View on the Parking Lot

by | Apr 8, 2020 | Complaining, Joy, Trials

“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3:4 (NIV)

We were camping in the Fraconia Notch State Park in the beautiful state of New Hampshire. I had tried to find a camping spot in a larger state park campground, but as they didn’t have any sites with electricity, we were forced to book at the only campground that would accommodate our small trailer, a small RV spot near Echo Lake.

The price for two days near Echo Lake was an astounding 90$ US, but as there was no other options, we had no choice. We consoled ourselves with the fact that the view over Echo Lake would be amazing.

It was a Tuesday that we arrived, and we were quite surprised that there was no one to check us in. There was only a note saying which of the 7 available sites was ours. We couldn’t help but wonder what we would have done if someone has “stolen” our spot…

What really shocked us, however, was that there was no beautiful view over a lake. Instead, we were lined up at the edge of a large parking lot designed for the convenience of people coming to spend the day at the Echo Lake Beach!

As we had been driving for hours, my wife was in desperate need of a washroom. She was shocked to learn that there weren’t any at that particular campground…There were washrooms a 5 minute walk at the Echo Lake Beach; however, when she tried to use these facilities, they were all locked up. When someone later told us that the restrooms were only open on the weekend, she replied with a twinkle in her eye: “I don’t believe that I can hold it that long!”

Seeing as there were not even any bathrooms, showers were completely out of the question, and we would later learn, as we exited our trailer with two stuffed garbage bags in hand, that there were also no garbage cans. The nearest garbage can we could find, which was about 15 kilometers away, was locked up with–not one but FOUR!—padlocks!

Needless to say, the campground did not exactly make us feel weocome…

We did have a small port-a-potty on board for emergencies only, and we were relieved to see that there was at least a dumping station at the far end of the parking lot that was our “campground”. When we went to dump the port-a-potty, however, on Thursday, the day we were to leave, we found that it could only be used from Friday to Sunday, 9 am to 4 pm…for a 25$ fee! And yes, just to ensure that we stayed honest, the dumping spot was tightly locked up with a padlock…

The people in the trailer next to ours were sitting up on a hilltop behind the trailers when we arrived, staring in the direction of the lake. “It must be a beautiful view,” decided my wife, and determined to find some positive thing about the camp, she started up the hill. She was destined for disappointment. All that could be seen from the top of the hill was the state park service garage…

Even though the campground and its lack of welcoming amenities shocked us, it didn’t keep us from enjoying the beauty around us: the Flume, the Basin, Canon Mountain, the Artist’s Palette, to name a few. We were also very thankful for the beautiful weather and the lovely fall colours surrounding us. In spite of everything, we had a great time.

No matter what the adversity around us might be, it is our choice to get upset or to keep on enjoying the presence of our Heavenly Father and the beauty He created. Instead of complaining, we determined to praise our Father. As a result, what could have been a very stressful two nights actually became a source of laughter.

It is that way with everything in life. No matter what happens, we can rejoice. If our Father, who loves us immeasurably, is with us, why should we worry or complain? Let us give thanks in the Lord continually, no matter what the circumstances!

Rob Chaffart


View on the Parking Lot