No Money


A lot of people come to the mountain with no money.

I don’t mean traveling kids with literally no money. I mean city people who travel with only plastic, credit or debit cards, no cash. These people don’t realize that at the campground and the trail head, there’s no phone service, no internet access, no way to use a credit card save those old-school imprint devices that captured the card holder’s name and account number on flimsy slips of paper. (Do those devices still exist? Are they actually used anywhere, or do they fester in museums of late 20th century commerce?)


Early on the Saturday morning of Memorial Day Weekend, a vehicle pulled into my campground. I walked over to talk to them.

I asked if they had a reservation. They didn’t.

I told them I had a site available for that night only for $24. They asked if I took cards. I said no, cash only. They asked if there was an ATM nearby, a place where they could get cash. I said I didn’t think so.

They were really disappointed. They’d decided to go camping on a whim, drove out to the mountains figuring they’d find some place to stay, thinking their card would pay for whatever they needed.

I had to make a quick decision.

If a camper without a reservation says they don’t have the camping fee, I am allowed to take a lesser amount. If campers without reservations say they have no money, I am allowed to let them camp at no charge. I was not going to get in trouble for letting this family camp even though they couldn’t pay. But I could also turn this family away, save the site and hope someone with cash would come along.

But I decided to be a good person and let them stay.

They were so excited. They couldn’t believe I was letting them stay even thought they couldn’t pay.  They kept telling me how I’d made their weekend, and they wanted to know how they could make reservations in the future. I think they will be back, with money next time.

I’m glad to have a job that lets me help out people with no cash in their pockets.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

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