My first true taste of what I’m about to pull everyone into happened in Texas. A few years back I was doing a string of art festivals, one of which was on Galveston Island. After waiting for over three hours on the Galveston Bridge, due to traffic being stopped while someone tried to talk down a jumper, we pulled into Galveston and headed for the RV park where we had reservations.
This was my first time on the island, and as we drove down the coast I was mesmerized by the small waves that broke and lapped onto the beach. As I turned into the RV park, a woman came out of the office running directly at the Chool Bus. Her arms were waving in the air with the look of panic on her face. I thought something was on fire or a tsunami was in route to remove Galveston Island.
“You can’t come in here.” She was yelling. “We do not allow buses to enter our RV park.”
“But we have reservations,” I said back with an equal look of shock and panic.
“We do not allow buses here,” she said again, raising the volume of her voice. “Your kind are better suited down the road.”
“My kind?” I said back, now with a slight tinge of agitation.
The Chool Bus and I became the target of discrimination. Strong emotions of anger, sadness and embarrassment triggered a physiological response. I became one with my mental calculations, which was a very weird and unsettling experience. I felt an increase in my blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature as I lost my individuality and became “one of those kind.”
This feeling didn’t last long, as I have never put much stock in what others may think of me. Come to find out, there was a silver lining in this whole situation. “Down the road” meant the state park, which dropped the nightly charge to a third and I could literally toss a rock from the door of the bus to the ocean. I guess the mermaids of the gulf were watching out for me.
As I am an anti-conformist and a bit of a rebel, I look through open eyes to see the flag of discrimination waving boldly at the newly proposed luxury RV park that is in the mist of change for Pinedale.
The Pinedale Town Council unanimously voted to approve Ordinance 695 on the first reading to approve the zoning classification from residential to recreational. This is fine, put in another RV park, but it has to be for everyone, not just for the people that are traveling in motorcoaches that dwarf the old log homes that were once the common structure of Sublette County.
I realize there has been a new precedence set for the wealthy in the county. I also, like I said, have no issues with an RV park. I think RV parks are great and this allows for many people to come see, feel and fall in love with this very place we call home. However, it should be for all people, no matter what they are traveling and living in, or how big their financial portfolio bulges.
The current plan for this new endeavor is to only allow a Class A Motorcoach, which start at a price of $90,000 and go way up from there. These are not pull-behinds, vans and dare I say, “converted school buses.” This plan will include strict appearance standards. This will, I guess, keep out all the “one of your kind.”
It is being said, from the developers and the mayor, that it’s a fit for Pinedale’s economic development to offer commercial diversity and boost other local business, but not really. RV dwellers tend to sleep in the RV, not at any of the local hotels, motels or B&Bs. They might go out for a meal or two, but for the most part they tend to cook in the RV. The grocery stores, liquor stores, gift shops and tourist attractions might get a fair share of business, but in actuality that is about it.
I am not a local yet, as there are still some people alive that know when I moved here, but I have been here long enough to know what an amazing place this is to live. Case in point, the clear ice on Fremont Lake that exploded with color when the morning sun crept over the Wind River Mountains. We must keep it amazing. We cannot segregate and discriminate. Pinedale, Sublette Country and the Wind Rivers must stay open and available for everyone.
Now I’ll step down from my soapbox and keep my individuality and suchness intact. I’m pretty sure the RV park will pass all scrutiny and become a protected sanctuary for the wealthy, so I guess “my kind” will be better suited down the road, like at one of our many amazing lakes. – dbA
You can find more of the unfiltered insight of Dan Abernathy at www.contributechaos.com and please SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel, The Intrepid Explorer.