I am not sure if this is a small town thing, a Forks thing or just my family thing but when I was a child one of my family’s favorite weekend afternoon outings was a trip to the dump. We lived on Sol Duc Way and the dump at that time was near where the Olympic Suites Motel is today.
My dad would load up the cans and my sister and I would sometimes ride in the back of the pickup with the garbage and sometimes maybe a few neighbor kids would ride along. Down Sol Duc Way across the highway and to the dump we would go
The dump was free and I remember a man in a little shack. I once asked my dad if that man in the shack lived at the dump, he said maybe so and I thought ewe … the dump is a fun place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. There were lots of seagulls and crows and we would hope to see a rat but I don’t ever remember seeing any.
When I was in fifth grade we moved to Evergreen Loop and the dump moved to … to the end of Bogachiel Way. The dump was still free and there was a big cement slab over the dump … you had to back out on the slab and throw your garbage over the bank — it fell far below. There were still seagulls and crows and sometimes the dump was on fire!
At some point my sister and I became convinced that the cement slab was dangerous and we would get out and watch when my dad backed out onto it but it never fell.
Then I became a teenager and going to the dump was not cool so I left that activity to my sister and younger brother.
Eventually I got married and the dump moved again to Lake Creek and once again going to the dump became a weekend activity, sort of an inexpensive outing. Now the dump cost you. The lady in the little trailer would look over your garbage and then say a price and into the dump we would drive.
It was shortly after I got married that my husband had back surgery and was in the hospital for a couple weeks. The weekend came and I needed to go to the dump. Well sure I had been going all my life, no problem.
I loaded up the cans and headed for Lake Creek. I got to the little trailer and the lady told me how much and I headed into the dump. There a man gave me hand signals on where to back up and now it was time to get out.
I opened the door and what awaited my feet was a swill of stinky garbage and mud. I looked at the smelly ground and wondered if I was athletic enough to stand in the door of the pickup and swing my leg into the bed of the truck so as not to step into the stench.
While I was contemplating my next move I heard a voice … it wasn’t God, it was Mr. Early, he was walking toward me and in his arms were sheets of card board.
He proceeded to set out a carpet of cardboard from the pickup door to the back of the pickup, I have never to this day been the recipient of a greater act of chivalry.
He must have seen my horrified expression and came to my rescue. I walked that “cardboard carpet” to the back of the pickup and dumped the garbage.
To this day I thank Mr. Early from the bottom of my heart.
These days the dump is paved and all organized, not nearly as interesting as way back when but maybe kids today wouldn’t want to go to the dump? They don’t know what they missed!