I wake to my alarm around 5:30 am and for whatever reason never seem to get up until around 6:00 am. I linger in bed and try to pull in as much warmth as possible. It’s still chilly in the mornings. I snuggle with Bowie. She makes dinosaur noises in the morning and sneezes. That’s’ how I know she’s really ready to get up too.
Bowie jumps outta first, every morning expectant of her bowl of food as soon as she hits the floor. I bumble around for a few minutes as much as I can in the small space a van provides. When I finally manage to get my sandals on and along with my jacket, I open the side door and I’m greeted with a rush of fresh air and a scene of trees and grass, or a dry desert landscape, or a pit toilet. This scene, whatever it is, always changes a luxury of van dwelling.
Bowie and I then walk around and stretch seeing what we can see in the early morning light. Mountains are often in the distance and I wonder what their names are. Depending on where we have parked, I rig Bowie up on her tether and finally provide the food she has been so longing for since she first woke. I start the process of coffee trying to remember not to make too much, it’s only just me who drinks it now. Before my water is even boiling, Bowie is ready for more food or water. I disappoint her every morning with only water.
Bowie now fed and my coffee now ready, I eat something with some substance. My fuel to start the day. I never really care what it is, usually a protein bar of sorts. I sit at the side door and stare off. Wondering about birds, trees, my existence, where I’m going to take a poop at, where we are going to hike at, my plans for the day, etc. I often write in my journal about something or nothing. I allow my thoughts wonder where they like.
I clean up our breakfast mess while a squirrel or rabbit teases Bowie; they experience the ultimate freedom and test the limits of her tether. I make up our bed and put everything back in its rightful place. This is important to do while living in a van. You can’t have everything cluttering up the place, you won’t be able to move. After the basic hygienic chores, brushing of teeth, hair, etc. I decided what to do next depending on the day.
If we have no real schedule, we hike. I feel better when I do something active in the first part of my day and I feel Bowie does too. We lock up and strap on our packs and venture off. Sometimes, we may have to drive a bit before we can saunter around, but saunter we do. The sun by this time is casting golden light on everything; the world around us is waking and alive. We are silent as we hike beside the random things I say out-loud to Bowie, which she always ignores.
During the week and often even the weekends, its work time after our morning activity. Work-time is done in the van, a coffee shop, a library, wherever WIFI is accessible. I hate to admit but as much freedom as we seem to have I am more “connected” than ever before. It is at this time I send and receive, upload and download, listen and watch, read and learn, record ideas, communicate in some way with someone. Every day varies with the length of work-time. I could work for eight hours or two hours depending on the day and the job to be done. Every aspect of my life is somehow related to work now. A part of transparency that I didn’t realize I had accepted.
After work-time, I may focus on my own needs. When is the last time I showered? Where can I get a shower? Are my clothes dirty enough to consider dirty? Where can I clean them? Do I need food? Do I need water? Do I need a nap? What do I want to listen too? Sometimes this after work-time is filled with hikers and hitches. This is what Bowie and I enjoy doing. She gets extra love and I get to engage with those in the midst of an epic journey.
As the day lingers on I decide where we should park. Typically I have run this over in my mind throughout the day. It’s important not to wait too long to make a decision. Once decided and the day slows down and starts to darken, we settle in. Bowie back on her tether now expecting her dinner.
After our dinner clean-up, I may write, read or listen to a podcast. The chill in the air returns and the moon has fully risen. I prepare the van for sleep, window coverings and curtains, maybe our heater if needed. We settle in for the night. Warm and secure, we listen to the wind or the nightlife outside. I talk to Bowie and she falls asleep. I make notes of things to do for the next day and read or maybe listen to another Podcast. My day thus comes to an end.
Things To Expect In Up Coming Blog Posts & Other Stuffs:
Appalachian Trail Tails has an interesting post up on the cost of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. This is a great resource for couples who are planning on thru-hiking. Check the it out here!
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