15 June 2009


My family started camping when I was barely a teen. My Dad had jerked the seats out of a Corvair "Greenbriar" Van and built a camper to sleep two. Like today's campers, the bed could be raised and used as a dining room table. On the roof, a folding tent was secured for two more to sleep in. At the back door he had ingeniously built a cabinet that the door, when removed, could be used as a cooking platform. Mom could just pump up and fire up the Coleman stove and we'd soon have hot, delicious victuals. I wish I had good pictures of that camper now... my Dad was a genius.

Back then, when you talked "camping", most folks immediately thought of sleeping in a tent, on the ground, with a campfire burning nearby. It wasn't too long before I started hearing the phrase, "The closest I want to get to camping is the 'Holiday Inn'"

Right now I'm sitting in a pavilion in a campground. The Wifi signal is "Very Good". Within a few yards there is a volleyball court, a basketball goal, a heated indoor pool, a hot tub/jacuzzi, an outside pool, and a nice "jungle Jim" set for little ones. Attached to the pavilion is the club house with restaurant and game room, complete with big-screen TV and pool table, ping-pong table, foosball game and more.
I'm surrounded by RV's. It makes me laugh now to think how we, in our little Greenbriar camper, used to feel sorry for those folks waking up in tents on rainy mornings. The Holiday Inn cannot hold a candle against these RV's, some of them costing half-a-million dollars, and there are TONS of them in this campground and campgrounds all across America. America has certainly found "camping", but that word itself is getting harder and harder to define.

It's sad...
There are no campfires here, so campers no longer sit around and visit after dark.
It's sorta like staying at the Holiday Inn.


cj said...

No campfires? Wow. How sad is that? Up here in the UP we have campgrounds that an RV wouldn't fit at. There are fire rings and outhouses and that's it. Then there are the 'rustic' sites...

For entertainment we have Lake Superior.

I'll take it over anything else.


OlePrairiedog said...

Actually, you can carry along a Chiminea and set that up in front of your easy chairs with a glass of wine and enjoy the warmth and glow of a nice little fire, then pack it up when you leave. Safer too.
Ahh, the life of an RV'er.

camerapilot said...

The Pioneer Spirit is getting harder to find GB.
On the set in between takes if I can wrestle someone from looking at their IPhone and actually engage them in a conversation about camping I usually get an ear full of RV hook-up tips, Quad-runner tricks and the best restaurants near the camp grounds.....
At that point I don't open my mouth and tell them about going up the East face of Whitney/Mountaineer's Route with a full backpack, setting a bear line to hang our food from and the switch-backs that burn off 15 lbs. of flab in 5 days.
Why these people probably think that cleaning off one's plate with sand is crazy.
Keep your tomahawk clean GB.

Capt. Schmoe said...

I gotta be honest, the tent / ground thing doesn't appeal to me as much any more. I will do it when I am on a Jeep trip, as it won't pull my trailer. My back appreciates the comfort of the trailer, as does my wife.

I still love to cook outside, campfires, looking at the stars hiking etc. We usually stay at USFS parks, restrooms but no hook-ups. Oh yeah, we don't have a TV in the trailer either.

Thanks for the post