Down we drove with the winter storms behind us, through Reno and further hoping to reach our planned campground for the night at Glass Creek Campground near Mammoth Lakes, CA. This was an area that I knew very well as my family had camped and condo’d at Mammoth every Summer for my entire childhood.
I babbled on and on to Jaime about the bears and horseback riding while we tried not to stress about gas. I hadn’t had much chance to work the previous days and registering the van had cost more than we budgeted so as my reception came and went I worked as much as possible on my laptop.
We had hoped to make it to my parent’s house by the next day but as we hit hill after hill we realized that we would need to fill up our gas tank one more time to get where we were going. So we resolved to reach our camp early, so I could work as much as possible that night and continue the process for a few days so we could fill up our $60 tank again.
Sadly our first plan was thwarted by a paper sign stating that Glass Creek Campground would close at 2:00pm that very day. Well damn. I’d known it was possible it could be closed for the winter though, so I had a backup in mind, only I had know idea if I would have reception to work at my backup. anxious, we headed on to Tom’s Place to try Holiday Campground.
As we drove I stared hard at my phone and prayed to the reception gods and was relieved to find that I had enough bars when we reached the campground that I would be able to work.
The campground was empty but after driving around a bit we found a site that would be somewhat sheltered from the wind that was swiftly dropping in temperature, close to the restroom, and bear boxes, and having a decent firepit.
This time setting up camp was much faster than before. In less than 20 minutes we were building a fire and heating up water for an impromptu shower before dinner. We took turns washing up and then trying to get warm by the fire while delicious burgers and chili were made by my marvelous boyfriend guy.
Then we climbed into the van and ate before settling down, Jaime with a book and me on my laptop to work. Very quickly it became apparent that the showers were a dumb idea as the temperature dropped much farther and faster than expected.
In my shivering desperation, I tried to convince Jaime to move to another site further south for the night but he didn’t want to set up in the dark so we stayed. When I mentioned how ridiculously cold we were and how long we would have to camp while I worked to have enough gas money to get to her house for Thanksgiving festivities my Mother had my dad send us money for gas so that we could head straight there the next morning and pay back the gas $ later.
Thusly reassured, I gave up trying to work with numb fingers and huddled under the blankets using Tenzin as a personal space heater squished between us under the blankets while Korra sprawled across our feet. The air mattress, newly repaired, survived just fine but the cold was brutal with no heating. Jaime was worried about carbon monoxide leaks in our old van so he didn’t want to run the van for heating so we buckled down and tried to sleep.
In the morning Korra was the only one happy. It was 15 degrees fahrenheit outside and she was sprawled blissfully on her back as if visiting a day spa. Freaking Husky. Meanwhile poor Tenzin, who’s fur was always more White Shepherd than Husky, was curled under the blankets like Jaime and I.
We woke at 6 am, but it was another hour and a half before it was warm enough for us to be willing to open the van door. As soon as it was, we rushed to pack up with freezing hands and cold everything so we could get on the road in the heat asap.
Heating never felt so good. It was amazing how just the simple sensation of warmth can make us feel so much better about life. With the money my dad paypalled to me we got a full tank of gas and hauled booty straight to my parents house to the wondrous marvel of heating and hot showers and real beds.
We needed a landing place to assess the van and how we were living in it and to make plans for how we wanted to make it better before our next push on and out into the world after Thanksgiving weekend.
Goblins hate idle hands! Check out our new Etsy store for Crocheted goods made on the road. Help fill our gas tank while keeping your noggin toasty and your keys handy.