There are three types of people in the campground. The first group are the “locals”. These are folks that live full-time here. I have mentioned two of these people in an earlier piece, Al and Daryl. Al is a retired county worker. Daryl is a disabled vet. Through various misfortunes they both ended up with nothing and finally were able to buy an RV to move into. Their transportation and home all rolled into one. There is another family here that also fall into that category, but I think they are still in shock from whatever misfortune put them there. Of course, that is only conjecture since they keep to themselves.
The second category is the “weekenders”. They pull their rigs in for the weekend, usually attracted to one of the areas many attractions. The Very Large Array (VLA) is near here. One of the states premiere four-wheel drive parks is right here.Fishing and hunting are big here and tis’ the season. Lots of them come here with RV’s that cost more than most people’s house and they bring with them an arsenal of expensive toys. The RV’s and trailer’s look more like Transformers than camping equipment, with things popping out the sides and the roofs elevating.
And than there are the “nomads”. People who are on the road full-time and might stop somewhere for a day, a week, maybe even a
month or so. This is the category we live in. Of course, like all groups of people, there are some nuances and in the nomad group, they come in all shapes and sizes. From the big rigs all the way down to the tents and everything in between.
During the week the locals and the nomads have the run of an otherwise empty campground. Visiting with the neighbors, sharing meals, and stories around the campfires is a pretty common occurrence You get to hear their stories, where they came from and how they got here. You hear about family in far away places. About jobs and the years spent struggling just to make ends meet. You get to hear about the triumphs and the disappointments of life. You form a community. Lawn chairs are moved from one site to the other and back again. Everyone that is staying for a while camps far enough away from all the others that are staying for a while so as to afford each other a certain degree of privacy and personal space. It’s not a rule, it’s just how we do it. And every Friday, you watch the weekenders pull in.
It is fun to watch them roll in. They start filling up the spaces in between the more permanent camps first. Probably for the same reasons, to give everyone a certain amount of privacy. But when the spaces start filling up is when the real fun begins. Especially if a group shows up with multiple parties and rigs. They roam around the campground looking for any spots they can find that aren’t right next to the more permanent residents. It is kind of understandable that they would do that. We have dogs. We have kids. They want privacy and quiet, although their camps usually end up being anything but quiet. Weekend warriors partying it up, jamming their stereos, drinking till all hours of the morning, and cranking up all their toys for journeys to their local destinations.
The extent they are willing to go to in order to “get their way” is pretty interesting though. It isn’t uncommon for them to ask the park manager to get one of the locals to move so they can all be next to each other. They actually want people to move their entire lives so that they can play. And when that doesn’t work, they don’t hesitate to be a nuisance for the entire length of their stays. They don’t think anything of asking for people to be moved. Of walking through the middle of other peoples camps. Of driving too fast through the lot in their expensive little toys. Of cranking out music until the wee hours. This is their escape from their everyday lives of doing whatever it takes to be able to afford all those toys. They have earned it by gawd and they demand it, and if their demands aren’t met, they take it anyway.
Who knows what these folks do during the week, but come the weekend the name of
the game is “privileged”. Not just expected, but demanded. They want the locals segregated to a portion of the campground away from them. They want kids and dogs quiet so they can pretend like they don’t exist. They want, they want, they want. When they walk by one of the more permanent camps, they act like it isn’t there, but when they drive by they shoot daggers from their eyes.
I grew up in campgrounds, traveling with my family while my dad looked for work, staying in one place for a month, two months, six
months. And even back then I could sense the divide. I knew that all of us weren’t in the same game. Today it is more apparent to me, hell, it is right up in my face.