by LEAH MUELLER
Room 8 by Squid Ink | Flickr
Dusk had already fallen when my husband and I pulled into the center of town. Its dusty street sat empty, shop doors padlocked, windows covered with plywood boards.
“I bet the motel is open,” I said.
Russ shook his head wearily. “No one answered when you called.”
“The room will be empty,” I insisted. “Everyone is afraid to travel. Except us.”
Russ and I had sold most of our possessions, fled Tacoma, and headed south. Washington’s economy had expanded like fast-rising bread dough. Even the pandemic couldn’t slow it down.
For decades, people moved to Tacoma when they had no other options. Now, 1500 square-foot bungalows sold for a million dollars. The two of us didn’t have that kind of money. We’d bought a dirt-cheap house in southern Arizona. Same town where my mother spent the last nine years of her life. Thanks, Polly.
Russ shrugged. “Worth a try, I guess.”
Kevin Fedarko, Outside
Peace from Everest / Sheila / Flickr
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