There have always been a few fears about traveling alone that have floated around in the back of my head. I try not to completely ignore them but think about how I would deal with each if one if it ever were to happen. Last week, one of those fears became my reality.
I wasn’t planning on stopping in Bridgeport, CA but this would be the closest city to meet Darwin on our anniversary. I headed North from Mammoth Lakes, CA. towards Bridgeport. I had been lingering in Mammoth for several weeks as it provided me with everything I require: a good grocery, great BLM area, and a nice library. Needless to say, when I arrived in Bridgeport compared to Mammoth, I was less than impressed.
Bowie and I had arrived in the late afternoon having stopped at a few sight-seeing places along the way. I pulled off at a gas station and looked up the directions to the BLM area. Noting that I wouldn’t have any signal at camp, I contacted a few people with my evening whereabouts and further agenda before heading out. I had noticed early in the day the Clydesdale (our van) had been “puttering” a little. I ignored it blaming it on the washboard roads I had traveled on earlier, but just as I hit a “no service” area on the way to camp, the puttering increased. Everything was already closed in town, so I made a mental note to check in with an auto body shop when I returned in the morning.
Bowie and I once again found ourselves being bounced around on a washboard road up into the BLM area. The thought struck me to turn around with the Clydesdale acting weird, but I found a cliff to my right and a rock wall to my left; I had to continue on. Three miles later, I finally came around a turn showing off a few great camp spots not surprisingly all taken since it was late. Bowie and I had to drive a little further in before finding an open place. The spot was incredibly uneven but not willing to push the puttering Clydesdale any further, we set up for the night.
I had an overall ill feeling. I felt the urge to just leave but being tired of driving I continued to settle in and make the best of our uneven spot. I felt a little nervous as a man pulled up somewhat close to the van to camp. It was dark at this point, and I felt too unsure of the road to leave. I should note that this “man” did nothing to directly make me feel unsafe. I just thought it a little odd someone would park so close being we were in a National Forest, with tons of camping opportunities surly further down the road. I was also listening to a podcast about murders, which also may have been making me a little paranoid. Regardless, Bowie and I didn’t linger outside as we usually do, but locked up the van and continued to listen to my podcast. Stupid? Probably.
After a fitful sleep, Bowie and I ate breakfast and packed up to leave, deciding we would hike later in the day. I really wanted to get back into town; I had a lot of work to do to cover the time I would take to spend with Darwin, and I wanted to see about getting the van looked at. I put the key in the ignition and turned it. Nothing happened. I tried again. Silence. Not even a click. This was it! My fear of the van breaking down! It was happening! Alarm bells were going off in my head. I instantly felt nauseous when I remembered, the two little words on my phone….NO SERVICE. When was the last time I still had service? I panicked but tried to focus on my options when all I really wanted to do was just cry. I had made a stupid decision by driving up to “no man’s land.” My instincts told me this would happen; I didn’t listen.
It was only six in the morning. No one camping around me was even moving, and I didn’t want to just walk up into someone’s camp, that’s an excellent way to get shot! I had no service, but I did remember passing by a campground at the entrance of the BLM. I couldn’t remember if I still had service when I passed by, but I felt confident they would surely have a landline phone.
Thus, my plan was decided; I would hike out the three miles with Bowie to the campground. I packed up the essentials like we would carry on any hike and thus we started our unplanned adventure, me cussing the whole way.
(One Of Many BLM Sites I Have Found For The Clydesdale)
Things To Expect In Up Coming Blog Posts & Other Stuffs:
Review On The Macabi Knee Length Skirt – Coming Soon!
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Other Van Life Posts You May Enjoy (featuring The Clydesdale or The Stallion):