I mentioned last week that I’m in charge of booking our campsites. I also mentioned early on our trip that I feel pretty safe in the parks we visit and the RV . I even detailed earlier this week how I go about searching for a campsite.
However, last week was different, we were literally scared out of our first RV park.
The park in the Northern Cascades, which shall remain nameless, was a whole different story.
When we pulled up I thought to myself, “Oh this is one of those places run by a family that’s a little wacky.” That’s fine. We’ve been to one like that before. When I got out of the car to confirm our reservation, a teenage boy asked me what I was doing there and then proceeded to get his mother.
While he was getting her, a man and woman pulled up in a pickup truck. I heard the teenage boy ask her “What are you doing here? Shane isn’t home!” The woman responded “I know that! I can come around whenever I want!” It was a tense interaction that involved pointing and shouting.
The mom came out and greeted me. She was nice enough but was missing many of her teeth and looked very rough. I shrugged it off and confirmed our stay. She then instructed her son to lead us back to our site.
On our way to the site, we passed a mom with two young children who were clearly living out of a tent. The kids’ had dull faces and glassy, a look that makes you sad and makes them seem like they’re not all there. The mom avoided eye contact with us, but she was watching us roll through the campsite.
When we pulled up to our spot, in the back of the RV campground, we were positioned between several run down trailers with full time residents. Five dogs ran out and started barking at us. A couple were not on leashes and biting on the other dogs. They were all scary trailer park dogs.
Then the residents started to come out of their trailers at the commotion. They were rough looking men. They briefly shouted at each other’s dogs, blaming the other owner for the dogs’ behavior. They gave us a long “once over” before climbing back .
It was clear we didn’t belong. Mark and I quickly knew that we couldn’t stay there. We wouldn’t even stay there long enough to decide where it was that we’d be going instead. Mark pulled right out of the campsite spot and didn’t stop until we were miles down the road. It was then that I teared up.
Nothing happened to us, but it was a bad situation. I haven’t been scared of anywhere we’ve stayed until that point. In almost six months of travel, I’ve almost always felt safe. Out of my element, sure, but I’ve always felt safe.
Here we sensed danger. We trusted our instincts and we got the heck out in a hurry, even though it meant hours more driving and dozens of calls to find another campsite.