I just wanted to take a moment to rant about an experience I had last night at Murrell Park on Lake Grapevine. This is just me venting a bit and it may be a bit long winded. Sorry.
Ok, we had a 3 day motorcycle trip to Arkansas planned for this weekend. The other guys from the group were going to stay in a hotel and I was going to hit a local campsite and hang. Needless to say, the weather spooked the other guys and they decided to cancel the trip (what a bummer, I've been looking forward to this trip for about 2 months.) Anyway, they cancelled the trip yesterday, but I already had my heart set on hanging, so I started searching for some local trails that I could hit. My research led me to the North Shore trail on Lake Grapevine. I intended to park at a "park" at the east end of the trail and hike in and do some stealth camping on the trail. Well, when I got there, the "park" is gaited and only for day use. They gave me direction to a campground not too far that intersects the trail. I drove to the Murrell Park campground and talked to the gentleman at the gate. He told me to go check out the sites and come back and let him know where I wanted to stay. I drove through the park and found a nice spot by the lake. I went back to the gate and had a very nice discussion with the guy, paid my dues and went back to the campsite that I had chosen. I parked and started scouting out the area a little. I found that the site right next to mine had an amazing view and a perfect set of trees for the hammock. It was starting to get dark and there was no one at the site, so I pitched my hammock here (the site next to my site.) I went down to the water and was really just enjoying being outside with such a great view....oh, did I mention that the weather was perfect? So, about an hour goes by and the nice gentleman from the gate comes up to my hammock with a lady and advised me that I was in the wrong spot, and that I needed to move because this lady had rented the spot that I was in. No problem. (Anybody that knows me will tell you that I'm very laid back and avoid drama at all cost.) I was very cooperative and appoligized for any trouble. I was packing up, the guy left, and the lady came back over to my hammock. She said that she had no problem with me staying there since I was already set up and that she would just camp in the site next to me. I made it very clear that I had no problem moving, but she insisted and started unpacking her vehicle to the next site over. (I already had my tarp in it's skins and was about to pull down the hammock at this point, but it was such a nice spot that I just steaked out my tarp again and went back to enjoying the beautiful night.) Well...this is where things got interesting. At about 930pm the guy from the gate (who had been so friendly earlier) shows back up, jumps out of his car and starts screaming and cussing at me because I hadn't moved. He's threatening to call the police and when I try to explain the discussion with the lady, he just screams louder and will not let me get a word in. Again I was very cooperative and packed my stuff up and moved to my campsite. I was pretty shocked about what had happened and it really messed up the chill vibe that I had going. I went ahead and stayed out the night (he came through a couple more times shining his light at me...I guess to make sure I wasn't causing any trouble?) I had intended on doing the trail today, but I was bummed out by what had taken place and I just packed up and headed home.
When I got home, I promptly aquired the contact information for the Corps of Engineers Ranger that is responsible for this park. After a short discussion and a pretty lengthy e-mail I'm confident that he will address the way that the situation was handled.
I realize that I was not in my assigned spot, but I don't feel that it justified him screaming and cussing at me.
Anyway, here's a pic of the view I had before all this took place. It really is a nice park and too bad that I had to leave with a bad taste for the place.