It’s our 8 week camp~a~versary. We are crusty in all the right places.
I don’t doubt you can smell me through the screen. My last “bath” was in a green algae laden river that induced a panic attack. It broke so many of my personal rules. Yet, there I stood in my unflattering one piece, water up to my knees (that’s as deep as I could go before my heart would stop). I stood as only an adult toddler could, rinsing my body and hair with a cup.
It’s been a month since my last post. We’ve been camping for 56 nights and have paid for 1 night of camping and 5 hotel stays. Our favorite app is I Overlander for free camping. Pretty sure there’s not an app for free hotel stays……..yet.
Saving money on rent during a pandemic has never been so much fun. Ask us how we feel about it once winter shows up.
We’ve done and seen some great things since the last post. The least great being Las Vegas, I have laid my curiosity to rest for all eternity. I prefer being smelled through the screen.
Yes, that is Jase being re-born through the very top of our “indestructible” tent.
There was a wind storm and the seams chose to stop doing their job.
We were enjoying our stay at Lake Powell and had to adjust our itinerary to exchange our home at Cabela’s. The closest one was a 5 hour drive down to Phoenix. Very out of our way, but what else could we do? We have our lightweight tent with us, but it can not withstand all weather conditions.
Cabela’s had no problem allowing us to exchange our tent without a receipt for a completely different brand and threw in a $300 gift card.
By the time all was said and done it was 6pm in the middle of 110 degree heat, PMS and did I mention how much I despise busy city type places? I had a melt down in the Cabela’s parking lot.
“NO! I am not camping near this shit show of a city Jase! AND I refuse to drive anymore today! AND we just got a new tent that neither of us has ever set up before. I’m beyond exhausted, hungry, hot as fuck and delirious with hormones, I’m useless right now Jase, fucking useless, you would have to DO EVERYTHING! We are ripping a hole into our budget and staying in a hotel so I have a chance to regroup and catch my breath.”
“Ok, honey, that sounds great.”
So that is what we did.
I’d like to backtrack a week or so. After our last spot in Delores, CO, we made our way to Moab Utah where my second son Trent met us. We had a delightful time hiking and enjoying each others company.
On one of our hikes we had the pleasure of aiding a couple who had been lost in a canyon for 5 hours. All other passerby’s didn’t want to be bothered with it. WHAT????????
Jase was exceptional with keeping them calm and echoed his phone number down to them so they could send him the pin of their location. The rangers came along and helped navigate the couple out of the canyon.
We were all set to pack up early Saturday morning and head our separate ways. We did a scenic 8 mile hike (yes! I did it, slowly, but PAIN FREE!) on Friday and were planning to head back to camp for dinner when the wind and rain started. We quickly checked the forecast and the area was under a flash flood warning.
Upon arriving to camp at 8 pm, our tent and bedding was soaked and covered in red desert dust. We quickly gathered our things to get out of the canyon we were camped in. Trent lives in his van so he went to higher ground and found a parking lot to stay the night.
Jase and I drove out of danger until 1 am and set up our soggy gear in a cow field. We awoke to thunder and light rain along with wind gusts and had to tear down quickly almost losing our lightweight tent.
We eventually made it to Lake Powell where we set up our indestructible tent and it did not make it through the wind gusts. We did enjoy a few days of peace before shit hit the seams.
All in all, Jase and I are embracing this lifestyle and taking things one moment at a time. We both had a difficult time falling asleep in the hotel last night, which is a sign we are acclimating to the great outdoors.
I found this letter while looking for a tree to hang our clothesline.
We’ve been camping in this spot for 5 nights. It’s near Mesa Verde National Park.
We went to the park the other day and it was a ghost town thanks to Covid. I’m by no means complaining. This is the perfect time for outdoor travel and homelessness.
Jase and I have been doing our best to steer clear of public places, even opting to boil our undies in the insta pot. Yes, you read that correctly, I found yet another use for the pot. Last night we enjoyed a delightful split pea soup from it’s lions while catching a double feature on the big screen (see double rainbow below)
Overall we are having grand time. Someday I will return to more intelligent blog posts. For now I’ll let our photo’s do the storytelling, as our days are filled mostly with daily tasks that take much more time than if we were in a house.
The funny lookin funnel thing in the above photo is what I call my “she-wee”. It’s god given name is “the freshette”. I’ve used it for the past 5 years to stand and pee in the woods. It wasn’t until this trip that it malfunctioned. The funnel couldn’t handle the flow and spilled over into my pants and down my legs. Good times. Fuck off she-wee……. you are no longer on my favorites list.
We drove from Montrose to Dolores, hitting the town of telluride on the way.
We popped up a quick camp for the night and had some red curry for din din. The insta pot is becoming a great companion.
We are traveling with both of our cars bursting at the seams with gear for every occasion. Living out of your car is nothing like packing up for a weekend of camping. This is a whole new ball game and we are making up the rules as we go.
We spent a week in Leadville Colorado, by the Mt. Massive trail. I chuckle every time I say “Mount Massive”. It’s the second highest peak in the state, for anyone who’s in to facts.
Since my two oldest boys love the outdoors and live relatively close, they came out for the SNOWY weekend. Yes, snow, cold and yuck.
We enjoyed cocoa, shortbread and chicken noodle soup in the comfort of our cozy tent home.
My eyeballs are filled with tears as I type and share these images. Words can not articulate the gratitude I feel for these memories.
My left hip has decided to throw a tantrum, causing pain up and down my entire leg. We suspect it’s the change in bed, cold and the spinal chord cyst. Life is never without challenges.
I have also discovered I am not a diva. I tried using the diva cup before my period started and I’m glad I did. It is certainly not made for me.
I shoved, twisted and contorted that thing into my vag every which way possible. As the day progressed it fell out. I purchased the correct model for those who have had children. Apparently they need to design a cup for the “oddly shaped” vag. I have vivid memories of being in labor and nurses having to contort themselves and the hospital bed just to reach my cervix.
I can not imagine a diva cup filled with menstrual blood making an exit without any say in the matter.
We tore down camp yesterday, spent 5 hours driving, and landed in the town of Montrose at a $50 motel to regroup and take scalding hot showers. I tell ya what, after taking a solar shower in the snow this motel is like the fucking Hilton. Washing my hair that has been in braids and stuffed under a beanie was an exercise in patience, but I got the job done.
Our plan is to head toward warmer temperatures and find a place to set up camp.
Mentally I’m doing well. I had another telehealth appointment with my psychiatrist. She explained how my brain has been wired to believe “it’s never ok”. I am on the waiting list for the healing trauma program as I will only work with female practitioners. She said it’s worth the wait as it will help to gently re-wire by brain and get out of PTSD mode. In the meantime she upped my dose of buspar and said I can pop a gabapentin anytime I have a fibromyalgia flare or anxiety I can get control of.
Cricket is no longer with us.
I don’t want to talk about it.
I’ll likely never want to talk about it.
I feel like someone took an ice-cream scooper and gouged out my insides.
Yes we are alive, and yes this is our tent, inflatable couch and all.
We have come in to town to check email n things. We are sitting outside the closed public library in the car using their free internet.
We are staying at a beautiful wooded site, on a creek near the mountains. Our first 3 nights have been smooth. We will stay here at least 3 or 4 more nights as we try to get the hang of things.
We are very fortunate to have glamping gear for our newfound homelessness. Even Cricket is enjoying the hell out of it.
I’m happily devouring Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” and will likely start it over once I’ve finished it. How have I not picked this book up before, it came out it 1963…….where have I been?
I’m gradually becoming friends with the insta pot. We made a green curry that was quite edible and some oatmeal with apples, cranberries and walnuts. I’ve also decided it makes a great place to do the dishes. They come out steamy, just like a dishwasher.
I much prefer the old fashioned method and Jase makes for some great scenery.
Well, that’s it for now, I hope everyone is well! We must get back as Cricket is back at the homestead and is bound to be hosting a kegger with the woodland creatures.
To prepare for living in the woods, I thought a good investment would be an instant pot. They’ve been around for a few years.
I’ve heard and read great things.
Online searches bring up positive feedback and mouthwatering recipes.
My own mind created visions of simple, healthy, low cost, backwoods meals with easy clean up.
My first impression: WHAT THE FUCK DID I GET MYSELF INTO?
The manual is pathetic. Using this thing IS rocket science and the manual is the equivalent of a 1st grade book. There’s nothing in it. It doesn’t even explain what each button is for. I feel like I’m the girl who got her period and no one explained it to me beforehand. I’M LOST.
Looking for answers on the internet is like trying to find real news on Covid-19. Laughable while simultaneously frustrating and confusing.
We had chicken drumsticks and rice in the house. I figured why not give it a whirl. Below is an online picture next to a picture of reality.
Although it looked unappetizing it tasted decent. I was impressed with the rice. It did have a better consistency than that of a rice cooker.
What no one tells you is it takes the instant pot time to warm up and build the pressure it needs to quickly cook the food. So a recipe that boasts of a cook time of 5 to 10 minutes is more like 20 minutes.
Now for the best part. We had a box of pancake mix in the house and I found a recipe for a giant instant pot pancake.
How hard could that be? See pictures below. Online and reality
This fucker was a bitch to make.
I followed the instructions to a T. Once the instant pot got going it started beeping and flashing a “burn food” warning.
It took an hour. Yes an hour to make this pathetic pale pancake and there is an inch of it burnt to the bottom of the pan.
Jase, the optimist that he is, ate it enthusiastically with a stick of butter and container of syrup.
If you weren’t worried about us moving into the woods before, you should be now. We are likely to starve out there.
There are plenty of instant pot cookbooks, but I’m not a fan.
I find cookbooks to be full of things I’d never eat, like tomato wheatberry soup, and by the time you purchase all the ingredients you’ve spent a weeks worth of grocery money on one recipe.
I prefer things basic.
I’m not giving up.
I will love the instant pot and the insanity it rode in on.
The 1977 hit from Ram Jam kept looping in my head during my excursion.
I got what I needed and made a quick exit. Tampons and earplugs. I tried to joke with the elderly gent at the register the earplugs were for my boyfriend. He was hard of hearing so the joke fell flat like a brick.
Anyhoo, it was a beautiful day so I found a place to stroll in the sun and talk to Archie and then a bestie of mine. My anxiety calmed and it felt good to be out.
The thing that touched my heart the most, is my bestie shared that she called a suicide helpline to find out the best way to talk with me after my overdose. She didn’t want to say anything that would come across as hurtful.
What a beautiful act of kindness. How caring and thoughtful.
We were both disturbed at the fact she was on hold for 25 minutes. She said if she were suicidal she would have been dead. The man on the line explained that with covid they are unable to keep up. What an unfortunate reality.
My anxiety is high again today. I can’t stop shaking and my heart is pounding. I suppose it’s time to stop procrastinating and start packing.
I’m also working on an insta pot menu as our plan is too keep our grocery bill to $50 a week while we tent it.
Thank you to everyone on here for reading my ramblings. Hope you are all well, I appreciate you.
I have to leave the house today for tampons. I ordered a diva cup and it hasn’t arrived yet.
Not familiar with the diva cup? It’s a flexible cup you stick in your cooch when you’re menstruating. I was hoping to have it now so I wouldn’t have to get acquainted with it out in the backcountry. Dreams do not always come true.
The magnet above, holding Archie’s artwork in place, is from my older sister. It pretty much sums up how I feel about leaving the house today.
I know it will be good to get out, but my anxiety is off the charts. I woke up with a pounding chest, shaky limbs and the feeling of my blood racing.
Pisses me off to wake up like that. It makes it feel out of my control. I literally open my eyes and Whoop there it is. No warning, no time to prepare. Just a slap in the face.
I did finally get a call through to mental health partners. Service is patchy at our house and the service gods were shining down on me today.
I have a 2 hour phone call scheduled for Monday. I will have to sit in a parking lot somewhere.
It will be good practice for future appointments since we will be on the road campsite jumping. BLM lands let you stay in one spot for 14 days and then you have to pack up and move at least 20 miles.
I’m grateful we have such nice gear, who knew we were making such an investment. It’s sad that if our gear didn’t make us appear “wealthy” we would get picked on by the rangers. We’ve heard horror stories of people getting fucked with.
They still might pick on us seeing as our Yeti cooler is bright salmon colored….borderline hot pink
Such is the society we live in. Gotta look good on the outside.