It’s Not Just a Van Anymore

It’s a Transformer! I totally stole the ideas from Bob Wells’ video and splurged for a shade cloth, plus a few clamps to attach it to the rain gutters. My camp isn’t just the van anymore. It’s my own small compound, with 12 feet of shade between the van and trailer parked side-by-side. I certainly can’t do this everywhere I camp, but here and now, I can, and it’s amazing. Right now I’m sitting outside and typing this in the shade, where it’s quite a bit cooler than in the hot sun. This is going to work.

The wind isn’t nearly as much of a factor as before, because the shade cloth is quite porous and lets the air through while still blocking most of the sun. We’re supposed to have a few hot days before dropping back to highs in the low 70s for the following week, so this will help me get through that hot snap until temperatures are comfortable again. It also means it’s going to be rather cold to the northwest, so I’m better off staying put in Pahrump for a while until things warm up there.

With that in mind, I took the opportunity to join a Homes On Wheels Alliance caravan that just touched down in Pahrump. In fact, they were literally around the corner from me, within sight and walking distance of where I’d originally parked. So I moved and set up my camp like this for the first time. I’d like to pick up an assortment of bungee cords so I can fine-tune my shade cloth setup a bit better, but it’s working great for now.

My other reason for joining the caravan is to hang out with some like-minded people. It’s been a while since I’ve met up with friends on the road, and I realized I’ve been missing that and feeling a little lonely out here. I haven’t had a solid travel plan, so I haven’t had “I’m going to see so-and-so on such-and-such date” to look forward to, either. The caravan will be parked here for two weeks, which should give me plenty of time to socialize as well as figure out what I’m doing.

Which I’ve just done a little bit of while writing this. My friends Keith and Laurel from Maine moved out to Oregon a while ago. They’ve been inviting me to visit ever since I hit the road, and they’re not too far off my intended route, so that’s where I’m going to go. More importantly, that’s also where I’m going to pick up my mail, which will hopefully include my new license plate for the trailer by the time I get there. Right now I have a 30-day transit permit, but that only buys me some time until my real registration arrives. That’s already in progress, but who knows how long it will take. Worst case, I could arrive the day before it expires, then park the trailer until the plate gets there. It won’t be a problem on private property with the owner’s permission.

Basically, this.

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