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When Jason Pettit started school at Fort Lewis College in the fall of 2020, his home was his Ford Ranger pickup and wherever he felt safe enough to park.
Sometimes that was at a trailhead on the outskirts of the city. Sometimes it was in the parking lot of Walmart.
Pettit liked the trailheads more, because even though people might see his truck there, they didn’t necessarily know why it was there. “I could have been out hiking late or early,” he said. People do that a lot in the mountain town of roughly 20,000 people. The Walmart parking lot, illuminated by bright lights throughout the night, made Pettit feel exposed.
Pettit slept in the bed of his truck, which a camper shell covered. The shell didn’t lock, “but, I…
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