Thursday, September 4, 2008

...of greater value

I woke up at the truck stop. You can park here. Everyone can always park here, sleep overnight, get wifi from the Super 8, have bathrooms upon waking up, and have breakfast in the morning served on an Iron Skillet. You are welcome to this. I did most of these things, but nixed the skillet for being too familiar. I'm the ambassador of strange happenings, and failing this, would at least prefer new situations, and failing that would graciously accept an opportunity to at least spend my dollars at a new diner. Preferably one with a guy in a bear suit waving me in.

Shortly after waking up, I decided that with the next three days off, I would be stupid not to head straight to California. I was loafing around, twenty miles north of the border, and I had a half tank of gas. I felt like I needed to at least accomplish something with that. Before plans materialized further, I was at a diner in Yreka California. I sat at the counter, 90 geometric degrees and two stools away from an older version of myself. More accurately, an old man two seats away reminded me exactly of my slightly younger self. He performed every bit of nonsense and mild antics to gain a little bit of notice or a crumb of spare affection. He secretely gained my affection and strong approval just by having an honest smile and a wife who seemed to have loved him for many years. I drank coffee, coffee, coffee, and felt blessed to be present, because that added a value to my day that I could never have extracted from any other source.

A plan sprang forth: Wondering how I was going to utilize the rest of the gas in my tank for more than it's monetary value, I arrived at an obvious, though embarassingly belated, realization which caused me to pull over with an abruptness uncharacteristic of my typical driving style. The west is covered in National Forrests, and you can camp for free in most of those. I goog-411'd myself over to the operator at the closest office, and asked where the free camping was. After describing my location, I was convinced to visit the office for a free map and directions. The office was only a few miles away, back in Yreka. (Why-Reek-ah)

I got my map, and a few supplies, and was on my way. Covering a majority of the distance on tiny roads, I went slowly and arrived at possibly the best camping site I have seen to this date. I settled in (backed up the van), cooked big food (pot-a-pasta), and was satisfied. My free campsite was only 20 feet from one of the cleanest streams possible. The water was as clear as glass, and if I could think of something clearer I would say it. At 7:21pm, I sat in my small house in the very rural mountainous region of northern California, reading Don Quixote. This book. Read this one. I was interested, but not impressed with the prologue. I distrusted the size and publishing date tremendously. No need. This is a simple story, easy to follow. The words are unbeatable. I look forward to reading all ten billion of them, because the order in which they are put is nothing short of remarkable. It's not famous for nothing, apparently.

The clear night and my location collaborated to make this one of those nights in which people famously realize how many stars there are. Big stars, smaller stars, and the mist of stars between. To avoid making it sound too enchanting for credibility: fuckin' mosquitos. I'm trying to read, here.


miked said...

What's your opinion?

Pixy Stoneskipper said...

I have various thoughts about the linked vehicle from several different viewpoints. For somebody, this is a traveling house complete with all the amenities. For my purposes it would be too expensive and less than ideal. To park this in campgrounds, RV parks, legal Wal-Marts (no local ordinance) and other such places would be perfect. To park on residential streets might be conspicuous. Though doable, it would draw too much attention for my taste. I also have an aversion to looking like I'm rich (which is pretty hard for me to pull off anyway).

For a camper van, this thing is freaking awesome. I love looking at the interiors of vans with showers and toilets and holding tanks and propane. To me, these things are a marvel of design and construction. From the camper van viewpoint, I have one single qualm: I'd rather see a king size bed. This thing has no snuggle option.

For my personal needs, I'd rather use something with no evidence of propane, holding tanks, or a heavily converted interior. I also prefer to have a very "open" interior. I like my wide open space, unimpeded by cabinets, closets, or stalls of any sort. My bed being on the floor makes my van's interior seem that much more spacious. (maybe just to me and other people who live in vans, though).

So: if you need stuff and all the trappings of a house, the linked van is among the best I've seen. If you don't mind taking a shit at Arby's and taking a shower once a week - get an old beastly light-colored van, and get busy with DIY-ing the interior with free crap from Craigslist and the curbside. Some curtains, a couch, a Coleman stove, and a few milk crates could be a great start, if not the final answer.

However, just to beat my opinions into the ground, if you have $19k that's not going to hurt you when it leaves your bank account - you can start rolling around in a palace.

Pixy Stoneskipper said...

Also: OH BABY!|39%3A1|65%3A12|240%3A1308&_trksid=p4506.c0.m245

I guess I'm not the one to ask after all. I'm a complete geek with this stuff, and I don't even know what I'm looking at except that I think it is very pretty.