Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Barking Dogs Not Compatible with Organ Pipe’s Sounds of Silence

organ pipe cactus

Organ Pipe Cactus frame the Moon

©Bert Gildart: Despite the wonderful time Janie and I had in Organ Pipe, we departed following an ugly event that was accompanied by several F bombs being levied at me.

The event was precipitated by a confrontation I had with two sets of campers parked adjacent to us who had barking dogs. Barking was not confined to just a yip, rather it was sustained, and it occurred randomly throughout the day and into the evening. Finally, after almost two weeks of being awakened in the morning and having several dogs owned by our campground neighbors drowning out the desert’s “SOUNDS OF SILENCE” (see accompanying photo), I went outside and asked the neighbors to please get their dogs quiet. Moments later the campground host and hostess walked up and we discussed barking dogs. They’d heard the commotion and agreed with my thoughts about uncontrolled dogs, for that afternoon, two rangers confronted the people in the sites adjacent to us. I have no idea what transpired, but whatever they said seemed to help – for a while.


Two mornings later their dogs commenced barking – again awakening me. I was fed up and went outside and asked them to PLEASE get their dogs quiet. About that time, another campground hostess showed up and I detailed just how exasperated I was. Then I returned to my camper. Later, we noticed that the people with one set of dogs had moved to another site, far away. But the “evil” lady (her husband did not join her) in site 135 marched over and launched into me using every imaginable word she could muster up. She said her dog didn’t bark and that I was a so-and-so liar. I told her to leave and when she turned I told her to have a good day. She turned around and again started dropping her F bombs. Then she stomped off yelling that I was a F—— Nazi.

Because of the lady’s hostility I felt I should file a complaint, which I did on one of the park’s comment form. I suggest that when people enter the campground, Kiosk rangers should ask if they have pets. If so, they should be provided a hand out explaining that dogs must be under control and if not, owners will be fined – or asked to leave. They should be told that dogs must be on leashes at all times (not so for my neighbors ), and that non-stop dog barking will not be tolerated. They should be told that campers should be limited to two dogs, and not to FOUR as another group of campers recently had.


I wrote more in my report, but I think this expresses my feelings for my blog readers. Right now we’re heading to Death Valley, and we’re over-nighting in a KOA, a campground. But, still, I have just got say that I have suddenly started to revere the KOA here in Needles, California. They say in their Rule and Regulations that all dogs must be on leashes and that barking dogs will not be tolerated. If your dogs continue to bark, says the KOA handout, owners will be “asked to leave” and money “will not be refunded.” I absolutely love this campground.

In summary, I should note that for a number of years Janie and I traveled with a Malmut, which we trained not to bark, so it can be done! I should also note that about 50% of campers at Organ Pipe were traveling with dogs, but they, too, had apparently trained their dogs, for most pets did not engage in that horrible nonstop yip, yip, yip.

OK, that’s now in the past. Today, we hope to make it to Death Valley and enjoy the “Super Bloom.”

== == == ==



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5 Responses to “Barking Dogs Not Compatible with Organ Pipe’s Sounds of Silence”

  1. Douglas Trout Says:

    That is unbelievable.I am a dog lover myself and my dog accompanies us on most of our travels. However, I am a bit perplexed that they were not thrown out. It only takes one out of control patron to ruin the peace and tranquility that anyone traveling to Organ Pipe would be looking for. That tirade after the move is telling as dogs tend to mimic the personalities of the owners. I really hope to see your photos of the “Super Bloom”. Safe and hopefully quiet travels.

  2. Larry Says:

    We are on the same page as you regarding noisy dogs and any other unabated noise issue.
    We put Tasha, our protective corgi, inside the trailer when there is foot traffic nearby to keep her from barking.

    As a docent at Cabrillo National Monument for 4 years, I know that law enforcement rangers at the National Parks do cite violators and increase the fine if a disrespectful attitude is displayed by the perpetrator. One of those law enforcement rangers transferred to Organ Pipe about 8 years ago.

    Have a great time at Death Valley

  3. Bert Says:

    Thanks, Douglas, for your comment, and I would have responded sooner except we were in Death Valley and there were so many people that internet was blogged. We. too, were once dog owners, and understand the relationship between owners and dogs. But most, as you’ve suggested, have their dogs controlled, and that was true at OP, except for the several described. Thanks again, Bert

  4. Bert Gildart Says:

    Larry, you must forgive my tardiness in replying to your comment about dogs, but in Death Valley, communication was almost non existent, then it had to be done in the wee hours of the morning. Even then, I waited and waited for messages to come and go. Incidentally, we know that Tasha is well behaved!

  5. Tom & Sandi Says:

    Good on you Bert and Janie. As you know, we have a traveling dog too (now two dogs since we inherited Sandi’s mothers dog). They can be a “handful” once one begins a guard bark. A water squirt bottle seems to help there.

    Yes, dog behavior does reflect the owner’s personality as you so expertly described. C/G owners and/or Rangers should enforce the dog rules. UNRULEY DOGS ARE ALMOST AS BAD AS THE UNRULEY DOG OWNERS. The only thing worse are their unruley kids!

    Oh, if only we ruled the world!