Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Things That Go ‘Bump’ in the Night

We arrived at our campsite on Monday under sunny skies and warmish temperatures with high spirits.  We unloaded all our gear and our over-excited dog and hiked it all into our walk-in site and were setting up our tent and tarp when the neighbours showed up.

The site next to ours, and the one next to that, were overrun with a large group of teenagers blasting music on a stereo (walk-in sites are radio-free zones) and generally being loud.  All the warning signs of a long night were there.  We hoped for the best, but when someone from another nearby campsite walked over and told them to turn down their radio and they did, they just turned it right back up when the woman left.

Still, the volume wasn’t too bad, and they spent most of the daylight hours lounging out of earshot on the beach, so we enjoyed a quiet dinner and settled by the fire for our first evening in the great outdoors.

After dark, the party started in earnest.  The music was loud, but the shouting was louder and it only got quiet a few times when they were visited by the park ranger with stern warnings to keep it down.  Sadly, those breaks only lasted until the ranger was out of earshot and things picked up again.

All of this went on until 4am, when they wandered off into their own tents to pass out after drinking their faces off.  I was surprised to be woken up at 8am to the sounds of them packing up.  I figured they would sleep until noon after partying so hard, and I thought I’d seen from their permits that they would be there for a few nights.  After an hour of packing, they were gone.

Later, the woman who had asked them to turn down the radio stopped by to tell us that they’d been kicked out of the park.  Apparently with walk-in sites, the rangers don’t kick them out at night as they’ll make more noise packing up and leaving in the dark than if they’d just been left alone and booted out in the morning.

Good riddance.  I’m all for group camping and having a few drinks, but having a wild, raging kegger in a provincial park is just stupid.  Go have a bush party on some crown land, or go to a private campground where they have a party area (there are LOTS of these places around Ontario).  Better yet, rent a cottage in the middle of nowehere.  Provincial parks are for solitude and nature.

Over our morning coffee, we toasted the fine staff of Silent Lake and wished our former neighbours safe travels to wherever their party took them next.

The one bright spot in all of this is that despite being overstimulated by all the wildlife nearby, and having eaten nearly a million acorns in a frenzy, Mojo barely paid any attention to the party and certainly didn’t bark or growl at it.  That would have made for a much longer night.

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