Wednesday, October 28, 2015


campsite 20 is one of two remote campsites on waterbury reservoir that are accessible by land.

and by "accessible by land", i mean there's a trail that goes right to it. and by "trail", i mean that if you look at the historical map of the area surrounding little river state park,  you can see that these campsites essentially sit right on historical roads that are now considered to be cross country ski-trails. they're just a hop and a skip off of the multi-use trails, and they're one of the loveliest ways to go down to the water, so if you're going to camp there, you're going to have visitors.

the thing about it is that if you start off with your dog on the trail and you decide to go down to the lake by that route, you have to already be there before you learn that the campsites are occupied and let's face it, in cold weather those campsites are less likely to be occupied, so you're rather a surprise to the visitors.

most people are polite when they come through your campsite. most people, when they realize you're there, call their dogs back to them and they holler a greeting or come respectfully through and make pleasantries because they're aware that they are walking with their dogs (and they nearly always have dogs) through your current living space.

these polite ones, i like. i always ask them if they will stay for tea and cake. they never do, and i don't know what i would do if they did since even though i have plenty of cake and plenty of water and a good selection of teas, i only have the one cup. two, if you count the one in the rain bucket.

the couple from connecticut, they were nice. they were also a little lost and did not really know how to get back. i couldn't help them much, because i have never been to the site by trail. it's pretty straightforward if you go by boat.

but the man, he was from here.

not like i'm from here. i have only lived here since 1973, which makes me most definitely from AWAY. but even though he lives away, he is FROM here. his grandfather's old farm was one of the ones bought out when they built the dam, and lies under the lake. his father worked on the crews that built the dam.

the reason they would not stop for cake, they said, was because the purpose of the walk in the first place had been to exercise off some of the cake they had already been eating and maybe feel less bloated.

fair enough.

but boneheads visit, too, although out of all the people who came through my camp with varying degrees of politeness, only one pair were real boneheads.

they were preceded by their three large and completely uncontrolled dogs, after which, when they saw they were in my campsite, they could only be bothered to holler "they're friendly!" this was followed up with "we're just going to the beach."

then they threw my collected driftwood into the water, which the dogs declined to return. "GOOD BOY!!!" they yelled. "who's a good boy? who's a good boy?"

i simply went ahead with my in-progress activity, which was washing up and changing shirts. you HAVE to do that in the window of the day that's warm and dry, else you're miserable later. plus get bent. if you charge into my living space like that, you are damn well going to be aware that it's my living space.

so then when they were done throwing my collected wood into the water and in general making themselves obnoxious on the/my beach, all three dogs came charging up into my site, unaccompanied, with trailing cries of "GOOD BOY! GOOD BOY!"

and then one of the good boys came under my tarp to pee on my gear.

the woman tried to call him back.

"oh," she said, delicately holding up the edge of my garbage bag as if she did not want to get near to dog pee, "he peed on your garbage".

yes, he had, and that's bad enough, because even if he peed on my garbage, he still peed on the outside of my garbage bag, in my tarp area, where i live. you know, right next to my food.

but she was too dainty to touch it.

i had to, though, because i still had to live there and i had to get it out and rinse it off so i could keep using it without getting her dog's piss on MY hands, and they weren't even gone from my site before i discovered that he had also peed on my lifejacket, my boots, and my spray skirt.

the man acted like it was a terrible imposition on HIM when i called this to their attention.

you know that gesture people make where they put their hands up near their ears like they're going to cover them? yeah, he made that gesture. and he turned and walked away, saying "i'm sorry. i'm SORRY. i'm SORRY." until they were all out of sight.

he did not sound sorry to me. he sounded like i'd had a lot of nerve putting my stuff where his dog could pee on it.

i fished my gear out from where i had stowed it to be protected and dry, and i rinsed it off and hung it all up to dry.

my things, up to dry

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