Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

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Camping Trip From Heck

The original plan was to have the car nav system re-done the right way at 10:30, pack up the car and be at Del Valle campgrounds by 2. Installer flaked on me and scheduled a huge urban assault vehicle project at 10, so my work was delayed till 1. Done by 2, car packed and on the road by 4, but I had forgotten my jacket and hat, so add half an hour to go back and get those.  Rush hour traffic all the way to Livermore, so not at the camp site till 6:30.

Got to my site, someone was parked there with a sticker for across the street. It was the camping group from Heck. Sponsored by Budweiser. I would have thought it was a frat party, they were the right age, except it was about six couples, and none of them could possibly have even the beginnings of a college education. They were very very loud. I could hear everything any of the men said from my spot on the river 100 yards away.  One of the gems I heard while I was having dinner at my picnic table was one of the guys, who said "Yes, I'd fuck Sarah Palin. I'd fuck the whole Palin Family - Sarah, uh, Bristol, uh, Sarah...."  Two of the women had incessant piercing laughs which carried even more. My only hope was to wait for 10 pm "quiet time". Park rules say 10 pm - 8 am is quiet time.

Unfortunately, their interpretation of the rules was "quiet time" = "closing time". They did not shut up till 2 am.

At about 11 I put in my earbuds, and walked to the farthest end of the campground, parked myself at a picnic table at a vacant site. I could still hear them clearly during the gaps between songs.

I should have turned around and found a motel as soon as I got to the camp site. At 10 pm I was trapped - they lock up the road to the park at 10. There are no staff on duty after 10. No cell phone service, so could not call for help. I'm not about to confront a dozen drunken 21-year-olds.

They did provide half an hour of amusement earlier in the day. After dinner they took over the large field behind their site and played what I guess would be called Beer Ball. The game is simple. It's like baseball, except instead of a baseball they use a dodgeball ball, and instead of batting it, you kick it. There is only one non-baseball rule:
Don't drop your cup of beer
Each player is required to hold a full cup of beer throughout the game. We are talking 16 oz. plastic cups. Or maybe 24 oz. The largest standard picnic size. It made the fielders' job particularly challenging. I don't know what happens if someone drops their cup or spills all their beer - To their (dubious) credit, this did not happen during the game.

To add to the torture, fire danger is low, so almost every camp site had a wood fire going. The smoke pollution was horrible. And of course the CGFH kept theirs going all night.

At about 3 I finally fell asleep. It was cold, my tent is a summer tent with a screen top, so I could see the stars, but it doesn't hold heat worth a darn.

Plan A was to go outside at about 3 am, set up the telescope and try for some moon photos. Moon was at about a quarter full. Total FAIL - Del Valle is deep in a valley and the moon set behind the hills at about 11. You could still see its light on the hills for hours after.

Plan A also included going fishing after pitching the tent, but it was too late to rent a boat or buy a license by then. And Plan A also included cell phone service, because I'm waiting for calls from HR departments and job prospects. I had thought a park so close to civilization would have coverage. FAIL.

The CGFH was awake at 5 am, slamming the doors of their massive pickup trucks/SUVs, getting ready for some of them to go fishing. At 7 they turned on the ghetto blaster to some Bob Marley-esque noises, and commenced being loud again.

I was out of the tent at 8, all packed by 9, and after a drive around to the lake sides of the park, which were not as deserted as I expected, I was on the road home. I really wanted to stay, rent a boat and go fishing, but did not want to miss job interview calls or email.

Low blood sugar kicked in as I hit Mission off of 680, I had brunch at Denny's (really like their pecan whole wheat pancakes) and was home by noon.

No voicemail, no email of note.

Plan A was to camp for two nights, but the CGFH had their spot reserved through Friday, as did most of the other campers. So I'll be spending tonight at home. The cats like the idea.

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