Saturday, October 18, 2008

Campfires, Pirates & Outdoor TV's

It is mid-October and we are still at the Pismo Coast Village in Pismo Beach, California. For those that don't know, Pismo Beach is on the Central Coast between Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo. It is a cool haven for lots of folks from the San Joaquin Valley, around Fresno and Bakersfield, to come for a vacation. So, every Friday they all begin to roll into the RV Park with kids, dogs, and BBQ grills in tow to enjoy a nice weekend. Then Sunday afternoon there is the big exodus as they all begin leaving to go home again. The long-term visitors, such as Bruce and I, then have the park to ourselves until the next weekend comes around.
Almost all of the weekend visitors have the same set patterns of behavior. (some long-term visitors, too, but not many) and it is always great fun to observe it all in action. For instance, they all have the obligatory nightly campfire. Well call me a party pooper, but I don't do the campfire thing ever. I've done "my time" as I often say about true camping when I was a Girl Scout leader and I don't intend to go back to those days. Here at Pismo they provide you with a beautiful cement campfire ring at every campsite. (see photo) We've been here almost 7 weeks and ours is clean as a whistle ! The local stores charge a pretty good price for a small bundle of firewood. We could bring wood from home....haul it all the way down here in the basement of the RV. We'd probably be bringing some visitors along for the ride too. You know the kind I mean and the worst would be the spiders. They would soon find their way into my RV home and I'd rather they stay out. Also, a campfire smells good from a distance of...oh about 2 miles...but anything closer and I soon begin to get that burnt wood, campfire smell in my clothes and in my hair. Then I go into the RV smelling like I've been near a forest fire and that stink...excuse me, aroma, comes in with me and stays for days. When I go to bed the burnt wood smell goes from my hair to my pillow and stays there for days, too. So, forget the Smore's and the campfire songs -- I don't want any of it thank you.
Another thing I observe with lots of RVer's, and mainly the weekend folks, is the need to watch television outdoors. I'm not talking about bringing the portable out onto the picnic table, no siree! I'm talking about the new 5th wheels or motorhomes that have huge flat screen models mounted into an exterior cabinet. All they have to do is open the door, turn the TV on with the remote, kick back in their outdoor lounge chair and crank up the volume so everyone can hear it. Yes, the RV world has it's share of guys that really want to "one-up" the guy next door. You know...."My TV is bigger than your TV" sort of mentality. Why on earth do you want to pay lots of money for a luxury motor coach with a big TV inside by a comfy sofa, and then sit outside in the cold watching another TV from a canvas lounge chair? Besides, doesn't that campfire smoke blow in your eyes so you can't see the screen? :) Maybe it's a guy thing? I know I don't see a lot of the women watching TV outdoors.
Another funny habit I see at Pismo Coast Village every time we come is the abundance of pirate flags. Do they think they're Johnny Depp or something? Some people hoist the skull and cross bones high up on a flag pole so it can be seen from many rows away. Some people even rig up special night time lighting so that their special pirate flag can be seen best. Then there is one group here this weekend that has about 5 pirate flags strung out on their RV awning cross piece. Great...maybe they've longed to be Captain Hook or someone. Go figure.
I will say that almost every single camper here is polite and considerate of their neighbors. You rarely find a person that does not clean up after their dog. You rarely find a person, or group, that carries on loudly after the 10 pm curfew. You find lots of kids and dogs here on the weekends and drivers go slow here in the park to protect them. It is a nice little community of RVer's....pirates and all!

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