Day 20 (2)

It was inevitable. Two things, I guess, were inevitable and they happened today.

First, I caught a hornet in my beard as I was riding down a hill. I quickly plucked it out with my left hand, and got a sting on my numb pinky.

Second, I had to stop at the KOA. I still don’t have a great nose for camping off the beaten path, and so i wasn’t confident about finding a good place outside Eureka. I rolled into Arcata at about 4:45, and it was going to be another 30 miles until the next marked campground. I guess it’s not terrible here, but it’s a strange notion of camping.


Not really a natural area, most of the people staying here brought RVs. There are half a dozen spots for tents, and these little cabins that are just a bit bigger than a backyard shed.

I guess this place serves a purpose, providing a cheap place for families to stay on their way to more scenic destinations. There are things for kids to do, and it’s orderly.

However, it has been disappointing to see how many people are camping on really similar ways when they get to what should really be their destination. They pull their camper into a spot that’s barely separated from the next spot, they buy a bundle of wood, burn it while sitting around, and then go inside their portable house to watch TV. I guess that if people enjoy it then I’m not going to tell them how to spend a vacation, I just see it as an odd ritual that so many of us do, boiled down to the essentials. Non-permanent housing, access to insects and dirt, presence of burning wood.

It makes me appreciate how remote and isolated some of the spots I had the opportunity to camp in we’re when I was growing up.

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4 Responses to Day 20 (2)

  1. mom says:

    Yes, but we did spend a night in a KOA. Like you, we could not find a good place when we needed it, and the KOA did offer a place to catch up on laundry and some news. I am glad that you appreciate “off the beaten path”. Not many do.

  2. dad says:

    Heh; There were a couple of times we had to use a KOA, and the thing I remember was that they always seemed to be near railroad lines. So, did you get woken up by train whistles?

  3. FreakyBeaky says:

    There you are on my old turf. After four years in Arcata I’m sure I’d driven by that exact KOA a thousand times.

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