Sunday, September 6, 2015

Day 4-Somewhere in Washington

Last night was cold, but I kept toasty in my zero degree down bag, flannel sweatshirt and sweatpants. One of my favorite things about camping is sleeping to the sound of rain on the rainfly; one of my least favorite things about camping is packing up a wet tent. A new thing I never knew I hated about camping; waking up to a giant puddle outside of your entrance and just wanting to roll over and go back to sleep so you don't have to deal with it. Eventually I asked Anna if there was any way to wear sneakers out there so I didn't have to get my feet wet, she didn't think so. A few minutes later I looked out the zipper and saw a raised grouping of sand; would make a perfect island to stand on. I asked if she would grab my sneakers and she did (she had already dragged her tent out of the small pond.) I hopped out keeping my feet dry, and chucked my Crocs which drained water from every hole as they flew across the grass. We were packed up in no time since it was so cold and wet, throwing our tents together in a trash bag to dry out later. As we looked across the lake, we saw snow capped mountains! We decided to drive and take a better look at the mountains from the other side of the lake. The lake was eery and foggy but the snow added a beautiful touch. I noticed a tiny ball of snow on my sleeve, and then on the car door, it was not only raining; but some of it was snow. After taking in the beauty, we decided to drive towards our destination (which we didn't really know yet) and stop at a nice view for breakfast. Pulling off the road at a random motel gave us a nice backdrop for my bagel with cheese and craisins, we decided to drive partway towards Seattle and stop about 6 hours and 45 minutes into the trip to see a movie, and not just any movie; but A Walk in the Woods. I looked up showing times and there was one at 2:30, the GPS said we would get there around 2:41; challenge accepted. Driving the open road really put the beauty in perspective. We drove out of the cold, wet, lush national forest and back into foreign desertous lands. If one thing is true, it's repetition in this world. There's a pattern; you drive through a big city with plenty of accommodations, to smaller towns with no accommodations, then you reach the remote mountains or desert for 50 miles plus, and begin the whole cycle again. Noticing the fuel was getting low, I started looking for gas stations. I saw a sign that showed there was a Shell station coming up at the next exit; perfect. We got off, looked in both directions and didn't see the familiar logo either way. We drove in both directions but still no sign of it, apparently there is a Sinclair where it was supposed to be. We merged back on the highway in hopes of it being the next exit up; when in fact, the small towns with no accommodations had set in. The dashboard now read we had a little under 50 miles until empty, we decided to keep driving in hopes to come across a gas station, any gas station. But it did not happen, the fear of pushing this rental, or sitting curbside waiting to get gas for it haunted me; we decided to turn around and head back to the main town we had just been in. On the way back, I kept the RPMs below 2k to save on gas and I, like every tractor trailer was going 60 mph up the huge never ending hills. What seemed like an eternity later, I finally saw familiar sights and a Loves station off the next exit. A tractor trailer didn't make it through the light leaving me to switch the car into neutral coasting to a stop to save on gas. At least it wouldn't be far to push at this point, I thought. Luckily there was no pushing involved we had made it to the gas station; on fumes I am sure since it was about the same mileage we had left, to get back. I had never been so happy to see a Loves before. I've never run out of gas before, and though it may have made for some interesting stories; I rather stick to having gas in the tank. We gained at least 45 minutes to our trip and wanted to make sure we made it to the 2:30 showing otherwise the next one wasn't until 5:30. My determination got us there with just enough time to change, use the restroom, and see the previews. Now before I get appalling messages about speeding (which I was) but we also went through an hour time change in our favor. Sitting in the theater, I couldn't think of anyone better to see A Walk in the Woods with; we both not only read the book, but hiked the trail. Overall, I'll say this about the movie; it was a great movie. Funny, reminiscent, and engaging; the ending was disappointing however, have read the book and all. And scenes such as the one with two grizzly bears at camp when there are no grizzly bears on the Appalachian Trail left a few discrepancies. Again, overall I recommend the movie, and enjoyed it. Deciding our next move required food of some sort, we agreed we didn't want anything "out of our packs" so we drove to Walmart; picking up avocados, bananas, apple sauce, apples, cashews, and more gave us a little more variety to choose from. We made half a bagel with avocado spread on it, I had a banana and Anna her Apple, and then a few handfuls of cashews before deciding to keep driving. If we drove straight through, we would get to Northern Cascades National forest around 11:00pm, but I didn't have that in me. We swerved up and down mountainous highways and water covered the highways at such high elevations. There were no street lights to illuminate the roads only headlights and tailights. Driving for nearly 3 more hours had us stopping for gas at half a tank "just in case." It was then we decided to stay at the truck stop for the night. We drove all around to find the darkest spot to park, and finally settled on the side of a building that seemed to no longer be open, just a short walk from the gas station. We set up sleeping arrangements; Anna would be reclined in the passenger seat, and I in the backseat. We got our sleeping essentials, I decided to just bring my sleeping bag liner since it was so warm in the car even with the windows cracked, and we settled in for the night; tomorrow, some hiking finally!

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