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Old 05-17-2007, 05:28 PM   #155
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Striking resemblance to the pencil-necked freelance nazi....
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:58 PM   #156
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Thank you.
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:46 AM   #157
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Clinton:
That is way cool. Such a likeness. You got the snivel posture just right.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:28 AM   #158
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You do mean of the host I hope.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:36 AM   #159
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Has anyone heard anything back from the state on this issue?

R/
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Old 05-18-2007, 12:52 PM   #160
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Both sides of the fence.......

I was at a state campground on the beach near San Diego. Yes it was a parking lot, but what do you expect. The beach, the view of Catalina, and
the women in bathing suits made up for the asphalt. The one requirment that they had was that your trailer be self contained. Which only meant that you
had to at least have a porta-potti. We run a music festival, and I have dealt
with quite a few "problem " campers. So many feel that they shouldn't have to pay the price of admission because they know the guy working the hot dog stand or that they are only staying for the afternoon. We have limited electric, and some campers feel that the no air conditioner rule doesn't apply to them. It can be frustrating having to constantly argue with campers who are sure that it is ok to bend the rules because they are on vacation. I hate rules, but I hate enforcing them even more than abiding by them. I imagine in this case that the campground host got tired of people dumping grey water. Thus the requirement that you have a grey water tank, which some Airstreams don't have. I had a camping neighbor emty his grey water, and it was so nasty that I thought that it was black water.
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Old 05-18-2007, 02:29 PM   #161
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Follow-up and Satisfactory Resolution

Mr. Lingenfelter of the California state parks called me and we had a very nice discussion. He seemed most genuinely and most sincerely concerned about our bad experience and I believe that he will be taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else. Here are the things we discussed:

First he said that the camp host had no authority to kick us out. That is the duty of a park ranger. Because we could not comply with the rules for that particular park (more on that later) a park ranger should have called other nearby parks to determine availabilty and given us a map to those parks and helped facilitate that relocation in every way possible. That is supposed to be the protocol for any situation where campers can't be accomodated at a particular park after they've set up.

I told Mr. Lingenfelter that more effective communication would have prevented the whole incident from happening in the first place. If we had been told at the check-in kiosk that we would be camping in a parking lot, we never would have even pulled in. He told me that the full hook-up sites at SeaCliff are booked months in advance and all that's ever left for pull-in folks like us will be the parking lot. He agreed that there should be full disclosure up-front describing "over-flow" camping, as he described it, "parking in a parking lot between white lines."

We discussed the tote issue and the meaning of "self-contained". I said that there was a long list of "rules" at the the kiosk, but that "self-contained" was at the bottom of the list, and, in my opinion, self-contained means your waste water is contained. I told him that the kiosk operator writing our campsite number on the back of the rule list and then telling us to place the number face up on the dashboard, also insured we wouldn't know the rules. Mr. Lingenfelter told me that they decided to make the tote restriction at that park for two reasons: there is no dump station and they had some really bad experiences of people trying to dump black water down the toilets. Ok, now the "rule" makes more sense and I don't see it as some sort of exclusionary requirement for vintage rigs. I know I had a made a big deal about that in earlier posts, but I have to concede that I was wrong and I do see--after some of his descriptions--that there would be a need for a rule like that for irresponsible people. I suggested a completely unambiguous way to describe the requirement is, "no external tanks" and that it should be listed at the top of the list in large letters and that the kiosk operator should also mention it as part of the checkin process for the "over flow" camping area. I don't know that the wording will be changed by Mr. Lingenfelter agreed that better communication at check-in is essential.

Perhaps most important of all was his statement that the California parks are supposed to be customer service focused and "we failed and for that I am truly sorry." He said he would work with the people under his command to make sure that those sorts of "procedural break-downs" don't happen again. He emphasized that he wants the people who work for him to treat people courteously, particularly when they have to enforce rules. He gave dog off-leash warnings and citations as an example, saying that even though a particular ranger may have done the same thing a dozen times earlier in the day, he should courteously explain it as if it was the first time it ever happened.

Finally Mr. Lingenfelter said he would be sending us a two day pass for any campground in his jurisdiction for the next time we come back to California. He said that wasn't to make up for our experience since he couldn't undo that but to express that he personally wanted us to have a good experience at California parks in the future. Now, that, as DoorGunner described it, is a stand-up guy. He also said he would call me in a couple of weeks with a report of what he's done to address the problems that we discussed. He said that confidentiality prevents him discussing what happens to the campground "host" but he said that getting the right people in those positions is extremely important to him and he will work harder at insuring that they have helpful, diplomatic people representing the California state parks.

What is most amazing about this whole experince is the way that Forum members rallied to our cause and that California Forum members were so outraged at the way we had been treated by a representative of their state that they went to bat for us. I think everyone who read this thread got some amusement from poking fun at the "campground host". And, for us, it was a way to laugh at the situation rather than becoming embittered by it. In the end, I have a feeling that "host" will be moving on and, ultimately, much more positive came out of this experience than negative.
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Old 05-18-2007, 02:43 PM   #162
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Well, I'll be danged. Sounds like Mr. LingenFelter really is a standup guy. Let's hope "the system" doesn't prevent him from making some of those positive changes the two of you discussed. Good job, BHL, DG and all. I guess you can effect change with the right plan of action.

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Old 05-18-2007, 02:48 PM   #163
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Quote:
He said that confidentiality prevents him discussing what happens to the campground "host" but he said that getting the right people in those positions is extremely important to him and he will work harder at insuring that they have helpful, diplomatic people representing the California state parks.
Hmmm, read between the lines...It sounds like the host is history.

Thanks for the update, it sounds like you're satisfied.

It would be interesting to hear from anyone camping there in the near future.
Dave
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:41 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
Hmmm, read between the lines...It sounds like the host is history.
Ah Dave, You know Government speak too.

My personal favorite Government speak line is.

He is perfectly adequate at his tasks under supervision.

Yep, I'd say that the host is already gone.
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:42 PM   #165
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, ultimately, much more positive came out of this experience than negative.
Couldn't agree more, Blu_Hwy_Lady. This is a good example of how a forum like this one, and people sharing their experiences, can make things better for everyone. I'm glad that in the end you feel better about visiting Cali parks, and that we were all able to learn a little from your experience.

Oh, and your write-up of the story made for some pretty fun reading too!! I'm looking forward to more of your campground experience re-caps.

-Jamie
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:46 PM   #166
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Blu_Hwy_Lady

So, when you come back to California to use those "free passes", let us know and make a mini-rally out of it! (Or a big rally)
Dave
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:50 PM   #167
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Looks like the gentleman with the parks division is going to do the right things....many thanks to doorgunner and everybody else who helped us on this.

I think we should refer to ourselves as the aluminumati.....
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:55 PM   #168
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Sounds like things are going to be corrected. It is too bad this had to happen in the first place.

Great job by Doorgunner!!!!

You can lower the wepon now.
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