Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Best Development in RV Camping in 20 Years!

The old adage about 'god is in the details' applies to so many things. Nowhere is it better illustrated than in camping. The vast majority of campgrounds are terrible places to camp. Please don't tempt me to illustrate.

In America (and maybe a couple other countries?) we have been fortunate enough to have the option of "dispersed camping" outside established campgrounds, and by yourself. This is probably the best outdoor experience you could have.

But for years dispersed camping (and other types of access to public lands) has been under persistent and relentless attack by the land control organizations. But they may simply be the Effect. The Cause is likely to be laws passed by Congress, trying to burnish their environmental credentials, as well as rich lawsuit machines (aka, environmental lobbies) and their fellow-travelers sitting on the bench as federal judges.

And yet the RV industry and the RV blogosphere have done next to nothing to protect quality camping in the USA. Just do a Google search of anything connected to RVing or camping. None of it addresses the real issue of the ever-increasing restrictions on camping. 

Until now. Recently a remarkable organization has come into being. I am not exaggerating to say that in my 20 years of familiarity with the war on camping, this is the first positive and exciting development I have seen! 

It is the winter season at Quartzsite. It was a perfect time to put some points on the board. We worked as the active partner of the BLM: they suggested the location, gave safety instructions, supplied a trailer to haul it away, and enlisted the help of four BLM people.

I was the first person there, and for a moment felt the turnout would be a dud, and that I would have to make excuses with the BLM. (In fact I hadn't slept much the previous night, while I worried about this.) Then the volunteers starting streaming in!

New as we are, about 20 volunteers showed up.

What's this? Even dogs chipped in!

I hope we have 120 volunteers next winter in Quartzsite, and many cleanups at other locations during the rest of the year.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

500 Years of History to Size Up

Recently there has been a timely opportunity to wrestle with the Big Picture: the Protestant Reformation had its 500th birthday. Secondly a quirky election (for a Senate seat in Alabama) makes you wonder how American culture looks from the perspective of a European post-Christian. Thus there are two timely examples to think about the last 500 years of the Decline and Fall of European Christianity.

I cannot answer these issues in a brief post. But I do want to advertise them as an opportunity. Many important questions are ignored even though we know that they are important. They are big, and take too much hard work. This is how the timeliness of the news, or our outrage at news coverage, can be used to spur us on to the Difficult. It's the best use I know of.

For my part I am reading Hilaire Belloc again, in part because the English-speaking world is already saturated with the Whig Interpretation of History. I need to hear history from the Catholic viewpoint to be 'awakened from my dogmatic slumbers.' 

Suffice it to say that I have been convinced that Protestantism as a separate religion from Catholicism was a sad result of a potentially beneficial Reformation.