tAs three young, beautiful (weakling) ladies, we tried to take some basic precautions to keep safe and avoid creepers, psychos, and bears. Both Orcas Island and Deception Pass felt pretty safe and tame, but entering the Sol Duc Campground in the Olympic National Forest, we knew we had to be on guard. This was a Monday now, meaning the average (normal) weekend family campers were back home, leaving the true blue (read: a little odd) outdoorsmen in the wilderness. It didn't help that Sol Duc is the kind of forest where there is more moss on the trees than bark and the sky is anything but visible.
We ultimately nabbed a spot between families, not too far from the bathrooms but far enough from wilderness that bear threat was low to nothing. Just to be safe, though, we secured the cooler and any traces of crumbs in the back seat with the door locked. It was just after dark that this sweet beast of a van literally barreled down the lane and across the way from us. It doesn't get much more molester van than no windows, chipped edges and a 55 gallon water barrel bungee strapped to the roof.
It was only just before we turned in for the night that the horror realization came that the car keys were sitting inside the cooler lid. Locked. The marshmallow pokers were working great when we were disrupted by a chuckle coming in from the darkness. Mr. Creeper van himself, up close not so creepy (except for the chuckle and looming out of darkness). He was a poster boy for REI in a ginormous Patagonia puff coat (the puffiest), straight jaw, chin length hair under a beanie and those glasses that are really goggles, but you know, are glasses. He apologized for laughing and assured us that the ranger could help us out in the morning. Then off to the darkness. Really, a very nice guy. But I did still wake up in the middle of the night sure he was unzipping our tent to come murder us.
Come morning, we used our new friend's cracked-screen pay as you go Walmart cell phone to phone into the Ranger station for a Slim Jim. A good while later came this hunk, Ranger S. Bagocious to save the day. A quick Slim Jim later and we were in, but had to prove to the local authority that we weren't trying to steal the piece of crap car from the middle of the forest.
The officer first chided me for locking the keys in the car with no sympathy for our smart bear attack prevention. Then it came out that the registration is still in my dad's name. Does he even know you have this car? Uh, yes... I'm about to buy it and change the registration. Then, the dates came out and we realized that my tabs expired... 7 months ago (yes, we. I just noticed as well). And then that I didn't have my license (I lost it last week, I promise!). BUT I did have my passport!! (We were maybe going to jump up to Canada at some point)
Don't worry that Mr. Bag went through it page by page and asked me for details about the stamps in it. He made it to Laos once too, you know, and I think it's for that that he gave us the warning that policemen in the area would eat me alive if they found me, which they very well might because the locked car report went out over the radio. Lovely!
All the while, our friendly creepster neighbor sat squatting by his fire pit down the way watching the action. Every time the ranger went back to his oversize Suburban for paperwork he would amble over and mock us, usually postulating that women are biologically predisposed to lock keys in the car to attract strapping, young rangers. Men just aren't wired that way. He would wander away just as Ranger Bag returned for more (overly flirtatious at this point) chiding.
And finally we were on the road again! A long shower at the nearby Sol Duc hot springs gave us a new lease on life and we were on the road again.
Forks was totally creepy and 100% overrated (they have had a 600% increase in tourism due to Twilight. Crazy!)
but La Push was quite pretty.
Cape Flattery is the northwest corner of America and the ocean white with foam got me singing God Bless America all over again.
Then back to Sequim for a killer sunrise over the Dungeness spit and an idyllic day of picking lavender and berries. And lots of Indian sites!
We hit Poulsbo, a little Norwegian town, (where we saw an old man barely hit in a crosswalk and the entire police force show up to deal with the screaming wife and poor 16-year-old who just didn't look hard enough) and Bainbridge Island (where I unsuccessfully tried to do a drive-by of an old boyfriend's house) and finally Russ' house for a sunset over the East side before collapsing back at home.
I love my home!