Todays campsite is an actual government sanctified piece of ground designated for citizens wanting to sleep in the woods. It’s official name is Jenny Lake Campground and is located inside the Grand Tetons National Park. Majority of the time I refuse to stay anywhere inside a National Park, often I’ll drive out of my way to avoid staying in them. The main reason being all the government employees running around playing zoo keeper.

I decided to leave the confines of my campste and venture out into Uncle Sams wilderness. My planned trip involved a twenty yard roll to the restrooms and back. I made it all the way to the restrooms event free only to find the handicap and other numerous stalls out of order. No big deal, there’s probably another handicap accessible stall in this 55 site campground. Nope. Now if I was up in the forest all by myself like a real camper I’d pull up to the front of the car and hang my dareeair between the wheelchair and the bumper. However I’m surrounded people so I have to keep my dairyarh? contained.

So I make the decision to roll down the road and relieve myself in the proper man made hole at the visitors center. It was a nice long roll past plenty of stunning vistas painted on the back RVS. The hole at the visitors center worked properly and I was relieved.

I strolled back from the visitors center, amidst the crowds, with Nora trotting politely at my side. A little ways down the path I spotted one of my fellow government check receivers. I get the disability kind of check, he gets the park ranger kind of check. He can fine me, I can’t fine him. I had a good of idea of what was coming. But, I figured maybe since Nora was wearing her bright blue harness and in stride right beside the wheelchair I stood a chance. Nope. “Sir”, when the first words out of a Rangers mouth are “Sir” I know he’s not about to ask what kind of dog is that. “Sir, is this your dog”, no, it’s probably one of the random black labs with blue harnesses that like chasing people in wheelchairs. That should of been my response, however I opted for an old fashioned “Yes”. At this point Nora and I are passing by the green clad dude with Name Badge. My thought process here was keep your cool, express your true thoughts and this trip to the Pisser could go all the way to the Can. I also realized the Name Badge was old with a walking stick, we were on a flat paved surface, and the speed advantage was in my favor. As I began to speed up down the path I overheard “You need to have him on a leash”. Without turning around, or even bothering to reach out and grab Nora(still in stride beside the wheelchair), I said “OhhhhK” and sped on down the path. Nobody chased me. I even passed more park rangers with communication devices on their hips. There must not of been any APBs put out on the dude in a wheelchair with service dog at his side.

We made it all the way back to the van, almost. Coming around the corner to our campsite I view a dozen kids plucked straight of an Eddie Bauer Outdoors Advertisement standing in a row facing my van. They were being talked to by yet another Park Ranger. This one happened to be of the sexier variety. Long strawberry blonde hair, and taking her job very seriously. I roll up and realize she’s talking to the kidos about something in my campsite. Awesome, I’m going to get my first real glimpse of a Grizzly Bear and there’s a pretty little park ranger to complete the scene. Nope. This park ranger is walking around giving youngsters the inside scoop on policing campers, like myself, on bear storage regulations. Not how to store bears, but storing to avoid bears. My campsite looks pretty good, everything’s inside the van, except my solar shower bladder out soaking in the sun. She informs me that they’re discussing wether or not my campsite is within regulations with the shower bladder lying in the dirt. This is when my mouth finally gets going… “Oh, in case a bear gets thirsty” I say. I found it to be a nice light hearted resposne, she apparently didn’t. She explained that it was similiar to having a water bottle in camp and that bears can’t distinguish between water bottles and gatorade bottles. Also, that if a bear assumed it was a gatorade bottle he might take it for a rewarding treat. Now this would all make great sense if I was standing outside a cage at the San Diego Zoo, but being in wild bear country I was confused on the whole idea of bear confusing my shower bladder for a rewarding treat? Anyways, she ended up being very kind and left with the statement that she doesn’t normally give out tickets for shower bladders. She was definitely not joking, I myself was also ready for the two of us to put all kidding aside.

There was a dude Park Ranger taking up the rear of the group. He smiled and commented on how my site was good and bear proof. Adding that all the kidos had agreed unanimously that I was is in the clear. Being that he kept his mouth shut til his partner was out of ear shot, I could till he also was smitten with the strawberry blonde taking her job so seriously.

I’ve yet to meet any law enforcing person that can explain how I’m suppose to push a wheelchair and manage a leash at the same time.

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