Monday, August 08, 2011

Can't Anyone Build a Campfire?

It sure didn't look like it this weekend at Lathrop State Park. As we cleaned the fire rings in our 103 camp sites, we found a huge amount of only partially burned logs. We didn't have much wind or rain over the weekend, so our only guess is that the campers this weekend don't have fires very often and they didn't know how to get a really good fire going.

They also didn't have any idea how much wood they would use over the weekend. Since we not only clean out the fire rings, but also pick up all the unburned wood people leave in their sites, we did a lot of lifting in addition to all the shoveling John did cleaning out the ashes.

Just look at this dump truck load. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you will see unburned wood on the left and the partially burned wood and ashes in the middle.

In addition to all the split firewood the campers didn't use, would you look at the chunks of un-split wood? How on earth do people think that will burn? At times, we see people put a six-foot log in the fire and find it won't burn. And campers often bring old two by fours and other used wood from home. Then they leave it for us to pick up.

In addition to the usual glass, aluminum and plastic in the fire rings, we also found some new litter today. It included a baby bottle, a collapsing fork, and a aluminum wire grill. Do they forget these things or decide they are too dirty to use again. I imagine one family was driving down the road with a fussy toddler and wondered what happened to the bottle.

Each weekend, the personality of the campers changes. Since the school year is about to get in gear, we didn't see many families with school-age children this weekend. They will be out again in force for one more summer camping trip over Labor Day. I wonder if the people camping this weekend were out for the first time this summer. They realized summer was almost over and they had to use the camper or tent at least once.

What will next weekend be like? We can only wait and see.


  1. Glad it's you and not us who gets to find out!

  2. I, too, get distressed when I find trash in the fire pit left from the previous campers. Did they really think those beer bottles and styrofoam cups were going to make a nice fire???

    We seldom make a fire. But even when we don't I pick up the trash. Would not want the next residents to think we were the culpits.