June 27, 2016
I'm dry-camped at on the C Loop of Cougar Rock in Mount Rainier National Park. That means I have no campsite hook-ups to water, electric and sewer, and I'm low on fresh water and high on black water (sewage). It was over 80 degrees and sunny in Seattle when I left today - probably due to global warming. I have 20+ hours of generator power which means I could run the AC if I wanted. I'm not sure whether there is a moratorium on generators in national parks, given the noise, but I'm not sure whether I care. A slight breeze is stirring now that the sun is setting - some two-and-one-half hours early due to the tall, dense conifers which have the same effect as the skyscrapers in Manhattan. Unfortunately, it's also carrying the sounds of the Loud Family who have just returned to their campsite. The boy, who is perhaps nine, has proceeded to whack everything in his reach with a small tree branch. The father yells at him constantly. The girl has to go to the bathroom. The father doesn't know where it is. If there is a mother, she is an invisible mute.
I also have 20+ hours of battery power. Unfortunately, the batteries don't feed the wall sockets so my i-Things won't charge. (The generator will do it!) By this time tomorrow, I'll have to resort to writing by hand – how low tech! There is no cellular service here either - at least no AT&T service. I told my father and a couple of friends I was going to Mt. Rainier for two days. My friends will expect to hear from me sometime on Wednesday. My father will call the state police tomorrow and tell them I've been missing for 24 hours.
The girl is crying. She's four or five. She was sitting in the window of the pick-up when the father backed it into their campsite. I think that's legal in Washington as long as the child is over three and holding a shot gun. The father is wearing sunglasses while cooking hot dogs and mac-n-cheese. It's dark enough outside that I have a light on in my cabin. There is no mother with them: she's home with her new husband basking in her self-congratulatory glory at having traded up. Next year, she'll realize she's married to a different looking version of the campsite father and now she has to deal with both of them.
I think the boy's name is Gunner. Oh, wait, that's the dog. I forgot about him...because he's so quiet.
There's enough grill smoke in the C Loop to pollute Beijing. Maybe that's why the sun is gone.
Mt. Rainier is the second highest peak in the lower 48. My father and I saw it on Saturday when I drove him to the Seattle airport. Most of it is still covered in snow. Earlier today, I tried to photograph Rainier from the camp area, but the best view is from a distance - like Seattle. When I returned to BOB and read the National Park literature, it advised that one should not walk alone in the park. So, now I can't walk alone to photograph the peak I'm too close to photograph.
The boy is Cody and the girl is Kai...or something completely different. Theirs are the only voices I have heard tonight. "Do you want cereal or oatmeal for breakfast?" the father asks while the kids are eating s'mores. My friend Jean will ask you what you want for dinner while she's feeding you breakfast. She admits that it's annoying, but she still expects an answer. The whole family sleeps in one tent: that will be fun for the father with the kids amped up on sugar. The temperature is going to fall thirty degrees tonight.
Holy shit! There's a third kid named Asha! She's the window-sitter - the quiet window-sitter. Her sister Kai is about seven. I didn't see Kai get out of the truck, and apparently I didn't see Asha afterwards which is why I thought there was only one girl.
The boy's name is Bodie!
Now, Bodie and Kai are racing Razors through the campsite. The father doesn't care about their noise because he is doing everything he can to cope. And, when I can't cope with my dead iPad, I'll fire up the generator give the park someone new to hate.
I have a few extra shotguns...I'll send you one.
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Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.