Identify Society Homeless 366 2/4/24 Day 127, Sunday, Making Shelter

2/4/24 Day 127, Sunday, Making Shelter

8:00 a.m. I woke up with my girlfriend at her apartment. She has work today, so I get ready to go out and scout out a new camp closer to my work. I am working in Lawrence. At this point I cannot disclose any information about my work, the people I work with, or the people I serve because of ethical boundaries. Although, I can describe the work I’m doing.

10:10 a.m. I leave my girlfriend’s apartment and I head out to scout out a new camp. I’ve looked on maps and I picked out a few spots that I really like. I still have Active and Fit, so I prefer to be near a gym like Planet Fitness, Blink, Crunch etc… that way I can have a place to shower if I need that. First place I scout is near a Planet Fitness. What I find is the woods behind this planet fitness are very open, surrounded by tracks on one side, and houses on the other. The trees are very large and you can see a lot of fallen down because they’re poorly rooted. There’s a little river on the side where the houses are. I realize that I have very little cover in this spot, in the danger of a fallen tree crushing me frightens me. I decided this is not a good spot.

11:30 a.m. The next place I scout are some woods behind a Holiday inn. There’s a small river running behind the hotel, and the woods are very wet landie. I walk around a little bit and I take some pictures of some cool birds I’ve never seen before. But I realize that I’m not going to be able to set up camp here.

12:15 p.m. I walk over to Market Basket. On the way I see an old abandoned camp in a small wooded area next to the Market Basket and I take a picture. It’s about lunch time, so I stop in Market Basket and I get a turkey sub with all the fixings and no onions. I walk behind Market Basket and I check out the wooded area behind the supermarket. It also is very inhospitable for a campsite there’s woods but it’s a very steep hill. It’s pretty open too from the street and from the back of the shopping center. I eat my sub by a small stream. After I eat I throw My garbage into one of the dumpsters behind the building, and then I decide to scout around and see if I can find a nice little camp spot, which I’m unable to find.

12:45 p.m. I check out another spot down the road. It’s a nature preserve. A lot of people come to this place to do rock climbing and hiking. I’m hoping that maybe I can find a spot off the trail where I can tuck in and hide and set up my camp. When I walk up the trail, it heads on an incline up, and I can see some swamp land and I can see that the forest is very open. I see some people doing rock climbing on one of the big granite formations. I realize that to find any spot worth camping is going to be one hell of a hike. I decided to scrap this idea since I don’t want to have to travel through the forest too long to get to my vehicle.

1:15 p.m. I began to drive around and look at various spots close to me on the map. One spot is a giant parking lot next to the train tracks that butt’s right up against another forested area. I drove over there to find no trespassing signs all over the parking lot. I realize that this is not a good spot since they could tow my vehicle. I stop at another trail that is in a residential neighborhood. I figure that if I’m parking there every night some of the neighbors might complain and I don’t want to have any issues or be an obvious squatter in an upscale residential neighborhood.

2:30 p.m. At this point I’m getting kind of frustrated. I’m shocked that I can’t find a nice quiet secure place to tuck in and set up camp. I start driving farther south hoping to find something. I ride around the Harold Parker reservation area and I do some scouting there but I don’t find any spots I like. While driving down a local highway I see a pull-off area next to some woods so I pull over there. When I walk into the woods I see that it was once used as a masonry storage spot where they put all kinds of cinder blocks. The area had been long abandoned and all the masonry blocks were still there. I really like this spot and at first I considered it to be my campsite. I even tried to start setting a cinder block base for a campsite. I really do like the area and it has a close parking spot, but one thing that does bother me is it seems that the area might flood and become swampy when the weather gets nicer. I decided to hold off on the spot and travel down the roadways to see if I can find something better.

4:30 p.m. I noticed a lake as I was driving. And I noticed a nice spot to pull over on the side of the road right after the guardrail. I pulled my truck over here and I walked out into the woods. What I find is the perfect spot. I’m right up against a nice body of water. I love to camp near water. I can tell that this spot has not seen much human interaction in some 10,20, or even more years. I could tell somebody was using the spot a long time ago because there’s discarded old liquor bottles. I came across a rock outcropping where you can watch the sunset over the lake. I realize that this is the spot I will camp. On top of the rock outcropping you can see the frames of two old chairs a tree has grown up through one of the chair frames. Two people used to come here and sit at this very spot to watch the sunset. To find the spot after a long day of scouting is next to miraculous. The romance and the beauty of this old hideaway is reassuring.

5:30 p.m. It’s getting dark. I called my girl and asked her if she wanted to stay outside with me tonight. I have no camp set up yet. I plan on using my little travel tent for the night. I feel that it will be just big enough that my girlfriend and I can sleep in the small tent with the sub zero sleeping bag I have for traveling. With a pizza box I have in my truck I write a message to put on the dashboards for the cops to see, asking that nobody touches my vehicle or my girlfriend’s vehicle that we are camping and there are no signs prohibiting us from parking here. After I write the signs I get out of the truck and I hit the lock button on the door. When I shut the door I realize I don’t have the keys in my pocket. I had left them on the passenger seat. I am now locked out of my truck. Luckily I still have my phones in my pocket. I called my girlfriend and let her know that I’m going to need her to come and get me so that I can buy a coat hanger to unlock the truck. I’m really pissed off at myself for walking my keys in the truck This is the second time I’ve done this in the last 4 months. I do end up walking around a little bit and although the area is overgrown I realized that there was an old construction road leading from the highway up into the woods a little ways. There’s some small trees all grown into the road as well as a fallen tree blocking the road. But I can clearly see that it was once a road and I plan on clearing it so that I can drive my truck up it and hide my truck there while I sleep for the night. There’s a chance that you could see the truck from the road, but I doubt a tow truck would be able to get up to tell the truck from out of there.

7:00 p.m. my girlfriend shows up picks me up. I jump in the driver’s seat and we drive to Walmart where I pick up some metal coat hangers. We drove back to the location of my new campsite. I use the cold hanger to unlock the truck with my girlfriend who helps me with the flashlight. I had to use my knife to pry the window down just enough to fit the coat hanger in and I ended up breaking the tip off of my knife. It’s a little harder than I expected to get the coat hanger down to pop the lock. It takes me about 20 minutes but eventually I get it. Once the truck was opened I grabbed my hiking pack with my travel gear. It’s dark out, and my girlfriend and I walked out the hill to set up my tiny tent. My girlfriend didn’t realize that we were going to be using my small tent. She has brought a bunch of stuff with her, and I realize that using a small tent might not have been the best idea. Regardless, I set up the small tent and put the one person blow up mattress in there, along with the Sub-Zero sleeping bag and my little pink blanket. I have my girlfriend go in there first, and then I get in there. Right away it’s easy to realize that two people can barely fit inside this tent. We’re both pushing against the sides of the tent, and the sleeping bag is not big enough for both of us.

9:30 p.m. I give my girlfriend the majority of sleeping bag. I have my feet tucked in there but the rest of me is exposed. We are like two overgrown fetuses in a womb, and it’s very uncomfortable. My girlfriend is cold, you can feel the temperature dropping. My body is exposed so whether I’m front-facing I’m pushing against the tent lining and the cold is cutting right into me. If I turn around it’s my back that absorbs the cold. We try our best to fall asleep. We can hear the cars driving by as well, that adds to the distraction. No matter what I do to get comfortable, it doesn’t work. I’m just lying awake.

11:30 p.m. It’s getting colder, and I can feel the cold absorbing into my back as it’s pressed against the tent lining. I finally decided that we have to leave this place for the night. I apologize to my girlfriend. It was a bad idea and it was my fault. Once you’re laying down and trying to sleep it’s hard to get motivated to get up and leave. I realize that it’s the best choice. I could probably make it through a restless night, but I have work in the morning. It’s my first day. I’m sick with RSV as is my girlfriend. It’s not worth roughing it. My girlfriend and I get out of the tent and in the darkness we collect all of our stuff. I do have a lantern that my girlfriend gave me which we use for some light. My girlfriend takes her stuff and hikes up the hill in the darkness. I break down the tent in the darkness and I pack up all my stuff and I follow her up to our vehicles. She and I drive to her apartment where we spend the night. I get a total of about 5 hours of sleep. I have to be at work at 7:00 a.m.

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