Friday, December 17, 2010

Camping and Tourism

  My dad was a camper by heart. He didn’t care if we use a tent or a trailer. He liked to camp. I guess he passed a little of that on to me. I used pack my car with supplies and head up into the mountains and disappear for a week at a time.
  My parents began to worry, so they would call my friends over and asked them to go with me. It was nieve of them to think my friends wouldn't tell me what they had done. It was about the solitude as much as it was about getting away from the civilization. I would pack my trunk of my car and head up into the Cascades. Stopping at campgrounds along the way. My favorite places to camp where bumping lake and at the foot of Clear lake.  Both campsites are gone now. Clear lake spot is a picnic area and the bumping lake spot was erased by a damn reconstruction project.
  There are more places in the Northwest that I have found over the years to pitch a tent. One of which, is Eagle Creek campground.  Over on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. I hadn’t really thought about that place as being prefect, but is sure was close. They green trees and wild life walking through and the fact that no one knew about it.  I would go on Labor day and 5 out of 17 campsites would be used..
  Until the television show, Ten Wonders of the West. Four of the wonders are within 100 miles of that spot and it was right in the middle of the Columbia Gorge. (Mount Rainier, Mouth Hood, Mount Saint Helens, and The Columbia Gorge) Worse yet, the programmed mentioned that camping hid away by name, along with the second most popular trail. Which is the eagle creek trail.
  We went there a few months back and it was crowned, and noisy.  People were camping three cars to a spot and don’t get me started about the trail.  Hundred of people walking the two or so miles to see Punch bowl falls. I was starting to wonder if it had been a mistake to have come here again, when I noticed my son sitting on log in the middle of the stream. He was having fun and that was all that counted. There were 10 Korean Tourist taken his picture. They came to take photos of Punch Bowl falls.  He just wanted to swim.
  We hike, took a cruise on a river boat, and road a train to the foot hills of Mount Hood.  By the time we came home I was glad we had went. It felt great even if the solitude was replaced with a tourist trap. Now to find a better camp ground with out the carnival.

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