Dressers for my Clothes

I picked out these plastic drawers at Wal-mart.  They sell each drawer separately, they're really sturdy, and I like them a lot better than those three-drawer plastic dressers I always see and have owned in the past.  These are very square, seem to utilize all the space they can.  They're pretty expensive though, the big ones at $17ish and small at $13ish.  All 4 with tax were around $65ish.  I thought I would use them enough to make it worth it.  I even planned the height of my bed to them.

Literally during the drive home from finally buying them,  I passed two of them 3-drawer units out by someone's trashcan.  I couldn't resist.  I turned around and picked them up.  Brought them home, found that they come apart easily, so I can just take one drawer out to fit under my bed.  So i took them all apart and hosed them down and scrubbed them a little and decided to take the others back to Wal-mart.  My new ones are not nearly as nice, but to save $65, they are definitely worth it.  They are shorter, so there is a gap  between them and the bed, but it has turned out nice. It is perfect storage for my laptop at the end next to my chair and I stuff seldom used clothes on top the other and utilize some of the space up behind the edge board on my bed, but below the plywood.

The new expensive Wal-Mart Shelves
The view from the back of my van.  Tons of space still to stuff things behind them.
The free roadside shelves.  So easy to make shorter!

Cleaning them upon deciding to keep them.
Free things are always the most appreciated by me.


A Bed Built for a Queen

I built my bed, and I'm so proud of it.  I'll need to add the pictures later.

Basically I took four maybe 1x6s and cut them to length to fit around my mattress.  I believe that was 28x60. Small mattress.  Then I screwed them in a rectangle.

  I took four little boards, like half inch by an inch and screwed them in the inside middle of the rectangle.  Plywood will sit on these.

I screwed two 2x4s or some size similar to each corner in an L shape and then set the plywood inside and my mattress on top, and there's my bed!

My van floor is higher on one end, so I screwed together a few boards to put under two of the legs to make the bed even.  I didn't want to make the legs longer, because I want to be able to take the bed out and use it on other flat surfaces.

I cut an old single-sized mattress pad smaller  and pinned it around my mattress.  The mattress is an old couch cushion and I hated the feeling of the material.  The mattress pad reminds me a lot of a diaper.
I'll add pictures when I get them on here.

The first rectangle

Added the support board all around and legs to the corners

The little wooden thing I stuck together to make the bed lay even in the van

View from side driver's side door. I love my chair

View from the rear of the van


Engine Troubles

I arrived in Ohio from Colorado this week.  I have 9 days to repack and prepare my van for cross country travel and living.  My main project has been my bed and making sure my van runs.

My first day in Ohio I went to turn on my van and it doesn't start.  Not a good first sign.  I'm guessing that my dad didn't start it up and drive it as often this winter as he let on to.  Or at least not the past few weeks.  Luckily he jumped me, it started just fine and hasn't caused a problem again since.

He had taken it to the shop before I arrived home, sometime in March or April and had a guy fix whatever was making the check engine light come on.  Two days after coming home it came back on.  There was something wrong with the fuel cap or fuel line or something that he DID fix, but apparently the fact that my gas gauge does not work makes the light come on as well.  That is something I won't bother fixing, I just know to fill my tank every 200-250 miles.  I wish I knew how big my tank is.  I put 8 to 11 gallons in, so maybe a 12 gallon tank?  But if it were 20, I'd save a lot of money not having to go to a station as often.  I might just run it empty some day and call AAA to come help me out with 2 gallons.

So I'll have to stop by one of the auto part stores and have them plug in and tell me why my check engine light is on once in a while to make sure nothing else becomes wrong.

I was sure glad to get that figured all out.


Happy Easter

May you always feel the love of our Savior shining brightly in your life. Happy Easter!

Moonlight Hike

The climb was slow.  There were three of us.  J was up front, half skipping, half running up the mountain.  L and I were a little behind.  She was hiking in her snowboard boots, with a snowboard strapped to her back, and I was limping in pain.  I did something to my ankle while skiing a little over a month ago, and still have been limping on an everyday basis.  Hiking up a mountain might not have been the best healing process for me, but I hurt my ankle just two days before the last full moon, and this was my only full moon left while in Aspen.

We started our hike just a little past eight.  The sky was still bright and there was no moon in sight.  We forgot to look up what time the moon would rise, and just hoped it would be soon.  It was probably about halfway through the hike that we first caught glimpse of the moon through the aspen trees.

Everything changes after dark.  The trails, the trees, the whole mountain.  Once familiar landscapes take on other worldly appearances.  We stopped and stood in awe in those first moon beams.  I was truely amazed at just how much the moon lights up the mountain.  It made me a little proud that I was the only one who didn't bother to bring a flashlight (flashlights were never used for even a single second).

We reached the warming hut at about 10 o'clock.  It was quite a strenuous climb for us.  For me at least.  The warming hut is a nice little building used by ski patrol during the day, and open to anyone during the night.  Many people spend the night there during a long backpacking trip.  During a full moon, it is packed.  I believe I met half of Aspen that night.  In addition to people, there was also a lot of alcohol and sleds.  There is not much snow left this year, so skiing down would be a little sketchy.  J brought a cookie sheet, and I brought a blanket and trash bag to ride.

Every person upon entering the warming hut would ask "Will we see you up top?"  This being the first hike for my entire group, we didn't know that we could continue.  After the 7th person asking us, we decided to follow.  We left our supplies behind, and hiked about 10 more minutes through the trees along the edge of the mountain.  We found the missing snow.  It was hiding in the trees.  My right foot constantly fell through it up to my knee, and once even up to my hip.  It was just icy enough that you could mostly walk easily on top of it, but I think my limping on my left foot caused just enough extra pressure on my right.
Me and J in the dead tree, poorly photographed on an iPhone

It was worth it.  As we emerged from the trees, the view was breathtaking.  Though the clearing was packed with beer guzzling hikers, there was one tree right on the edge that caught our eye.  J and I climbed up it a little and sat down.  The tree was dead, and had our branches broke, we would be rolling almost straight down a rocky cliff.  It was astonishingly quiet for the amount of people attending.  I was absorbed in the peace, tranquility and beauty of the valley below.  

I could have sat there for hours staring off into the night.  Midnight rolled around though, and our driver had to work the next morning.  We vowed to return to the tree during daylight to compare, and trudged off down hill to our sleds. 

Two ladies joined us, one on skies and one with a snowboard.  So the two of them and L took off riding down the hill.  It wasn't snowy enough for my trash bag to work, and J's cookie sheet worked so well that she was terrified.  So I folded my blanket, set it on her cookie sheet, and had the ride of my life.  J held my bag, and ran down the hill just like she had run up it.  During the steepest parts I wanted to avoid wrapping myself around a tree, so I laid on my back, head first, held the cookie sheet, and slid down.  We reached the bottom much quicker than I hoped. 

From seeing the moon rise over the aspen trees, to gliding down the trails, it was all an exhilarating experience.  I highly recommend the adventure, and the mystery of moonlight hiking, especially up a mountain!
Buttermilk Mountain, Home of the Winter X Games


Sharing my story with my Co-workers

Ever since I realized my parents were okay with me living in my van this time around, I've been sharing this info with everyone I can.  This time of year, in a seasonal job, everyone is asking everyone else about their summer plans.  I've told everyone that asks where I'm going that I'm living there in my van.

No one thinks it is strange! Actually, some have done similar things.

Some of my co-workers reactions:

J: "I'm so jealous, and my boyfriend is going to think I'm crazy when I go home and tell him we're buying a van!"

T: "My boyfriend and I lived in a van last year for a few years.  We have an apartment this year, but when the lease ends in April we want to move back out."  Since telling me this they have bought a camper truck and are moving into it, boondocking in a local parking lot, starting at the end of April.

A1: "When I first moved here, I lived in a Teepee."

A2: "When I moved here I lived in a TeePee, too!  We did have an electrical cord though,  from the main house, my boss lived there.  I still have it.  I would love to fix it up and set it up on my property now."

JJ: "I spent a summer sea kayaking in Alaska and living in a tent."

Some time next week I'm going to look at T's van that they lived in last year.  I want to see in person someone else with a bed that works.  I'm pretty sure she said it was a minivan, and they had two of them living in there!  If they can make it work long term, I can definitely make it work.

I also have shared with all my co-workers about living in my van last year in Ohio.  That is something I don't plan to share with my parents quite yet.