For some years now, I've had this dream of a little camper with solar panels on top and a cozy bed, kitchen, and space to write--a super-tiny house on wheels--that I could live in while I do my weeding work in Yellowstone and other wild places. Over the winter, I got as far as putting down a deposit on the compact RV I had chosen. And then, the very same day the sale of my Cody house closed, the RV manufacturer went bankrupt.
So I revised that dream, and settled instead on a sweet trailer made by Colorado Teardrops in Boulder, a custom shop producing amazingly efficient, beautifully designed trailers, and working on becoming a zero-waste manufacturer. Their designs and values are very appealing.
Only I found that plugging trailer brakes into the hybrid regenerative braking system in Noche, my beloved Toyota Highlander Hybrid, isn't allowed. (Meaning Toyota can't guarantee that the system would work with trailer brakes; further, adding the seven-pin hitch and brake socket would void my warranty.)
So I revised the dream again and fitted my basic camping set-up right into Noche, giving me a "micro-camper" with a cozy bed, storage for my clothes, weeding tools, camp-stove, a lap-desk for writing, and even a camp toilet. It's an amazingly comfortable set-up, if quite basic and compact. (And Noche averages 29-30 miles per gallon of gas, not bad for a vehicle I can sleep in--or transport seven friends or family members at a pinch.)
My micro-camper set-up in Noche.
It's also a lot cheaper than the custom camper I started out dreaming. Too, this set-up is better than my old camping space in Red, my pickup, because I'm inside Noche, not in a pickup bed. In bad weather or if something goes wrong, I just climb into Noche's front seat and head on my way without having to get outside.
I still imagine that the perfect small camper van is out there for me, something energy-efficient, simple, comfy, and well-built--without costing an arm and six legs. Since I haven't found it yet, I'm quite comfortable with the simpler and smaller, revised version of that dream. Just being able to hit the road is a blessing. I get a lot of thinking done during windshield time, and I get to experience the landscapes I love in all sorts of moods and seasons.
Heart Mountain, north of Cody, from Dead Indian Hill, where the grasslands were unbelievably green this spring.
Revision and adaptation seems to be a major theme in my life right now.
For instance, I spent this spring revising Bless the Birds for what I hope is the final time. It's since been accepted for publication by SheWrites Press for their Spring, 2021 list. Which brings up an ending: Bless the Birds will go off my desk (finally!) and that opens up space for working on the next book, Weeding Yellowstone.
Another revision and adaptation: I intended to spend a good part of my summer in Yellowstone digging weeds. Then I flunked my annual blood tests, so those plans got revised. Instead, I spent a long weekend in Cody helping my friends Jay and Connie Moody at TAC, a spiritual retreat center, and also got to hang out with Judy, another dear friend, who is recovering from a massive stroke.
The labyrinth at TAC at sunset, with Carter Mountain and the Absaroka Range in the background.
In other words, I've been nurturing friendships instead of ecosystems. That's fine: tending both brings rewards. I'll resume my work in Yellowstone when I'm healthier again.
Revising my Yellowstone plans also gave me time to drive to Washington state for a gathering of my family. Our branch of the Tweit clan isn't big, but we do love getting together. We've been having such a good time hanging out, playing Yellowstone National Park Monopoly, taking walks with the dogs, and eating great meals, that I haven't taken any any pictures at all.
Instead of thinking and planning photo opportunities, I'm enjoying the moments as they arise, reveling in being here and taking part in life, laughter, and love.
That's a healthy adaptation, I know.
Happy Summer to all!