Tuesday, July 17
Here we are camped along the Snake River a few miles south of Yellowstone National Park with a view of the Teton Mountains. Soon after we arrive, the guy camped next to us comes back, packs up, and leaves.
Good! Arrivederci, fella.’ Heh, heh. Now we have the place to ourselves. The crew and I laze away the day playing in the river, relaxing under our pine tree while I read a book, and walking the road along the meadow that borders the campground.
Two young women arrive late in the afternoon.
They eat their supper sitting on the rocks along the river. Later, when darkness comes, they disappear inside their tent for the night, not a sound out of them. Their presence is easily ignored.
Also arriving is a family consisting of a husband, wife, two preteen girls, and a boy of about five. They immediately run down to the river. I look up from my book. Something about their movements and voices tells me they are not used to being in open, unmanicured country. I’m sincerely pleased to see them discovering and appreciating the natural wonders of this place.
Together the family sets up a tent.
They eat supper at their picnic table. Shortly after sunset, a coyote howls and yips from across the river, downstream. All five members of the family run past my window to take the path down to the river. They obviously want to see the coyote. While they’re standing in a cluster next to the river, looking downstream, a horrific roar rips across the water from upstream. I don’t know what form of life produced the sound, but it is undeniably wild and ferocious. The father reacts the most visibly, jerking up his shoulders and elbows as he whips his head around, eyes bulging, mouth open.
What happens next gives me chuckles every time I recall it.
The father, showing absolutely no concern for the safety of any member of his family, darts toward the path. He’s not a very tall man, so only his bald head is visible as he crashes through the willow bushes. He sprints past my window and flies into their tent. Tight behind him are the preteen girls, followed by the little boy, with the mother bringing up the rear. None of them stops running until in the tent.
That’s the last I saw of them. They were gone when I woke at dawn.
Wednesday, July 18
I decide to put off our excursion into Yellowstone for a day. Today I read my book, putter around, and simply enjoy our camp. The quiet here is wonderful. The young women have left for the day. The only sounds are birds, an occasional chatty squirrel, and the happy river. Spike and I wade while Bridget watches. Ah, this is the life. I can see us staying here for the fourteen-day limit. It’s a convenient, central location for exploring Yellowstone and the Tetons, and a lovely, restful place to come home to.
Around four o’clock a Toyota SUV pulls in.
Two young women get out. They’re talking non-stop. I can hear every word, even though I’m inside the BLT. A minute later another SUV pulls in and two more young women get out. The four women squeal with excitement, and the chatter is ramped up a few more notches. Again, I can hear every word. A half-hour later the loud talking and laughing is still going strong. Geez, people. Calm down. You aren’t in the food court at the mall.
Then ANOTHER SUV pulls in and two fortyish women jump out. Now we’ve got six, high-pitched voices squealing and shrieking at each other. They are SO happy to be together again. Okay. I’m happy you’re happy. Happy, happy, happy. Now settle down for a quiet evening of normal conversation.
Oh nooooooo. Not these people.
They talk, shriek, guffaw, holler . . . non-stop, for HOURS. For heaven’s sake. Aren’t your jaws tired? They don’t bother to walk down to the river. They don’t shut up to eat. Their cars are parked about twenty to thirty feet from the BLT. What do they do? Wait until it’s almost nightfall to start getting set up for the night. Three SUVS have a lot of doors for six women to open and slam shut because they need to get something out or put something back, talking constantly, of course. Slam, slam, slam, shriek, holler, slam, laugh, squeal, holler, slam, slam, SLAM! Okay, patience . . . patience. Don’t ruin their fun. I close all the windows of the BLT in hopes of getting some sleep. Soon it’s too hot and stuffy. I can hear what they’re saying anyway, even with the windows closed.
There are no lights on in the BLT.
The tent with the quiet women in it is dark. Obviously we’re trying to sleep. This has no bearing on our happy campers. These yappers can’t even go to the vault toilet alone. They have to walk past my bedroom window in pairs so they can TALK all the way. “Oh, look! Look! It’s over there! Is that a frog or a toad?” I hear two women scrunching around on the gravel outside my window. I lift a slat of the window blind. They’re bent over their flashlight beams. The frog vs. toad discussion continues. For the love of God, go to the dang toilet and SHUT UP!
At ten minutes before eleven, my patience runs out.
I lift the blind and pull the back window open wide. I speak in a normal volume. However, my tone reveals extreme, pent-up rage about to burst into a verbal fireball the likes of which these gentle women have never heard.
“Ladies, ladies, ladies . . . . “ This interrupts a hilarious story about reckless driving. I wait until all is quiet. “Ladies,” I continue, my words measured and firm. “Do you think . . . you could put . . . some effort . . . into keeping the noise level down? It’s almost eleven o’clock.”
This – or maybe the unfamiliar sound of silence that follows — apparently shocks them all into realizing the ruckus they have kept up for the past several hours. I don’t hear another peep out of them. Gee, I was ready to REALLY let them have it.
Thursday, July 19
I wake, as usual, at sunrise. Of course, the yakkety-yakkers are asleep. The crew and I creep out and pad on down the path to the river. A thick mist rises from the water. The night chill is still in the air. I look upstream. At that moment a red deer appears and walks slowly toward the river. She enters the water, and continues to walk without hesitation until the water is up to her neck, and then swims the rest of the way. She bounds up the opposite bank, stops and holds a graceful pose for a brief moment, as if to show off her lovely profile cloaked in the mist, and then silently disappears into the willows.
By the time the crew and I have eaten breakfast and I’ve drunk my coffee, I can hear the voices of the blabbity-blabs emanating from their tents. Spike, Bridget, and I quickly board the PTV. I turn the key and put her in gear. “Okay, guys! Off we go to Yellowstone!”
Well Sue, it’s better for you there than it is here for me, at home, everyday, any hour, the gardeners cutting lawns, blowing cuttings everywhere,the noise is sometimes to much to take.
Can’t wait for the hubby’s retirement, can’t come soon enough….
Oh, Barbara . . . I had a leaf-blowing neighbor once, in a former hell of a life. Maybe when you retire you won’t have to listen to that stuff anymore and the silence will be all the sweeter for it!
LOL! Some city folk don’t really understand the laws of nature well. Wonder if they thought the tent would “protect” them. Plus the lack of respect for nature’s sounds. Although I was like that a bit in my ignorant younger days. You are camping near a Very busy NP. Which I hope you you’ve enjoyed.
You make me homesick for the road. Keep at it.
Thanks for the encouragement to keep writing. I hesitated to write about the noisy campers, but decided to do so…. gotta keep it real. Not everything is perfect!
Oh NOOOOO. And of course the inconsiderate folks would never be your blog readers so they’ll never really understand how rude they are or what wonderful things they’re missing by making so much noise. Reminds us all to use our “inside voices” when we’re in a camping area.
At least they did stop once I asked them to. I was afraid I’d be given lip in return, not uncommon these days. Maybe they learned something . . . Let’s hope.
Ah, the joys of camping next to people who have no consideration of others. I have had it happen way too many times. I look forward to finding solitude very soon. I don’t have solar, but my generator is working. Now I can look for places with less people around. Hope I am as lucky as you have been. You are an inspiration to all your readers.
Thank you, Pat. I hope you enjoy many peaceful days . . . In beautiful places.
Oh Sue, I thought your story was going to have a happy ending until the Chatty Kathies showed up! That’s a rotten combination, isn’t it? Self-absorbed AND loud. You have a lot more patience than I.
I had a gabby hiking partner like that once. She never shut up. And she always wondered why we never saw any wildlife.
Most chatter is about nothing. Just a lot of foolishness or mental garbage overflowing from the mouth. I often have more respect for wildlife than I do for people.
If you’re lucky, they’ll be gone by the time you get back from Yellowstone.
No such luck.
Great stories Sue!! And well told! I too was wondering if the family actually thought that a tent would protect them. Wonder who was making the noise??
Glad you are putting the jerks you have to put up with as well as the great people in your blog. Some of the former are the ones who make me concerned about National Forest Camping. Not only the loud and obnoxious but more the too much to drink and obnoxious ones who definitely would give perhaps more than a little back talk to being asked for silence. Glad the “ladies” were cooperative.
I’ve talked frequently on my blog about the noise pollution in our “civilization” these days. A lot of my joy in RVing is the silence and the dark when I can get them both. What a gorgeous spot you are camped in. I can see why you have so many neighbors though it’s too bad unless they are as interested in a natural experience as you are.
I agree with you wholeheartedly, Sherry. People need to consider where they are. If you want to jabber incessantly, go to a bar or have people over to your house for a party. If you want peacefulness in natural surroundings, go out into nature. Blabbermouths, go home!
My comment on the last post was meant to be a compliment to you on how much you have grown in the last year, an I promise if there is something derogatory in one of my post it is a mistake or typo.
I wonder if you will be like me when I was in Yellowstone,One day looking around on a couple loops the next day driving through the park headed out ,there were just to many folks for me. It is beautiful.
Oh, Ron, I took your comment as a compliment. I’m proud of the changes that I’ve made! You know me well . . . I’m not much for tourist attractions.
I hope you get to spend several days touring Yellowstone NP. We saw lots of buffalo, a few elk, some moose and many pronghorn antelope! Glad you had the nerve to speak up to those oblivious noisemakers! I wonder if I would have? As for the fleeing father…. if he had been my dad, he just zeroed out on the respect he would have ever gotten from me! MotherShip gets repaired tomorrow (Wed)! YAY! Have fun!!! Geri
Yeah, that father was all about himself! It’s funny and sad at the same time. Glad to hear you’re getting the repair work done so you can be free to roam again!
Another beautiful spot to stay!! Hopefully the noisy gals will be gone soon. When my ex husband and I would camp in our RV it seemed like we always had someone in a tent, camp next to us. I wasn’t real crazy about it, for some reason, I felt like we had less privacy, even though we were in the RV.
I have to admit I get quite territorial when camping. I seem to think I own the place! Most tenters I’ve camped near have been quiet people who appreciate the sounds and silence of nature.
After teaching school for 31 years with sixth grade cherubs, I, too, enjoy quiet time, especially when I’m reading. Doesn’t he campground have a 10 o’clock curfew for noise?
The campground on Grassy Lake Road has a vault toilet, picnic tables, and bear boxes, but it isn’t what you normally would consider a developed campground. Everyone is pretty much on their own. It’s very small and there’s no camp host. Ten o’clock should be everyone’s curfew when camping, IMHO, no matter if anyone’s keeping track or not.
Your description of the chatty campers made me laugh. Thank you for such entertaining posts. The description of the family high tailing it to the security of the tent was great. :))
I wish I knew what animal made that scary roar. It was a funny sight to see the family hustle back to the tent at full speed right through the tent flap! I’m glad you got a laugh out of my post.
Well, no use to try another day of the chatty cathys eh?? Remember those dolls…heh!! I hope you find Yellowstone very enjoyable too!!
Those chatty cathy dolls were quite a novelty until about the third day after Christmas!
camping can sure change quick when certain neighbors move in . Happened to me a couple months ago. I was in a large campground with hardly anyone there In fact in the circle of 30 sites I was in there was one other occupied besides mine. Went for an all day hike . Came back and there were 3 cars, 3 tents right next to me and still tons of empty spaces !!! They where down at the lake swimming. 4 very small kids. 3 dogs, and 3 sets of parents. I was so PISSED off. Why move in right on top of me when there are so many other sites still empty??? I grabbed my tent and pulled it over to the next site , at least creating a buffer zone.
Anyways, those ladies should be a bit quieter tonight. Hopefully they dont stay long. Your place looks so nice and peaceful.
SJ Some times people feel more secure when they are camped next (close) to someone else. I prefer a little more seclusion.
My feeling is . . . if people are too insecure to camp more than 50 feet from another camper, they should stay home with the door locked.
I agree with you Sue !! Camping is not about crowding in together.
Hey Sue – Hope you get back to the park. We’ll be here until the end of September.
As for the chatty-kathies – I don’t think they were even aware of their noise. People who do not get outside the urban areas rarely realize how much noise they create. Had they lipped off I would not be giving them the benefit of the doubt, but the fact that they respected your request tells me they realized their goof. I think you handled it well.
As for the park. We had no idea how busy it would be. But considering that over 3 million people pass through in a short time (and that does not even count the sneakers who get in after the gate folks go home), it is not surprising how busy it is. It does not really feel at all like the true wilderness it is.
Anyway, your posts are terrific. Hope to meet you.
One last question: I was lookig at the pics of the PTV. Does it have cargo doors on both sides? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a full size van with doors on the driver’s side. Usually they are only on the passenger’s side.
Yellowstone is beautiful and I’m glad the area is set aside, but you are right, the people do detract from the wilderness feeling.
Thanks for the compliment on my blog.
Yes, the PTV (being perfect) has “barn doors” on both sides. So in all she has 8 doors! This is VERY handy, especially when looking for stuff.
So many people just have no manners all that is on their mind is their needs, their issues, their good time. Being respectful of others needs and comfort seems to be far from some people’s minds and they have no idea how loud and annoying their voices and actions are, because they live in their world where they are the center of it all. Your plea was timely, courteous and to the point thank you for educating them-they needed it. Let’s hope they remember it.
I don’t think the women gave any thought about me or the two women (quiet) in their tent. They were all caught up with having fun . . . which is okay up to a point. Thanks for validating my reaction. I’m glad it didn’t take much to quiet them down.
A huge chuckle from me bit I do sympathise………….a very amusing and well written post !!!
Thanks, Glenda. I appreciate your comment.
You sure have a lot more patience than Kelly or I would have ever had. I would sooner be parked next to a busy freeway than have to listen to a pack of people cackling 30 feet away, Luckily they didn’t have 3 SUV’s of young guys arrive with the big load of proverbial camping beer!!
Oh, I do believe beer was involved (since I heard one woman ask for one!), also strawberry daiquiris and wine.
Sue: My husband and I had this happen a couple of times in CA – nice, quiet, beautiful spot and then some yahoos with loud music, a keg of beer and 30 of their closest friends show up about 9pm. Longest night of my life and the ranger was useless, never once approached this bunch.
This is what I fear most about RVing – you have had great luck with neighbors so far. Hopefully they move on!
I don’t know about you, but I can’t win in these situations. If I don’t say anything, I suffer. If I do say anything, I might get backtalk and disrespect, and it affects my mood for days!
My thoughts exactly!
Funny about the family running to the safety of their tent.
As for the yakity women………………some people don’t realize how their voices carry especially in the woods. Most get overwhelmed with little creatures of nature. At least they understood the “tone” of your gracious words. Don’t know why citidiots wait until pitch dark to pitch their camp..nothing worse than hearing the clang of a hammer on a tent peg at o’dark thirty!
Have a great day!
What really got to me . . . Each of the six women went to get their night gear out of the car at different times and instead of thinking what they wanted, I believe they each went back to slam the car door more than once! They left their cooler outside until after dark and then opened up the hatch of the car to put it away…. SLAM! Lifted me right up off my bed!
Gregorian Chants- That will solve chatty neighbors. They are soothing and compel the unsuspecting listener to ‘listen’! But you need a boombox and I never saw that on your equipment list!
Yanni will clear the area! Rap might make them come over to your house and party! HUM, this requires a little research…..be happy your out of range of everything, including TV. I lost all interest in the Olympics after actually be at one (winter games, Calgary 88) Saw the commercial side, up close and personal…..and I’m a free enterprize kind of guy!.
Love pics, expecially the perfectly still lake shot 2 blogs ago. If you can continue to take pics like that, more power to you…but that one’s going to be HARD to top. Cheers, BR
PS- I forgot, does anyone know what happened the the ‘World’s Fair’, K remembers the 1962 Fair in Seattle. Her Grandmama lived in Portland and they all attended. She was 11 and remembers everything! br
I don’t expect to ever top the Brooks Lake campsite or the photos I took there!
Could just see Dad racing up the hill, family trailing behind. Too funny. As for the chatty Kathies I shudder to think how disturbing that was, great way to handle it . I would have suffered in silence and my husband wouldn’t have been nearly as diplomatic.
Ruth from At Home on the Road
As for the dad, if I was his wife I would be having some serious second thoughts, unless he was running into the tent to get a gun!!!
I wondered the same thing about the wife. People reveal their true nature in a crisis or challenge. Can you imagine leaving your children behind, running for your own safety? Incredible! I’d take that guy out to the woodshed over that! (which I leave up to the reader’s interpretation).
You’re a nice person. You could have yelled at those ladies but you didn’t and you waited a long time to say anything. That is nice. I love the area you are in it is so beautiful I am not sure I could make myself leave even for beautiful Yellowstone. The last time I was there it was 1977 and you know we were in a country wide drought. There were fallen trees everywhere. It was sad but I am sure it has recovered nicely. Can’t wait to see pictures.
There is evidence of forest fires in Yellowstone (planned or not, I don’t know) and, of course, pine beetle damage. Mostly it’s green, serene, and wild.
While I too would have been irritated as heck with these women… and probably would have rained on their parade before you did… I have to say that I also envy the great time they were having. Perhaps it was a group that meets once or twice a year… escaping husbands and kids… and the chance to act young and silly again. The fact that you got no lip and they quietly went to bed makes me think they just forgot themselves… could have been worse. At least there was no boozin’ and brawlin.’ Hopefully it won’t happen too often…
Well, there was some boozin but no brawlin. I think the fact that it was reunion is what made it possible for me to hold off until almost eleven. That’s a late hour for me. I’ve always been an early to bed, early to rise person. I knew I had to say something before I got past the point of being civil and the monster in me let loose.
Oh… I forgot… reading the posts on the previous thread about dogs not being allowed in Yellowstone. I remember when I was a kid, a friend or relative of ours took their dog into the park. It got loose and fell or jumped into one of the hot springs… sadly, it died of the severe burns.
Oh good heavens, what a terrible thing! I kind of guessed that was the reason for no pets allowed. That’s horrible!
Hi Sue and the Crew.
I have read your blogs but haven’t responded lately. I am still in New England. Visiting friends and relatives as I go. One more week in Woburn and then to Salem, Mass. I will probably start my trip back to Florida Aug. 6th. Been here 2 1/2 months. Enjoying it all. Had a good laugh at that husband. I bet the wife felt bad….. wonder if it was a bear??
I applaud you for speaking up with the girls. I probably would have suffered all night and not said anything. I am glad they were respectful to you. Love all the pictures! They all have been just amazing. When I get back home looking for my small class c and then on my way after the winter.
Until then I will live through your adventures and travels. I was amazed at the bears.
Sharon from Florida
Nice to hear from you agan, Sharon. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying your friends and family in New England. This is a summer to remember, right?
You have some exciting days ahead. Class C shopping will be challenging, exciting, and fun!
I have a friend who’s a gentle soul. The only time I ever saw him lose his temper was when he came upon a lizard a mtn biker had run over, probably w/o even noticing.
He carries a gun, a Glock or Ruger or something like that. He would never shoot anyone or anything with it. Its main use is to target practice with when people come and camp too close to him (he never camps in campgrounds, just the boonies). He gets it out adn finds a safe place nearby adn starts shooting it off. Works every time, they always leave. I call him Che Chris Gueverra. LOL
Sounds like a guy I could relate to. I’ve been kidded for stopping to take a turtle across the road!
Looks beautiful as was you last location. I noticed many of the free campground you go to involve some travel on gravel roads. How does your Casita hold up traveling on these roads? Any problems with popped rivets or ? I want to start doing boon docking with my Casita and was just wonder how she’ll fair on the rough roads. Look forward to your blogs – they are great.
You’re right, Ginger… Most of the great spots require driving on gravel or dirt roads, usually with washboard surfaces. I had one rivet pop early on when climbing a mountain in northern NM… I think it was Coyote Road (a road on which I shall never ride again!). A friend, Bill from Oregon, fixed it for me when I was at Quartzsite. A few screws need to be tightened periodically. Other than that, no damage so far. I take it very slow…
Oh dear, that noisy group of women was once me and my friends and when the folks next door came and asked us – nicely – to pipe down, we were all mortified! Since then we try to be a little more aware of time and neighbors and thin walled tents or RV’s!! Hopefully this was a lesson for these ladies as well. Even a normal voice level carries so much farther when there are none of the extraneous noises we get inured to in our daily lives, that until someone speaks up and asks for quiet we can’t possibly know how annoying we are. Kudos to you for not waiting until your temper boiled over to say something to them!
I do believe you explained their behavior. They had no idea how noisy they were. I would have been satisfied to have them simply lower their voices. I was surprised when I couldn’t hear anything from them after I made my request. They probably were ashamed of themselves.
Unfortunately, the bigger the group, the more the chatter and the exponential increase in decibel level. After all, the more there are and the more talking, the louder they will have to speak to be heard. It would be nice to find campgrounds devoted to only solo campers. 🙂
These people were taking turns talking, so there was no need to be so loud. If I can hear every word far away inside a trailer, the person sitting at the same picnic table ought to be able to hear at a lesser volume. I think they were a bit drunk and over-excited, acting more like teenagers than grown women.
It takes the finesse of an old school teacher to handle a unruly bunch… And to have a positive outcome, good job Sue.
My wife confronted a group of campers running their generator after midnight. It took calling out the ranger to get the noise stopped. it was quite the fiasco and left us uncomfortable camping next to them.
She went after another noisy group late one night and I thought here we go again. This time she snook into the middle of the group from the back and ask them politely to quiet down then disappeared in the dark back to our camper. They didn’t know where she came from or where she went. The surprize appearance seem to startle them and there was dead silence the rest of the night.
Wow! Mrs. Mark is something else! I love her sneaky attack, appearing out of the darkness. Maybe I should develop a wild animal roar and send all the talkers into their tents for the night!
I wasn’t making excuses for them. Just stating why groups are always worse to be camping near than singles or couples. And I was serious about solo campgrounds. 🙂 And drunks—don’t even get me started! 😦
I know what you meant . . .
Drunks are impossible to deal with. That’s an interesting concept… solo campgrounds. I don’t know if I’d like that or not. Taken from the groups point of view… If people want to party hearty, surely they can find a place to go that isn’t next to other people.
PS: Sue, was it really you who created the animal roar from upriver? 😀 Clever.
Maybe carrying some fake rattlesnakes that one could strategically place around the campsite might be a deterrent, too! 😉
Ha! That’s funny! No, it wasn’t me roaring at those people. I can tell you this . . When the women were so noisy, I said to myself and the crew, out loud . . . “Where is a grizzly when you need one…”
Thank you for posting the bad side of traveling along with the good. It gives us wanna-be’s a more balanced look at what to expect when we hit the road.
I have had that same type experience at state parks. I am patient until 10 p.m. which is the posted start of quiet time in the parks. Several times I’ve walked over to a nearby group who is outside and talking loudly, and I asked them to please be quiet, reminding them of the quiet time rule. I can’t remember a time when they didn’t apologize and say they didn’t know.
Your photos, as usual, are breathtaking.
Thank you for commenting, Cari. Sorry I didn’t see this sooner.
Hi Sue! First I have to say “Whew!” I’ve spent last evening & most of today reading your blog. I really admire you for what you have done and are doing now….enjoy life to the fullest is my belief and if you cant do what makes you happy…well, you know how that line ends.
My husband & I are planning to go full time in the not so distant future, we’re just waiting on the right day for him to decide to retire. I keep thinking he’ll get a belly full soon & I’ll be jumping for joy 🙂
I surely have enjoyed reading all about your travels and your crew. They have made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion and give the pouty lip a few times as well e.g. when Spike was bit by the other dog ;( Anyway I have you bookmarked and plan on dropping in again to check on you 🙂 Have a wonderful life and enjoy to the fullest!
I don’t know if you will see this reply or not, so much time has passed since you wrote your comment. I missed seeing it. I want to thank you for the compliments on my blog and for reading all of it from the beginning.
I hope your husband realizes what he and you are missing, days that may prove to be fuller and more memorable than anything at his work. Life is short. I wish you many happy days as fulltimers. Oh and I want to add . . . nice of you to empathize with Spike when his butt was bit!
Just wondering if what you heard was Big Foot screaming at the family to go away. I experienced it myself once and it made the hair on the back of my head stand on end for sure. I don’t blame the family for taking to their heels. There are plenty of things in this world that remain hidden and not seen or understood by many people.
My guess is these people don’t have that kind of perception.