Yesterday was the worst day I’ve had on my trip so far. It was actually the worst in a lot longer than that. I had my camera stolen from my car with ALL my pictures from Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota. My camera was the largest item I’ve ever purchased for myself and I was just starting to learn all the in’s and out’s of it.
When I first realized what happened all sorts of thoughts went through my head. Why would this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this? Was this my fault? I must have done something bad or wrong for this to happen. If this is how my trip is going to go, I don’t want to be on it anymore. I should just go home and end this adventure.
This was all in the first hour of finding out, but I needed to pull myself together and file a police report. After I finished the extremely nice police officer went to a few pawn shops to see if it had been pawned… no such luck. From there I was supposed to be driving to the Effigy Mounds National Monument to see the eclipse, but by the time I left it was a lot later than I originally planned and completely forgot about the eclipse and planned for a stay closer as I wasn’t able to make the full drive.
On my drive, with tears in my eyes, I started to think of everything I lost. Not just the camera, but all those pictures…. all those memories. I hadn’t downloaded any of the pictures in about a month. I wouldn’t be able to share those with any of my friends and family nor here, on my website. My dad had visited with me for two weeks and we saw some amazing things, bison crossing in front of the car, a black bear, moose, hundreds of big horn sheep… and all of it was gone. My very first badger I’d ever seen (for some reason I didn’t realize they actually existed…lol), wild horses, long horns (I know I’ll see them again but these were my first) And the photos of all the wonderful people I’d met so far.
The rest of the day wasn’t much better. It started pouring rain. When I got to my campground the office was locked and no one was answering the phone…. could my day get any worse? Eventually a man answered the phone and slowly came to unlock the door. After I checked in and got to my spot, the couple (Sonia & Jon) in the site next to mine walked by; Sonia could tell I was crying in the office and wanted to make sure I was okay. She gave me a MUCH needed hug. (I almost asked strangers for a hug, but none of them seemed friendly enough 🙁 ) They ended up hanging out with me all night. Not trying to have a pity-party but I probably would have cried myself to sleep if she hadn’t said anything and given me that hug.
That was when I started to realize something….I have had so many more positive moments on this trip than I have had any negatives at all. Just about every interaction I’ve had with people has been great. People are so interested in what I’m doing, and complete strangers are extremely supportive. Yesterday was actually the first bad thing. Everything, so far, that hadn’t gone as I’d originally planned, had a huge shiny silver lining and ended up being a positive in the long run.
I was letting this person not only steal my camera and all my pictures (and my jumper cables/bag) but they were going to ruin this trip for me. I wasn’t going to let that happen. I still have the memories. They can’t take those from me. I won’t be able to share pictures of my memories, but I will get to share my experiences. And I am not going to let them take this trip from me and these adventures I’m able to have. I have saved all this money and done all this planning. Unfortunately, this is a really big, sad hiccup in my trip, but at the end of the day, its not going to get me down.
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone I’ve met so far along my trip. YOU have helped encourage the willpower in me to continue on this journey. Whether it is just listening to me babble about what I’m doing, or exchanging contact information, or hanging out for hours. Every positive interaction I’ve had so far has outweighed the negative ones more than tenfold.
I hope that whoever took my camera had a good reason for it (if there is one). I hope that they needed the money for good or something along those lines. I don’t ever think stealing is the solution to your problems, but I’d like to think it was a last resort. I’m lucky that my car wasn’t damaged and I’m lucky that I wasn’t injured in any way (except a little emotionally).
I don’t know what the silver lining will be for this grey cloud, but I’m not going to let it rain on my parade or stop me from my dreams and goals. Thank you for anyone who reads through this, sorry if i’m rambling but it has been a rough couple days.
A few people have asked how they could help and I do have a gofundme created, so if you would like to financially help at all, anything would be appreciated.