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Car camping, Hood River
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Temira



Joined: 15 Jun 1999
Posts: 84
Location: Hood River

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:42 pm    Post subject: Final answer about Wal-Mart parking Reply with quote

Hood River's city manager had a meeting with the manager of the Hood River Wal-Mart last week. According to her, the Hood River store has decided to stop allowing people to park overnight. The decision to disallow overnight parking at Wal-Mart definately comes from the management of the Hood River Wal-Mart, and not from the City of Hood River.

Wal-Mart corporate headquarters' response to my inquiry was as follows: "While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Wal-Mart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store lots, as we are able. Permission to park is decided by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws."

There is no Hood River law prohibiting Wal-Mart from allowing people to camp overnight. This decision was made by the store manager, for unknown reasons.

My suggestion, if you want to park at Wal-Mart this summer, is to call the Hood River Wal-Mart at 541-387-2300, ask to speak to a manager, and register your dissatisfaction with this policy. If enough people call, we may be able to change their minds.

Best of luck!

Temira Wagonfeld
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14618

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Final answer about Wal-Mart parking Reply with quote

windbabe wrote:
the Hood River store has decided to stop allowing people to park overnight. . . .This decision was made by the store manager, for unknown reasons.

My suggestion, if you want to park at Wal-Mart this summer, is to call the Hood River Wal-Mart at 541-387-2300, ask to speak to a manager, and register your dissatisfaction with this policy. If enough people call, we may be able to change their minds.


I just talked with the primary HR Walmart manager. His closure sounds very well justified even to a dedicated freeloader like myself. His problems include long-term squatters, tents and gear on the grass, literal lack of room for customer parking during peak periods, non-discreet campers taking showers in the lot, and many well-justified complaints from folks muttering about The Grapes of Wrath (my phrase, not his). He sounded sincere and understanding, and assured me his concerns were substantial and not just a handful of snooty Walmart customers (isn't that a self-evident oxymoron?) whining about the homeless. He added that the problems have increased dramatically this year, beginning last month.

I'm convinced. Guess I'll have to fall back on other spots. I ask that folks consider his point of view and not harass him too much. That . . . or get back to us with honest appraisals that he's making it up.

\m/
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tetiaroaxx



Joined: 08 Nov 2006
Posts: 225

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile

Last edited by tetiaroaxx on Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14618

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tetiaroaxx wrote:
That's total BS about last month. I've been here the whole time . . . Have seen nobody there this whole season.


If others can confirm that no one camped at Walmart in May, maybe it's time we swamped the manager with calls and visits about his excuses.

Confirmation -- or denials -- any one?

\m/
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doug_ilif



Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:43 am    Post subject: HR Vacation Cancelled Reply with quote

Read the forum, spoke to the wife, waited on our Hood River vacation booking (a nice weekly HR house, I believe the owner is a realter).

So we came down this weekend to see how our favorite town is doing, what with all this talk. Was raining today, so we were parked at the Marina / Beach for 5 minutes when two of those 'Trophy Wives' as you call them (?) came by and loudly said how nice it was that no windsurfers could use the beach!

Went to Walmart a few hours ago, and were surprised it now closes at 11:00? Is that true for all the Walmarts now? We asked why, and a clerk said it was 'because of thefts' and when I asked if it was the new manager she got a very, very strange look and said no very awkwarly.

Any hoo, we only saw three or four RV's there at 11:00, but about 45 cars with nobody sleeping in them (park and ride?). I heard running water, and immediately went to investigate 'someone taking a shower in the parking lot'. but it turned out to be sprinklers in the lawn/garden section! Is that what this manager was talking about?

The mood in town seems to have changed. People staring rudely, zooming by.

It was an easy choice to make. We have no intention of hanging out here where our money is not wanted. We can stay near Stevenson in a decent campsite, and not listen to those wrinkled up, cellulited, 'trophy wives' and their owners.

We will miss Taco Del Mar, Windance (which, in my opinion, will be forced to do away with it's 'free' section by the other shops soon), Charburger, and many others.
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tetiaroaxx



Joined: 08 Nov 2006
Posts: 225

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile

Last edited by tetiaroaxx on Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tetiaroaxx



Joined: 08 Nov 2006
Posts: 225

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile

Last edited by tetiaroaxx on Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14618

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 6:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Hood River has changed! Reply with quote

Maxwell wrote:
where are the spots? Legit spots?

With as many kiters, sailors and travelers that come through the gorge each summer, I find it hard to believe the powers in charge would not address an option to create a parcel of land dedicated, with local management, for RV er, car-campers and travelers.

Temira, you seem to be leading the charge on this. I would like to help. There is alot of land down at the event site and near by, that is growing weeds. What if there was better management of the pit? Has there been a proposal to utilize any of these areas of land? Now that the Gorge Games will no longer be using the event site area, are there proposals to be put in motion for a waterside RV Park?


I got lucky and found my favorite spot on my first trip, but the other spots I like took several whole summers to find. Many spots, including some on my list, have been closed for several reasons ranging from whining natives to looking like dumps due to abuse.

Those empty lots you see around the Gorge, especially near the HR waterfront, have all been tried as de facto camping sites, spontaneous and/or city-organized. (Realize that WSers came here in unimaginable numbers 10-20 years ago; we're a drop in the tourist bucket now. Time Magazine estimated in the late '80s that we brought $5M per summer month into HR alone.) A major reason for closure was whining from campground owners. Liability? Most states expressly shield landowners from liability for non-paying visitors unless the landowner creates or deliberately conceals known threats.

The biggest single problem I've seen in wild sites here and round the nation has been one factor: people are pigs. Dirty diapers, needles, condoms, boat batteries, heaps of butchered ducks, household waste, burger wrappers, ash tray contents, frying pan grease, dog crap, seas of toilet paper dotted by piles of human crap, broken furniture, piles of dead fish, rotting food, vandalism, automobile engine blocks, mattresses, piles of 10W40 oil cans in pools of drained oil, and ten more lines of same. Say anything to pigs like that and all you get is a snotty "Chill, dude", a glare, or worse. So you take your trailer, clean it all up, pay to take it to the dump, and withing a month or a year it's all back. People are pigs.

Back to Hood River . . . Realize that the powers in charge -- the council that determines land use in HR -- strongly prefers a concrete dock covered in shipping warehouses extending along the waterfront from the bridge to the Hook. Only enormous pressure from our side has prevented that. Plain and simple, they aren't interested in us at best, want us gone at worst. And that's the city managers; many locals have taken far more threatening and dangerous actions to drive us out. Bingen ran us out completely; their waterfront included for years a major expanse of lawn, a huge parking lot we camped in, and a very active launch handling scores, sometimes hundreds, of sailors. The RRs permanently shut down many Gorge launch sites in WA years ago, and added even more reinforcement recently.

Enjoy the Gorge while ya can, folks. And actively support our best chance at maintaining our presence here: your Columbia Gorge Windsurfiing Association. (Realize I have no stake in that group, and have had some serious differences with it. But over the years, it's often been all we have, and has cranked out and/or managed a great deal of work for our benefit. You didn't think it is the Corps, or the state, or lumberjacks who clean, maintain, and improve our launch sites, did you? )

\m/
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alan



Joined: 07 May 2007
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Goto Maui!

Last edited by alan on Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:04 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Temira



Joined: 15 Jun 1999
Posts: 84
Location: Hood River

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:04 pm    Post subject: the City of Hood River loves you! Reply with quote

In response to this comment:
"Back to Hood River . . . Realize that the powers in charge -- the council that determines land use in HR -- strongly prefers a concrete dock covered in shipping warehouses extending along the waterfront from the bridge to the Hook. Only enormous pressure from our side has prevented that. Plain and simple, they aren't interested in us at best, want us gone at worst. And that's the city managers; many locals have taken far more threatening and dangerous actions to drive us out. "

Although the Port of Hood River MAY prefer this approach, the city council of Hood River does not.

There is a kiteboarder and a windsurfer on the city council, and both are working hard to keep the town accessible for wind sport lovers.

The city council has discussed the camping/inexpensive accomodation problem, but hasn't been able to find a solution. The city manager has discussed the problem with the Port, and they were unable to find a solution.

I think the council would be amenable to having a committee work on this problem (Max, are you in, if I can make it happen?). After all, the city doesn't want to drive away tourism business.

But on to another point:

It's been my experience that abuses of the system have led to shutdowns of free campsites - people leaving 5-wheels parked in one spot for the summer, people leaving gear in piles outside of their cars, people not leaving campsites early and subjecting the "trophy wives" to unsightly car campers, etc, etc, etc. Free camping is a luxury, not a right.

It's time for car campers to police themselves. Don't do stupid things, and if you see someone else doing stupid things, explain the situation to them. Get up early (no, 9am is not early), get out of sight, and go spend some money at a coffee shop. Free parking comes with a price - respect for people who may be offended.

I'm completely willing to be the liason between this group and the City Council. So, does anyone have any suggestions as to where the city could accomodate people? I've already suggested Lot 6 and the Event Site, but both those were nixed.

Have a great day,


Temira Wagonfeld
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