Monday, March 15, 2010

Competitive Camping

I set my alarm two months ahead knowing it was coming.

I practiced my skills to make sure I had what it took to get the job done.

I tested my equipment to make sure all the pieces and parts were in place and in working.

Daily I would check to see if all systems were go...and they were.

I could barely sleep last night because I was so excited about the day finally coming.

I woke up a minute before my alarm because my soul knew it was time...

It was time to get up and make my camping reservations for Yosemite!

Why all the prep and care you ask? The competition is brutal! They only open up one month windows of reservations, 4 months ahead of time on the 15th of every month, starting at 7am PDT. I signed in, found my site and started hitting refresh with a manic speed before the clock hit 7. Tap, tap, heart was pounding out of my chest in anticipation.

What did I get?

Nothing. A big fat zero.

All of the reservations were taken up in less than 2 minutes. 2 minutes! By the time I moved onto another campsite, the available options were all gone. My heart was in agony and my distressed cry woke up the whole house. Where did I go wrong? Cruel, cruel world! All I wanted to do was to get into Yosemite! AUGGGHHHH!

I accepted my defeat and crawled back into bed--saddened to the core. In between deep sighs and pondering my plan B a lightbulb went off in my head. I remember a little box on the reservation screen saying "All reservations will be held for 15 minutes until completion. If not complete...campsite will be lost."


I glaced at my phone: 7:14. I had time to go cash in on someone else's failure to complete their site. Or at least to catch a castoff.

I dashed back to my computer, tapped furiously, refreshing a few times and Jackpot! I found a campsite! On the days I wanted even! WOO HOO!


Now, I'm tired, but happy. I'm glad I got into one of the busiest, dense, crazy national parks out there. We will be literally elbow to elbow with our neighbors living in the dust fending off bears and mosquitoes. But we will also be literally elbow to elbow in what John Muir termed "Nature's Cathedral". And I wouldn't trade that reservation for the world.



Sarah B. said...

Congratulations! We go to Refugio State Beach every summer and last year the same thing happened to us...but we never got in. :( Crazy how fast they fill up.

Heidi said...

Good work Laurel!!! I can't wait to see pictures... : )