It's Laundry Time Again.
I can't believe we have spent a week in Montana already. On the road, it seems your time is just as valuable as your bank account. And while we are on the subject, our budget is running down. We are continuing to apply for jobs and research housing opportunities in each place we travel. Along the way, we continue to notice a steady trend across the United States. Housing costs, in all forms from trailers to single family homes, are increasing. Meanwhile, job wages are staying the same. If we want to call one of these mountain towns our home for winter, we may each be working two jobs and sending Olin to daycare. I feel safe knowing that we have the van as a back-up in case we can't make a ski town happen for winter. I really, really hope that we can, but I am not opposed to heading south for a season if need be.
Sometimes she just screams at the top of her lungs for no reason, and we finally see that it's because she is teething or just being a 1 year old. Teething snacks keep her sane during those moments.
The Wal-Mart OA.
Bless his heart, seriously. From the start of our climbing issues back at the Togwotee Pass, gaining up to 9,659' of elevation, he had a hunch that our fuel pump was faulty and giving us backtalk. Ignoring that intuition from several other suggestions of what it could be in various media feeds and my "pretend-to-know-what-I'm-talking-about-womanly nagging," he opted to try a few other fixes with the filter and vapor lock. As we were being towed up the pass before Island Park, he stated once more that he just knew it was the fuel pump. We were unable to make it up to Bridger Bowl Ski Resort our first try due to more sputtering and choking, which falsely seemed like the infamous vapor lock again. The day before yesterday, in the Wal-Mart parking lot of Bozeman at 7AM, Collin replaced the fuel pump.
Ever seen a Fuel Pump Hangover?
Yellowstone & Bozeman Adventures
It's Not All Shits & Gigs
Granted, there are a lot of poopy diapers, VanLife is not all play. It's actually a lot of work. It's Personal Growth meets GMC for Dummies. Every single day, we learn something new. Each argument teaches us how to listen better or react differently the next one. Each mechanical delay shows us that the van needs a bit more tlc before next the destination. There are hot summer days (like today) where all we want to do is play outside- go biking and hiking. Right now, we are putting in lots of hours to applying for jobs, researching housing, and writing so we can share the journey. We are learning to work with each other and trust that we are a family. Relationships take work- who would'a thunk it? Now, we just have to build up our relationship with this van (Which still doesn't have a name for some reason, suggestions?).
We didn't say much to each other, but I know that we were silently dreading going up another pass, fearful that we'd end up stuck a couple hours on the side of the road again. Pedal nearly to the floor, our roaring beast pushed up and over the pass, as we felt silent relief float from our shoulders "Welcome to Bozeman."
The view from our camp spot outside of Livingston, MT
Montana is beautiful! We are definitely putting it on our list of places we may call home by the end of summer.
Mammoth Hot Springs from a couple days ago
We took showers today.
So, one more thing I wanted to share. Before we started living in a van, I had a few concerns as a lady. After driving through Bozeman this morning, we pulled over at the gas station to refill and put the doghouse back on to celebrate this small victory. Always celebrate the small victories. We pull next to the gas pump and Collin says, "I smell poop." Surely enough, Olin had pooped everywhere. You know that scene from Dumb & Dumber 2 towards the end of the movie- "There's sh*t everywhere!" Yeah, it was just like that scene- on her face, in her hair, all over her car seat. I looked at her and back to Collin then back to her. Taco was eyeing her down, thinking he was going to get a warm snack. I immediately think that we need to get a hotel and soak her in the bathtub all night long. This is where the fun, trials of van life come to their true test. Collin, being the practical minded, says "There's a swimming club right up the road from here." Thinking of the public showers, this seems a much better idea than using $80 out of our dwindling budget on a hotel for just the showers. I walk in to the gas station to wash up and am surprised by that lovely time of the month known as PMS (In our family, we call it "Shark Week"). Ladies thinking of doing van life and wondering about this part of it, it absolutely sucks and is everything you imagine about it. Shark Week in a van, where river baths just don't cut it.
.And we love river baths. Yellowstone River Bath outside of
Dogs & Diapers