Closing in on seven months in the van and I can hardly believe it.
This week began my favorite way, which is posted up at a trailhead. No driving for three whole days, a luxury when your home is on wheels. I love falling into a (temporary) routine at these spots, love walking the same trails day after day. Sometimes it feels like I’ll never leave one spot again.
And then reality calls and I desperately need to wash my hair and away we go.
These forays into town are necessary and I love seeing my pantry and fridge carefully filled to the brim. Having clean hair is an underrated feeling and with how long my hair has gotten, it’s always a chore to wash outside of a shower. Last night I dreamt of a haircut, so that’s where I am.
I was journaling this morning and going through some highlights of the van trip so far, so I thought I’d recap a top 10 van moments.
Top 10 Highlights of the Van Trip (So Far)
#1: Swimming Hole in Vermont
Swimming in the pool of a waterfall in Vermont in June. The water was cold but not unbearable and though the sky was smoky the sun filtered through, casting a golden glow on the woods around me.
#2: Bar Harbor, Maine
The sunset kayak around Frenchman’s Bay in Bar Harbor. We paddled around islands, the sky fading from bright blue to dusky, orange, and pink reflecting off the dark, smooth waves.
#3: Whale Watching in the Bar of Fundy
Whale watching in the Bay of Fundy outside St. Andrew’s in New Brunswick. Nothing came too close but we saw a humpback whale dive a few times, the iconic tailflip a small portion of the body beneath the boats. A minke whale got slightly closer and a dolphin jumped a single time in front of the boat.
#4: Seeing the Maine Coast
Seeing the rocky coast of Maine for the first time on the 4th of July from a rainy state park. We camped out inside the van, eating hot dogs and potato salad waiting for the storm to pass. The sky cleared in late afternoon and we spent a glorious two hours wandering the park and coastline.
#5: Enjoying the Maine Coast
Letting Diamond off her leash on the beach for the first time outside of Portland, Maine. I came without realizing it was an off-leash beach, and her joy at roaming freely was contagious. She romped, chased the waves, played with other dogs, and slept like a baby that night.
#6: Nature Baths
Taking a dip in Whetstone Creek, flooded and roaring from two days of rain. It was so shallow I had to lay down to be covered but moving so quickly I had to brace myself on the rocks. The water was stained red from iron deposits in the soil.
#7: Slowing Down in Nature
In particular, the trailhead at Mariaville Falls in Maine, where I stayed for a non-consecutive total of eight nights, hiking and swimming in the creek.
#8: Beach Sunrise
Especially Bowers Beach Delaware, when the moon was new and tide was at its absolute lowest. I waded out into the mud flat to chase snails and was surprised by a baby turtle swimming by my feet. It was the peak of horseshoe crab mating season and I watched hundreds of sea birds gather at sunrise to feast.
#9: Celebrating the change of seasons
Waking up early to watch the sun rise over Lake Champlain on the summer solstice.
#10: Having Cows for Neighbors
Spending the weekend next to a cow pasture on Seneca Lake. I watched a beautiful sunset, Diamond met cows for the first time, and I sat in cow poop – oops.
#11: One More for Good Measure
The sunrise from a state park in Delaware where I had the beach entirely to myself. I would later get kicked out of this park but that’s a story for another time.
October marks seven months in the van. I know I won’t do this forever, so I try to savor each day as much as possible. It’s fun to look back at all th