/green desert scrub, sage brush and sand, appeared to be the only ground cover we could see and we wondered what kind of camping this was leading us into now. We were pleasantly surprised however as we crested the hill and descended back down into an oasis of green situated on the shores of the lake. Opposite this park, across the lake, were more of the fresh looking orchards, a tapestry of color lining the valley wall.

The camping area itself is very pretty, green and lush with abundant greenspaces and mature trees to provide shade on the days that require it. The sites are not private however and while there is abundant space and trees around, and between, each site they all back onto a large open grassy common area. As I mentioned this is not our ideal but I needed a break and the other positives of this location outweighed the few negatives. Our snobbishness was apparently in remission.

We will stay for at least 2 nights here before moving on. I say “at least” because we may decide to stay longer if another appropriate site is available. We have this particular site for both nights before a previously made reservation takes hold. If we choose to leave we will head off into the unknown to continue looking for those spots that don’t aggravate our condition. It may be a challenge but I don’t think so. I’m hoping there are fewer pseudo-campers than those of us with the illness, pseudo-itis. Keep me in your prayers and wish me a healthy recovery.

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