Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Watching the Clock Go in Reverse from the Shores of Prick Nation

We headed up to a place called Cascade Lake Recreation Area for our first mountain vacation of the year. We'd heard some good things about this campground, and because it had full hookups we decided to try it. We'd never stayed at a place that had full hookups (water, electric, sewer) for our little travel trailer.

Right away, we noticed problems with this place. The folk on the other end of the line weren't all that helpful when we called to make reservations. We ended up in a campsite across the road from the lake (that was actually good) but completely absent of trees (boo!). The campsites where we were situated had been created by carving away a hill to make a level area suitable for seven campsites (sans trees). Yes, we had full hookups, but I missed the trees.
Full hookups. Oh, joy! (Where are my trees?!)

Bridal Veil Falls.

And as soon as we got to Cascade Lake we began to get a taste of the the camp Nazis. The staff seemed comprised of retirees who were both rude and officious. The rules we encountered were many and unbendable. After only a few hours we actually dreaded the sight of the camp Nazis riding around in their freaking golf carts looking for various violators. Yes, I understand that this park is popular with the locals, and that it could get crowded, but the rules were just too much. Despite the overall attractiveness of the campground as a whole. I quickly named it: Prick Nation, and I won't return to it.

My nephew, Mark Cooper, and myself at High Falls.

The main focus of the trip was to get a good visit of DuPont State Forest. At one time, the almost 11,000 acre tract that makes up this quasi-park was in the hands of the DuPont Corporation. They used part of it as an industrial site (for their Agfa Plant), and the rest as a kind of retreat for company big-shots and as rewards for loyal employees and such. The park is criss-crossed with amazing gravel roads and trails, has at least four lakes, a lodge, several cabins, and a paved airstrip complete with hangar.

Under the Falls.

At one point, the land was poised to go into the greedy hands of scum-sucking land developers. However, for some reason some sanity prevailed and the acreage ended up in the hands of the masses. The park is extremely popular since it is home to some of the most accessible and spectacular waterfalls in the state. The almost 100-trail system in the forest is pretty much multi-use, which means you are about as likely to encounter mountain bikers and horseback riders as you are fellow hikers. All in all, it's a very, very nice place and I stay completely amazed that the various waterfalls are not in private hands and poisoned with the second homes of multi-jillionaires.

A moonlight canoe ride. Don't tell the camp Nazis!

However...the next time I go, I will stay at the Davidson River Campground, which is a National Forest facility and not quite so encumbered with so many rules and not run by such a lot of ancient prison camp guards.

Merry Falls.

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