If your view of van life comes from watching YouTube and Instagram, you probably think that every morning begins with a beautiful sunrise in some beautiful location, surrounded by nature out in the middle of nowhere. There are certainly times when that’s true. This morning, though, this was the view out my side door. Don’t worry about the sign. I was explicitly told to park there for my overnight stay at Hop Capital Brewing, courtesy of Harvest Hosts.
This was yet another reminder that the Pacific Northwest takes beer to a whole new level. Not only was the Dry Hopped Lava Falls porter absolutely amazing, but the Orange Jewelius hazy IPA was also phenomenal. I can no longer say “I don’t like IPAs,” because I’ve had many different IPAs during my visit to this part of the country that I genuinely enjoy. It was rare back east, but common here. I also really enjoyed the sign outside the bathroom.
But the best part was the beer taps, which filled the classes through a hole in the bottom of the glass! It was amazing to watch the bartender put the glass down, see it fill, and then stop automatically when it was full. I could watch that all night and not get bored. Eventually, though, I retreated to the van for the night. It was an industrial area, but it was very quiet overnight while all the businesses were closed.
After work and a meeting in the morning, I decided that even though I wasn’t quite due yet, since I was in a major town anyway it was worth doing my laundry. There’s some more epic van life excitement for you. I went to Lost Sock Laundromat because I loved the name, and it had good Google reviews. I was not disappointed. Even better, I connected to their WiFi from the van parked outside and got more work done while doing laundry.
At Glen’s recommendation, I had a late lunch at Miner’s Drive-In. It wasn’t the cheapest burger and fries I’ve ever had, but they were also huge. The burger was tasty. The so-called “fry sauce” was amazing. I didn’t need more than a salad for dinner, which was just as well because it was in the Cabela’s parking lot, not somewhere I want to set up camp and an outdoor cooking station like I did earlier this week.
This morning I woke up early (the long days and early sunrises are doing that to me lately), and made my way to Chesterley Park. I figured this would give Lister a chance to wander around outside a bit, something he hasn’t gotten much time to do in all these parking lots, while I got some work done and had a work meeting. I never heard back from the Boondockers Welcome host I was hoping to stay with for the rest of the week, so I’d run out of places I knew I could get away with suburban boondocking in Yakima. The local Walmart doesn’t allow overnight parking, and any more time at Cabela’s would be overstaying my welcome. So I had to move on.
With that, I returned to the National Forest to search for a camp with a usable internet connection. But that’s a crazy story for another day…
Speaking of waking early, just two days ago we left Central Time to be on the edge of Mountain Time. I set my alarm for 8:00 am, but lately been up at 7am. Now, why not call it 6am. Though I did get to see some deer here on the dog path in northern New Mexico.