A Surreal Evening

This isn’t a bad place to spend a few more days. I was feeling isolated in my last spot, but definitely not here. Last night I met Nico, who invited me to his spot at the end of the road for a couple of beers. He’s been doing the nomad thing for a bit over three years, mostly around this area which he knows quite well. As the sun went down he pointed out lights from the town of Divide and the road that goes to Cripple Creek. Cool guy, with a lot of local and natural knowledge to share.

There I also met Uno, a recently retired bounty hunter. No, really. I didn’t even know bounty hunters were still a thing except on TV. But he got tired of the job, sold everything, and hit the road last week. He apparently has a pretty big following on TikTok, which he’s converting to follow his travel adventures instead of livestreaming his arrests. He also has a tabby cat, Oscar, so we exchanged some notes on living on the road with a cat.

On top of that, we also had a live DJ. Instead of performing for thousands of people in a Denver nightclub like he used to, he performed for the three of us and thousands of trees. He’s also new to the road, having recently quit the nightclub scene. I didn’t get his real name, but the rest of us started calling him DJ Nomad, so that’s what I’ll call him from now on.

This was quite a surreal evening, with a mix of characters I could never have imagined. But there we were, hanging out in the woods, watching the sunset, and listening to banging beats. You can’t make this stuff up. DJ Nomad packed it in shortly after sunset out of respect for other campers, and I went back to my van soon after. Needless to say, this cured my feelings of loneliness quite well.

I’d chosen this particular campsite for easy access to Pikes Peak before moving on. The thing is, temperatures are approaching 100 in Pueblo, my next overnight stop not far south of here. Meanwhile, here at 9,300 feet, we’re rather comfortably in the 80s. It looks like summer is having one last hot blast before starting to cool off. So I’m going to stay put until the end of the week when temperatures cool off a bit. It’ll get downright fall-like where I am now, but Pueblo and beyond will cool to what I’m experiencing now. I can take the bike to the local Walmart for a few supplies to last me until I drive out of here. The KLR can handle that badly washboarded road just fine, but I don’t want to take the van on it again until I’m leaving for good.

Regardless of the temperature, I got a clear sign this morning that summer is winding down. My house batteries were down to 12.2 volts or 60% of capacity. I can’t let them fall below 50% without damaging them, so for the first time, I’m running my generator for actual charging purposes, not just a test. I’m in partial shade, but beyond that, the days are getting shorter, so solar charging doesn’t happen for as long. After two days of sitting still and running Starlink a lot, it’s time to top them off. Fortunately, I planned for this possibility back in June, which means I can run the generator instead of my van’s engine to charge them back up.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is woodland-park-generator.jpg

Speaking of Starlink, I might have cured my power inverter woes with a modification to the first inverter I got. Let me keep testing it through heavy use today, and if it works I’ll explain what I did.

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