Day 94 (June 30): The Difficulty in Leaving Places You Don’t Belong
Today is one of those days that you don’t really plan for. In fact, most of the days on our journey thus far have had equal unpredictability. But when you go from camping in the bush to camping in a Wal Mart parking lot it has to be without plan.
We slept in after the late night. It rained off and on through the morning so it made getting out of bed even more difficult. The stress of the previous two days confounded the late night fatigue. It was a perfect storm for a last start. Plus we said that once we reached Canada we would slow down.
That’s easier said than done.
The Difficulty In Leaving Places You Don’t Belong
Breakfast and conversation were shared beneath leaky tarps that protected us from the rain. Jess’ father had already started the fire for the day and the wood burned bright and warm to counter the dreary, cold morning. Even though it was not the most spectacular day I felt like I could stay and camp another day or two at the least.
That’s the difficulty for me in particular on this journey. I see myself staying in nearly every place we visit. Sometimes I wish that I could clone myself and leave copies of myself in various places where I could live a second, third and as infinitum lives. I wonder what that would would be, where I could remain invested in the lives of people everywhere we go.
We never belong in the places we visit. They are for someone else. We just pass through carrying the things that we do and leaving with a little more and less than what we arrived with. Our memories are shared and experiences are gained. Sometimes we learn more about ourselves through others. And we hope it works the same in reverse.
The difficulty in leaving places you don’t belong is simply in admitting that you don’t belong.
Saying Farewell and Moving On
As much as we wanted to stay and continue to camp in the bush we knew that we would have to leave at some point. We had to take the truck back to Jess at the tire shop to have the rear wheels re-torqued and, of course, to say goodbye. So it was that necessity which excuses us from our great company.
We said farewell to the family and made our bumpy way out of the bush. Leaving always looks different than arriving. I notice so much less in the anticipation of arriving somewhere. But leaving, especially when I don’t want to, creates an ability to hold attention to every detail. Every turn in the road and pot hole in our path was one step away from the comfort of a temporary home. It was all so amplified in the leaving.
Re-torquing took no time at all. But again, saying farewell to Jess was the hardest. We had only known her for a little over 24 hours but she had become such a wonderful part of our story. Not only did she connect all of the parts of our story from Jasper to Hinton and fix issues with our truck we did not even foresee, but also she introduced us to a new world in the small town of Hinton.
Still every hello bids a farewell. We always say, “see you again soon.” We’re eternal optimists that our words will come true.
Driving to Dawson Creek
Because the rain was so hit or miss along our drive we decided to make a long day of it and push all the way to Dawson Creek. The town itself is not very much. But it is the beginning of the Alaskan Highway. For some, Dawson Creek is just another town in the provence of British Columbia. But for others, including us, this small town symbolizes an adventure and new life.
We drove all afternoon and eventually made our way into town. As we didn’t have cell service for most of the trip we decided to make the easy decision on where to spend the night. We needed groceries and the Wal Mart in Dawson Creek was friendly to RVs. So we found a spot away from the main road and parked for the night. We shopped until around 10 PM when the store closed. The sun was still up, but we were exhausted from the day.
There is a little humility involved in sleeping in a Wal Mart parking lot. I remember all of the judgments that I made toward RVers I saw in all of the times I visited Wal Mart. Now I was one of them.
Break down another barrier. Learn another lesson. Let the edges wear down one gentle edge at a time.
I’m growing. Changing. I’m becoming more aware of the life that exists around me. Even in a Wal Mart parking lot there is beauty to be found in loving the people who come and go, or spend the night, there.