Time Distorted Parking

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AUGUST 30, 2020

My sister and I went hiking with her best friend V, her boyfriend ES, and their roommate E for a few days around State College, PA. The day before, my sister got very dehydrated so she didn’t come with us on the hike this particular day and I was going to meet up with everyone else at Moshannon after I picked her up from the ER. ES has a veteran plate on his car and the car itself is very distinct, so when I pulled up to the ranger’s station and saw it, I knew it was his car (the car they all drove therein) so I pulled in beside them. I thought that was the parking lot for the state forest so I was confused as to why it was so small but just brushed it off and got all my gear ready. I picked a trail and went down it, figuring if I didn’t find them then they would see my car next to theirs and know I arrived. As I was walking down the trail, I was regretting not putting a note on the windshield to tell them that I was going down this specific trail and to come to find me if I wasn’t back by this certain time, etc. I just kept walking and eventually, we ran into each other (they went down the trail the other way so we met in the middle of the trail) and then we walked back to the cars. As we are walking down the road towards the ranger’s station, I noticed that their car wasn’t next to mine any longer and asked where they parked. ES told me that he parked farther down the road in the big parking lot for the state forest (which I couldn’t see from the rangers station it was too far out of my sight) and I was genuinely confused. I told him that I parked at the ranger’s station because I saw their car there but he said they never parked there. I know it must seem like I saw a car that just happened to have looked like his and mistook it for his, but it was the same make, model, color, veteran plate, and the same license plate number as ES’s. It stumped me because I knew that I saw their car parked at the rangers station (which is the whole reason why I parked there in the first place) and yet it was never there in the first place…

Submitted by Jules