A Memory for the Books
James and I had been married for six months. We were living in Shelley, ID for the summer while James did a summer internship. One weekend in late summer, we decided to drive to Logan, UT to look for housing since we would be moving back there for Fall Semester to begin.
We threw in our sleeping bags after deciding that we would just drive up Logan canyon and camp overnight since we couldn’t afford to pay for a hotel room.
So, we spent the day looking at trailer homes in the married student housing on the USU campus and found a couple of good prospects. We were very excited about buying our own little trailer instead of renting an apartment.
Late in the afternoon, we decided to head up the canyon to find a camp spot before it got dark. We looked through several campsites and were not finding anything available. What we hadn’t taken into account was that it was Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest camping holidays of the year! We turned off every little side road we could find, only to be met by campers, everywhere. We finally gave up once it was dark and headed back toward the valley.
Now what should we do? We couldn’t afford a hotel room since we were scraping together every spare cent we had to put down on a trailer house. So, we came up with the brilliant idea of finding a park with a secluded area where we could catch a couple hours of sleep. After all, we did have our sleeping bags and pillows handy. We drove around for a couple of hours and couldn’t find anything that we felt safe or comfortable with.
Finally, we ended up in the parking lot of an LDS church building. We found a little piece of lawn tucked away in the back corner of the parking lot that we decided would work out okay as long as we got up at dusk and moved out.
We settled in for the night and had probably been asleep for less than thirty minutes when we were awoken be none other than…Sprinklers! We moved as quickly and frantically as we could to get off the grass. Then we just stood there next to our car as we watch our little “camp spot” get soaking wet.
Now what should we do? By this time it was about 1:00 in the morning and we decided we were just going to wait it out, put a tarp down and finish out the night. But, as we were fishing around in the trunk for the tarp, out of the corner of our eye we see flashing lights….yes, it was a cop! Apparently, we looked suspicious. Who would have thought!
Needless to say, we had a little chat with the policeman about our ridiculous circumstances and although he appeared to be sympathetic towards a couple of newly-wed, pathetically-poor college students, he informed us that we were on private property and needed to find someplace else to stay for they night. So we loaded up our stuff and reluctantly headed toward a motel. After finding a suitable motel, we pulled into the parking lot and went inside to check in only to find out that they were fully booked. All-righty then! We turned back around, got back in our car and headed down the street to another establishment. We parked the car and then just sat there debating if we should go in. Instead, we just reclined our seats, laid our tired little heads down and fell asleep until we were awoken, early the next morning by hotel guests loading the car next to us.
Needless to say, our first attempt at a camping trip was an adventure that will never be forgotten! But, at least the weekend wasn’t a total loss as we found a cozy little thirty-year old trailer to buy and live in for the next three years while we finished school.