Camping in the great, noisy outdoors

Post by Daniel Fontaine in

3 comments

city-camping
Camping in the city would almost be quieter than in parks today

It’s the middle of August, and it’s pretty obvious that Vancouver is a little quieter these days. That certainly won’t be the case when everyone heads back to school and they wrap up their holidays in a few weeks.

The longer and drier days of summer certainly bring with them fewer cars on the road, as many of us vacate the city and seek out some rest and relaxation in B.C.’s back country.

For the past four years our family has packed up our bags and headed out to a provincial campground hoping to get away from the hustle and bustle of a big urban centre.

If you read all the glossy brochures, you would easily believe that living in one of B.C.’s forests is an instant path to paradise. Unfortunately, my experience leaving the city hasn’t always guaranteed peace and solitude.

A week ago our family traveled about 125 kilometres east of Vancouver and parked ourselves in what is a typical provincial campsite. For the first time ever, we decided to ditch the rustic tenting experience and opted to rent a small recreational vehicle instead.

It came with all the amenities one would expect with a modern camper van such as flush toilets, a shower and running water. But soon after we settled in our campsite, we realized the tranquility we were seeking was going to be rather elusive.

No fewer than three gas generators were fired up near our site. The noisy beasts help to provide electricity and the power needed to operate a microwave oven. When they operated in unison, it was even a tad difficult to focus on the conversation you were having with someone only feet away from you at the campfire.

Then there were the countless obnoxious guests who felt that shouting out their every command was preferable to using an inside voice. “Hazel, did you bring the marshmallows?” bellowed one camper about 150 feet away from us. Another camper trying to teach her puppy a few tricks failed to appreciate that her voice echoed throughout the forest with the subtlety of a sumo wrestler.

After the whole camping trip was over, I was certainly glad to get back to the peace and tranquility of my urban New Westminster neighbourhood. It’s hard to believe, but sitting on my front porch with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon was actually quieter than what I experienced in the wilderness.

So the next time someone tells you they’re leaving the city to get away from the noise, remind them that this may well be just another ‘rural’ myth.

- Post by Daniel. You can follow us on Twitter @CityCaucus. Or you can "like" us at Facebook.com/CityCaucus.

3 Comments

I'm siting in a campsite in the KOA Campground at Gallagher Lake north of Oliver. Our neighbors have been by and large polite and respectful in the quiet department. The most noise comes from children which we find enjoyable.

Earlier this month, however, we were camping on the Oregon Coast and froze to death. Our next door neighbour decided to crank up his heat pump at 6:30 am. This is not how one wishes to greet a new day. The world has certainly changed from my youth when Scout camping meant going into the bush -- by ourselves!

The Thought Of The Day

"Ape helps Man get off the hook."

My First best camping experience is from the early 90s. Serengeti National Park. Deep Africa. Early Morning, almost dawn, mist on my forehead, elephant dung and rotten eggs smell in the air... Pitch dark inside my tent... apart from that crack, where the zipper was supposed to be closed, the zipper goddammit... was-supposed-to-be-closed-shut, goddammit! And the silhouette, wearing a baseball cap, peaking... in!

My partner was two feet away from the opening, standing up, not moving a muscle, and not making a sound. For a moment I thought I was dreaming, so I got back to sleep. But then, I opened one eye. Nope, still there.

I said to her, "Hey, what's going on, who's the big fella?" now that it was clear to me that the big fella, was a very distant cousin of the human race, probably hungry, definitely curios and most likely horny.
So, I had an idea.

I said "Why don't you say to him one of your best Jane Goodall quotes, like the one where it says that the Apes are our best friends or that "The greatest danger to our future is Ape-thy?"

"Oh, Oh, and what's with the baseball hat? Could you be able to tell what color is it, Hon?"
"Hey" I continued, trying to encourage her, "I would be happy if I were you, they are pretty rare in those parts, these Apes, so enjoy the moment, how do they say it... Carpe Diem!"


"Go to Hell!" came from the direction of the crack in the tent.
I know, I know, she never watched her language in the presence of strangers or when we had visitors before, why start then?

"Here's a novel idea Hon." I continued. "Debate him to sleep. Why don't you tell him, that you are not in the mood, that you have a headache or, my personal favorite, that you want The Rock, not any Rock but The Rock ...!"

By the time he started thumping his chest, and for me to recognize the steam coming out of his big nostrils, and his Red 'Toronto Blue Jay' cap, the Sun came out... and he split.
Told ya, curious fella, and a gentleman!
Let's say, me and my partner, we didn't cuddle for the rest of the trip. Needles to say we've never talked since... Boohoo (not our Boo!)

...

My Second Best camping experience is from last June 15th, when I witnessed Penny Ballem roaming the streets of Downtown Vancouver (in anticipation of something great and riotous)like a primate in heat, mean,dangerous and loaded, looking down inside every police tent and making mating noises and improper gestures to anyone who would dare to stop her and not listen.
And I'll be damned, if she wasn't wearing a Red 'Chicago White Sox' baseball cap...
I still don't get it, what's with the baseball caps?

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

Glissy... priceless!
Camping with Apes?
"Why don't you say to him one of your best Jane Goodall quotes"
I almost blew a blood vein from laughing so hard!!! :-)
"Debate him to sleep. Why don't you tell him, that you are not in the mood, that you have a headache or, my personal favorite, that you want The Rock, not any Rock but The Rock ...!"
This one almost sent me to the ER!!! :-)
Why don't you start your own blog/ site/ column is beyond me.
Cheers

Daniel,
"It’s hard to believe, but sitting on my front porch with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon was actually quieter than what I experienced in the wilderness."
One other quiet place these days... City Hall... re. Riots, Newest, greenest employees, backroom deals, who gets what, how much severance... one could hear the City hall's grass growing. Good for camping. IMHO :-)


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