At 10:00 this morning, I was drinking a hot toddy in bed. Why? Because I’m a grown ass woman, I do what I want. Also, I’m sick. And I live in a van. I feel like I have carte blanche on the hot toddies.
It’s been a busy last few weeks with vacations (me to Illinois, Colin to adventure), sickness, and farewells but now, only the sickness remains. Colin told me my voice sounds like Scarlett Johansson and, honestly, I couldn’t be happier. He probably only meant that when I’m not coughing my brains out, but I’ll take it. Scarlett Johansson’s voice is SICK. In a good way.
Thankfully, the van is a great place to be when you don’t feel well. It’s cozy and comfortable. Everything you want when you feel under the weather. The only thing we’re lacking is an unlimited power supply for watching movies in bed, the internet, and regular cell service. Other than that, it’s perfect. We even put up decorative lights which make it even cozier!
So, where are we now? Oregon! 3.5 months after buying Vaniel and we finally took him to a new state. It feels like we have officially begun. Oh yes, and we finally figured out a name for our van! Inspired by Damn Daniel, Colin is credited with our van’s lovely name. Guess Vaniel wasn’t a girl like I originally thought. This van is damn progressive. He also has an instagram, because of course he does.
But I digress. Technically, our first stop was the Olympics. We left Seattle Monday night and arrived at the Walmart parking lot in Port Angeles late Monday evening. It was our first overnight at a Walmart and I’ve never felt more legit as a van dweller. (FYI: Walmarts are one of the few public places where you can legally sleep in your vehicle overnight). We woke up early the next morning to obtain a backpacking permit for the Seven Lakes Basin, only to find out it was snowing and the high was 37 degrees. Not for us it’s not. So, what do you do when you live in a van and your plans go completely sideways? Make a new plan! We hit the road for Oregon.
Seven hours later, several podcasts under our belt*, and anxious to make camp, we arrived at Terrebonne, the home of Smith Rock State Park and some fantastic climbing. We are in a sweet dispersed camping spot a few minutes outside of the park. For those who don’t know, dispersed camping is free camping on public lands such as National Forest or BLM. Huge money saver and so far, we’ve never been disappointed. You don’t have power, water, bathrooms, or a picnic table, but it’s free and secluded, just how we like it.
MAJOR UPDATE: Speaking of not having bathrooms, Colin just grabbed our shovel and some TP and purposefully marched out of the van. This is the shovel’s first use. Big day. (Minutes later: he’s back and it was a great success).
Minor Update: We have used our portapotty and it’s working A-OK (no #2’s yet, thank goodness). We even emptied it today. And by we, I mean Colin. I think he took pity on me after our four mile hike this afternoon and didn’t want to risk any additional crankiness. He said it was no big deal so that’s good!
The rough plan is to stay in the general area for about a week. The weather is supposed to warm up within the next week, making for some great climbing and maybe even floating! So long as my cold cooperates *sips evening hot toddy*, it should be pretty fantastic!
*We would love some podcast recommendations! Our favorite is the Sharp End, but we’ve already blown through all of those.