Lowe wants to leave Forks, but Chevall thinks now that he’s saying they’re camping, it will seem suspicious if they don’t. He navigated Bertha around the trucks in the lot and turned north on Highway 101. The traffic followed them out. As Chevall drove through town, the people on the truck getting ready on the street corners turned the bus over, and said Lowe, one of the drivers holding a rifle out the window. She quips that she feels bad for anyone trying to mess with this town. Chevall was silent, instructing Bertha nervously. Nor want to make his mother worry in the back.
When the bus turned into Route A, the convoy disappeared. Chevall turned into a smaller logging road, crossed a bridge and slowed down into a towing drive full of tents and old training equipment. Families gathered to clean up the scene and set up tents.
Lowe heard gunshots five times in a row but dismissed it because someone was shooting at range. Then a flurry of ATVs accelerated and slid sideways near Bertha, shot gravel toward the bus and shot into a Chevall’s pant leg. They decided to leave. While dismantling the tent, they heard the chain saw closing, echoed around. Chevall drove back to the bridge they crossed to see if they could get cellular service and scout new campsites. In the distance, a bush and branches were cut across the road, behind the barrier was a crowd of cars and trucks. The innocent explanations they held had withered: This is about them, and maybe something else.
“That was the first time Tyrone started feeling maybe it’s racial,” Lowe told me. “At that time, I still haven’t. I’m a white girl from the Midwest, and I feel here in Washington people are a lot more open. I guess I wasn’t ready to give up my fairy tale. “
With no clear plans on how to get out, Chevall turned Bertha down the lane and up the mountain, hoping to get cellular service while resting in the tree. Shannon’s daughter writes a diary that starts, “If I die and you just found this …” Sondra continued to dial 911, trying to get a signal. In the end, she got through. Chevall told the dispatcher that their bus was fenced in the woods and got lost, and the dispatcher told them to meet the people in charge at the fallen trees.
Back on the bridge, Chevall parked his car at the edge of the bridge and told his mother to lock the bus and not chase them, no matter what. With trembling hands, Lowe grabbed his Canon camera. She and Chevall hesitated to cross the bridge as Lowe took pictures of the people and cars still hovering around as evidence. She begged Chevall to stay behind her. “I’m 43 years old and I’ve lived a pretty good life, and if this is what I go through, I feel so good,” she said, starting to cry. “But I don’t want that to be the end of Tyrone.”
She heard someone call, “They have cameras.” The engine roars, the car starts the engine. “I think at the time, they lost their temper,” she said. Returning to their bus to wait for law enforcement to arrive, they heard another gunshot. “Well, I can see what this feels like,” said Chevall Rambo. “
Finally an officer and the deputy sheriff arrived and asked that four staring teenagers drove up as the others were leaving to clear the leopards with their chainsaw. (The standard in Forks is to bring the chain saw into your truck.) After they report at the sheriff’s station, the delegates guide them to a place to camp and tell them, for their safety. themselves, they should leave in the first place. . The family left at dawn and bought a new battery at Walmart 150 miles, and Bertha rumbled off the peninsula.
A week later, Lowe commented on Peninsula daily news reporter that she doesn’t think race is a factor. She did so for a couple of reasons, she told me. For one thing, she wasn’t entirely sure, but more importantly, she didn’t want to start something. What if her assumption aroused the real anti-French fighters and they targeted the Forks? “If we make Forks look like a racist town, then Forks will burn, and that’s not what we want. We want everyone to die ”. But since then, she has reconsidered. “If our voice can make hate, then I want to try to stop it.”