I was just commenting to friends that there are many parallels between the Beachburg area and the Friendsville area, except that the locals and officials in the valley are friendly to outsiders. I love that most everbody waves as you drive by in the Valley, even with a kayak on your rack. One big difference here is that Whitewater has had a very visible and positive effect on the local economy.
It appears that the minden area has it all.
Locals, a huge cottaging influx, and boaters, thrown into the mix.
Driving around Friendsville with a kayak on my car gave me a window into the world of a visible minority. It sucks to have the local community keep a very skewed microscope on you, and always ready to take things the wrong way.
anything you do while easily identified as part of this minority. Driving too fast by someones house (they get to define too fast), offhanded comments, changing in the bushes, parking in a legal yet popular parking spot, etc etc. reflects negatively on the whole community. There are also the compaints that we don’t spend enough in the community, but are also lumped in with the odd cottager with an overdeveloped sense of importance, and a demanding and rude manner.
If a local gives you the finger as you drive by with your boat, don’t take it personally. they are giving the finger to the last 1,000 (outsiders) who pissed them off.
whenever we are identified with our little minority, we are ambassadors for the whole community like it or not. As they say a lifetime of good acts can be destroyed by one thoughtless act or mistake, so we are always going to be digging out of a hole in a situation like this.
Outreach is the only answer for this local attitude and it is extremely frustrating and you will constantly here unfair and uninformed complaints about outsider behavior.
It also appears that the OPP have some sort of suspicions about boaters, much like the rangers and troopers around Friendsville or Summersville. Also born out of one or more incidents that could go back 30 years. Back then Roger Parsons had not done the incredible job of raising the money to buy land massage the river, and put in camping and parking, we used to poach camping and park all up and down the road causing crowding and traffic problems. I am sure that the Gull still has it’s days and weekends like that and the Minden area is a considerably busier place these days. I’m sure that they associate us with the Rockcliffe Hotel (the most famous little rock bar in the Province 25 years ago) and all of the incidents that they deal with related to it.
Outreach is the only thing that will help there as well. If they see us as part of the solution and not just some pain in the ass transients who show up a few times a season to cause low level problems and complain, we will slowly get more respect.
They live and deal with the local population (and are part of it) and as they see it we are all just transients in for the day so the local gets the benefit of doubt.
all of this being said, the theft and discrimination is not right, paricularly by the OPP.
Just be glad that Minden does not have a Summersville, WV attitude.
for those unfamiliar you have to drive through one of the most notorious speed traps in the United States to get to the New and Gauley rivers from the north and they set up Narcotics/homeland security checkpoints on the night of Gauley festival.