Ahh, you have to love Americans' capitalistic tendencies. I mean, where else can you spit in the face of someone hoping to enjoy a low-cost stay in a national park by reserving a $20 campsite in Yosemite National Park and then putting it up for auction for $249 on Ebay?
OK, to be fair, that price is for three nights in that campsite, so the person auctioning site No. 48 in the Lower Pines campground in the Yosemite Valley is only seeking $189 for his trouble in securing the site via the federal government's nation-wide recreation system. And if you can't find time to head to Yosemite from August 24-27, site No. 402 in the North Pines campground is reserved for August 12-15 and being offered for a mere $174.
Another seller with a conscious is offering a campsite in the Upper Pines campground July 25-26 for a mere $27.
Park officials say there currently is nothing they can do.
“Apparently it’s been going on for a couple years. It’s not just us. It’s anyone on the reservation system. There’s nothing that says that sites aren’t transferable," Yosemite spokeswoman Adrienne Freeman tells me. "We don't condone this. We’re looking for ways to prohibit this, including working with Ebay. But it doesn’t fall under the penal code for scalping.
"The bottom line is these sites should be available to the American public for a reasonable price. That’s what camping is all about.”
Thanks to Glenn Scofield Williams for tipping us to this story.