Everyone has different ways by which they plan a route. Frankly, for the most part, we don't. We know where we are. We often have a sense of where we want to go. But what happens in between is between the road and ourselves. That can mean camping in anything between a National Park Campground or a Walmart Parking Lot. More often than not, though, we hunt out some form of public land—the more remote the better.
As late in the fall as it may have been, leaves the color of sunshine clung to the trees. The less tenacious littered the ground. This portion of the Natchez Trace is so worn by centuries of use that it is now a deep gully. We climbed down into the ancient footpath and looked up at the walls. They rose above our heads to flatten out at the natural ground level. This is a path so tied to tradition that to walk it literally blinds you to all other directions.
On occasion, I have alluded to the fact that I do not drive. When I refer to my fearless driver as "my driver" it is because that is an exclusive position. I do not drive. I haven't driven for almost a decade. Instead, I lived in metropolitan areas where I could walk to work and social life could be served via mass transit.
Traveling can be lonely. Even with a travel companion, there can be moments when one craves to reach out of their personal circle and relax with some friendly people. I have my fearless driver and we have lots of fun together but that doesn't negate the desire for a wider range of friendly interactions. Certainly, one of the perks of our nomadic life is to visit friends and family across the US. But there are times when we are relaxing in a campground and would like to share stories and learn about some new people.
We are meticulously law abiding. When we come to communities that have banned overnight parking in Walmarts such as Galveston, TX or Glen Springs, CO, we don't throw up our hands and attempt to stealth camp. As tired as we may be, we accept that this community does not want our business and we move on. So when we got a ticket for overnight parking in Pasadena, CA, we thought it must be a mistake.