Just so you dont get the wrong idea, I want you to know that vagabonding isnt all fun. There are a lot of struggles, right now. One is just that it’s winter in the White River National Forest, and I wouldnt want to be anywhere else, but the snow is building up and temperatures are dropping. Nights are single or negative digits and there’s about a foot of snow on the ground (photo was shot a few months ago).
Also, my work hours are 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Sleeping two miles from the mill is sweet. I get to sleep until 5:15, which is long before dawn. The sky doesnt begin to lighten up until 6:30, and it’s getting dark again by 5:00 PM. Most of my waking time is spent inside the mill, and when I’m not there, it’s dark.
So, how do I deal with all of that?
The worst thing is dealing with the darkness. I dont mean trying to see. I’m talking about the oppression of it. I dig sunlight, and it’s been a real drag on my spirit. Living in the midst of so much beauty, I naturally want to get out and experience it. That isnt really a good idea at this point.
To combat this oppression, I drive into town and do indoor things. I get something to eat. Do a little shopping. Borrow some WiFi and work on this blog, or edit photos. This has been good, as I’ve developed some pseudo relationships with people who work there.
Deep snow just is what it is. For now, driving down into the meadow is several months away. Most of the better pull-outs along CR3 are also covered, but the parking area at the top of Ute Pass is kept clear. (The maintenance people from the mill take care of that road.) So, that’s where I’m staying, right now. Dealing with snow just means being patient.
Overcoming the cold is actually pretty easy. There are a lot of options. People in vans tend to opt for propane powered solutions like Mr. Heater Buddy. Even it’s smaller cousin, the Little Buddy, is far too much for the back of the Stew Wagon, though. Instead, I invested in a secondary battery and Vertamax 1500 watt power inverter, coupled with a Sunbeam Mattress Warmer. These, along with some nice wool blankets have kept me plenty warm, even into negative temperatures. In all, I’ve probably invested about $600 in my warmth system. Yes, it’s almost ten times the price of a propane heater, but I dont worry about CO/CO2, or anything catching fire.
That’s it for today. Thanks for liking, sharing, and commenting.
~Enjoy the Life you’re Living.