Well as Jen posted on her blog we went camping over at Bear Creek Lake Park this weekend.
We were originally scheduled to go camping over at Chatfield Reservoir, however the state has decided to have a state wide fire ban and Bear Creek is somehow exempt. So we went to Bear Creek instead instead.
When our Girl Scout Leader called to check out conditions at the Park she was told that there was a concert over at Red Rocks and the campground expected to be full of "Hippies" attending the concert. So instead of our trip being for just Friday & Saturday nights we decided to pay for Thursday night as well to reserve our spots...however in order to do that we had to go and physically have our tent up on Thursday night...even though we had no intention of staying Thursday night.
So after I got the call on Thursday (after a very busy Vacation Bible School where I wanted to take a nap) I drove over to the campground with my tent to get it set up. We were not able to get 3 spots together as the campground was filling up quickly, but we managed to get 3 nice spots. Since Jen's site was closer to the playground and bathroom it was decided that her spot would be where we had our fire and spent most of our time...this way the kids could go play and go to the bathroom without having to cross the street.
After setting up my tent I headed back home for a night of rest in my own bed before our trip. Friday morning I got up and started rounding up all of our camping gear. I printed out a checklist to make sure that I did not forget anything (even if I had there's a WalMart very nearby for emergencies...so no worries.) Darly and I tried to go shopping that morning to pick up a hatchet for splitting fire wood...the only ones that we could find were $20+ and I wasn't paying that much when I was hesitant to buy the ones at WalMart & BigLots for only $6.99 (they were sold out on Friday morning)...I really wanted one for only $3 but apparently that wasn't an option.
So we went to buy our groceries. I got some good stuff and we had to check out another store to get the fire wood.
We headed out after lunch. I decided on Thursday to leave Lilly at home for this camping trip as she tends to drive me over the edge and after you hear the rest of this story you'll see that I made the best decision there. I'm not sure why, but traffic was bad going to the campground both on Thursday and Friday...totally weird. By the time we got to the campground on Friday the sign indicated that the campground was full.
I got back to our campsite and was relieved to see that our tent was still there...as were all of our friends (Jen & her family along with our GS Leader M & her family). M and her family left soon after we got there to go get their groceries. So I began to set up our other stuff. I tried to set up our shade tent, but the wind decided to pick up...so I put the parts back into the box and kicked it under the car.
During the day even though it was very hot we had a nice time...doing crafts, playing and going over to the beach. Evenings were good too, except for our daily wind storms that ended up breaking the sun shades and all the tents that were over 4 foot high with shock polls (the fiberglass kind). We had to patch M's tent by duct taping a butter knife to her tent poll...which was very effective. Darly & I had our dinner in our tent every night so that we were not eating too much dead grass & dirt. Campfire smores were great!
But sundown was when the trouble began. Friday night the "hippies" began blasting the campground with their music and very loud announcements of drugs available or in need of. There were quite a lot of reminders to these folks that there were small children in the campground and that they needed to watch their language. I'm no longer sure when it began but at some point someone began playing drums very loudly...all night. I don't know how these folks were able to function, because they were up ALL NIGHT! There were fights, and lots of drinking.
Saturday morning I woke up because (although I have no idea when I was able to get to sleep any) I heard the man next to Jen's campsight telling someone that there were girl scouts camped there. I opened my tent window to witness a woman with dread locks standing in Jen's campsite complaining very loudly about girl scouts. ???
I got up and went to the bathroom.
It turns out that ms dreadlocks was in search of cigarettes and had rummaged through Jen's entire campsite (except for the tent) and was then complaining because she didn't have any cigarettes for her. Jen had poked her head out and asked the woman to leave because the kids were sleeping. We later learned from M that ms dreadlocks had been having an argument with herself and later could not find her way back to her tent. Later I observed her "sans pants" acting weird...she would look into her tent, then turn around and walk about 3 steps, then turn around again and look into her tent...she did this for a good 20 minutes.
Jen & Mr Jen complained to the park rangers about all the noise and were told to call the police if it happened again, but they were not given the non emergency phone number. M heard from her neighbors that the "Rangers were really cool and stopped hastling us after we passed them a couple of doobies." But in reality the rangers went off duty at 10pm.
Saturday was the day of the concert so the "hippies" were gone for a good chunk of the day...but they returned at 2:30AM and brought more friends with them. I'm guessing that I was able to get back to sleep around 4AM or so, but I woke up at around 5:30 to two men standing behind my car talking. I unzipped my window and informed them that I was trying to sleep. They moved on...but later after another nap two more men were walking back and forth in front of my campsite on the gravel road talking and using a lot of profanity...I asked them to watch their language...but they did not acknowledge that they had heard me...but they did move on. I got up at that point. My campsite was near an area with no more sites on it...there were 10 cars parked there on Sunday morning. There were also lots of people who were sleeping under the stars. Two on M's campsite so she got the ranger to run them off.
The Rangers appologized for all the noise and said they would try harder to make sure it didn't happen again...but I was upset because we were leaving (too little too late) and I knew that since the concert was over that the "hippies" would be leaving as well.
You'll notice that I have been referring to these people as "hippies." The reason for this is that none of them were what I would consider true hippies...ya know, folks from the sixties/seventies. They were all younger than us and while they looked the part...they didn't act very much like hippies. There were a lot of them that were stonned, but they were not very mellow. Maybe they were angry hippies. Had I known they were going to be like this, I would have not gone on this camping trip.
Oh, I was supposed to tell you why it was a good idea that Lilly stayed home. First of all there were quite a few other dogs there. Which would have been fine, but I would have had to keep Lilly on leash the entire time and she would have been whining and pulling to go see the other dogs. Second many of the dogs there were not on a leash and that would have been driving Lilly crazy...as it did to poor Gizmo (he was a very nice dog with good manners who was on his leash the entire time.) This one dog spent a good hour or so teasing Gizmo by coming close and then running out of Gizmo's leash range. The Second night the family camping on the other side of Gizmo brought their dog Lady and did not put her on a leash...then she teased Gizmo and barked at everyone who walked anywhere near her...her owner should have left her at home. And finally Third many of the hippy dogs were pit bulls...I woke up at one point to two of them trying to create more.
We've gotta find a better campground. :o)
Oh! I forgot the best part of the trip. When I came back to camp on Friday I noticed that I had some "squatters" on my campsite. 3 cotton tail rabbit bunnies. One even decided to hang out under my tent all day Saturday..."he" might have been the same one that startled me on Friday night when were going to bed by running away from the tent. =:3