As we rolled into Kitsap State Park, we were feeling relaxed but brimming with expectation for the route. A couple of rolls around the parking lot later brought us to the Hiker/Biker site. Unlike the other campsites, the Hiker/Biker was tucked away far from the main thoroughfare. Typically, I'd be excited by a site away from RVs and car campers, envelope in trees, and out of sight. However, as we pushed our bikes along a dirt trail leading back in, we saw that there was another tent already there. This tent was massive, with trash strewn about, and a massive PVC pipe exiting the top of the zipper door; a strong putrid, chemical smell emanated from it. My first thought was that there were people cooking meth inside.
We chose a spot as far away from that tent as possible. Casting glances, we wordlessly agreed to lock up everything and keep anything "grabbable" out of sight. I kept looking over to that tent, but there was no movement. After an hour of relaxing at our picnic table, we walked down a side-trail to the bay. The trees in the woods were thick, glossy with moss and lichen, with overhanding branches saturated with rich green needles. The air temperatures dropped by the bay, where we watched the sun settle in over mountains elsewhere on the Olympic Peninsula.
Upon return to camp, we saw that the "drug tent" now had a full mattress laying outside, propped up, covered in black stains, right next to it. The PVC chimney was gone. Janna and I finish wrapping up our cleanup of dinner and camp when a guy walks over from the camp. I've seen moves/TV shows of people on meth, but I've never met anyone myself. As soon as he walks up, it's exactly what those media depict: he was covered in scabs head to toe and his teeth were receded and gums blackened. Janna backs away and I talk to him.
He looks at me and asks to use my cell phone. Two thoughts go racing through my brain: (a) Absolutely not. He may steal my phone or honestly get meth on it. (b) Yes because if he is told no, he might freak out and start raving - and we're not near enough someplace where someone could hear us yell for help. I opt for (a) but tell him he must stay right here and that he is not allowed to walk away. He takes my phone and has a loud argument with his mom. He tells her that his girlfriend is "fucked up" and "fucking him over." I stand stoic but firmly staring right at him. He begs his mom to pick him and says they have no more money. When done, I wipe down the phone thoroughly. The sky darkens with night, and I stay on high alert all night in case he comes over to take anything.
Eventually, I sleep.
Morning comes and when we stumble out of the tent to a gorgeous morning. I look over to the meth tent, and I'm shocked to see that the tent is completely gone, there is hundreds of toilet paper shards and tissue blooms strewn everywhere, and the occupants seem to be completely gone. How we didn't hear this scene ridiculously explode during the night baffles me. We eat dinner in the cool dawn, feeling more relaxed with our neighbors gone. But then, from the woods, comes out walking the apparent second occupant of the site we never saw the previous night. She comes over to us. She is even more covered in meth scabs, with teeth eroded away. She begins to strike up conversation around the events of last night - apologizing for all the noise. She says her boyfriend has abandoned her and that she needs to text someone to come pick her up. Again (a) and (b) options are out. I defer to (a) again, with the same expectations.
She begins texting, but keeps nervously trying to talk to us simultaneously while picking more scabs into her skin. She finishes and walks back into the woods. I clean off the phone and see she left the text screen on with a long barrage of how aggressive, boiling-point-angry, and exploding her boyfriend had become (made me feel that (a) was the correct option from before). And she went on to say how she has nothing but her money left that she plans to spend in a casino til she has nothing.
Despite the beautiful campground, Janna and I quickly pack up and get out of there. To be clear, most Hiker/Biker sites we stay in are safe and comfortable. This just happened to be one with occupants clearly not hiking nor biking.