How would you like to be on an extended overland trike journey, well-worked from the day’s road time and mileage, seeking a serene place to pitch your tent, take a shower, and get a well-deserved night’s sleep, and then happen upon a campground where no automobiles are allowed? I’ve been in a few remote camping settings where there were no cars, but that’s because there were no other people period. Yep, really remote. But how about a popular campground populated by travelers, but not a car or motorhome in sight? Now that’s quite a new twist.
“Every campground in the world would do well to switch over to the Ruckle Park floor plan and philosophy. Cars had to be left in a central lot. All camping was bike-in or hike-in only. You grabbed a wheelbarrow and rolled supplies through an enchanted stretch of forest until you stepped beyond the trees and into another land.
“By making the campground car-free, everything changed. Not only did it affect what people brought, it shifted how they treated each other. The campground was on a point. Grassy fields offered a panoramic view of the Straight of Georgia. The rocky shores a few yards below the point were teeming with starfish and other tide-pool creatures. Communal fire rings meant you could join the party or eat cold food in the dark. Bathrooms and showers were tucked back in the forest a few hundred feet. People share food, conversation, extra camp chairs. Someone brought out a guitar.
“It felt like a homecoming. People wanted to hear about our adventures. I looked across the fields and loved seeing fifteen or more communal fires dotting the landscape, spaced far enough apart so that one yard party didn’t interfere with the next.“
If you are an Arkel pannier user, you have undoubtedly listened to Joe, who calls himself the Metal Cowboy (probably because he is a western style dude who rides a bicycle instead of a horse), as he has narrated some of the Arkel bag videos showing all the great features of the Canadian-based pannier company. Joe also submitted a chapter a few years ago for my Free On Three trike book. He is a wild guy who loves nothing more than pedaling 75-100 miles everyday, especially while loaded up with panniers and heading across Canada with his wife Beth, and three sons Quinn, Enzo, and Mateo (complete with their “Star Wars” lightsabers for boring flat tire breaks).
Beth, Xena Warrior Cyclist, and the three pedal-pushing boys, pose along side the road.
I just finished reading the entertaining book Mud, Sweat, and Gears, and highly recommend it if you enjoy cycle touring. It is primarily a love story with Joe and Beth the leading actors, but it is presented on a cycle touring stage, with just enough of the ride included here and there to give you an idea of what it’s like out on the road all day long for three months (roughly 4,000 miles). If you are desirous of introducing your non-cycling spouse to cross-country pedaling, this book will offer insights of what it’s like to go from non-cyclist to transcontinental warrior during one summer.
Joe, the Metal Cowboy, hams it up once again!
PS: Ruckle Park Campground may have some limited car drive-in these days. Visiting the website moments ago, I discovered this notice: “New for 2016: As of March 15, 2016, Ruckle Provincial Park campground will offer reservations for some of the drive in campsites via our Discover Camping reservation service, there will now be 10 reservable walk-in sites and 4 RV sites (no hook ups) starting March 15th. BC Parks’ visitors will be able to view this new inventory on the Discover Camping website beginning on March 09, 2016.” Hmm … sounds like Joe and Beth made it there just in the nick of time.
Anyway, the no-cars idea is a worthy one in my mind. So, if any of you visionary Canadians, or entrepreneurs of any planetary locale for that matter, are of a mind to create a cool camping facility, perhaps this notion might foster a human-powered revolution! Sounds peaceful to me … just what we pedal pushing travelers need at the end of a high mileage day.
Ruckle Park: now, this is a great setting to pitch a tent!