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Fake Paradise Camping in the Southwest

 I have speculated with friends whether this winter would end up being a crowded camping season in the desert Southwest. We had hoped that the absence of Canadians would make things less crowded, but the virus situation might make other states unlivable, which means more people will seek sanity and refuge in the desert.

Today I rolled into the first of the hackneyed camping areas that everybody knows about. Business seems to be up by 50%.

And yet the blogosphere and You Tube vloggers keep using cliches, such as 'in the middle of nowhere', 'the great American Southwest', 'adventure', etc., to describe over-rated and over-used winter camping in places like Arizona.

As an example I am camping with a friend on a peninsula of a canyon system. We are parking in a deliberately wasteful and inefficient way so as to lower the chance that some asshole will move in close, such as the guy on the other side of the canyon a half of a mile away whose generator I can hear. 

There are better examples than this of the 'neighbor from hell,' but it is what I could find. From

I never thought it would come to this. And yet the vlogs and blogs keep ignoring the reality of camping today. Why so? Ah well, why belabor the issue? Everybody knows the reasons why they limit themselves to booster-ism.

But let me leave you with a constructive suggestion that works. Years ago I would try to drive 'further down the road' or across one more nasty arroyo to try to insulate myself from asshole neighbors. But it just doesn't work anymore. Everyone has four wheel drive these days, and one blabbermouth after another gives locations away on the internet.

So invert the obsolete method of trying to get away from neighbors, by deliberately camping near a cluster of campers who have solar panels on their roof. Walk around their rig and look for a hidden open-frame generator or a gasoline can.

I did that today, and even walked up to within about 15 feet of the open door of the trailer and asked permission to camp at a nearby site. I told them that we were 100% solar, but wouldn't camp at the next site if it made them uncomfortable. Not only did they seem relieved, but we all had a pleasant half-hour conversation. 

The second thing that helps me is to play background music as noise deodorant. It is quite effective, especially at night. I play background sounds all night, literally.


Even the " nobody wants to camp there" places in West Texas are considerably more crowded this year.
Barney, ahh that is too bad: another bad data point.