Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

It’s all about the light. Plus other camping tales.

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We returned from D.C. a week ago today. I was so exhausted, so overwhelmed by crowds of people everywhere we went, that I needed some quiet time.

So I booked a campsite at the nearby state park for three nights, avoiding the weekend deliberately because no matter where I’ve camped sites fill up with crazy people starting Thursday afternoon.

Luckily for me my favorite site, #16, was open for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

Site #16 is kind of sweet!

It’s my favorite site at this state park because it’s almost entirely surrounded by trees and underbrush, making it much more private than most of the sites.

I didn’t even take Katie, I was that tired. I planned on sleeping long in the mornings and doing nothing more than walk in the woods, read books and take naps.

Morning light deep in the woods.

Most of that happened.

When I checked in on Monday evening the ranger warned me that there were a “bunch of teenagers in site 12.” I wasn’t that worried, I figured there would be some laughing and squealing and music during the evening but my experience has been that everyone sort of settles down at 10 p.m. when quiet hours begin.

Not so much with these teenagers.

A bit of bee balm reaches for the light.

They were playing rap loudly when I arrived, and continued that throughout the evening, and well after midnight. Sometime during the night I heard a sound like a bunch of metal pipes falling. Then lots more laughing and yelling. Eventually, around 1:30, the music stopped and silence prevailed.

Early the next morning as I silently walked through the campground on my way to a walk in the woods I saw this.

Oops. One side of their camper collapsed.

I laughed, even while hoping no one was hurt.

My walk was wonderful, four miles took me two hours, caused by the hilly trail…and the fact I was taking pictures, practicing the manual settings that I learned last Sunday at my lavender field photo shoot.

Trees reaching for the light too.

The morning light was wonderful, sliding sideways through the trees. So many things were pretty that I had to stop often. That’s my excuse for my slow time. I’ve found it’s always good to have a camera around to use as an excuse when you’re just moving slow from lack of sleep. Most of the photos here are from that walk.

Don’t forget to look down sometimes, lots to see there as well.

Tuesday night a marauding groundhog woke me as he was snuffling around my tent for about an hour. Then coyotes howling far away kept me from falling back asleep. Still…that’s what camping is all about.

Wednesday I spent most of the day at my site, trying to get a decent picture of a yellow warbler that was flitting around. I didn’t end up with a great picture, but I’ll show you what I got in the next post.

Such fun stuff to see no matter where you look.

Then…Wednesday night. I really really wanted to get a good night’s sleep on my last night camping. But that wasn’t going to happen, because across the street, out of my sight, but right on the other side of the narrow park road, two huge campers were parked. Their many children were loud all day, but that was fine. The moms yelled, loudly, at the kids all day long, but that was OK too.

What wasn’t Ok was that after the kids went to bed the four adults sat around a campfire and discussed loudly most of the world’s ills. I am guessing what they were talking about, because it sounded like an Eastern European language, but it was obviously something they were very passionate about.

Touch-me-not with morning dew.

The four of them talked louder and louder, talking over each other excitedly. It woke me up at 1:30 and went on until almost 5 a.m. At one point I got up and walked to the end of my driveway, listened a bit and realized they weren’t talking louder than they had been all day. Maybe this was just the way they talked. Sure they’d been drinking, but they weren’t sloppy drunk.

A peaceful morning doesn’t always mean a peaceful night.

Maybe it was just the night air that made it sound like they were sitting around my fire. I went back to bed, drew the blankets up over my head and tried to imagine that their voices were just the sounds of bullfrogs singing.

The frogs actually were singing, but I couldn’t hear them over my neighbors talking.

I don’t know what this is, but it was very cool.

So, night three of little sleep. The first night I told myself not to let six teenagers ruin camping for me. But with two out of three nights ruined by rude noisy people I wonder if maybe camping has lost it’s appeal.

I don’t know. Maybe I should try again somewhere further away from the city. Maybe I should have called the night ranger. Maybe I should have just gone over there and asked them to pipe down.

What would you have done?

Twisted logic?

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

12 thoughts on “It’s all about the light. Plus other camping tales.

  1. Hi – I would bring earplugs next time – ha –
    and sorry about the interrupted sleep – I am not sure I would have asked them to quiet down and I would try to imagine bullfrogs like you did.
    wonderful pictures dawn – my fav is the last – they look like some type of mini disco balls – or not?

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  2. Remembered to have packed ear plugs 😁

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  3. The frogs actually were singing, but I couldn’t hear them over my neighbors talking.

    Made me laugh with that one. I’m sorry for the noise you had to put up with, but the photos you took are lovely and peaceful. Maybe next time it’ll be quieter and you’ll hear the frogs’ lullaby.

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  4. I’d have done what you did. The earplugs is a good answer, but I’d worry about missing something I needed to hear.

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  5. Bicycle camping is all about being lightweight. However, one camp item that is common is earplugs. I’m sorry that you didn’t sleep well. It sounds like your walk was wonderful, though, and the photos are beautiful. What kind of camera do you use?

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  6. This is why I don’t camp.

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  7. You got some beautiful photos in spite of the lack of sleep. Or maybe because of it. Who knows? M and I have been talking a lot about camping lately. We’ve been keeping an eye on the camping sites around here, just to see how busy and loud they might be. We’ve come to the conclusion that we won’t be doing any summer camping.

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  8. I’m a chicken when it comes to confrontations with strangers. Gee, you just never know how folks might react when they’re chastised. So I guess I’d have done what you did, especially if I’d been alone. Now if your hubby had been along, I’d have sent him to beg for some quiet!

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  9. There is a reason parks have “Quite Hours” and Night Rangers. It is not your job to enforce the rules put there to ensure everybody’s park experience is a positive one. Rangers (I hope) have had training in how to deal with rule-breaking campers. Debbie is correct in you just never know how folks might react when faced with correction.

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  10. I would have contacted the park staff but probably only the next morning so that’s really not much help. It’s too bad they ruined your days to relax. I find campers are usually pretty good about noise but some forget how their voices travel at night. I have ear buds and play music to go to sleep, maybe that would help.

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