So it was bound to happen eventually, but I’m dissapointed nonetheless. My little wilderness sit spot in the middle of the city has been taken over by a homeless camper. It’s not surprising, because it’s one of the few places anywhere near downtown where there’s a couple acres of overgrown hillside that hasn’t been designated as a park. It’s actually a fairly sweet camping spot, as long as you can ignore the sounds of I-5. It’s not visible from any houses, and the closest road is quite a ways down the hill so the drivers never look up there.
There has been a pretty permanent homeless camp a couple hundred yards away through some brush and in a madrone thicket, but I just kept my distance from that spot and never had any trouble. But when Tent City moved into the church parking lot at the top of the hill, I knew that someone would eventually discover my sweet little spot a little further down the hill. And of course, they need it worse than I do, so there’s not much I can do about it.
I didn’t walk all the way up to the camp, but it actually looks fairly well organized. They seem to have an official tent with a good dark green rain fly. A little ways away from the tent was a pile of empty water jugs stashed to make it easy to pick them up and carry them down into town to fill up. I wonder where the closest drinkable water source is? I wonder if they know about the little stream around the next curve in the hill? A little ways away on the other side of the camp was a garbage dump, and I was impressed that they had thought to keep the trash out of the tent. It’s almost like they actually know how to camp, unlike many of the homeless camps I’ve seen around.
Unfortunately, they are camped directly below the red-tail hawk nest that I had been watching all spring. Their tent is directly on top of the spot where I had found the flicker wing parts dropped from the hawk nest, and about 4 feet from the fallen log where I like to sit. I was tempted to just introduce myself, the way I would to a new neighbor, and ask if there was anything they needed (like maybe iodine tablets for the stream around the bend) and by the way do you mind if I come hang out near here every once in a while? But prudence got the better of me and I decided to try that sometime when I can get someone else to walk up there with me.