I actually had a good night’s sleep at Chateau Walmart. I got a coffee, then found a local park to hunker down in for a few hours and get some work done, as well as a number of meetings. In the end, all but one of those meetings got canceled or postponed. The important one, my review, went well — I got a raise.
It was a hot one. My thermometer read 96 at one point. So much for heading north to stay out of the heat. The shade and nearby stream helped some, as well as running both the roof fan and the little tornado fan pointed right at me. That was such a good investment. I’m telling you, look around truck stops to find gadgets and gizmos for life on the road. I don’t see many other van lifers “crossing the streams” like this, but it makes sense. Truckers live on the road just like we do. They just carry a few more things along for the ride.
Eventually, I made my way from Gettysburg to Mechanicsburg, about an hour up the road. Along the way I stopped at a trailer dealer, just to look around and see what my options are for an enclosed cargo trailer. While my fear that the bike is going to fall off the Black Widow carrier has subsided after thousands of miles of it not doing so, it still scrapes the ground quite regularly and easily over even small elevation changes. If I continue in this life, I’d like to pick up a trailer to carry the bike inside, as well as other hobby-related cargo — all other motorcycle gear, my ham radio antennas and mast, and whatever else. Long term, I might even convert a cargo carrier into living quarters, which would enable me to service or even swap out my tow vehicle without losing my living space or having to build it all over again. All this is speculative. An important data point, though, was seeing some trailers of various sizes for myself, just to get a feel for how much room is actually inside. For just hauling a single bike, a 5 by 10 trailer is far more room than I need, yet one of the smallest sizes I saw. Once again, I’m not making any major decisions until I’m less emotional, and know if I’m even going to stay on the road or not. This was just information gathering.
Tonight was my first solo Harvest Host stay at Appalachian Brewing Company. Since my home was a stumbling distance away, I tried a variety of beers throughout the evening (barleywine, pilsner, stout, and I had to try the “Mangolorian” sour just for the name — this is the way), as well as some delicious quesadillas. Tour de France coverage played on a TV above the bar. I’m not big into sports, but I used to race bicycles myself in my youth, though never to that level. Still, I was pleasantly surprised to remember all the techniques and strategies I saw the riders using. Even without the sound on, I knew exactly what was going on at all times. I wish I had someone to share that with.
Afterward, I did not stumble back to the van, settled in, watched videos, and chatted with friends. I was thankful that the air had cooled off. Lister woke me up at 4 AM, scratching at the doors and window coverings to get out. I refused to negotiate with terrorists.