In the Tent: A party next door | AspenTimes.com

In the Tent: A party next door

Chad Abraham

When Frank Zappa sang, “Three hundred years ago, thought I might get some sleep,” he could have been referring to parenthood.If so, the father of four summed up perfectly how weary I felt after a recent camping trip with my wife and child.Just a quick weekend of car camping above Eagle, I thought. When we got to our perfect little spot next to the Eagle River, it was closed for revegetation. So we headed into Yeoman Park, a popular – especially that weekend – camping spot dominated by large groups of people.We found a great site to the east, overlooking a scenic meadow with the Gore Range off in the distance.”Sorry, we have that reserved, we paid for it and everything,” a couple said quickly when we opened the car doors. They explained that a car had been parked at the site, deeming it to be taken, but it had been moved for whatever reason. They were, of course, part of a large group.We drove down to the campground’s other end and found one of the last spots available. We settled in comfortably and watched a long line of cars drive past, vainly searching for a spot for the night.With our 2-year-old snugly asleep in our tent, we built a nice fire and the partying began. At the next site over. And these people proved themselves to be professional drinkers.From our vantage point, their large bottles of whiskey and other liquor were easily visible. And their voices were easily audible all the way until 5 a.m. One man wailed virtually all night while loudly strumming an acoustic guitar.This made me very uncomfortable for several reasons, the main one being that a few years ago that would’ve been me over there. Also, the guy on guitar was great: good voice, great songs. But it was 3 a.m. and neither my wife nor I had gotten any rest.A co-worker told me later that I had a right to walk over there with a club of some sort and tell them to quiet down. But I was like Popeye without his spinach (not enough alcohol) and was simply too tired.Our daughter amazingly slept through the entire night.Friends of ours, also with a toddler, joined us the next day, and we warned them all day about our festive neighbors. That night, they all went to sleep: the neighbors, our friends, their kid, me, my wife. That is, until our child had her own party, one no one wanted to attend.The lung capacity of an unhappy toddler is truly something to behold, which we did all night. The silence was too much for her, I guess. Maybe I should have brought a guitar.