#vanlife with a large dog, a cat, a messy husband, a mildly OCD wife, and an insatiable appetite for adventure

February 10, 2019

Most of you think our life is glamorous. It's not. It's great! But it sucks. Here are the things that are pretty dope:

1) chasing moderates: oh, you're cold? Let's harness our inner goose and head south!

2) I get to run right out of my front door every morning. Can you do that? Oh. You can? We'll MINE IS A DIFFERENT TRAIL EVERY TIME. 

3) we drive through places that most of you have never heard of, but they're absolute treasures! Who needs a National Parks pass when you see all the other gems our country has to offer (minus the crowds!)

4) you get to cafe-hop from town to town. We're firm believers in the power of caffeine and there are some pretty rad little coffee shops out there

5) VIEWZ. I didn't pay for the wicked sunset I just watched over the La Sals from my home for the night. 

6) we get to be super lazy, all of the main functions are within the same room. I can literally cook breakfast without getting out of bed. 

7) your gear is always with you. If you underdressed for the run, don't worry! You can run the .2 miles back home to change! See that rad crag? LET'S GO CLIMB THERE! We have our gear!

8) rent? Mortgage? Yeah, no. Not us! We're paid off and ready to party!

 

I'm sure most of you have already identified the perks though. So, let's talk about the not so great things. Because there are a lot. And I'm sick of people turning green when they realize that I live in a van. Trust me. It's cool. But chances are, it's not for you. 

1) You're a neat freak like me? HAH. Say good bye to your sanity. Even if all of the other dwellers of the van are semi-tidy, it's still a war zone. The dog spilled the water all over the floor for the ninth time today when he frantically jumped out of the van into a freeway. The husband left his pee bottle in the sink, his clothes are scattered all over the bed, and the one place I've tried to make sacred is... the dumping ground for miscellaneous crap that keeps appearing. The cat keeps throwing food out of her bowl, for no apparent reason. The kitchen is overflowing with pots, pans, and tea kettles that have yet to be crammed in their designated place. And then, when you finally get it semi-organized, you hit a dirt road and everything goes to chaos again. 

2) This one's obvious: where's your bathroom? Oh that? We don't have one. But we're both pretty at peace with digging holes, peeing outside in negative temps, and early morning Walmart/ gas station/ shady truck stops. This would bother most humans, but I think it's safe to say that we don't actually mind this. 

3) Filling the water tank. Emptying the gray water bucket. In zero degrees. 'Nuff said. 

4) When it snows, all of that snow will end up in your van. Then it will mix with the dirt that the dog tracks in. You know what snow and dirt make? Mud. 

5) Forget washing dishes. That's a proper waste of water and time. Baby wipes and paper towels are your friends here. That is unless you lick it clean. Then you can skip the wasteful part entirely (and bonus calories!). 

6) The cat will shit at 6 A.M. every morning. And when her litter box is right under your bed (the only place that is out of the dog's hopeful jaws), it's the best way to start the day! 

7) Any night below freezing means that you'll be running the propane heater all night. Which also means that you'll constantly be on the lookout for Amerigas propane refills. And there's a 50/50 chance that the only option will be Rhino propane. 

8) You want to cook something? Yeah... you can do it... if you're patient, brave, and willing to spend an hour cleaning in tight quarters. And make sure you're not bonking. In fact, maybe start the whole process right after you eat lunch. That's how long everything will take to prep, cook, and clean. 

9) If it rains really hard, that rain ends up on your face in the middle of the night. 

10) Don't go to California. Gas is too expensive (I say as we're en route back to California).

11) If and when you get in a fight with your husband, you have to stay in the same room. Usually, I'll go to the bed, and he'll go to the front. And then you pout until one of you needs to pee or eat or anything that involves venturing a little closer to the others territory.

12) You like to take showers after you run? Yeah, so do we, but we're also usually not down with spending 10 bucks to do so. Baby wipes, again, are a saving grace. 

13) This is the best one. Sometimes, you're unlucky enough to get kicked out of your super sneaky sleeping spot right before you fall asleep. This, my friends, is why we spend the majority of our nights sleeping in Walmart parking lots. So disregard the part above about VIEWZ, because we usually just see big blue light up letters under the street lights, as we sleep alongside sketchy RVs, and listen to some poor soul rolling carts back to their designated home all night. 

14) We don't have wi-fi. A definite downfall in our line of work. We spend a significant chunk of change in coffee shops.

 

All that said, I love our cute little home on wheels. Patrick Swayze's been good to us. And we'll keep returning the favor with pre-emptive oil changes, and as-cheap-as-we-can-find-it gas. 

 

 

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