People are Strange

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Strange?  Not so much, they were riding for charity.

We spent a few memorable days on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, with odd encounters and over-the-top glorious warm, sunny weather.  We stayed at a private RV park on the waterway, where each site is individually owned and decorated.  You cannot reserve sites in advance, but we knew that we might be able to snag a waterfront site because we were arriving on a Sunday morning, when many people were leaving.  We arrived fairly early for check-in and found limited available waterfront sites due to dock construction.  But, fortunately, one lovely site right on the water had just opened up and we grabbed it.  Yesssss!!!

After we went through the routine of backing in (a bit difficult because of the large truck parked across the street) and unhooking the trailer, George went to hook up the sewer hose and discovered a charming surprise—a spill from the previous occupant’s black tank.  It was a two-foot wide puddle of sodden disintegrating clumps of toilet paper and crap (literally).  Nooooo!!!

What kind of people leave a dump of sewage behind?  Did they think no one would notice?  It’s bad enough having to act as a roto-rooter for your own sewage in an RV, but having to come face-to-face with someone else’s is downright puke-worthy.  After an initial non-reaction from the woman manning the park’s office, apparently a light dawned—uh-oh raw sewage—and she came running over, immensely apologetic.  Fortunately, another waterfront site had been vacated while we were trying to figure out what to do.  So, we were able to move.  Management also kindly offered us a free night. Things were looking up.

Our personal dock.

Our personal dock.

Shortly after unhitching for a second time at the new site, we were approached by a middle-aged brother and sister, who stopped to ask questions about our trailer.  The woman cornered me by the picnic table with a non-stop, one-sided talk fest.  She pulled up her shirt to show me a rainbow of blue and yellow bruises from broken ribs she sustained in a ping-pong game with her brother (“we’re very competitive, you know”) and then went into graphic detail about the effect the painkillers she received had on her bowels.  I will spare you the details.

All this happened within an hour of arriving at Hilton Head.  Ouch.

The new site, however, was exquisite, with its own dock and a view of the harbor.  We spent most of our time just sitting outside, soaking up the warmth and sun, and looking out over the water.

Our morning breakfast view.

Our morning breakfast view out the window.

The RV park had—let’s say an unusual culture, with lots of people in huge Class As and Fifth Wheels who stay there for the whole winter.  They seemed to think it was beneath them to acknowledge short-timers and were some of the unfriendliest people we have encountered on the trip.  You would think we were sporting buboes.

Dwarfed.

Dwarfed.

It’s fascinating how people enjoy a little snobbery even when they are living in what is, in essence, a trailer park.

A park street.

A park street.

This guy was hanging around.

This guy was hanging around.

Herons were a common theme in site decorations.

Herons were a common theme in site decorations.

Little flags adorned many sites.  St. Patrick's Day themes were popular, not sure what this bunny signified.  Early Easter?

Little flags adorned many sites. St. Patrick’s Day themes were popular, not sure what this bunny signified. Early Easter?

Surprisingly, there was a very good restaurant in the park, over the laundry, looking out on the water.  The food was delicious and inventive—much too good for many of its clientele.

View from our restaurant window.

View from our restaurant window.

We went for dinner at sunset one evening and sat next to a table with three grim, moneyed, older couples.  They insisted on having the blinds drawn, “too bright,” complained that the gumbo was “too seasoned,” and loudly pointed out that “some people think it’s ok to wear baseball caps in restaurants, but not us.”  George, two other men, and a woman (all over 50, but the youngest in the restaurant) apparently were causing great irritation to this man by wearing baseball caps and he felt it was his duty to inform them of their rudeness.  I thought he was rude on several counts, but politely refrained from saying anything.  Perhaps I should have informed Mr. Complainer that his liver-spotted, combed-over head would have been greatly improved by a hat and his vein-popping, crusty ankles by a pair of socks.

Sunset over the dock construction.

Sunset over the dock construction.

Many people adore Hilton Head.  It has gorgeous beaches, top-notch golf courses, lots of shopping, and good restaurants.  But, it was not our style–too much traffic, too many people, too many stores.  I rode my bike all around the island’s bike paths one day and had to continually dodge broken beer bottles, fast-food bags, styrofoam food containers, a dead cat, two dead raccoons, a dead squirrel, and aggressive traffic.

The only photo worth taking on my bike ride.

The only photo worth taking on my bike ride.

I was thrilled to get back to our serene little spot on the water and didn’t venture out again.

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After four days, we left for Edisto Beach State Park.  The weather turned cold, cloudy, and very windy—too cold to really spend any time at the beach.  IMG_8150We stayed at the inland part of the campground, which gave us some protection from the wind, so we enjoyed its trails in a dense, gloomy, Tolkein-like woods, where the trees seemed to have faces. 20150314_093642 One trail led to the remains of a Native shell-mound. IMG_8152IMG_8161

There were lots of families at the Edisto campground over the weekend.  In fact, it was full.  One afternoon, we were puzzled by what sounded like a loud, annoying cell phone ring that didn’t stop.  It turned out to be an ice cream truck weaving through the park.  The seven children at the site next to us were eager customers.  The summer weekend campground season has already begun.      IMG_8176IMG_8139

27 thoughts on “People are Strange

  1. As I admired your lovely photos, I chuckled all through this post. The camping snobs are something else. I always loved the half million dollar Class A’s who put out all their awnings, rugs, furniture, fake fireplaces, parked their cars that were painted to match the RV but the individuals never stepped outside into the weather except to get into the car to go somewhere else. Ever heard the country song – God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy? That’s what I was thinking as I read this. 🙂

    • Yes, you nailed it. People take to RVing for all different reasons and for some it has nothing to do with enjoying the great outdoors! I find people’s behavior in RV parks fascinating–Primate Behavior 101.

  2. Omg, what are we in for? I have heard other stories like this from our company who just spent 9 weeks on the road in a tent trailer. We just bought (yesterday) a small diesel RV to finally get on the road again, but like you – Bill and I like the serenity of the great outdoors and would be horrified by these Class A snobs. We didn’t get a B as Bill is too tall, but got Class C so we could travel further…but now need house sitters, etc. We will start w local trips, to just try it out. But this is a little scary.

    • Don’t worry Arlene, you and Bill will love it. You find all kinds of people on the road, just as with anywhere. It’s part of the fun and if you don’t like it, you can always leave! What Class C did you get? Very exciting.

  3. It was an absolutely beautiful spot with the dock on the water. We have met some strange folks on the road, but most seem perfectly normal. This was the first time we had encountered anyone leaving a sewage spill and it was especially strange because it was a high end RV “resort.” Maybe they were trying to leave a message!

  4. Thanks for the chuckle. My wife Penny and I travel in our (much loved) little camper van and so have seen the snobbery you described. But it’s true that you meet all types and we have made many fast friends on the road as well so I guess it balances out as all good in the long haul.
    We actually search for the little “mom-n-pop” places and have had some very good luck.
    When we feel unwanted, one of our favorite sayings is from Smokey and the Bandit when Sally looked at Burt and said, “Does this thing move?” LOL

    • Thanks for commenting and glad you got a laugh! We generally stay in state parks but like to mix it up with all different kinds of campgrounds. I find the different campground cultures fascinating and the occasional snobbery amusing (and a bit pathetic). Most people we meet are friendly but we have run into a few real jerks. Camper vans are getting more and more popular. If you don’t watch out, you may soon be looking down your noses at everyone else!

  5. This contrasted quite markedly with your much earlier posting about the campsite by the highway, not posh, but where the people were nice. I love you observations, Brenda

    • Thanks Kerri. Oddly enough, as I write, we are back in that highway campsite (visiting our daughter again) as we head up north. Yes, we have stayed at some widely divergent campground types–they come in all flavors. You never know who or what you’ll find when you pull into a new campground. We like that.

      I really hope we’ll be able to meet up when you are here.

  6. I’ve been enjoying all your posts but this one especially. it caused me to laugh out loud about your one-sided conversation with the banged-up ping-pong player. Who knew it could be such a dangerous game? We spent a winter in Edisto a few years back…just a bit off the beaten track. I hope the Piggly Wiggly is still there, probably under some alias.

    • Hey Sara, I’m glad you are enjoying the blog. We remembered that you mentioned renting a place at Edisto. It’s very different from St. Simons–definitely off the beaten track–we wondered what we were getting into as we drove out there. But we kind of liked it. There is only one grocery and it’s no longer a Piggly Wiggly, now a Bi-Lo maybe? We weren’t even sure there would be a store, so were glad to see it.
      I hope your snow is melting. We are heading up to Maine!

  7. Gorgeous shots! Herons are such gorgeous birds. So big, but they fly so gracious. Always a pleasure to see them. Sorry you had such an unpleasant experience with…people. It’s always like this, no matter where you go. It once happened to get a bag of chips on the windshield, while driving. I felt like stopping, picking it up, and trow it back in their car…I don’t get people who ruin everyone’s experience and also damage the environment…

    • I love the big shorebirds and could watch them for hours. Some people are such slobs, it’s amazing. Chips on the windshield–ick–well, at least they weren’t wet!

    • The waiter was masterly with them. I was tempted to say something to them when we left, but decided they were already miserable enough stewing in their own juices.

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