Tuesday, August 27
Today’s photos were taken in and around North Fork Campground in Olympic National Park, Washington.
I sit outside in my camp chair and finish a second cup of coffee, while the crew hangs out in their pen. I put the cup in the BLT, close the door, and open up the crew’s pen.
There’s a trail loop off the campground. On the way down the campground road, we encounter a senior gentleman returning to his campsite from the trash receptacles. He’s a slim gent wearing a fisherman’s hat and using a cane.
I don’t know how it happens, but soon we’re deep in conversation.
His name is Les and he’s a native of Washington.
“Are you leaving? I don’t see a tent,” I inquire.
With a wry smile, Les explains.
“I borrowed a tent from a friend of mine. I throw the satchel in the trunk. When I get here and open it up, all that’s in the bag are tent stakes, rope, and other stuff. No tent.”
“Oh, no!” I exclaim.
“It’s all right,” Les continues calmly. “The passenger seat in the car goes all the way back. It’s comfortable enough. I have pillows.”
Les is from Port Angeles.
That’s where the crew and I are going, so, of course, I have lots of questions.
Les may have an unsteady gait, but his face is youthful and animated as he tells me about camping the Olympic National Forest. He gets a map out of his car to show me some of his favorites. Although his report of the forest is glowing, he adds a warning.
Hmm . . . I wonder if this is a prevalent problem or he heard of one theft and is blowing it out of proportion, the way people tend to do.
“Yeah, the past few years it’s gotten worse. I’ve only lived in that area for eight years, but my brother . . . He’s lived there forty years and he’s says it’s getting bad.”
“Well, thanks for the warning, Les. I’ll keep that in mind.”
Les lived in a “retirement community” for two years.
“I hated it!” he says with intensity. “Now I travel around for six months and in the winter I house-sit a condo in Port Angeles for some snowbirds. By the time they come back I’m going crazy to hit the road.”
“You’re a man of the road,” I comment. He smiles.
“And you’re a woman of the road,” he adds.
I ask him how long he plans on staying at North Fork.
“Oh, I’m leaving in the morning. I’ve been here three days. I get restless.”
“Well, I’ll talk to you later, Les. We’re going on a little hike.”
A trail sign says 1.6 miles.
That’s just right for me and the crew.
We’re almost to the top.
The trail is about 18 inches wide, cliff straight up on the left, cliff straight down on the right.
Bridget hikes the trail like a mountain goat.
Spike follows her lead and I take up the rear.
Gee, all I need to do is get dizzy and fall off this cliff. Maybe we should do this on another day, right after a good breakfast.
“Okay. Enough of this. Let’s go home.”
Bridget hears the word “home,” spins around, and scoots by Spike and me on the downward cliff side, stopping my heart momentarily.
Later, after a lunch of sauteed chicken (shared with the crew) and corn on the cob, I make a campfire. A campfire is a major accomplishment when you’re using damp wood and damp matches. Ah, the joys of camping in a rainforest. . .
Bridget and Spike watch the flames of the campfire from their pen, but only for a little while. Their eyelids droop.
The crew and I will stay at North Fork through Labor Day Weekend.
We went up to Blue Lake Campground, further along Forest Road 23, and every site is reserved. Between Labor Day Weekend and the big flea market in Packwood, I suspect all the area campgrounds are booked for the weekend.
So we’re keeping this site.
I’m posting this entry while sitting in the PTV with the crew, using the Randle library’s WiFi signal. From here we’ll go seventeen miles west to the Morton Post Office to see if the vehicle registrations arrived.
I hope to God they have.
Will RVSue become an outlaw? Will Spike ride shotgun? Will Bridget refuse to ride in a vehicle with expired tags?
THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!