The time we weren't the only ones sleeping in the parking lot

We have quickly come to realize after 32 days of bus life that every day comes with it's own unique story for us to share and document for our memories. The 'normal' routine lifestyle is what we wanted to break away from and we sure are experiencing uniqueness in every daily task now. When you are moving around every day or every couple days you experience a new

location and surroundings all time time. Right now, while Logan is working we have been staying in a campground during the week for the most part and then going to new places over the weekend.

A couple weekends ago we slept overnight in parking lot for a beach access called Muir Creek, outside of Sooke, BC. We had just gotten back over to the island from our visit in Vancouver/Squamish that afternoon and we were super exhausted and needed a shower. We had always passed this parking lot as we drove out of town this way but had never got the chance to check it out, as it is usually packed on the weekends. We pulled into the parking lot in the far back corner spot and took our dogs down the path to the water for an hour or so. The river/creek flows into the ocean here so it is a neat spot to check out as these beaches always have awesome sea life, washed up treasures, birds, etc. It seemed like a nice quiet place to relax and watch the sunset/sun rise. Once the pups were tired we walked back up the path to the bus and made dinner and got washed up in our current shower (bucket bath). That night a few vehicles pulled in as the night went on and one little red car ended up staying in the parking lot over night, otherwise no strange activity happened throughout the night.

To paint a better picture, Muir Creek parking lot is right off the highway after you cross over a bridge, so much that you can easily miss it if you don't slow down in the right place to be able to turn off. It is a relatively small parking lot, maybe fitting 10-15 vehicles...depending how they park. Being that it is right off of a busy highway you can hear all the passing traffic, being no more than 20 ft away if you are parked in the furthest parking spot. The lot is surrounded by shorter trees with a clearing towards the back side where the longer path down to the ocean begins and there is a gate blocking it. There is also a path on the other side of the parking lot that is only a few feet down to the river.

The next morning was Sunday morning and it was also Mother's Day. We woke up with a crazy head cold coming on so we decided to stay put for the day and head back into town the next morning when Logan would have to be at work. We played with the pups at the water and painted and rested throughout the day as the parking lot was packed from morning till after supper time with people going for walks and picnics or fires on the beach and so on. As evening came the parking lot finally cleared out and we got settled in for the night. In the middle of the night we woke up to a door slamming shut. It was very clear and crisp sounding

it could not have been more that 10 ft away from us at the most. We sleepily sat up and found one of our phones to check the time. It was 3:58 a.m. on the dot. We looked outside through the bus windows but there was no vehicle around. Logan stepped outside quickly to go to the washroom and first peered around the bus to double check that there was no vehicles in the parking lot in case we just couldn't see it from the window. There was no vehicle anywhere in sight in the parking lot or on the road. There isn't even a place to park near enough to hear so perfectly, besides the lot that we were in. There weren't yet vehicles passing by on the highway either, it was 4 in the morning for goodness sake. As Logan was outside he could hear very faint voices coming from down the path, in the direction of the ocean beach access. He quickly came back inside and crawled back into bed at this point.

No more than a minute later the car door slammed again, the exact same volume and crispness as before, no further or no closer sounding. At this point we could count no more than 5 minutes would pass and it would slam shut again. Just as if someone had parked, hopped out of their car and were going to go for a walk to the beach. We knew we needed to sleep some more as we already weren't feeling great and Logan had to work in a few hours. I (Brooke) decided to put some music on to try to help us fall back to sleep. Not 30 seconds into the first song did the car door slam again, and louder this time just enough to hear it as crisp as all the other times over the music. From then on, as each song ended and had its two second break until the next song began, the car door would slam perfectly in that timing. By now the morning highway traffic was flowing by in both directions but not too steady yet. Yet still the car door was slamming in perfect timing over the other highway noise. The door slams continued for the 2 hours steady every 5 minutes or less until our alarm went off and it was time for us to get up, even though we hadn't slept a wink in the past two hours. This was when the door slams ended out of nowhere completely, just as we got out of bed. At this point we got up and got ready to head into town and left like nothing had happened. As we were pulling out of the lot we noticed a few odd signs, such as a randomly placed uprooted tree, that seemed slightly strange as it had certainly not been there when we arrived, or were our minds playing tricks on us? At this point we weren't sure.

We have had a few experiences such as this in the three years that we have been together, each being totally unique to the next. The amazing thing is that each time you can fully sense whether you feel welcome by the presence or whether you don't. In this circumstance I did not feel welcome, though I spook easily and my anxiety and paranoia tend to get the best of me in situations such as this. Though with Logan beside me and our two big bullies on guard I always feel safe. In our experiences, if you feel comfortable in the situation, remain chill and calm and do not bother the presence besides telling it to let you be. If you feel uncomfortable let it know still not to bother you or leave the specific area if you feel necessary. In the condo we used to live in our dog noticed a presence all the time and we just had a mutually knowing and understanding of each other being in the space and felt comfortable the whole time we lived there. The interesting thing about experiencing something like this in nature, is that it feels like a totally different encounter from anything else alike in the past.

Every space, in nature, every parking lot, old building, campground, river, beach, hiking trail, and so on have their own passed, stories and events that have happened there long before you went to explore them. Some places such as Muir Creek have their own legend that you can find on the internet to read, which makes them seem even that more real and true. Though these stories, even from reading ours, is probably hard to imagine or believe considering all the "what ifs" to explain what exactly was going on that night at Muir Creek. You just have to go check them out for yourself and tell your own story after as to what you experienced. There are plenty of stories we have heard from friends and certainly some places that we want to check out for ourselves, though I am not sure we will been sleeping at them knowingly. Are you willing to stay somewhere that you know such tales about? Or have you had a similar experience in nature somewhere?

Let us know!

Bus life adventures get more and more interesting everyday, and there is no way this one is going to stop us now!

Brooke & Logan


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