And so the final day dawned. I took one last photo of the trailer before hitching up and bidding my campsite a fond farewell.
Little Towhee, always the adventurer, grabbed her spot on the dash of the truck as we drove out of the state park with the trailer in tow.
After 3-1/2 days of sunshine, it wasn’t long after we hit the road that the skies opened up and the rain poured down. My route from Kanaskat State Park to the storage shed in Puyallup was on the freeway again. I got in the right hand lane and stayed there unless the route required that I change lanes. I always gave large trucks the right-of-way and gave everyone else plenty of room too. Drivers of those large semi trucks were just as courteous to me, too, especially because I always indicated my intention to make a lane change long before starting the lane change. Eventually, the Stor-House storage yard came into view and I backed the trailer into her home.
Back at my home in my comfortable recliner, while enjoying views of my small back patio, I reflected on these recent four days very well spent.
My first thought was that nothing had gone wrong with the trailer or with the truck. I did have a new list of items or systems in the trailer to improve, and a list of questions to ask the professionals, but everything worked just as it was supposed to. I was very happy with the time and money spent getting the truck and the trailer in excellent working order. Knowing your own rig and being strict about preventive maintenance are important in any situation, but are critical when you are far from help.
I slept ok, tho not great. The trailer came with a brand new “waterproof” mattress cover that made a rustling noise at night because it was so stiff and sort of plastic-like. That mattress cover would be going in the dumpster soon! As well, I still couldn’t figure out how/where to stow stuff. The layout of storage space just didn’t seem logical to me. And the large bathroom across the full width of the trailer was wasted space for me. Someone else would greatly appreciate that large bathroom/shower space, but I would rather have had a smaller shower and more storage space.
I expect this next concern will change for me soon, but I will mention it here anyway. It felt odd to me not to have walls around me, so I rarely sat outside when I was at the campsite with the trailer. The weather was perfectly nice, although I would have needed to wear an extra jacket when sitting outside especially in the early morning or evening. But the weather was fine. I’m hoping the discomfort of sitting outdoors and using the outdoors as a living space will disappear with time. Certainly everything else about camping felt perfectly comfortable to me.
Interacting with people I didn’t already know (sometimes called “strangers” .. why call them that, because they are “stranger” than you are? funny word) was tremendously enjoyable. I always introduced myself and explained I was camping nearby. When they heard about my adventure, they always brightened and wanted to know more and wanted to share their own stories. I watched each scenario to see if I felt any threat from anyone when they realized I was alone, but I felt no concerns on this trip. That might be different in the future; I’ll just keep my eyes and ears open. What I continue to experience is that 99.9% of the people I meet are good people who are simply trying to do their best and enjoy life, just like I am.
The most tension I felt was that first full afternoon when I drove away from the campsite in the truck (when I went into town to buy toilet paper) and I left the trailer behind in the campsite. Before leaving the campground, I actually drove around the campground and drove right back to the campsite just to make sure the trailer really was still there. Over time, I expect this tension will diminish greatly tho may never disappear completely. The trailer is my home “out there” after all. Friends of mine tell me they carry a ditty bag with everything that they really truly would not like to have stolen or burned up or somehow destroyed .. and that bag is where all of those things are ALWAYS stored so that the bag moves from truck to trailer and back again without needing to think about what to pack/bring when leaving the trailer or the truck. Great idea!
What else? Well, I ate well. I purposefully ate exactly like I do at home. My hope is to eat out on occasion on these camping trips, but I figured this first trip had enough stress attached to it that I’d better not change up too many things at once.
And in the end, I absolutely LOVED being out in the woods, walking along the river, listening to the birds, watching the sky and the clouds, talking with people who knew things I didn’t know or who simply had stories to tell, taking photos of everything which made me be more aware of and look at everything, learning the history of places, stretching my legs and my imagination. I want more of this!