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  • Writer's pictureVictoria

Finding Home on the Road

I just had an incredible weekend visiting an old friend, Hayden and getting to meet his wife Lauren. They welcomed me into their home, where I was able to do laundry, take a bath and give Luca one too, have a driveway for van projects, and be plugged in since my battery system started to fail about a week ago.

We went on a backpacking trip to Lost Lake in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. We hiked just a couple miles through old growth groves with trees toppling above us. The typical rainy weather for this season held off for the hours we spent in the woods. We camped at a beautiful campsite on the side of Lost Lake and I finally properly hung my Eno tent hammock and rain fly. I learned how to use an axe, and luckily we found ONE down and dry enough tree for firewood, which the 3 of us took turns chopping away at. I whittled a spoon from a chunk of cedar, and have a newfound love for carving! We had a great night sipping vodka by the fire and chatting until our eyes grew heavy. Hayden literally lifted me into my high-hanging hammock and then I enjoyed a pretty cozy, if not a little cold night’s sleep with Luca in our swinging home for the night.

When we returned back to their home the next day, we all decided we wanted to do nothing and spent the day lounging around the house. In the early evening I thought better than to ignore their offer to help me locate and fix my propane leak, so I took apart my stove and asked if Hayden wanted to take a look. We found the leak by holding a lighter down the line and could clearly see where the propane was creeping out. Hayden had the materials to patch the leak and we did the whole thing in less than 5 minutes. When done, feeling empowered from our win we decided to take a crack at the battery issue, something I had been avoiding for days, not wanting to realize the possibility of needing to replace my batteries that would no longer hold charge for $700. But I know that ignorance isn’t truly bliss. We planned to check each battery with a volt-meter which requires me taking off the inverter(which also might need to be replaced since it won't turn on) which lives on top of the batteries. Inverter off, we pulled the top off the battery box and BANG! Right there was a clearly disconnected wire. Hayden reconnected it while I opened up the inverter to look for burn marks (I had already replaced my inverter 2 times so I knew what to look for.) Not seeing any signs, I put the inverter back together and reattached it to my system. Hayden tests the batteries and they read 12.7 (which is a good thing) and then I try to turn the inverter on and it starts right up. We giggle with our success and are very pleased with ourselves for fixing what seemed like daunting projects in less than 30 min. I am also filled with gratitude.

Hayden wants to know what else we can work on. He soldered my broken ring back together and makes a pendant out of a broken earring. He also sharpens all my dull knives and helps me lube up my squeaky side door. He tosses in the tube of grease into my van and says he has more. He did the same with the material we used to stop the propane leak.

I decide to stay an extra night. I cook a veggie curry and we watch Netflix and chill. I wake up at 7am to see them off to work the next day. It’s sad to say goodbye to my old friend and my new one, but I also know I will see them again. Adventurers have a way of reuniting. Before we split ways, they hook me up with the most thoughtful gift-box for me to take on the road. Hayden is one of those people who have two of everything, so he gave me one of ALOT of things (a water filter for streams, an mini hatchet for my new hobby, a skobi for me to make my own kombucha(and materials to make my first batch) an assortment of herbs from their garden, a sharp knife with a sharpener built into the case, tools my toolbox was missing, a toy whale for Luca, a piece that turns a water bottle into a bong, a spool of wire for me to start wire-wrapping some of my findings, hella fresh herbs, and two small pots full of ferns and succulents that Hayden believes I won’t kill.

They are ridiculously generous people, and I am I incredibly grateful; and not just for the amazing gifts, but for going on a beautiful adventure together in the woods, for being told many times by both of them “you can do it” any time I challenged my abilities, for being made to feel right at home from the moment of arrival, and for genuine human connection with two special people!

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