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I've Got HIM on the List...

Give in to the whimsical, and imagine Gilbert and Sullivan working in the tourism industry in Colorado, in summer. What a field day they would have, especially with "I've Got a Little List."




[KO-KO]
As some day it may happen that a victim must be found
I've got a little list — I've got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground
And who never would be missed — who never would be missed!
There's the pestilential nuisances who write for autographs —
All people who have flabby hands and irritating laughs —
All children who are up in dates, and floor you with 'em flat —
All persons who in shaking hands, shake hands with you like that —
And all third persons who on spoiling tête-á-têtes insist —
They'd none of 'em be missed — they'd none of 'em be missed!

[Chorus]
He's got 'em on the list — he's got 'em on the list;
And they'll none of 'em be missed — they'll none of 'em be missedNow, there is no point to …

Let People Have Their "Fun" on the Fourth

It is getting close to peak tourist insanity in Colorado, otherwise known as the Fourth of July. Say, what do you think this guy is trying to do?


That's a full size fifth-wheel trailer. In about 100 feet he is going to encounter a giant mud pit that he probably will get stuck in. Even if he makes it through, he might knock out his black water holding tank. If his luck still holds, there are no campsites where he is headed that will hold his rig. Well maybe one. But it is likely already taken.

Then again, his trailer might only be a double axle, instead of a triple axle. And he doesn't have a UTV trailer or boat trailer appending his fifth-wheel trailer. And he came in before sunset. So it's not like he is a dummy or something!


But he is going to have to back out of there...

There was a time in my career as a campground host when I would have rushed down there to help the bloody fool. No more. Is that good or bad?

There was a time when I would come rushing to the aid of a damsel…

Why Is Crappy Camping So Popular?

I'm glad I have persisted through Mark Twain's "Roughing It." The trick is to just skip the 'humorous tales'. He was camped near Lake Tahoe with some fellow travelers:

It was a hard, wearing, toilsome journey, but it had its bright side; for after each day was done and our wolfish hunger appeased with a hot supper of fried bacon, bread, molasses and black coffee, the pipe-smoking, song- singing and yarn-spinning around the evening camp-fire in the still solitudes of the desert was a happy, care-free sort of recreation that seemed the very summit and culmination of earthly luxury. It is a kind of life that has a potent charm for all men, whether city or country-bred. We are descended from desert-lounging Arabs, and countless ages of growth toward perfect civilization have failed to root out of us the nomadic instinct. We all confess to a gratified thrill at the thought of “camping out.”It is quite a mystery, this strange popularity of "camping out." A…

Attitudes Toward Drought

It is strange the way weather reports, especially on television, talk about a "40% chance of rain" as if it were life-threatening. This is so common it is easy to not even notice it. But it is a perfect example of how modern life is separated from nature and even physical reality.


I can't help thinking about that as we finally get a spot of light rain here in Colorado, after a dud monsoon season. How tiresome hot sun can get! Sunny mornings are still enjoyable, but in mid-day, the sun simply makes me stay indoors. I can't face it anymore.


But the tourist/camper still thinks that rain is the enemy, and that a sunny sky is something to feel happy about.

What a fraud the modern citified 'nature lover' is! 'Nature' doesn't mean anything to them other than a chance to gawk at freakish scenery of some kind. 

What if they actually had to grow something or hunt something to live? 


Switch in Political Affiliation?

Could the experience of being a campground host change a person's political orientation? Perhaps it is worth generalizing this to: will working with the general public change your political views?

I am inclined to answer, Yes. I seem to be switching from libertarian to MRAG, that is, Mildly Repressive Authoritarian Regimes.

This switch does not please me. But there is a big caveat: seeing tourists all day is like teaching second grade. The tourist is not really an adult. Implicit in the libertarian viewpoint is the idea that you are dealing with adults who are responsible for their actions.

The child or adolescent gives little concern for the long term consequences of its actions. And it gives no concern for the effect on other people.



Society as a whole has become progressively more adolescent over the last hundred years. The welfare state deserves its share of the credit for this. But even more, the culture of consumer debt has enabled a childish "Gimme it now" mindset tha…

Tourists, and the Brains God Gave a Goose

A couple hundred cows (and a couple bulls) came through the campground recently. Therefore there was a huge up-spike in the average IQ of the campground. Do you think I am exaggerating?

Once I tried to suggest alternatives to driving long distances to merely snack on pretty scenery. I argued that a vacation would cost less money and be more relaxing if people went to a luxury lodge of the other side of the metropolis, watched a movie, ordered pizza for the kids, took the wife to an elegant restaurant or "nice" shops, and hung out at the pool.

Additionally, the pretty scenery can be gotten just as well from high-resolution video or photographs on the internet. And it is virtually free.

But I don't think anyone was persuaded. They are still showing up in the middle of the night at my campground, slamming car doors for an hour while pitching their tent in the rain, listening to someone snore in a tent 30 feet away from theirs, sleeping through the perfect weather of a Southwes…

Avoiding Over-Crowding in Tourist Areas

I was almost personally insulted to only have one camper at my campground last night. Was the world trying to say that we weren't offering a desirable product? Maybe I should have stopped in at his campsite and turned on the charm offensive.

But when I looked at it rationally and laid out the pro's and con's, things stacked up pretty well at this location. But most people don't think like that, apparently. They want to go to places that are popular with everybody else. It is strange that many people have so little confidence in the carefulness of their own thoughts.

An unpopular location or season offers a huge payoff to the visitor in Colorado. The over-crowding in this state is becoming discouraging. So it is very hopeful to realize that you can escape the crowds if you stop defining beauty the way that everybody else does.

All a person has to do is recognize the standard, bar-coded postcards that attract the masses, and then steer away from such places, at least at ce…

Another Tourist Asking for Trouble

I was becoming inured to tourists drowning their brand new $50,000 motor vehicles in our neighborhood river. So perhaps it was a good thing that the young woman showed up at the campground and asked about how to get to her friend's remote location higher up in the mountains.

There was only an hour of daylight left, the usual time for tourists to get organized enough to do foolish things.  She had a text message, but no map. She was driving a low clearance, passenger car. I didn't quite know the place her message named, but I was suspicious. Back in my trailer, I looked up the place on one of my smartphone apps. It was as I feared. 

Did she have much of a chance to get there? There wouldn't be any car repair places open tomorrow, Sunday. She had already lost cellphone reception. Had her friend made it to that location because they had a high clearance car? 

A tourist can be so foolish and get away with it because  -- and only because -- they have cellphone reception and a cred…