Oct 23, 2013
Nestled near the northern edge of the UC Santa Cruz campus, betwixt and between the border of the mighty redwood forests, exists a thriving camper/trailer park where rad students, undergraduates and graduates alike, study and live; students who live here call themselves "parkies". More ephemeral friends like travelers and wilder folks, fairies and elves and wizards, who live amongst the trees, also come about to the park and mingle; parkies call them "woodsies" or "roadsies". The trailer park has a rich history and is probably the only one of it's kind in the United States (certainly the only one of it's kind within the UC system - though UC Berkeley's Co-ops comes in close comparison I feel). The continual existence of this trailer park partly has to do with the unique radical history of UCSC (though how much authentic radness exists in the campus atmosphere today, I wonder). There has also been talks of shutting down the park to construct more campus buildings. The origins of the camper park started with low-income students squatting, living in cars and vans, on an abandoned parking lot on the campus north side because of shortages in student housing in the early 1980's. After some intense skirmishes with campus officials and bastard UCPD, a compromise was reached by students and campus officials to allow the parking lots be turned into a camper park, but sanctioned with codes and fees, thus disqualifying this camper park as the "Slab City of the redwoods", which would have been amazing. Among the many idiosyncrasies of the trailer park are it's many traditions, such as the Trailer Park Olympics, where non-conventional and rather un-orthodox "competitions" are held. Though really, I think they are less so competitions, and more of elaborate drinking games forged from psychedelically creative minds. Naked run in the forest is not so much a competition for me per se, but an artistic solidarity of nature and human sociality. Anywho, the trailer park Olympics of 2015 is happening this weekend (11-6 to 11-8), Friday being the pre-party, Saturday ofcourse being the big party and Sunday being the rest and recovery after party cause the Olympics, as everyone knows, really works you out. Anyone around the bay feel free to check it out, maybe "compete" in one of the many sports that will be invented on the spot. The UCSC campus and surrounding area in general are pretty cool place to check out. It's in Santa Cruz (obvious) but has a distinctively different subtly timbre to it (less obvious).

Some pics, videos, and articles of the trailer park and the olympics bearing its name:

- music and "sports": - and more musics: - an 'about' narrative/tour from students who live there: - a tour of the many colorful campers at the park: - go-pro bicycle tour of the park:
- Article on the camper park by 'It's-a-coop' (berkeley co-opers who explore and critique co-ops around the USA and beyond):

- Facebook group of the parkies:

- pics of trailer park olympics past:
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We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

Matt Derrick

Semi-retired traveler
Staff member
Aug 4, 2006
Austin, TX
i won't be able to make it this year, but i'm marking this on my calendar for next year. this looks awesome, thanks for sharing!

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