3,140 Miles from Gold Beach, Oregon: Riverdale, ND

It doesn’t matter where you go, people are all the same.

Campground etiquette has become non-existent in the last few years. People think rules don’t apply to them. We hear the same thing from RV parks and Campground owners wherever we travel. “People say they reserved this spot. They can do whatever they want.”

Campground Etiquette - where has it gone?

Not so. Rules are in place to protect us from ourselves. It has been that way since the seventies. ‘Don’t use your hairdryer in the shower’ comes to mind.

Now at campgrounds, there are rules to make your stay safe and enjoyable. Rules like: no loud music, no generators after 7 PM, quiet time hours, no children allowed on four-wheelers without adult supervision, pets must be leashed and cleaned up after, don’t leave your pets unattended or allow them to bark, respect your neighbor’s space (this is a hot-button for Amber), keep it clean, and don’t arrive late or leave early. Many campgrounds have more rules, many have very few…we encountered one where the only rule was to not feed the campground dog due to allergies.

Most follow the rules. But then there are a few that think nothing applies to them. “Rules? We don’t need no stickin’ rules!” Not fun to be their neighbor!

We met some great people during our stay along the Missouri River in North Dakota. One such couple told us they owned an RV park nearby. When we asked why they were camping, they told us they just closed it down for a few weeks so they could get away from the campers who couldn’t follow the rules. The example they gave was “a three-year-old child allowed to play on the dock along the lake with no adult present”. Imagine that! It’s okay to go camping and turn the kids loose – without concern even for their own child’s safety. Obviously courtesy to fellow campers would be even further down on their list of worries.

Typical layout of an RV Park

Gold Beach gets that way this time of year. As the tourist traffic and interactions weigh on our patience, our tolerance wears thin. We become anxious for fall when kids go back to school, parents stop taking vacations, and only the senior crowds fill our stores and streets.

In case you are wondering, there is a difference between ‘Campgrounds’ and ‘RV parks’. Campgrounds have the sites spread out and sites are not in parallel lines. Cape Blanco is a good example of a campground, although Army Corps of Engineers parks cost less and provide significantly more space between sites.

RV parks jam you in as tight as they can, similar to Turtle Rock RV Resort in Hunter Creek. During our travels, we have seen one RV park (at a Casino) where our sewer connection was literally under the neighbor’s picnic table – yuck! The RVs were stacked one on top of the other.

Campground Campsite with more space and privacy

For the most part, we have been able to avoid the stacked parks due to our free schedule to move at will to wherever we would like to stay, for whatever length of time we want. Our schedule is not that regimented. When meeting with clients, we can stay in a variety of places in their area, we are not confined to a place with no amenities or rule-breaking neighbors.

Small towns are our thing. Driving into the big cities is not that pleasant, but for the day, it can be tolerated. Imagine Gold Beach, jam-packed in the summer. Then imagine it was that busy all year-’round. Patience would wear thin, and Gold Beach would not be the place that it is where residents enjoy the small-town feel and the separation with big cities and big-city trouble.

‘Keep strong, if possible. In any case, keep cool. Have unlimited patience. Never corner an opponent, and always assist him to save his face. Put yourself in his shoes so as to see things through his eyes. Avoid self-righteousness like the devil, nothing so self-blinding.’

Perhaps we can learn from this advice given by an elder statesman in 1960.

Our encounters with others, whether they are traveling or traveling through our town, are just a brief moment in our day, in our life. Someday we may ourselves be in that person’s position and would greatly value kindness and patience.

Guest Author: EsQue