Vanna's insides

Vanna's insides

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Maiden Voyage (sorta)

So.  Last night was the first night in the Van (or, Vanna, as she will now be referred).  Quinn (my cat-child) and I didn't peace out of our apartment for our test run til the anxiety was at a bare minimum---which meant lying on the couch with Morgan (roommate) until 2am when I finally felt courageous enough to follow through with the plan.

I am not officially homeless til Saturday morning, but I wanted a safety net for my first night so I could work out the kinks before everything was for real and, potentially, awful.

Quinn and I hit the road and headed up to Sydney -- a 30 minute drive from Victoria.  We took a wrong turn, got lost, and almost arrived at Tsawassen, the Ferry Terminal, by mistake.  

I had forgotten to use the washroom before leaving the house, so I was debating between finding a 24hr place or utilizing the yogurt container I'd set up by my bed for emergencies. After trying a faux-ly lit up gas station, I found a 24hr 7-11 which gave me use of their facilities.  (I will have to try out the yogurt container method another time.)  

I parked around a few apartment buildings, out of the streetlight, and off the main strip at around 3am.  Then the frustration kicked in.  The plan originally had been to hang curtains from sticky hooks I'd stuck to the back 4 corners of Vanna, however they proved useless.  Two had already fallen off and the other two unstuck as soon as I looped one of my mauve drapes over it.

I used safety pins stuck into the roof material as plan b, and I think without a cat-child this could have worked a little better than it did.  I was getting ready for bed in the dark, and Quinn kept pulling down the curtains, and all the extra fabric was draped over everything and kept getting pulled down in all the mess of things.

My space is super organized, but my down duvet is so damn big that my once spacious living and sleeping quarters now felt like it couldn't fit me AND all that feathery softness.  I'll have to set everything up better later today, see if I can come up with a better system.

I was too tired to set up the litter box, so I used an ol' cat-trick I picked up in the army: prayer.

Once I was able to actually lie down, what struck me was the silence.  I felt more still than I have at bedtime lately, and I think that could be the lack of electronics.  Not going to bed with my phone and/or computer at hand.  It felt surprisingly calm.  I had expected to lie there stressed, and a little scared the first night, but I fell asleep quick and slept pretty soundly til 8am.

It went down to 4 degrees last night.  I didn't used (or need) the propane heater I purchased a week ago.  There were times in the night I'd have to re-cover up body parts which had grown cold and unexposed, but mostly I was pretty ok temperature-wise.

A lady leaving her house woke me up this morning.  I lay perfectly still, certain I shouldn't move lest she alert the authorities to a squatter in her driveway. I tidied up my space a little, grabbed some drive-thru (stress eating, really wasn't hungry that early with so little sleep), and headed back to Victoria.  

The broken gas gauge on Vanna only tells me FULL or EMPTY, and it flashed when I got back into town.  Seems like I just filled her up, so I'm not sure if I believe her communication style or not, but I'll check my records to see how many km that last tank should have lasted.  Vanna breaking down or lasting is my main concern.  She really wasn't taken care of, and even though driving was really smooth on the high-way, it'll be a while before I really trust her to carry me through.  

Quinn dealt pretty well.  The method of prayer held up so well that come morning, when I actually set up the litter box for her, she refused to acknowledge it... which stressed me out to no end.  When we got back to town, it was only on the walk between the car and the apartment that she started to freak out and try to get away.  But driving is pretty funny, cause she sits on my lap with her head against the window.

Driving buddies.
Probably gonna work out the kinks of window coverings and bed comfort tomorrow, and then Saturday will be my first official night of vandwelling.

Here goes nothing...


  1. U are my hero.
    Dharma bums.
    Safety matters.
    Curious Cat.

  2. i am YOUR hero?? don't even get me started on YOU!!!

  3. YEAAAAAA for you! I just started my journey yesterday, tonight is my second night in my SUV. I'm going by The Nomadic Natural on YouTube and Facebook! can't wait to see more from you two!

    1. What a time you are in, Crystal!!! SOOO many congratulations are in order!!! Have a fabulous time, the water's just fine!!!! Thank you for your note, truly truly!