BBQs, loud music, fast driving down mountain roads…

The Invasion began in earnest on Thursday with the massively long Greyhound style busses pulling trailers full of side-by-sides and ATVs – fifth wheels longer than the Greyhounds, and so forth as people from the Phoenix valley invaded for a long weekend of BBQs, beer, and whatever they do. Sometimes there are upwards of 60K people here in this general area (within about 20 miles from me) camping. In this area, there are no designated campgrounds and they fill the place.  On average, their attitudes go from moderately respectful to obnoxious. Sometimes they leave unattended fires that consume the place.

If I’m home, I avoid leaving the place because of the traffic, the visitors, and so forth. There are always fatalities on mountain roads when drunk side-by-siders hit trees at 100+ MPH, medivacs, they give the car keys to children and off THEY go. Sometimes over the rim, 1000 feet to splatter on the bottom or bounce 20 times on the way down.

Do I sound like an old man shouting at the kids to stay off the lawn? Am I turning into a curmudgeon?

How many of them are thinking of our honored war dead? Damned few. Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the United States armed forces. It is observed on the last Monday of May. All gave something, some gave everything.

It’s an open forum for you to rant as you will about whatever you want to.


  1. Wait a minute! You mean it’s “Gun Control Now” season?! I just took down my Monkeypox posters, right after I removed my “I Stand With Ukraine” decorations! WTF already. I can’t keep up.

    • It’s gun-free zone season. Back when I had neighbors, I would have encouraged them all to put those signs up declaring, “attack me”. Criminals go for the low-hanging fruit.

  2. I have had a few conversations with people who wish to thank me for my service because “Memorial Day” and all that…Most are well meaning and I try to help them understand the reason we should Honor our fallen on this weekend, and the very fact that I am standing there means it isn’t about the ones still here flapping our gums. Some, like those arsonist campers are deliberately clueless and those conversations tend to be much shorter and to the point.
    I admit to owning a 5th wheel and camping, but I was raised with two over riding principles that kick in when ever I leave home:
    Be polite and helpful when possible,
    And Always leave the area in better shape than when you arrived (Camping 101).

    I hope your weekend is peaceful and Blessed.

    MSG Grumpy

    • MSG, I’ve camped and have no problem with campers. In this area and at this time, there is a lot of irresponsibility on the part of campers. The optics of the large number of giant rigs that end up here are another thing. Because the roads don’t allow them to get back very far off pavement you see literally hundreds of them parked next to each other – shoulder to shoulder. It’s not really camping as I knew it.

      • i find it odd that the generation that touts save the planet and carbon footprints drop their trash wherever they stand and defecate on the trail. whatever happened to leave no trace?

        • The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were helpful to teach those doctrines to previous generations. Then they bowed to the homosexual lobby and they diminished themselves. It’s too bad.

          I was district commissioner of the California Inland Empire Council with 33,000 boys for a couple of years. I put a lot of effort into helping scouting. Not today.

      • In the early 80’s, back when the area I live in was considered quite remote, when often the only night sound, if at all was a lonely semi going down the nearby 2 lane ( before the interstate that ruined it all ), I was camping on a holiday weekend in Vermont. I did a lot of hiking back then throughout NE and campgrounds were small, before the advent of everybody towing something. This may sound innocuous but there were some kids at 10p, cruising the campground screaming on bicycles and I remember thinking, “I left home to drive here for this.” Little did I know the way things would become.

        • Hey+Booms – To be fair about it, the tourists don’t get close to the White Wolf Mine. It’s only when I leave that I see them. A lot of them camp right next to the highway fence in their 40′ fifth wheels. Why would you do that? I don’t question the lawfulness of that because it is. I question the logic that would impel you to leave the crowded, noisy, polluted city and drive all this way burning $5/ga gasoline, crawling up 2 lane mountain roads only to park next to the highway and declare yourself to be “camping”.

  3. I feel similarly about Anzac Day. For far too many it’s just a day off to get drunk or go to the footy after maybe watching a parade. It feels like the meaning behind it has been lost.
    Watching tourists take selfies and climbing all over the shine of remembrance with no sense of decorum leave me feeling quite bitter.
    Suppose that’s what happens when the population is increasingly disconnected from those sacrifices, and the people who made them.

    • None of them have lost friends. None of them have been given orders (go to war or go to jail) and put on a uniform and told to do things that no sane person would do. They’ve been indulged and behave like the spoiled children that they are. Because they did not sacrifice, nothing is sacred.

  4. Memorial Day, the long weekend that marks the beginning of summer.
    The day where in the Fern Township cemetery in Hubbard county Minnesota the people gather to remember the veterans who are buried there, the names of those individuals are read out loud, they are not forgotten.
    The weekend where in Ellijay Georgia when crosses are put up along side the road to remember all the veterans from there who have passed, every cross has a different name on it. They are not forgotten.
    The day long ago (1965) when we Boy Scouts gathered at the Punch Bowl cemetery in Honolulu to put flags on all the grave stones. They were remembered…

    • To be fair about it, I have friends in California who put out flags at the cemetery. When I lived there, my children and I visited my brother’s grave. They learned. One of my sons-in-law returned from Afghanistan 100% disabled (Navy). He understands as do the rest of us. His niece was just commissioned in the US Navy and will report to Pensacola for flight school. She’ll fly helicopters – she understands and will understand more as she serves. One daughter and son-in-law are police officers and though much maligned in the media at the moment, they do understand sacrifice and the treachery that is afoot in the highest halls of government.

      My point is that there are a lot of Americans who recognize what Memorial Day is and that it’s not a weekend to tear up the countryside and leave shit behind. The people who visit this blog understand what sacrifice means.

  5. I only camped in a campground once. Too many people and too much noise and now getting up from sleeping on the hard ground is anything but enjoyable so hardly any camping for me.

    The veteran’s cemetery will be crowded and parking will be hard to find but I will go visit a couple of old friends and pay my respects. People there have always been quiet and respectful. I have a book that lists Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen who have been awarded the Medal. Reading through that is a dose of the reality of war. Ordinary people doing absolutely extraordinary things. About 1800 I’ll crack off a few rounds from the M1A or something else in memoriam. If people thank me for my service I’ll just tell them thanks but today is not about me and be on my way.

    • No, it’s not about us. But it is in a way because it’s about how we behave. I have friends planted in Arlington and if I was within striking range I wouldn’t go on Monday because as you point out, there is no parking. But I’d go on different days to sit and talk with them.

      MikeW will remember Colonel Cordell Hart, US Army. Cord used to tell me that he forgave me for being a swab. I loved the guy, and appreciated his service to the Army, and as a career officer at CIA. I don’t know why he came to mind. Maybe because he’s one of them at Arlington National Cemetary.

  6. This weekend is shaping up to be a traditional Colorado mountains rain/snow/cold. Looking at the weather maps, almost all of the Southwest has red flag warnings. Hopefully none of those campers will burn the place down. Faint hope, I’m afraid.

  7. Was up in Pinedale (Wy), took a walk in the town park that runs along the river, towards the back of the main park there is an all-services Veteran’s Memorial. Beautifully done. About cried while standing in the middle of it, reading the names. It starts there, these small communities are the backbone.

    Honor to those who gave the full measure. It must be maintained despite those that wish to defile our Nation and Constitution. We The People…America…IS the last BEST hope, with God at the center. I give no quarter to anyone who doesn’t believe that or wishes it harm.

    • It’s like walking along the Vietnam War Wall in DC. So many names. Sure I cry. It’s a harsh walk along that wall, harsher for those who gave their last full measure of devotion.

      LSP took me to tiny Itasca, TX. He’s mentioned it on his blog. The “welcome to Itasca” and “leaving Itasca” is on the same post nearly. The war memorial, the names of the lost is vast. If artillery is incoming, you wouldn’t want to be standing next to somebody from Itasca. Wars have depopulated the flower of youth that was that tiny town. People don’t appreciate how many war memorials there are in the little places like Itasca, all across America (and the free world).

  8. Submitted for your consideration and, hopefully, participation:

    I grew up in a resort community and as a result of those formative years, do my vacationing on weekdays and make it a practice to hunker in the bunker on holiday weekends.

  9. @ MSG Grumpy
    You have more patience than I; I cut them short right then and there (Yeah! originally a New Yawker; we were never brought up with the “manners” to stand around shifting from foot to foot while trying to appear polite). My comment (considering they or their fathers probably ran up to Canada) is: “Please don’t thank me for volunteering to do my duty to G-d and Country.”
    They probably think I’m a nut; I won’t argue.

  10. I’ll be out with the legion post at three local cemeteries come Monday. We generally have a good turn out. Whenever someone thanks me for my service, I simply do the polite thing and say thankyou and let it go at that.

  11. boron
    “Duty” is a word seldom heard from the mouths of most of our current crop of citizens.
    The concept is foreign to them as it requires putting the wants and needs of others be it family, tribe, community, or nation above their own.
    Today, I fly the flag for those who found death and honor in their duty.

  12. One of the nice things about the Chattanooga area, there are a lot of vets who live around here and military service is still considered to be an honorable thing. Before I retired both the city and individual companies would have events to honor those who gave their all(room is getting dusty for some reason). Hardly ever go downtown since I retired, so I don’t know if anything has changed since then.

    • A couple of e-mails were sent your way regarding Chattanooga. My brother-in-law, Ken Hunt owned Hunt Nissan there in town but I just learned that he has since sold it. He still lives down by the river in town. Yes, it is a patriotic city with a lot of real Americans living there.

  13. Some of us understand. Or at least we try to understand.

    Armed Forces Day is to honor people currently serving.

    Veteran’s Day is to honor those who have served.

    Memorial Day is to honor those gave their lives in service.

    We’re planning on going to the Memorial Day commeration at the local Verteran’s Plaza.

  14. I closed my broadcast with these words today:
    It is Memorial Day weekend. Don’t thank me for my service. I did not die in the defense of this nation. Yet.
    I knew a guy that did. We remember those that gave all so that we may carry on the fight.
    Not that we might coast on their sacrifice. That we would pick up the torch and continue fighting the forces that would subject us to their power.
    This is Memorial Day.
    And then we played Taps.

  15. Well, to all the idjits out there thanking service members for their service, at least they’re doing it. Yes, it is a memorial day for the dead, those who died in service to this nation (and I include those who died way after the wars from what the wars did to them mentally or physically. A death right then or 100 days later or 100 months later is still a death.) (and, yes, The Towers and The Pentagon are still reaping their toll even today, just like Vietnam is killing off its ‘survivors’ and people still are dying from the effects of the Gulf War or GWOT.)

    So take it easy on the non-initiated. At least they aren’t spitting on you like they used to do (all thanks to the Soviet Union and their dancing monkeys here in the States.)

    As to camping, it all requires a concept of responsibility. Which in these fallen times seems not to exist amongst many people anymore. Heck, when my family went camping in the 1960’s and we were stewards of the land, leaving it cleaner than when we found it. And most everyone else camping did the same.

    I don’t have a problem with Land-Train campers as long as they’re responsible. 24 hour drunken stupidity is not responsible. Nor is taking an ATV and trying to demolish a tree with it.

    My wife and I are having bbq pulled pork (done in the crockpot with bbq sauce) and all the fixings but we will talk all day long about sacrifice and loss and those that gave everything for freedom (and, yes, about how our current government has failed our fallen.)

    So, well, have a happy-as-you-can Memorial Day. Remember your fellow fallen as they were before death.

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