People are People
I hate camping.
Actually, that’s not true. I enjoy camping.
I hate TRYING to camp.
Oregon is the home to many beautiful “lookouts”—old ranger towers that are no longer used to monitor the wilderness. I supposed they have new modern lookout towers—perhaps made of glass and steel—to keep an eye out for mischief in the woods. But I like the old ones. See fig. 1
The Oregon state park system has turned these lookouts to good use by renting them out to campers! How cool is that? See fig. 2
Reserving a lookout tower, however, is nearly impossible. See fig. 3
My family and I have been trying to reserve a tower for THREE YEARS. Any tower! Any time of year! Anywhere in Oregon! They are always booked.
Recreation.gov has a reservation system that allows applicable campsites and ALL lookout towers, to be reserved up to SIX months ahead of time. At any given moment, at any time of year, if you go to reserve one of these lookout towers—they are booked. These are the things I have done:
I feel like I’m trying to get concert tickets to Depeche Mode in 1984. See fig. 4
I have one more strategy. I noticed that the hours for recreation.gov were specified as Eastern Standard Time. I set my alarm for 8:55pm tonight. Maybe it opens at midnight EST and I can sneak in! One of the lookouts is available June 20th and I am going to try for it. Otherwise, I have to wait until December 25th and December 30th to try to book June 25th and 30th on two other lookouts. People keep booking out 7 days out so each time I miss out another week has to go by until I can try again!
Update: I logged on at 8:59pm and at 9:00pm I clicked on "Book These Dates". I received a new directive: see fig. 5
I've set my alarm for 6:55am.
Update: Epic Failure
I was there! I woke up and hauled my computer onto my lap at 6:55am in the morning! I refreshed at 6:59am AND 7:00am only for THIS to happen:
Suddenly, the 20th was X'd out as "No Longer Available". Not "Reserved" but just "No Longer Available". And it wasn't like that at 6:59am...
The 21st is a Wednesday and we can't go then because of work schedules. So my next shot is for Fivemile Butte (our first pick!) on December 25th. I'm going to set the alarm and try again...
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Gillian Gontard wants a lot of things--she's trying to change that.
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