GARY M. HASTINGS: Disturbing camper's peace

June 30, 2013 

I had a very disturbing experience while camping recently in Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite. Around midnight, I was awakened by someone pounding on the outside of my truck and yelling for me to get out. I have heart problems and It nearly scared me to death. Flashlights shining in my face, they asked for ID, and SSN. I was told to keep my hands up. They asked if I'd been drinking. They must have confused me with someone else.

I was in violation of the food storage rules. They said there was a bottle left out. I forgot to put it away, and there was dog food left in my dog's dish. They woke me up at 12:03 a.m. to write a citation. These Gestapo-like tactics don't make for a pleasant park experience. They're patrolling the campground at midnight, looking for food storage violations. A better time would be 8, 9 or 10 p.m.

Bears are a problem, but this is a small violation and my treatment by the rangers seems extreme. My ice chest and food were in the storage bin.

Thanks to National Park Service for all it does.

GARY M. HASTINGS

Sonora

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