A Wrench In The Gears

Last modified on July 17th, 2009

Well, today was a bit of a disappointment. I was hoping to be camping right about now, but apparently it’s next to impossible to get a campsite nowadays. Strangely enough, getting a campsite when I was in high school was trivial — you’d simply go up to the lake whenever you wanted a spot, and you’d probably get one. Worse case you’d head down to Chilliwack Lake (40kms), and find a nice spot there for even less money.

Things started to change years ago when Discover Camping (the web service behind BC campgrounds) started allowing reservations. That means about half of the sites now typically go ahead of time, making it that much less likely that you can get a spot when you drive up. What’s also unfortunately started to happen is that people have started reserving campgrounds on Wednesdays and Thursdays such that they can book them through the entire weekend. Normally that would be ok, if you know, they were actually camping there. But the reality is many people do that and leave the campground totally open, simply opting getting it early such that they don’t have to chance getting one on the Friday.

I drove up to the Cultus Lake booth at around 9:30am, and was told all the campgrounds were full. Given that the booth had just opened, I thought that quite strange. But I was told many people came on one of the previous two nights and booked for the weekend. Sucks to be me I guess.

Given that Cultus Lake is in my backyard basically, it’s obviously a bit disappointing. Back when I was younger, you could park up at the lake for free as well — now they have parking ticket dispensers everywhere, so you can’t even stroll up for a little BBQ without dishing out some money.

Since I hit a dead end at Cultus Lake, I decided to try Chilliwack Lake. I got as far as the little store down Chilliwack lake road, only to realize that Chilliwack Lake was completely full as well. So, looks like camping is basically out of the question for today. I briefly debated trying to get a spot at Golden Ears, but I really don’t want to spend all night bouncing between campgrounds looking for a place to camp.

So no matter. I’ve whipped out my Nexus pass, and I think I’m going to drive south tomorrow. I’d like to find a campground half way to Portland, if one exists, and do a bit of relaxing in the area. Hopefully on Sunday I’ll end up in Portland, as it’s my friend Sean’s birthday down there and I wouldn’t mind having a beer with him.

A bit disappointing, but what can you do. I’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight and head out onto the open road tomorrow.