Just forget the words and sing along

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Can't Get Away From It All When You Take It All With You

So there was an article in the Edmonton Journal a few weeks ago that caught my eye. My beloved Jasper National Park is looking at making some changes in order to lure more campers out to the campgrounds.

At Whistler Campground, just outside out of the town of Jasper, they're going to introduce these things next year called "cottage tents." They're massive canvas tents that can hold up to six people. They're fully heated, have comfy futons, complete kitchens, and they'll even teach you how to cook over an open fire, all for just $90 per night.

That's not all! Also coming soon to campgrounds in our national parks are Internet cafes, newspaper sales, and ice machines, "like you'd find in private campgrounds."

Here's the complete original article, detailing more things they'd like to try.

For my summer vacation this year, I got to go camping for the first time in years. I loved it when I was a kid. Every vacation included at least one camping trip out to Jasper. And I can't help but noticed how camping sure changed over the years. Granted, some friends of mine used to scoff at my notion of camping, which included pitching a tent in a campground. To them, camping was hiking several miles into the bush...no need for your "vehicles." Anyway, I'd turn around and scoff at those who'd pull into a campsite with a monstrous 50' trailer with a generator running all hours of the day so they could watch TV.

So, you could imagine my surprise a few years ago when my parents bought themselves a nice, new trailer...a monstrous 50' unit. "But Mom & Dad," I said, "these are the kinds of units we used to mock when I was younger!" "You don't understand," said my parents, "this is now a minimum size, with one of the more basic packages that there is."

I will admit, when we were camping this past summer, some of the now-basic features were nice. In the brutal summer heat of southern Alberta, it was nice to have A/C in the trailer.

For some reason though, this seems wrong. It's like Parks Canada feels like they have to compete with the hotels. But it's a supply and demand thing, right? The people are demanding it, so they feel they need to supply it.

Long story short, I'm just sad that things are no longer like they were when I was a kid.

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