Rusty Moss

Photos by David | Words by Amber

Like nearly all our photo hunting tales, this one takes place at the end of a loooong drive. The mood was turing increasingly anxious as the potential for coming up empty handed increased. And, of course, there was a lightly sleeping baby in tow, just to keep things interesting. Also, it wasn’t really the end of the drive but more the middle- the summit if you will- we still had an equally loooong drive back home.

Like most mountain climbing, we weren’t exactly sure what we were looking for. Truth be told, I was sleeping when he turned off the highway so I was extra out of the loop. “So… we’re looking for an old camouflaged truck,” I grilled him when I woke up, trying to make sense of our plan. “And all we know is that it’s somewhere in this valley?”

It should also be noted that we were at the very far ends of the country, miles from the nearest Starbucks or Target, without a single bar of reception between the two of us.

“Yup” he replied in the tone of voice that knows it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.

Aiden running on the beach

The night before, we had tried out the 1970’s truck and camper top David had just gotten. It had gone reasonably well, especially considering the dog and the toddler and the 6ft 5in husband and the rain. The best part was we got to spend the morning at one of Olympic National Park’s gorgeous beaches.

We chose one where you had to hike 1 mile to get there from the road which was interesting with our city-kid. As we parked, he kept asking ”Where’s the sidewalk?” and not even 30 seconds into the hike, he wanted to be carried. But as soon as we got to the beach, his natural instincts kicked in and he knew just what to do. Which is, of course: take off articles of clothing, one by one, until he was almost naked, frolicking in the water, throwing sand, and shrieking with delight.

Foggy woods

Fast forward a few hours to the afternoon: there we were, bumping down a deserted dirt road in our new-old truck, looking for something covered in moss in the middle of the foggy rainforest.

“You look on that side and I’ll look on this side,” he instructed.

Not only was this a shaky plan because the woods were occasionally dense and there was no guarantee the truck was even visible from the road, but also because David was a famously poor looker. For everything from toys to bath products to baking ingredients, I’m the chief looker in our household. His strategy seems to be walk into a room and either a) shout to me, asking where it is or b) wait for it to jump up and tap him on the shoulder.

So I looked like it was my job; like the weekend depended on it. We reached the end of the lake and kept driving. And then kept driving some more. After many clarification questions from me (“So, we have no idea where it is…?”) and after many declarations from him (“10 more minutes then we are turning around!”), we still hadn’t found it.

Accepting our fate, dejected as a mountaineer thwarted in his summit, we turned around. And not two minutes later, I spotted it. Let the record show: it was on his side.