The Great Outdoors: A People Magnet

Settling into our new life on the road and the people we met.

People are drawn to the woods.  People of all kinds.

I don’t know what it is exactly but it’s different for every person.

Some reasons people to go to the woods:

  • The simple beauty and serenity
  • A brisk 30 mile hike to some peak starting at 5am while training for the decathlon
  • To get stoned and totally enjoy nature
  • A place to forage for wild mushrooms to sell at the city market
  • To ditch and burn a stolen vehicle (I’ve seen that)
  • A place to get naked and go swimming or soak in a hot spring
  • To hide a body (Gary Ridgeway or Ted Bundy)
  • A place to live when you’re homeless
  • A place for target practice with your antique musket and your rifle
  • To take the dogs out for a nice romp
  • A simple camping trip or picnic
  • For gold prospecting or to hunt for gems

The point is, everyone has their own agenda. For us it was a mixture of some of the above (- body dumping, ditching stolen cars, getting naked outside – unless we are alone, and the decathlon thing), and it was a place to live for the summer between homes.

We had the trailer parked at the Taylor River campground along the Snoqualmie River for our first few weeks on the road. Wherever we parked the rig was our home for the months ahead. Once that home was even on the side of the road for two nights while we waited for our truck’s rear tires to be replaced.

We were just getting used to our nomadic life in the woods and to our RV. We’d also just bought our trailer and my son and I were both learning the routines and procedures related to living in a camper trailer. I was proud of how he’d picked up on things and was there to help with everything from leveling it, to lowering the pop-outs on each side. My husband would be joining us in a couple of weeks.

The first few days we lived like royalty on battery power and it was great. The third day, however, something in the trailer began to emit a long beep and we couldn’t figure out what it was. When the lights went out, we made a connection. Batteries.

I’d never actually lived in a recreational vehicle before. I don’t know what I was thinking when I didn’t give a second thought to where the power was coming from. We’d lived carefree on just battery power for that long (which, looking back on it, wasn’t so bad), before the batteries finally drained.

Not being experienced in such matters, I took them in and bought new batteries. I must have had some reason to believe they were bad and couldn’t be charged. I bought two new ones and from then on, planned on charging them with our truck. I wasn’t familiar with using a generator at that point although I bought a small one about a week later.

Lessons learned. I feel like half an expert now as opposed to then. So knowledgeable. I still have my head crammed into You tube or somewhere else on the internet almost every day learning how to do something for the first time.

At any rate, we were just settling in to our new routine when one day, I saw a limousine driving down the seriously pot-holed road. It was so bad there, you had to maneuver from side to side through the worst part in order to avoid bottoming out on the edge of an especially deep pothole.

I cringed as the long black vehicle approached the “hole” but to my surprise it glided through unscathed. It was the end of the navigable road however and it slowly pulled to a stop.

A stretch limousine fifteen miles down a narrow dirt road, forty five miles from the nearest city. Weird. I tried to look busy and watched out of the corners of my eyes.

It pulled over and a man got out, then another. The second man was dressed in what looked to me like yachting attire. The first man appeared to be his help of some sort. The man in the boat clothes just walked around for a few minutes and had a look around then they got back into the limo, turned around, and drove off, back up the road the way they came.

What?

Then one day the motor home pulled in.

It was kind of junky looking but nothing unusual for out there in the woods. Every kind of people came out here from the city folk with their Subarus to the teenagers from the burbs out for a wild night of partying and barfing by the campfire. Some people lived out here (like us) but I don’t think they had any choice. We saw people out there who were clearly living there. It felt sad to me.

The people in the motor home turned out to be colorful folk. It was an older gentleman, probably in his sixties, his wife, and their daughter and her boyfriend and kids. One dog too. I didn’t get the impression they were out for a weekend camping trip. The motor home had a definite lived-in look.

One or more of them liked the bottle. Colorful became vivid when they drank. I don’t remember what it was about but the first time they had at it, they had at it. Yelling, throwing things, slamming things, and at some point, the younger couple got the boot. They sped off with their kids down the road.

That was the first time. It became a pattern. We began to dread the now expected daily skirmish. We moved to the other side of the road or across the bridge to get away from them. Then one day they were gone. Thank God. The quiet of the woods was now upon us again.

Back to the usual city dwellers with their pooches, Birkenstocks, and ergonomically designed hiking poles mixed in with the pickup truck driving, gun toting types and their lab/retriever/hound dogs.

The woods seem to be the great melting pot of society.

 

Author: ldinlove

I am a 55 year old woman with one husband and one child living on raw land we bought in eastern Washington state. I am not normal. I am eccentric. Our whole family is, for that matter.

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