I spent my first month and a half of the summer (following my week of being homeless) in Colter Bay, Moran, WY. My brother works in the park, and with his dog, they don't allow him to have park housing. So he had an RV site, and told me I could park there.
Before actually moving to Wyoming, I thought since he lived in the park, and I worked in the park, it would be a short commute. I was not expecting to drive 45-60 minutes one way every day. This is the main reason I eventually moved, but I had a great time during the month of May!
The best part was that most of the touristy things (grocery store, restaurants, campground, visitor center, etc.) didn't open until after May 23rd. I had almost an entire month without tourists! On my days off, my favorite thing to do was spend time down on the beach. I laid on the beach for hours and hours, reading, ogling the rocks, staring at the mountains, or napping. I never saw a single other person. It was amazing. I became more tan during May than I have been since my high school tanning bed phase.
The beach was just a short bike ride, probably about 1/2 mile, down the road.
My brother and I had opposite days off work. So when I was home, I had to entertain the dog, Spruce
I let him out to wander the site on his long leash, and occasionally was nice enough to take him on a walk. I didn't appreciate when he pooped in other peoples' yards though, and I had to clean it up, so I mostly left him in our site to poop and leave it for my brother. Spruce, oddly enough, is the first dog I've ever walked (as far as I can remember) It seems like such a common thing, but I (and my parents) don't like inside dogs. Growing up, our dogs lived in the garage and the yard. Unless I'm volunteering at a shelter, I plan to never walk a dog again.
I made a lot of firewood during this month.
My brother had a small hand saw, and I wanted campfires! There was some wood around our site and left by the campfire ring, but that didn't last very long. I made a campfire 3 nights a week (the three nights that I didn't have to work the next day-Saturday, Sunday, Monday). I had to start searching for downed and dead wood. I had to drag trees from all around the campground back to our site to cut up. Sometimes I took the saw with me to cut the tree in half first.
I ended up with lots of wood, and when I left in June, I left my brother with a lot of it.
I loved cooking in the campfire. Potatoes and green beans is what I cooked almost every fire. Yummy.
My favorite part of the fire is when it is dying, and there are just super hot coals left, after a couple hours of burning. I can just stare at them for an hour, before finally freezing and retreating to the warmth of my van.
I never had a refrigerator the whole time I lived there. The one in my brother's RV was broken, and I don't have a break room at work. I really missed refrigerated food. I was able to keep a few things in a cooler for most of May though. Thanks to the snow pile that was hanging out next to my van.
It eventually melted at the end of May or beginning of June. I tried taking ice home from work with me, but it was too hot by then, and melted way too quickly. Refrigeration was the 2nd main reason I moved in June.
We got a lot of snow up in Colter Bay. My brother failed to warn me of that. I had my parents mail me my mittens from Ohio to keep warm. Luckily I packed a winter hat, and bought myself a new super fuzzy sweat shirt to make it from my van to work in the mornings.
On the days it didn't snow, it started to rain a lot towards the second half of May. My brother raked up all the pine needles to keep them off his dog, so our entire site turned into a huge mud pit when it rained. My van was parked in the lowest part of it, and I could barely get into and out of it. So when my brother brought home some free pallets from the lumber yard, I turned one of them into a porch. I re-nailed all the boards on the top to make it solid, and bought a $12 rug from K-Mart to cover it.
I started collecting rocks to fill in around it where it is all mud. I ended up moving before I collected much more than this though. It would have been awesome to have a stoned site. Different from gravel, because these are the gorgeous round rocks from the beach.
I parked my van on the side of the site that was closets to the back of a cabin next door. Some old lady moved in. There are a few words the average person would call her, but I'm going to skip those. The short of it..she wanted to sleep in until noon, and didn't like the fact that I had to leave for work at 5am. She complained that my van door was waking her up when I went to work in the mornings. She's probably never seen a sunrise in her life. I was not on my brother's housing contract, which only listed one person living there. I didn't want the old lady's complaints to get him in trouble, so that's another reason I chose to leave.
Here are a few more photos of my time in Colter Bay