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Steve Birdsall

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Reservations, State parks and really?

The challenges are not what you expect

So, after leaving Boise I went to Winchester lake state park.  Winchester Lake is about 180 miles north of Boise Idaho. After an uneventful drive, I was greeted with older male ranger and young female ranger. He asked me what I wanted to do and I told him I wanted to stay 3 or 4 days. His reply was “do you have reservations?” I told him no and he let me know there was no way I could stay all sites were reserved for the weekend. Totally confused I told him that I read on state parks website that some of their sites were walk up only. He said no, all sites are reserve able in all state parks. Now I’m pretty flustered, I knew what I read but didn’t want to argue so I asked for any openings for tonight and tomorrow night. He and the girl made a list of ones open both nights. Two’s better than one, right? As I was getting ready to drive away he turned to the girl and said “people are always trying to pull that” now pretty pissed off! I bit my tongue, picked out spot to camp, walked back to pay station and paid.

Back at camp I set up tent and settled in. Still frustrated with the walk in / reserve able thing so I found website clearly showing walk ups. Again, walked back up to ranger office, now it’s a new ranger. Sat down with him (his name was Steve yeah! Got a chance to figure this out). He actually sat down with me and showed me how it works, I didn’t like it but at least understood how I got it wrong.

Back to camp had some lunch and tried to make a plan. This is a holiday weekend and my problem would be same at any state park. I used an app on my phone called camp finder. Searched for campgrounds near me. I found a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) first come first serve. Made plan to get up early, break camp and go.

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