And to be 100% honest; I don’t think we will see each other again for a very long time.
Driving into Montana and getting to Missoula I was overall really impressed with the beauty of it all. The mountains go on forever and, although it wasn’t as filled with trees as my home state of Washington, it was more green than I had expected. I traveled through parts of Montana in my early teens when my grandmother lived there and I have no idea what part she was in – I just remember Flat and Dry.
The stay in Missoula and surrounding area didn’t have that feel to it at all; but the dry shitty part was still to come. It didn’t help that we were driving in 85-95 degree weather for the whole three days that we were in the state. Unseasonably warm even to the people I talked to who worked at the KOAs. I did enjoy my one night at Hardin KOA, which was right in the middle of all the ‘dry and shitty’ but filled with big beautiful trees that were themselves filled with birds.
Given that the people at Missoula KOA were being lame; Hardin was our first night away from home that we stayed in the van. It was super comfy and Bruce seemed to be comfortable and warm. I didn’t even use my 3D printed van fan because it was running louder than I remember from the night before we left. The Van-Fan is a prototype that I hadn’t used before last week and parts of the 3D printed frame are not staying together as well as I had hoped. There are three separate parts, so when one fan casing was starting to get destroyed (by Bruce, not by Use) I decided to remove that side and the connecting piece and only use the fan casing that is perfectly in tact. Somehow, using just one fan with the skeeter beater over it is A LOT louder than having both fans going under the mesh.
There is about equal space in the tent and in the van; but there was no way that I was going to put ALL of the bedding including the mattress into the tent. We like to wake up around 6AM and try to leave town by 8AM at the latest – with Bruce’s first walk, Bruce breakfast, my breakfast, second walk, and leaving time to sit for a minute outside before getting on the road 2 hours isn’t a ton of time to also completely re-pack the van.
For my two nights in Wyoming, the KOA I am staying at has no issues with me sleeping in my van so we are going to have a lot more control of our time and with that big ol’ moonroof and mesh covers on the windows we really aren’t missing out on that camping experience.
I noted in one of my earlier posts that I track my sleeping – over the last few months it has been almost religious how I have to get a screenshot of each day and take note of the hours of deep sleep and the percent of my total sleep that is. It will all help me with my lucid dreaming goals; but it’s also turning into work! Anyway, I typically sleep about 8-9 hours with 1.5-2.5 hours deep sleep. Camping in a tent I have gotten that up to nearly 5 hours of deep sleep in 9 hours of total sleep. In the van last night; I was able to get 2.75 hours of deep in 7.5 hours of total sleep.
By no means did I get as good of sleep as I had done after a 5 mile hike into my backpacking spot where I slept like a rock; but sleeping in my van is LOADS better than sleeping trapped inside four walls and a roof. The human spirit, in my opinion, craves nature just as much in 2021 as we ever have – the masses simply choose to ignore that craving in Search of material wealth. My Search is for the meaning of Life itself (hence the name) and that can’t be done staying in one place.