Day 50 August 14, 2001
I’m a worrier. It’s bad because it’s stressful but also good because I tend to have all my ducks in a row. Before the trip I had anxiety about the ultimate travel nightmare, not finding a place to stay. I saw it as the worst thing that could happen to me and since I was an excellent catastrophizer, I was sure it would happen. So even though I was newly single with my kids on their own, I bought a soccer mom’s minivan. I took out the back seats and hit the road, confident that I would always have a bed wherever I went.
I took one last picture of beautiful Lake Louise and headed north for my last few days before I would start the long trek home.
I planned on camping in Jasper, Alberta, and my neurotic preparedness paid off. The campground was filled and so were all the hotels and motels. I parked in the public lot in the center of town and realized other people in campers and vans were settling in for the night. They were being discrete, moving around inside their vehicles with flashlights and speaking in low voices. I followed their lead and inconspicuously moved some of my stuff to the front seats so I had a clear space for bedding in the back of the van.
Before I turned in for the night, I met a couple with a nice RV who were also parking lot dwellers. They were astonished to hear about my solo cross country trip and invited me to stay with them in Salt Lake City for The 2002 Summer Olympics. Wow! I took their information.
Another great thing happened. I looked across the parking lot and saw a double rainbow. I was at peace. “It takes both showers and sunshine to make a rainbow.”
I went across the street and acting like I owned the place, I went into the restroom at a gas station, brushed my teeth, and did what I needed to do. I sauntered out, went into my van, locked the doors, and sleeping in my clothes had a remarkably good night’s sleep.