If I wanted to grit my teeth, turn up the music, and slap myself awake once or twice, I could have made it to Vancouver without any problems. But it was getting to dark to take notes, so a few exits after the town of Hope, I decided to pull into the nex stop that advertised an open campground.
The campground in question was the "Whistlestop RV park". Like I said, it was already pretty late, so they just hung a sign in the office inviting latecomers to register their site the next morning.
It was indeed an RV park - I was the only person in the tenting area. I found a nice spot to pitch a tent, but it was dark, and it was in the mountains, which meant that the only light I had was any bio-luminesence the moss was kind enough to provide. So, I improvised.
I strung the tarp between the trunk of my Accent and the picnic table, where it was held down by... actually it was held down by my tent. I rolled out the mattress and the sleeping bag underneath, and it was Good Enough. I crawled under and went to sleep.
Now, since this was the first campground I found off of the Trans-Canada Highway, it's reasonable to assume that the #1 was close nearby. Indeed, the constant rumbling of trucks would be my lullabye. I could live with that. But then, after about twenty minutes, an ear-splitting roar of engine and axles and horns sounded out, so loud that I thought some trucker was warning people that he'd veered right into the campsite. And it kept on roaring, like it was always approaching but never getting closer.
After a momentary stupor, I realised... this campsite was called the "Whistlestop" RV Park. Yes, as close as it was to the Trans-Canada, the CPR was even closer. And so, for the rest of the evening, another locomotive would blast by. Every hour, on the hour-thirty-four. I got some sleep in between, but I counted every single one of them.
Finally, at six thirty-four, I figured that the road was calling. I took a shower, then rolled the tarp and mattress back into the trunk, and I was ready to go. You might be wondering if I was going to complain about the train at the office. I was not, seeing as how a) they probably knew already, and b) the shower was probably worth just as much to me as the sleep was. However, it was a moot point, as the office hadn't yet opened for the day. Shrugging, I drove away. I've never dined and dashed before... but now I can say I've slept and dashed. That counts, right?
Of course, I had only heard the engine - and sometimes, due to either some lucky echo or different weights of cars, it had seemed like I could hear several of them at once - but I hadn't seen it. So, when the forest around the highway cleared a few kilometers later, I looked to my side and saw... nothing but lake and mist.