It takes a lot to blow my mind and throw me for a loop. But, this last weekend did exactly that. I must say, the behavior of the humans we were forced to share camping space with this weekend really surprised me. I just knew there were cameras hidden in the trees filming me for the show “Punk’D.” Did this really happen?
We were camping in one of our favorite spots in Washington. It’s just a little over an hour from our house, but it takes us deep into the Cascade Mountain range. We love sleeping in a tent, enjoying a roaring campfire and looking up at the crazy star and milky way filled night sky. This campground has the best of two worlds combined. In addition to the above, we are on beautiful Lake Kachess. Yes, we are among the people who love to pay money to live like homeless people.
We arrived early Thursday morning because we didn’t have a reservation. Many of the sites are first come-first served. We knew we had to bust out early if we wanted the “perfect” site. We were smart because not long after we decided on the perfect site, right near the beach, America showed up filling up the rest of the “walk in” spots.
Thursday was perfect. We enjoyed a day on the lake, warm sunshine and a beautiful evening around the campfire. It was only five of us, so we were a little startled when the camp host came over a little after ten and told us we had to keep our voices down. There is a rule that after ten, everyone is to keep the noise down so others can sleep.
After the boat was tied down and anchored for the night, we returned to our site to get dinner started. We had three teenage girls with us, and those ladies can work up an appetite.
There was a site next to ours that someone reserved for Friday and Saturday night. Up until this time, we didn’t know who would be staying there. We saw a couple of kids and a dog running around the campground when we arrived.
Not long after we started cooking our dinner, a woman came around the tree with a bottle of wine. The woman asked if we had a corkscrew to open her bottle because she “was going to need it (the wine).” It didn’t take us long to figure out why.
What normally would be a campsite with one, maybe two cars, there were four cars and four tents set up next to our peaceful little paradise before the sun set. What started as two kids and a dog turned into at least ten kids and at least two dogs.
One of the very thoughtful parents in the group thought to bring each one of their children an extremely bright and colorful lightsaber/sword to keep the children entertained. Great.
It started to get loud, lit and colorful next door. The toys the kids received were truly a hit. They were so bright, all of the trees surrounding our camping areas lit up like Christmas trees. You could hear the children screaming with exuberance as they waved and chopped their respective implements.
With their new weapons, they couldn’t be contained in just their campsite now. They decided to venture over to ours. Some of the boys came from behind our tent slamming their swords on every tree, box or bin they found. They were walking under our awning, in our kitchen area, around our coolers and food boxes. As they were waving their wands, they were looking in our food bins. I ran up and nicely told them they would need to go back to their area.
A few minutes later, two little girls, around six years old came up from the beach trail to our campsite, soaked from the water and wrapped in towels. Again, loving kids and somewhat confused why such young children would be at a lake without adult supervision, I sweetly told them they could walk through our site to get back to theirs.
Moments later, some of the boys between probably four and six years old took off on their bikes – alone – not wearing helmets. It was starting to look pretty clear that the parents let all of these kids have a very long leash. They didn’t seem to limit any of their activities.
The sun had set, and we were sitting around our campfire; I had my glass of chardonnay finally. We all saw the little toddler as he entered our camp with the dog. The toddler walked up to our makeshift shelter (a tarp tied with four lines) and proceeded to pull on the line that held it up. He was yanking with all of his might. I screamed for him to stop, he didn’t. As I got up to approach him (trying to be nice again) and to tell him he needed to go back to his camp, he picked up my hat from on top of the cooler and threw it as far as he could. When I got to him, he started punching me. He swung at me with both fists with all of his might.
As I grabbed his tiny arm to take this little creature back from whence he came, he started punching, harder than he did the first time, swinging wildly with both wings. I left him there, went over to his site and yelled, “is someone missing a toddler?”
The table was full of adults, laughing, drinking and speaking a language that was not familiar. When no one even looked up, I screamed, “HELLO… is someone missing a little boy?” One of the women got up and started running toward him. I said, “your kid is punching me and destroying our camp!” She quietly said, “I’m sorry” and scurried off with the boy.
As I returned to camp, we saw the dog had no intention of leaving. He was sniffing our dog’s food bowl and all of our boxes. He then went to the middle of our beach trail and commenced to poop. Twice! We shooed the dog away, not believing what was happening. I went back to the adults and yelled that their dog pooped but quickly realized who I was talking to.
We knew it was going to be a very long night.
The noise was beyond acceptable, even for before the 10 pm quiet time. The adults were as loud as the kids – and that was loud!
Because we were told to be quiet just 24 hours prior, we knew the moment the clock struck ten; the camp host would be heading over. Like clockwork, we were correct.
She told them to be quiet and explained the 10 pm rule. She headed back to her camper and within moments, the noise escalated back to where it was.
We went to talk to the camp host because we knew we weren’t going to sleep with this noise. She told us it was a group of 40 “Russians” between this site and another one around the corner. She told us that she was going to kick them out if she had to talk to them a third time.
I knew that probably wasn’t going to happen because they had so much crap strewn all over the area. It would take a few hours and a lot more noise from them to get out of here; this would be more than hoping they would shut up eventually.
The noise started to decline enough to start thinking about sleep. All of the kids were sequestered to one tent while the adults moved to a table closer to our tent. Just as we were going to sit and quietly look at the brilliant sky, they attached a long, tubular fluorescent lamp to their tent. This light went through both of our tents and illuminated our entire campground.
Now we couldn’t star gaze because you need blackness to see the sky!
Once again, we marched back to visit the camp host and let her know about the light. You could tell she was overwhelmed by the weekend antics.
When she was talking to them, they pulled a portion of their pop-up shelter over the bulb, trying to dim the light. The light wasn’t gone, but it was much better. Now, we were going to bed.
After I had brushed my teeth and camp was shut down, we climbed into our tent. I heard a noise from behind my head and quickly turned around to see a silhouette of a large dog with pointy ears right behind my head. I gasped as I hadn’t seen this animal before. He was starting to lift his leg!
We ran out of the tent and ran to the “Russians” and asked if it was their dog! Naturally, it was. One man said he wouldn’t pee on our tent… sorry dude, not buying!
The next morning I saw the dog tied to a tree, right off of the road, with about a 5′ line. The poor dog was left alone while the other dog was roaming all over the campground. Every time the leashed dog saw the other dog, it yelped and barked. When the people went to the lake for the day, they left the dog alone in the campsite where he barked the entire day. I hated to hear it and thought about visiting and making sure he had water, but I didn’t want to enter their area – period.
Knowing the kids clearly didn’t have boundaries, and God knows what the parents would do, first thing in the morning we took some additional rope and made a makeshift boundary between our two sites. If anything, it would slow them down from coming our way, and the dog shouldn’t come through. To make it obvious, I put foil slips around the rope, hanging as if to scare birds away. I was prepared to do whatever it took.
The following night, we didn’t know what to expect, but we were thrilled to see they decided to pack up and get ready to leave, not staying the second night. Of course, they waited until almost 11 pm to depart, but they left.
The camp host told me the reason the kids finally quieted down the night before was because she took over her personal DVD player for them to watch movies. What a sweet lady. She was so done with the group. We all were.
I heard a man’s voice telling the older woman, “I’m packing a gun, and I don’t want to have to use it.” The host told him she would be right over.
As he left, I ran to her and asked, “is everything okay?” She rolled her eyes and said, “it’s going to be another long night!” She was taking her golf cart to the next loop to get another camp host to help as she had to approach this new situation. When she returned, she said she believed she had everything under control. She was pretty surprised because these are people who have camped here year after year. She’d never had any problems with any of them before this. She also told me in all of her years hosting at this campground; she never had a crazier weekend than this one. It was non-stop parties and people out of control all over the three loops she had to manage.
Yes… the dog is in the bath right now.