People think that rednecks and the outdoors go together like peas in a pod. While this may be true in day to day life, when it comes to a campout, they are like Kinte Kunte at a Merle Haggard concert.
I realize that going camping at a public space, such as Greers Ferry Lake, comes with the chance that one will run into obnoxious people. However, it has always been my experience when camping that fellow campers generally respect, or otherwise try their hardest not to disturb other people. This weekend, Liz and I went camping to disconnect, get away from the city, and otherwise enjoy a relaxing weekend. Unfortunately, this was not the case as every spot around us was full of redneck young adults — you know the type, Jeff Foxworthy-sounding, uneducated, disrespectful, alpha-male types.
It all started as we were pulling into camp, albeit late. We were supposed to leave Little Rock around 5:30 and make the quick hour and fifteen minute drive up to Heber Springs, pick out a camp at the JFK site, and enjoy a nice weekend. Instead, we left Little Rock around 6:15 and arrived around 7:30 due to traffic and a few necessary stops (a Rt 44 Coke at Sonic does not make a bladder feel well while driving Arkansas roads.) Anyway, we arrived at the JFK park and of course it was already full. I had failed to realize that this weekend was the start of many schools’ spring breaks and as such failed to take into consideration the fact that every decent camp site would be taken by the time we arrived. In any event, we turned around and headed a few minutes down the road to the Dam Site park.
Dam Site park is the largest of the 3 on the south side of the lake, so it was least likely to be full. It wasn’t, but the spots that were left open were not ideal for privacy, let alone peace. Our first spot was on the corner of a 3 way junction, with very little in the way of vegetation to block out the headlights. As it was already dark and I didn’t want to mess with losing the one 1/2 way decent site we found, we took this spot and set up camp. After camp was set up, we headed down to WalMart to pick up last minute supplies and some ice for the cooler. Arriving back at camp around 10, our idiot redneck neighbors had the music blasting (rap, mixed with classic rock and country) and were obviously drunk as you could hear their conversations clear across the woods. Between these idiots and the constant barrage of headlights, sleep was elusive.
The next day, we woke up to find our neighbors packing their camp to leave. This was a great thing as we could move and get more space, out of the path of the headlights, and have a tad bit more privacy. We emptied the tent and after the neighbors left, we picked the tent up (still assembled mind you) and walked it the 30 yards or so to the new camp and dropped the tent where it was to stay. While still somewhat out in the open, this spot was much better suited for privacy than the other and the headlights weren’t as much of an issue — even less so after I put the tarp up. Oh, and new rednecks.
As we were unloading after our move, some Larry the Cable Guy-looking idiots pulled up across from us. All of them were no more than 21 years of age, if not 18. These idiots had a newer truck, yet you could hear it a mile away as it sounded like a loud Harley Davidson. In other words, they took the muffler off. It was daytime, so I wasn’t too concerned about them at this point. It wasn’t until it started turning dark that this bunch became an issue. Evidently their girlfriends or wives couldn’t figure out that it is best to go to the bathroom at the same time as it is safer, faster, and ecologically friendly to do so. So every 30 minutes or so, the hicks would get in their truck, rev the motor a few times, then chug down the road as fast — and as loud — as they could. It didn’t matter if it was 7pm or 1am, the sound of the truck was like clockwork.
So now, we have the rednecks across from us and their loud truck, the idiots from next to our previous spot (still within easy earshot), and a new group of teens who arrived and set up NEXT to us. This bunch could have been from a city, they weren’t acting like rednecks, and were dressed in clothes from Abercrombe. Their issue was they decided to invite the rednecks from across the street over where they partied until at least 1am. Oh, did I mention park quiet time was 10pm? Yeah, they forgot about it too. Needless to say, I am enjoying the peace and quiet of my bedroom as I write this.
So this morning we woke up and all was quiet. The rednecks left before the sun really had a chance to show itself, and by the time we got out of the tent, the people next to us were starting to wake up, obviously hung over from the night before. All I could do was smile, as I saw new people moving in across the street and around us knowing what they were in for with all the kids. The good news is, I have plenty of new material for my new project, Real Campsite Photos. Leaving camp around 10:30, we didn’t look back as we were anxious to be as far away from these idiot rednecks and the outdoors as we could.