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Olympic National Park, WA (3 of 3)

Wait! Where are you going, beautiful sun? The clouds are rolling in quickly. The last time I looked at the weather app, I had a smooth ride ahead with sunshine. I was worried about the rain. I am concerned about it; after all, I am in Washington State.

I am able to rush through breakfast, but did not have a chance for some relaxing yoga as the rain started. I packed my things back in the car and walk to the lodge's lobby, where I can get better cell service to check the weather.

This is what I was so worried about - what would happen when I have to face rain during the day when there isn't a museum to check out or a nearby library. So far, my experience with rain was during the night, or I was traveling away from it. The weather is an extra addition to the fact that, by now, the antibiotics are making me feel weak.

I need to try to find a way to lift my spirits. As I turned my head toward the restaurant, I saw a woman I met in the bathroom the night before, where we had a lovely conversation. She is sitting with three other people. I am a solo traveler, it is up to me to make a connection. I go and ask if I can join them. I know the worst that can happen would be they say 'no', but I felt from yesterday's conversation with Liz that I am among friendly people.

Sure enough, we sat for three hours enjoying each other's company, talking about life and cycling while the rain kept us all from being outdoors. Liz and Jeff are from Calgary, Canada, cycling in Olympic National Park for a few days (Liz is 70 years old, what an inspiration!). Nicole and Josh are from Portland, and they have been on the road for a few weeks now with their bikes. Now that is impressive! We make a plan to meet again at dinnertime. Until then, I am resting in my bed. I didn't have a good night's sleep; it was cold, and by mistake, I rolled my window up a bit too much in the middle of the night, which woke me up gasping for air. I was able to take a nap and restore some of my energy.

The rain is still here until the morning, pounding on the roof of my car. Going outside to the bathroom means getting soaked. I have no choice and to use my emergency method of using an adult diaper (remember, I can't sit, only lay down). I was able to fall back to sleep only to wake up from a nightmare of being attacked by a bear. What a night!

The last twenty-four hours exposed a weakness I know I have with my setup. Until experiencing it, I couldn't grasp the difficulties of it. Rainy days will be torture! One of my strengths is knowing my weaknesses. I am not here to suffer. Sometimes I wonder if I am biting off more than I can chew. I need to rethink my travels in Canada and adjust some places I am considering visiting. Traveling to remote areas with my car setup might be a bit more challenging than I would like to experience.

I need a shower and a good night's sleep. I need to organize my car before entering Canada. The loss of time from the rain brings the solution for an Airbnb instead of camping. I still need to run some errands, and before I can check in, I have some time to kill. I stopped at Safeway to find a healthy meal and sat there to enjoy it. Another couple is taking the table next to me. We keep to ourselves until I need to go to the restroom and ask them if they would please watch my food. When I returned, I thanked them, and a conversation evolved into an hour of pleasant time. Debra and Richard are from Bend, Oregon. We exchange numbers in case I pass Bend one day. Now that is the beauty of my travel, the PEOPLE!

Even though Olympic National Park didn't go as I had planned, it was amazing! Thank you, mother nature, for the warm and beautiful weather and the lesson from the rain. I will be back!

Now I am about to embark on a very exciting part of my journey. I look forward to spending time with my new friends Ramona and Sandra, with whom I had the privilege to cross paths just a few months ago. I will have the privilege of getting to know Miriam, Sandra's friend. Until now, we only spoke on the phone, and I am looking forward to meeting her in person.

I hope the fires in Canada will get under control soon. Not only to make my travel smoother, but it saddens me deeply to know my dear friends, the trees, are dying and suffering, not to mention the loss of life and property.

Canada, here I come!

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