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My Van Life: Day 11

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Bozeman, MT - Broadus, MT

I told you – we found our people here at the Walmart parking lot in Bozeman! I use that term lightly as I would say the crowd here is an interesting one but when it comes to road travelers like ourselves, we’ve found our community in this Walmart parking lot. Last night we went to the nearby Centennial Park to get a workout in and let Coco run around for a bit. It’s been so hot and muggy here which added to the overall sweat factor but it felt good to leave the Walmart parking lot and get outside and get moving. Coco got lots of good running in too which was so fun to watch.

After a quick car wash we made our way back to the Walmart parking lot and moved to a farther corner in the hopes that we wouldn’t be as disturbed by nearby neighbors during the workday. It was definitely much quieter on the back side of the store which was very much appreciated throughout the workday. It allowed us to keep the side door open as well although truthfully I’m not sure that helped much. It’s been so stinking hot! Every inch of me is sweating. In between meetings we would turn the car on to blast some cool AC in the hopes of cooling down the van and during meetings I had our small desk fan just blasting directly at my face.

If someone is well versed in the van life travel I would love to hear how you manage/managed hot destinations. Summer is one of the best times to travel but of course with summer comes summer heat and temps. I don’t want to give up summer travel because it’s HOT but I also don’t want to be uncomfortable sitting in this box of an office/bedroom/kitchen/dining room/workout studio, etc. I don’t like being uncomfortable in the heat and today was one such day.

It was a busy work day for the both of us, as it traditionally is and has been unfortunately, so around 6pm we started the drive to our next destination. We’re working toward the Mount Rushmore area next (we’re actually ahead of schedule if you can believe it) which was about an 8 hour, maybe less, drive from Bozeman. Well we made it about 4.5 hours and landed around 10:30pm at the Broadus rest stop. I had already decided earlier in the trip that we wouldn’t drive at night, after the sun set, but unfortunately tonight we didn’t leave in time and had about an hour or so of driving through the dark. Not just any dark, the darkest most deserted, middle of nowhere Montana roads. Again, find me white knuckling it from the passenger side.

I hate driving at night or when it’s dark so thank god Adam was driving but even so that didn’t erase any of my anxiety or nerves. i’m happy to report we made it to the rest stop but even that wasn’t without anxiety inducing events. We were getting ready for bed, setting things up for tomorrow when suddenly there was a HUGE boom on the van. It sounded either like someone had run directly into us – although there wasn’t any feeling inside the van of being hit – or someone pounded on the back door trying to get our attention. It was close to midnight when this happened so needless to say I freaked out, Adam grabbed the keys and walked outside, leaving me and Coco wondering what the heck was going on out there. About five minutes later Adam returned with no answers. Sounds like just your resident trucker playing a joke on nearby parking lot residents as two truck drivers in the spot directly next to us were equally confused and looking for the knocking bandit. Granted Adam went outside maybe 30-60 seconds after this happened so how that person could have knocked and walked away in that time I really don’t know. One thing I do know is it freaked me out. Big time! Here’s to hoping nothing like that happens anymore! Here or anywhere.

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