Van-demic in a pandemic…

… And other musings.

Ruby had been sputtering along in a stoic way on seven cylinders  but she finally complained loudly enough, and refused to signal when turning, so I bit the bullet (wallet?) and took her in to a mechanic referred by another nomad friend. Whatever gremlins have been rambling around in my other electronics seemed to have gathered under her hood for quite the party before departing.  It was another costly experience.

Being without my home was a tad unnerving. Okay, a ton unnerving. It’s only when stripped of my shell-like dwelling that I realize how closely integrated the van and I are.  How spoiled I’ve become to having everything I need with me all of the time.  This past weekend is a good example. I’ve grown used to having a bathroom with me at all times, rudimentary as it may be.  But during a storage room clean up assist, I was suddenly without that, as I had ridden into the unit location with someone else.  Oops. Cue bladder off stage…

Now that Ruby has new bits and bobs and my wallet is lighter, I’ve started considering a newer vehicle if I stay on the road as I intend. It’s going to continue to cost more and to sidle into that category of major repairs if I keep her at her twenty year mark. And truth be told, I’m ready for an internal space redesign.  This van is great for a weekend or even a week long outing.  But living full time in it, the space set up is very restrictive; and even with gutting it, the built-in portions would still be in the way of good floor space usage.  It has served me well for this time period, but I believe a revamping is necessary for both safety and sanity. I keep reorganizing, paring down, rethinking, and it’s still tough at points.  I can’t just pull over for the night, because I have to disgorge contents in order to have a place to sleep!  The other night I did it with the minimum of items removed to sleep, but I still had a pile outside of the van and awakened to solar panels in my face, lol.  The new flooring improved getting things in and out and made for easier cleaning as well, so I’m really thankful for that gift.  I also added a hitch carrier, which cleared up more space inside. It’s still not enough to easily travel. It’s fine for extended stays like on BLM land.  Then I can make camp.  But for staying in shorter spates, it sucks. Now if I can avoid overthinking, get my fiscal ducks in a row, and locate a good deal, my adventures can continue in a more flexible and less worrisome mode!

Utah and Idaho are gorgeous.  It’s really wildflower time right now, so there is plenty to ooh and ahh over in the plant realm. We’ve managed to camp by water quite often in the last couple of months, and edge our way out of the desert landscape into real trees and grass, woohoo 😊  Here’s a shot of my view during my working lunch today.


My “office view” is always pretty spectacular when I’m on the road.

And the path to the bathrooms is beautiful, particularly when the warmth of the sun releases the scents of sweet woodruff and sweet grass into the air!


It is a beautiful place to await solar repairs.  The sound of the Portneuf River lulls me to sleep every night (and the trains pull me out, lol). Hummingbirds come into the van, magpies chatter at sunrise,  local dogs trot up the hill for a visit, and the snakes are already out and on the move catching field mice.  The world is an amazingly beautiful place.

It’s difficult to fathom all that is going on outside of my small places in nature. The deaths, the illness, the pain and the injustice.  It often feels surreal. Maybe more people need to be out here, in the wild, closer to the earth and breathing fresh air. Maybe we could begin to heal as a species. Maybe we could love more fully because our own heart wells were full with the realization that we and all upon this earth are interconnected and interdependent, and that peace, respect, kindness and justice benefit us all.

Be kind. Be a listener. Give hugs. And have an attitude of humility.  We are each very small, but it is our actions one to the other that can change the world.

~SE on the road

  4 comments for “Van-demic in a pandemic…

  1. June 25, 2020 at 7:45 PM

    So glad to hear life is on track. Even if the wallet is lighter. Sounds like a travel trailer is in order! Life on the road with space and no unpacking. Sending good karma your way. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 26, 2020 at 10:43 AM

      Ooh, no trailer for me. I’m towing challenged, lol. Well, trailer back up challenged. Plus, I’d have to buy two vehicles then. I’m thinking just a larger, more mechanically safe van 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 26, 2020 at 2:21 PM

        No I mean Travel Trailer like one you drive that slides out on the side! No pull trailer for you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • June 26, 2020 at 11:01 PM

          I’m thinking along the lines of a used Ford Transit or Dodge Promaster cargo van that I can customize the interior for better storage and working space. Just in the mulling it over stage right now. 🙄


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