I’m writing this from a bed. Not as in a sleeping bag, but a real, legit bed with a mattress and a bathroom with plumbing right next to it. Here’s how it happened:
Last night we spent the night cramped up in the car. With this much cargo, you can’t adjust the seats much. The results were horrible. I got about 3 hours of sleep total before deciding to call it quits. Luckily, the rest of the day was not as strenuous as we had planned. Though we came to climb in a little known area in Dierke’s Lake, apparently it was so little known that no one knew where it was. Instead, we spent the entire afternoon hanging out by the lake, swimming and relaxing. It felt so great to be in water after so much dust and heat.
A thunderstorm rolled in, so we headed to McDonald’s… not to eat, but to use their free wi-fi since it was very much needed and very much free. We spent the rest of the day’s hours there except for a short trip to neighboring Costco to see if they were giving out free samples of food. I bought a bag of grapefruit which I have been craving and ducked out with a grocery bill far under the standard $300 minimum. My membership didn’t even get taken away for such a blatant disregard of this rule.
As we sat again in McD’s and realized, while the sun steadily sank below the horizon, that we’d have to make our way to Smith Rock soon and had no idea where we would be camping that night, I overheard the table of guys next to us talking about camping that weekend. I figured they might know exactly the spot we needed to go for free and safe camping.
What a surprise when these guys not only said we could stay at their place, but that we could even stay inside instead of on the lawn in a tent! We politely declined, but they not only tried to continue finding us a place to camp but also continued offering their place. So we deliberated, then accepted.
After arriving at the home, we were invited to make ourselves comfortable. Finding that we hadn’t eaten, one of the three, rustled around in the kitchen and dug up some sandwich fixings and fruit snacks. It totally hit the spot as it was so different from what we had been eating.
I’m now sleeping in a bed, with easy access to electricity to run this computer and fully charge my phone. The internet is wireless and free here and we have showers in the morning with full-size towels. It’s only been 7 days and I am already feeling grateful for these small things I’ve been without. And even more grateful for generous strangers who help others out.