Road Trip Realities

I made these reservations nine months ago, right around election time. I had all the hopes of winning: the perfect candidate, the perfect road trip, the vacation of our dreams…
 On a budget, of course. The Generation X, Millennial, Hillary-LOST budget. The hopes-of-next-summer-in-Spain budget. The “Why are you taking a trip this year instead of saving for next year?” Budget.
 That is probably why I picked that motel in Yakima that was literally just a few dollars more than camping in Washington State Parks (I mean, seriously? $45 a night for campgrounds that have neither electricity nor showers?). The one in the questionable neighborhood, with PWT tenants, people screaming all night (“Puta Madre!!”) and a room that smelled like a combination between bleach cleaner and piss?
 That is probably why I picked the “hostel” in the Olympic Peninsula. $10 per person per night? An old eccentric man who literally opened two bedrooms of his small ranch and provided my family with chores of wheeling a fallen alder out of the woods?
 That is probably why I found a cute little Seattle bungalow on Airbnb that apparently did NOT have a laundry room after two nights of camping and forced me to wash three loads of five people’s laundry in the all-too-fancy remodeled sink, hanging them on the beautiful cedar deck to dry overnight.
 That is probably why I found a campsite in early June when my Columbia River Gorge hostel called to tell me they’d sold the property and canceled my reservation … A campsite still available to reserve in June for a July entry should come with a giant red flag: “Nestled between Interstate 84 and a train track with a railroad crossing, the trucks and honking trains will surely keep you awake in all the dark hours of the night when you thought sleep would give you peace.”
 So here I am. Nestled along a river whose wind blows east while the current moves west. Waiting for the moment when we need to leave to drive an hour and a half to the capital of Oregon to stay, god forbid, in a hotel that has a room full of washers and dryers. To wish, nine months later, that I had foresight for the lack of washers and dryers, for the constant disappointment of a lost candidate, a dream vacation, of the realities of a road trip.
 Just take a look at that view.

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