Saturday, January 13, 2024

Space invaders

I’ve been camped in a nearly perfect spot in far southeastern California. A wide area between two converging washes. Only one way in. Sort of a cul-de-sac, even though I have ranted against them in the past. The closest neighbors are about two football fields away. My reclusive self was happy.

Until yesterday.

A little before sunset a truck pulling a toy hauler drove within feet of the Rolling Steel Tent. Then there was another. And another. And another. Then a truck with a flatbed trailer carrying two ATVs/OHVs/side-by-sides or whatever they call them these days. And an SUV. I thought they would discover the dead end and turn around. No, they were setting up camp, about 20 yards away, with a certainty of movement that conveyed it had been their plan from the beginning.


So, as they unloaded their ATVs/OHVs/side-by-sides or whatever they call them these days and started revving the engines, I secured a few onboard items and climbed into the driver seat. (My habit of not setting up outdoor living space allows for quick getaways.) There was plenty of other space I could move to. Plenty of other space the group could’ve moved to when (if) they saw I was already occupying the area. (Heck, I had even peed a few times around my territory. I guess that only works with critters.)

A group showing up on a Friday evening is probably weekenders. It has been my experience weekenders — particularly those with ATVs/OHVs/side-by-sides or whatever they call them these days — operate with different rules of camping etiquette. Or with none at all. C’est la vie nomade. Let it go, and go elsewhere. While giving them the stink eye.

UPDATE: Yup, weekenders. They left Sunday morning. Maybe they had planned on staying through the afternoon but my stink eye chased them off.


  1. Just goes to show, not everyone needs (or wants) to live in the middle of a thousand yard circle of emptiness. Luckily there was a lot more empty space available. 10 years from now, who knows.

    1. I suppose if someone lives in a suburb with neighbors 12 feet away, or an RV park where your slide-outs almost touch, 20 yards seems like a lot of privacy space between you and a stranger.

    2. We live in the middle of a 4 acre parcel in the foothills of Northern CA. Our nearest neighbor is about 400' away, so we don't quite have that thousand yard circle, but we, like you, like our privacy. My point was that those thousand yard circles are going to be harder and harder to find in the future.

  2. I'm taking the American Safety Council Driving Course for the Geico discount. It cites statistics from 2003 and says recreational vehicles had increased by 63%. It doesn't say over what period, but I'm sure you've noticed the almost exponential increase in the last few years. Not all are considerate.

    As I commented on the goings on at RTR: nice people are nice, but they still make noise.

    Congrats on not losing your cool. I'd've been tempted to go over with a heavy tone and growl "WTF?!?!"

  3. Based on the way you described their arrival, my guess is they come there often so they considered you to be in their space.
    Linda Sand