We departed the peace and tranquility of the Florida Panhandle and headed West for Texas. After trying to find a spot for the night at a roadside park in Mississippi off of Interstate 10 (we had read on freecampsites.net that it was allowed), and discovering it was okay for RV’ers, but not tent campers, we did a quick internet search. We found a nice enough State Park in Louisiana that wasn’t too expensive and wasn’t too far. I called ahead to make sure there would be a spot for us and informed the Ranger that we would be in after dark. He assured me it would be fine and gave me instructions on what to do to find a campsite. He said we could pay in the morning once the office opened.
With everything set, we hit the road and made it to Tickfaw State Park around 7 p.m. It was a nice little out of the way park not too far from the Interstate, but far enough that it was really quiet.
We set up our tent in record time (we are getting pretty good at setting up in the dark), and had a quick bite to eat without making a fire. It was cool, but very humid and muggy, which is to be expected in Louisiana. We took the dogs for a walk and then went to bed, tired and road weary.
I woke up at around 4 a.m. feeling achy and awful. I knew the humidity was affecting my MS, despite the fact that it wasn’t hot at all. Everything was wet, and I don’t mean damp, I mean wet. It was as if it had rained, even though I knew it had not.
Rico and the dogs woke around 5 a.m. and I suggested we go ahead and break camp. I wanted to get out of that humidity as soon as possible before I started having an exacerbation.
We quickly packed up the very wet tent and the few things we had taken out of the trailer and the Mini the night before. We were on the road, without breakfast, by about 6 a.m. We discussed how to pay for our night’s stay, and I figured I could call in later once the office opened and take care of it then.
With plans made to find a cheap breakfast spot on the road, we made our way to the exit. Upon arriving, we found a locked gate, no one in the office, and no way to get out. I was shocked. What if there had been some sort of an emergency? What would we have done then?
A few minutes later, a car approached and a kind young man offered to open the gate for us. I went back to thank the driver and was surprised by her surly response. She said I was being very crappy. I asked why she thought that.
“It’s very crappy to stay the night at a State Park and then try to sneak out without paying.”
“I’m planning on calling to pay once they open,” I replied.
“Sure you are,” came the snide reply.
Believe me, it was all I could do to keep myself from calling her all sorts of names and snatching her up by the hair. Instead, I said, “Thanks for not judging.”
Her passenger got back in the car, and she put it in gear and hollered out the window, “Thanks for being a good citizen.”
I’ll admit I did flip her off and yell those nasty names at her quickly departing car.
I was incensed! We, like the Lanisters, always pay our debts (eventually) and I had no plans to stiff a State Park for a comfortable, albeit wet, night’s sleep. I was angry that this woman had judged us so harshly without even knowing our circumstances.
We left the park and headed toward Houston, stopping for a great breakfast along the way. I was still fuming a few hours later when I called Tickfaw to pay my bill, and I let the Park Ranger know what had happened. She laughed and said, “Some people…”, and thanked me for my honesty and my payment.
I felt like a good citizen…