I’ve been on the road for the past couple of weeks, driving many miles, seeing many things. Most of which I can’t say that I care for. The destruction caused by man is quite extensive, extending everywhere humans have gone in the quest for ‘progress’ and ‘development’. Endless destruction is a better descriptor.
It’s hard to articulate the emotions I’ve felt as I gazed upon the ruined landscapes seen everywhere. It’s quite clear that humans don’t care about anything. Everybody has gotten in on the game of obtaining a slice of the environmental pie for themselves or for their business and found a way to profit from it. It’s what we do, with little regard to the long-term effects.
I saw very little wildlife on the entire trip. I traveled all the way to northern California, visited some old stomping grounds, which to my dismay, had been utterly destroyed. It was worse then I could have imagined. What was once one of the best blue ribbon trout streams was now a log-choked unfishable tangle of debris. Even the campground was utterly ruined. I took a few sad pictures of what had once been cherished memories of my youth, but vowed I’d never return again.
I then drove on out to the coast, up through Oregon and Washington coasts, and then wound my way back home, taking as many secondary roads as I could, trying to avoid the hordes of idiots behind the wheel. It didn’t work. There was no escaping them.
This is the not the same world that I remembered when I was young. There was virtually no place whatsoever that allowed free camping on the coast. I only found one place in the National Forest that permitted me to camp for free, and that was miles and miles inland. Everywhere else required fees from $21 to a whopping $65 per might to park my truck in an ‘improved’ campsite where ‘camping’ was a joke of asphalt and rented spaces. None of the National Forest campgrounds were open and most of the forest roads were blocked off.
It was more then sticker shock that upset me, it was the crass commercialization of what was once an enjoyable experience. I found myself stuck in RV hell everywhere I went, even in the “off-season”. Paved slots with denuded trees, expensive RV’s “camping” with hook-ups, televisions blaring. Barking dogs, inquisitive ‘neighbors’ and traffic rushing nearby on the highway. It was sad, pathetic and a horrifying reality, replete with mosquitoes and sewer smell. If they could have bottled up the view and sold it, they would have. And idiot Americans would have bought it – hook, line and sinker, just like they do everything else.
It’s really sad what has become of the whole camping experience. In order to get away from cities, towns, people, traffic and commercialization of virtually everything, you need to head as far away from civilization as you can get and the piles of dog shit they leave behind. I had to be careful of every place I put my foot down, but I wasn’t always successful.
A special note to all of those who drive: if you own a Dodge truck, and it’s black, 4×4 and you’re male, you’re almost certainly a dick in a Dodge with a small penis. These are the idiots that obtained their drivers license from a Cracker Jack box they found while dumpster diving. They wield their trucks like weapons, insisting on going as fast as possible or even trying to shove you out of their way. It was insane, despite going faster then the posted speed limits. There was some justice, when I saw one of these road warriors being ticketed by the numerous police presence that prowled the California and Oregon highways. My secret wish however was to see a twisted smoldering wreck with one less moron ruining it for everyone else.
What is it with the coastal highway region and murders and missing people? I saw several posters and newspaper articles reporting murdered and missing people. I don’t know if this is related to the high numbers of homeless and wayward people I saw, but they too were everywhere. Many of the locales I talked to deeply resented this. Their towns were being invaded by outsiders. Allegedly the prisons had been opened and many had been released with no place to go.
The whole ‘tourist’ experience sucked. My wife enjoyed the trip (in general), but we both quickly realized that far too much has been lost, and too much has been commercialized. The sad truth is, tourism has rapidly destroyed the planet. The hordes of people that crowd the highways, camp sites and stores we visited made us feel completely out of place (which we were, we did not belong there). I won’t see the ocean again, most likely, but was glad to get a few photographs. I saw nothing alive there either, except a few seagulls and one sick looking starfish.
There are far, far too many people alive today. If you ever wonder what is ‘wrong’, start there. Humans are trashing the planet, trampling what’s left down faster and faster, voraciously consuming whatever is still left. The sameness of every town, every shop and every road was deadening. Everything was geared for maximum commercial potential and profit. I could have been anywhere, nothing stood out anymore. Every town had exactly the same shops, businesses, stores and ‘sameness’. I was glad to go home.
Try as I might, it was hard to meet people. Eyes glazed over if you broke the ‘code’ and tried to discuss anything of value or importance with anyone. Apparently tourists are supposed to be idiots with wallets, unquestioning zombies who are to be shuffled from one ‘attraction’ to another. Engaging anyone in conversation was taboo, although everyone was friendly. I didn’t encounter any problems other then idiots behind the wheel. But I was glad to go home.
The planet is ruined, of this I have absolutely no doubt at all. The hordes of people I saw, the endless repetition of our fingerprints and footprints over everything have shown me once again that there is virtually no hope for restoration or rescue from the folly of the human enterprise. I was glad to go home.