i just got back from a 3-week road trip to alaska, the yukon, and the rockies. it was great but naturally, i ran into many things that made me think, “good grief, i could certainly write a blog post about this annoying thing.” i didn’t keep a list or anything but a few things still stand out to me now so here goes.

i can’t stand young seasonal workers in touristy places. they are overly enthusiastic, disinterested, too perky and chatty, ineffective and useless, and/or arrogant, and they are all oozing with burgeoning sexuality, without exception. each one is nauseating in their own special way yet they are universally intolerable. i used to be a seasonal worker in a touristy place when i was 22, but i hid from view of the public because i saw and hated the same things then that i still see now. in fact, on my days off back then i would drive in to banff to hang out with my fellow misanthrope from the cowichan valley, chris, and we would spend most of our time bitching about and glaring at the very scum i just described. misery loves company. yes, i was quietly oozing with burgeoning sexuality too. ugh, youth.

the campgrounds of jasper, AB need to get their shit together in terms of recycling. since jenn and i started roadtripping, i’ve been thoroughly depressed at the often complete lack of recycling that goes on in many places we visit. so this time, i brought a giant tupperware bin to store paper, hard plastic, film plastic, glass, metals, styrofoam, refundable drink containers, etc until we either found a recycling facility or got home where i could dispose of the stuff properly. when we got to jasper near the end of our trip, this bin was pretty full so i was pleased as punch when i saw in the campground brochure that they supposedly had a very comprehensive recycling station. SUPPOSEDLY. actually, all they had was a shack with a ‘recycling’ sign on it which housed a single overflowing bin for paper and a shelf that campers had left their drink containers on. there was a chute on the outside of the shack marked ‘newspaper’ but when i walked inside i saw the chute went to nothing and there was a small pile of newspaper on the floor. a sign outside said ‘propane canisters’ so people had left them haphazardly strewn on the shack’s porch. there was no place to put numbered plastic, or batteries, or any of the other materials they brochure claimed were accepted here. that blew me away. i figured national parks would be very concerned with decreasing the amount of waste their patrons produce, but it’s obviously not a priority to them. lord knows that improving their recycling program would be a good use of their young seasonal employee’s time, if only they could get them to separate their dripping, diseased genitals from each other for a few moments.

i heard a woman flush a toilet in another campground 5 times in rapid succession, like 15 seconds apart. i thought, “that’s a lot of flushing. wtf is she trying to flush?” i noticed when i used the same bathroom that the toilet used 6 liters of water per flush. so that woman used 30 L of water, and i still can’t help wondering what for. my guess is skid marks. i loathe skid marks too but not enough to waste 30 L of water on them, especially on a campground toilet. everyone is gross when camping so there’s no shame in that. i wanted to slap her silly but found the strength to refrain.

when you enter national parks in the rockies, all the literature the park gives you says “stay 100 meters (aka 3 bus lengths) away from wild animals,” but how many people did we see creeping up as close as they could get to the beasts? countless. i couldn’t believe it. the craziest was some guy inching forward to within maybe 10 meters of a black bear on the side of the road to take a picture when it suddenly started running in his direction. when it got halfway to the guy, it swerved out of the way and back towards a tree so i don’t know if something else spooked it, or maybe it was trying to bluff the man with a fake charge, but the dink didn’t even seem to notice. he just fiddled with his camera, the fucking idiot. i wish the bear had eaten him right then and there. the man probably would have continued snapping pictures of the carnage as the thing tore his intestines out, still unaware that he was actually part of the world he was viewing.

those are the things that bothered me the most on the trip. i plan on emailing jasper national park about their pathetic recycling but hey, what road trip isn’t complete without at least one email complaint once i get home? last year it was to alberta provincial parks about their ridiculously horrible little fish lake campground, which i whined about here.

they never responded to that email.

do they think their silence will dissuade me? dream on.


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