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Old 02-26-2021, 10:36 PM   #1
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Dip-Stick Light Folk

Last night of a 3 week desert trip was in Belle CG in Joshua Tree. A "Sphincter Boy"(AKA Sprinter Van dude) parked nearby 2 nights ago. Proceeds to immediately hoist his 2 long streamer flags. Hmmm, ok. But come nightfall he then hoists a 20 foot pole at rear center of his rig with a upward streaming LED light show. Unbelieveable and evidently is not allowed according to Park staff at Visitor Center. What is wrong with people?
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Old 02-27-2021, 07:17 AM   #2
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Sounds like it's time to break out the shotgun and turn it off for him. Unfortunately, you can't regulate stupid.
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Old 02-27-2021, 10:34 AM   #3
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He might be unaware of the rule, perhaps even thinking he is making the campground more "festive." Maybe he's a regular at Burning Man. People have different ideas about what camping is: minimalist, luxury-with-a-view, outdoor sports, music festival, family reunion, twenty-four frat party... In addition, COVID is bringing newcomers to the camping scene with limited exposure to different kinds of campgrounds, particularly rule-heavy state and national parks that emphasize the enjoyment of natural beauty.

One of our favorite spots is a SoCal state beach that has a beach party vibe. They're really strict about quiet hours, but there doesn't seem to be any rule about all-night lights. Doesn't matter because nearby urban areas obliterate the night sky. Last time we were at a state park in the Arizona desert, the campground was lit up like a Christmas tree all night as campers tried to keep pack rats at bay with rope lights under their vehicles and campers.

As always, choose your battles and use appropriate "weapons." Some things are minor annoyances, and you just put up. Developed campgrounds mean people; annoyances come with that. If there's a rule being violated it can be brought to the attention of campground hosts or park staff. Dangerous things- fires during bans, fireworks, weapons, intoxication- should go straight to law enforcement.

Sadly, in these edgy times, the one thing I generally wouldn't do is approach the person directly.

Sounds like you did say something to the park staff. What response did that produce?
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Old 02-27-2021, 11:12 AM   #4
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One of the people we frequently camp with is a veteran that served in the Vietnam War and his father served during WW2 and was a POW
On the back of his trailer he has a flagpole where he flies the US flag , and a MIA /POW flag along with a solar powered flood light
When we go camping I rent one camp site and he rents another
My control only extends to the borders of my site
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Old 02-27-2021, 11:39 AM   #5
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Our flag is supposed to be illuminated at night or taken down. He can camp beside me any time.



ArtB
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:07 PM   #6
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I find it obnoxious to fly a flag at night and then shine a spotlight on it.


I like to see the stars at night, thank you very much.
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by AlanKilian View Post
I find it obnoxious to fly a flag at night and then shine a spotlight on it.


I like to see the stars at night, thank you very much.
According to flag etiquette, when the US flag is flown after dark the flag is supposed to be illuminated. Some people choose to take down their US flag at twilight and others choose to fly their US flag 24 hours a day
When we fly our US flag on Memorial day or the 4th of July or Veterans Day ,we illuminate the flag per flag etiquette
Your desire to see the stars does not take precedence over my right to fly my countries flag IMHO
This is not a case of right or wrong and I don’t find flying the US flag to be obnoxious
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:40 PM   #8
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Illuminating the sky at a nice remote campsite for your personal virtue signal is obnoxious in my opinion.

You have every right do it, I'm glad you have that right, and you are announcing to the whole campsite what kind of a community member you are by choosing your right as the one you support over others.
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Old 02-27-2021, 01:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AlanKilian View Post
I find it obnoxious to fly a flag at night and then shine a spotlight on it.


I like to see the stars at night, thank you very much.
MA already has terminal light pollution. I haven't seen the Milky way since I was a boy.
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:04 PM   #10
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MA already has terminal light pollution.

Our place in Dennis, MA has great views of the Milky Way all summer.
(At least before we sold it two years ago.)

Camping "Out West" in MA also has provided fantastic stellar viewing for us.
Not Boundary waters, MN viewing (We sure miss that since moving out here) but still super.
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Old 02-27-2021, 05:08 PM   #11
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True Patriotism is Respectful....

It always amazes me to see how people “pop off” on here without having their facts straight, making assumptions that may or may not be true. The poster did not mention what type of flags were being flown. The poster did not mention whether or not the camper was illuminating the two flying flags, but if he was illuminating the flags they had to be considerably higher than 20 feet for an “upward streaming LED light show to illuminate.” An upward streaming LED light show is much more than illuminating the flag and would be distracting and detracting from the natural environment most people are trying to find while camping. It is not just a matter of patriotism, it is also a matter of courtesy and respect for fellow Americans by remembering that one’s rights, “only go as far as the other fella’s nose,” whether or not one served. A LED light show, in a campground crosses that line. I don’t need to hear a bunch of blather about Patriotism or rights. I served, and I well understand the sacrifices made by many that this service requires, but I served for my fellow Americans, not a cloth symbol flown in an apparent pretentious manner in a campground disregarding the rights of others.
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Old 02-27-2021, 06:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpdolan View Post
It always amazes me to see how people “pop off” on here without having their facts straight, making assumptions that may or may not be true. The poster did not mention what type of flags were being flown. The poster did not mention whether or not the camper was illuminating the two flying flags, but if he was illuminating the flags they had to be considerably higher than 20 feet for an “upward streaming LED light show to illuminate.” An upward streaming LED light show is much more than illuminating the flag and would be distracting and detracting from the natural environment most people are trying to find while camping. It is not just a matter of patriotism, it is also a matter of courtesy and respect for fellow Americans by remembering that one’s rights, “only go as far as the other fella’s nose,” whether or not one served. A LED light show, in a campground crosses that line. I don’t need to hear a bunch of blather about Patriotism or rights. I served, and I well understand the sacrifices made by many that this service requires, but I served for my fellow Americans, not a cloth symbol flown in an apparent pretentious manner in a campground disregarding the rights of others.
As one who also served, these are my sentiments exactly. And I have far more respect for those who also served than those who demonstrate how patriotic they are by flying the flag but never served. Actions are louder than words, but IMO, real actions are louder than pretentious actions. What you do on your own property is entirely your business, but in a public place, show some respect and consideration for others sharing that public space. Take your flag down at night and turn of the lights, it doesn’t need to be up 24/7. If you fly the flag during daylight hours, you have made your statement, be it truly patriotic or just pretentious.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:15 PM   #13
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OP here; this isn't about flying the flag, although am betting the Dude displaying this very well may have been a Vet. Still, this was an electronic bright as hell LED red/white/blue light that he ran all night. Fortunately I could only see it resembling a full moon when going to the bathroom at 3 AM. It was totally obscene and if I was the tent camper next door I woulda been pissed. Not surprisingly he was outta there early.

https://www.ganderoutdoors.com/flagp...B&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanKilian View Post
Our place in Dennis, MA has great views of the Milky Way all summer.
(At least before we sold it two years ago.)

Camping "Out West" in MA also has provided fantastic stellar viewing for us.
Not Boundary waters, MN viewing (We sure miss that since moving out here) but still super.
Cherry Springs PA is supposed to have the darkest skies in the east. I have wanted to go the past couple of years but something always comes up. Maybe this year.
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Old 02-28-2021, 06:29 AM   #15
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That light stick sure looks like a Burning Man thing. And yeah, it probably doesn't belong in a national park setting.

The whole concept of "dark sky zones" is relatively new. While it's not realistic to implement dark sky policies in all public campgrounds, it would make sense to evaluate each one and convert some of them. Conspicuous signage and information provided at time of reservation and check-in will help educate the unaware and deflect those who enjoy their adult night lights to other locations.

Joshua Tree NP seems like a great candidate.
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
That light stick sure looks like a Burning Man thing. And yeah, it probably doesn't belong in a national park setting.

The whole concept of "dark sky zones" is relatively new. While it's not realistic to implement dark sky policies in all public campgrounds, it would make sense to evaluate each one and convert some of them. Conspicuous signage and information provided at time of reservation and check-in will help educate the unaware and deflect those who enjoy their adult night lights to other locations.

Joshua Tree NP seems like a great candidate.

Seems like Joshua Tree NP is already considered a "dark sky" park.
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:47 AM   #17
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Another irritant are porch lights left on all night. Or a string of awning lights left on all night. Or worse are the zillion watt spotlights on the sides of some toyhaulers, that make me feel like I’m sitting around my campfire at noon.
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:50 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by lpdolan View Post
It always amazes me to see how people “pop off” on here without having their facts straight, making assumptions that may or may not be true. The poster did not mention what type of flags were being flown. The poster did not mention whether or not the camper was illuminating the two flying flags, but if he was illuminating the flags they had to be considerably higher than 20 feet for an “upward streaming LED light show to illuminate.” An upward streaming LED light show is much more than illuminating the flag and would be distracting and detracting from the natural environment most people are trying to find while camping. It is not just a matter of patriotism, it is also a matter of courtesy and respect for fellow Americans by remembering that one’s rights, “only go as far as the other fella’s nose,” whether or not one served. A LED light show, in a campground crosses that line. I don’t need to hear a bunch of blather about Patriotism or rights. I served, and I well understand the sacrifices made by many that this service requires, but I served for my fellow Americans, not a cloth symbol flown in an apparent pretentious manner in a campground disregarding the rights of others.

As a fellow Vet I agree and couldn't say it better.
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar1 View Post
Seems like Joshua Tree NP is already considered a "dark sky" park.
I wondered if that might be the case. If so, it seems like there would be rules about porch lights and decorative light displays at the campground (and the original post suggested as much). The linked website for the International Dark-Sky Association indicated that designated parks follow "a rigorous application process requiring applicants to demonstrate robust community support for dark sky protection and document designation-specific program requirements."

If those protections include rules about campsite lights, then this is a case of poor communication and/or lax enforcement. I hope the OP will write a letter about the experience addressed to the park superintendent.
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Radar1 View Post
Seems like Joshua Tree NP is already considered a "dark sky" park.
You definitely can see some stars at Joshua Tree:
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