So we've felt pretty homesick lately.
In the last few cities we have passed through, there have been signs that read "No Overnight Parking Permitted" or "Towing At Owner's Expense." We have not had many options for parking through the Pacific Northwest, and it has left us feeling uneasy and wondering if we are doing the "right thing" with our lives. We parked in a dirt lot by the Skagit River the night before last, and were awoken early in the morning with a polite tapping on our door window. "You can't park overnight here or use this area without a Discover Pass," said the kind wildlife ranger. This is only the second time we have been asked to leave a spot, which isn't bad considering all the places we have parked over the last 3 months. The man was very kind in asking us to leave so we packed up, snuck in a mountain-fed river bath, and headed on to the next. Except, there was no next. We knew the Wal-Mart in town didn't allow overnight parking, so the feeling of uneasiness returned to our stomachs. We slumped around Burlington in hopes of finding a direction. We wanted to kill 1 or 2 more nights in town, because Collin has two interviews coming up in the area this week and we are nearing the very bottom of our budget for the trip.
Libraries Keep Us Sane.
In each town we pass through, we always take advantage of the local libraries. We go to them several hours of each week and apply for jobs, hunt for books, and research more into the area via cost of living and average salaries. The library here in Burlington is one of our absolute favorites! It has a very comfy feel and lots of toys for Olin to explore. She played "kitchen" so hard our first day here and passed out on daddy's lap.
Little Mountain Park
Collin found a wonderful park for us to spend the day in yesterday, as we wondered where we would sleep that night. There were hiking and biking trails all around, and we agreed that we needed a break from hours spent applying for jobs and looking at screens. We took off down a dirt trail without any idea where it would lead. We just kept walking, as if escaping the worries of the day to get deeper into the woods of the Pacific Northwest. Ferns in every direction, we took a lengthy descent to a trail that read Bonnie & Clyde. Sure, why not, we followed a trail parallel to this one called JuliAnne, and it lead us to this remarkable chunk of history crashed and now partly grown in with this tree. We circled around this artifact imagining all the possibilities of what led it to this place on the ground. A mid- 1900s man driving a dirt road on the way home to his family and fatally crashing off the mountainside into a tree, rolling what seemed forever until the radiator lept from the hood and out onto the far mountain side below the scene. "Someone died here," Collin said. It felt eerie and cool at the same time to see such a piece of history on this unexpected trail we had followed around Little Mountain. It was nice to get things off our mind for a little bit with some fresh air to remedy a hollow stomach.
This Is Home.
We ran into three Wal-Mart employees at the gas station later in the evening who told us that the signs stating "No Overnight Parking" were there to sustain city ordinance requirements. They told us we would be just fine parking at the bottom of the lot, as long we moved lanes each night. Collin and I felt our stomachs ease, as we knew we had safe place to park for the night. This took such a load of stress off, so that we would be able to stay close enough for Collin's interview tomorrow and not worry about getting kicked out. As I walked back from using the restroom and buying dog food in Wally World, Dobby came running out of the van to greet my return.
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