Well, it is 8/10/12 and we have been “on the road” since Monday, if you want to count the trip to my family’s place to drop off Jonathan’s truck and the cat. I think I will count it, as it was quite the experience. We were all packed up and ready to go, we just needed to find homes for the truck and cat. To start off with, it was 100+° outside and we were each driving a vehicle (Jonathan in the van, me in his truck), neither of which have air conditioning. We were taking the cat to my grandparents’ and Jonathan’s truck to be stored on my family’s properties. Now, some cats love traveling. My mother’s cat, Shasta, will go with you anywhere; she loves the vehicle; she loves new places. My cat, Sasha, is completely opposite. So, we haul her out in a box into the truck with me. She already doesn’t like being carried somewhere, and it is HOT outside. When she found out she was in the truck, she desperately tried to get out. She has started to pant already, though. However, she hasn’t wet herself yet and she isn’t freaking out like crazy, so I start to think we can get by. Just as I start to think this as I pull onto 169 (just over 5 miles from our starting point), she suddenly freaks out, jumping onto the back of the seat, meowing up a storm. I smell something awful, and think that she either let something out or needs to. So we pull off at 81st street to see if she needs to go. Found out she urinated down the back wall of the truck. After cleaning things up and stuffing her back in the box, we start off again.
Apparently, I didn’t get the box taped down very well and she was out immediately again. She didn’t like the situation, panting horribly, and kept randomly meowing and changing positions, but at least she wasn’t releasing her bladder. After about an hour or so, she determined that my lap was the most relaxing position and settled down there for the rest of the trip. That made for a very wet Jen. Wherever she sat, I soaked my pants in sweat, but at least I had a relatively calm cat, so we continued. I found slightly wetting a paper towel and covering her with it helped a bit with the panting as well (I think, anyway, hard to hear over the howl of the wind through the windows). It was an interesting trip, for sure, but we made it. We were rewarded with a free meal and one last night in a large bed and air conditioning (thank you, Grandma and Grandpa!).
After our stop in Sublette, we started off towards Alaska. We made it to the Comanche National Grasslands in Colorado that night and found some free camping areas. Next day we made it to Wyoming and found a mountain and a creek to camp by in the Medicine Bow National Forest. Yesterday we camped in the Teton National Forest, as we are tonight. Each day we start off in our general direction and then modify our route as we decide where we want to stay for the night. After the first day of traveling through western Kansas and eastern Colorado on state (less-traveled) highways in the van and then the first half of the second day on Interstates, we decided that it was more pleasant to drive on the highways than the interstate and have been avoiding interstate ever since.
So, I know you are dying to ask (more so than hearing this recount of our adventures) about how I actually feel about traveling in the van. Well, I guess I can say that I actually do like it. I mean, it does get annoying tripping over things, that aren’t put away, but really the things that I thought might bother me, aren’t that bad. I don’t mind not having air conditioning. The wind/road noise can be a little loud, but if you avoid the interstates, it isn’t that bad. And, when we have all the windows closed, it is actually quiet enough to carry on a conversation in normal tones! It is the little things that excite me. Like when all of a sudden in the middle of nowhere in Colorado the compass on the new mirror decided to calibrate itself and start recording the (mostly) correct direction. Oh, and my curtains look nice and work well. Jonathan’s lights and fan are very helpful.
I must put in one thing: I was right about one thing. Jonathan told me that I wouldn’t really need to get a toilet. We wouldn’t be out in the boondocks away from at least a vault toilet, etc. However, it is a good thing I went out and bought one. I have used it every single day after we left Sublette. At first, it was kinda awkward, but I have gotten used to and actually enjoy going outside in the morning and enjoying the view as I do my business.
I like camping out away from other people. It is quiet and picturesque, and free. I like the views. Having a stove and a fridge always at the ready is quite handy as well. When we want lunch, we just pull off and start cooking. We have done rather simple things so far: soup, rice, instant mashed potatoes, “fried” potatoes with peppers, and of course, our staple: pasta. My breakfast is some fresh fruit. I haven’t figured out what Jonathan is yet, I don’t think he has either… We might try some more complicated things as we get used to the equipment and storage. As it is, bacon bits (for Jonathan only), zesty Italian, and parmesan cheese add quite a bit of flavor to our staple foods. Whatever it is we eat, our view is normally scenic and much cheaper than eating fast food. My favorite part: I can normally get Jonathan to cook while I clean up. So much better for me that way. Less stressful.
Sadly, I haven’t seen much wildlife besides squirrels and standard birds. I did see some marmots in Medicine Bow National Forest. One even tried to get us to run him over, but we avoided it. We were in Grand Teton National Park (scenic park South of Yellowstone) today, and all I saw was a grouse (at least I think that is what it was). It was cool, don’t get me wrong, I just like seeing more.
Now, with all this time to do whatever I want when I want, I bet you are wondering what I will do with it. There are some goals:
1. Get closer to God.
2. Get back in shape.
3. Refresh my Spanish.
4. Go through my pictures and mementos.
I think that is a good start. I am sure I have more. I know I have a lot on my current to-do list, like making bug screens for the doors and windows. Hmm, I know there is more, but I am tired and don’t care to type anymore. So that shall end my blogging for tonight. Remember to live life, take advantage of every second, and don’t take it for granted.