We recently camped at Fort Worden, WA (Port Townsend) State Park. We had great camping until the Friday crowd arrived. 3 AM Saturday morning I heard a bang on the side of the trailer. I popped up, grabbed my trusty very bright LED flashlight and shone it out the window. I scared the living beejeepers out of the slime ball who was helping himself to my root beers in my cooler, which was full of bottles but not the beer he thought he was getting and only three brown ones.
He had his hood up but by the hands could tell it was a man (too much hair on the backs of them for a teenager or woman - I hope). He did a 90 degree turn and ran smack dab into my awning arm. Meanwhile I'm pulling on pants and out the door. He was no where in sight but I walked the CG and there were cooler lids strewn around as he and it appears others had worked their way through the campsite extracting booze from coolers. One couple had all their lights on so I knocked on their door and they were having an early breakfast
and they'd not heard a thing, nor had their dog. Same as the folks camped beside us - their dog did not hear anything either and both couples said their dogs were usually awake with any sounds.
They got my three good root beers but the folks behind us, a couple of young families in tents with lots of kids lost several bottles of the good stuff, a nice wine bottle opener/cork replacer, and a few other things.
The Park staff were very unhappy and went unit to unit documenting what was taken and we noticed a much greater presence the following night. Their issue is locals who know on weekends there are lots of campers and lots of potentials for liquor and small easy to carry stuff.
So lesson learned for us at least - put our cooler in the car at night when locking up. And for me I got told not very politely by my wife and more politely by the Park folks - some of these people have weapons and chasing them alone in the middle of the night is not the brightest thing to do. The one consolation was that we know when that fellow hit the awning post he hurt himself pretty good because he left some skin and fur.
There did not seem to be a lack of staff so much as the locals know the routes the security folks take and can work around them pretty easily. The Park staff went out of their way to make sure they knew what was taken, and to reassure the campers that they were concerned. A tough job for them at any time of the camping year.
The really sad part for me was I'm not supposed to have much carbonated beverages and I'd smuggled those "extra pops" into the cooler when my wife wasn't looking
. I do the cooler stuff, she does the fridge. So no more Root beers for me that camping trip and now I know she'll be checking the cooler out from time to time. Darn. Looks like I'm back to one a day whether I need it or not.