Back in 2013, Kurt and I moved out of our apartment and into a beautiful 1967 Dodge Travco Motorhome, the same kind of motor home Johnny Cash used to tour in :)
It might have been a 46-year old motor home but it surpassed a lot of current RVs in quality and craftsmanship. We took our Travco on a cross-country road trip to Florida and lived in it for a total of 11 months.
Sadly, we encountered mechanical issues that would have required thousands of dollars to fix so we sold our beloved Travco to a friend who added it to his collection of vintage travel trailers.
We replaced the Travco with a 6-person REI Kingdom tent and lived out of the tent and our van for 5 months while we volunteered in the Southwest. In Joshua Tree National Park, our REI Kingdom 6 tent was set up so we could work, cook and get dressed. The low temperatures at night, occasional downpours and frequent high winds made it difficult to sleep in the tent, so we made the van our bedroom. We loved the entire tent experience and wanted to improve on it so when we returned to Minnesota, we purchased a sturdier straight-wall tent made by Barebones Living.
The Barebones tent has been used throughout the world to house victims of natural disasters so we were confident it would be durable enough to serve our needs. We set the tent up on pallets to keep ourselves and our gear dry in rain storms. We went through half a dozen severe thunderstorms with 50 mph wind gusts and we barely felt it. We have been cooking, sleeping and working out of our Barebones tent for the last 4 months. We outfitted the interior of our tent to be like a small cabin with small book shelf, full size air mattress, toaster oven, blender, small electric space heater and lamps.
It's liberating to live small. We have more time to focus on the things that matter to us, like photographing miniatures :)
Being Camp Hosts in State and National Parks means that we have responsibilities outside of our Un Petit Monde project. Our daily routine consists of cleaning up campsites, answering questions and selling firewood to park guests. Yesterday, we had to deal with a problematic black bear that was hanging around the campsites. And when I say "deal with" I mean we had to stay out of its way! This particular bear was unafraid of humans, which is a bad thing.
Because of this, Edwige and I had more excitement in one day than we've had all summer. Starting around 8am, we took a report of a sighting from a family of four. Roughly 30 minutes later I had my own bear encounter just outside of our tent. Late morning, we received another report of a bear rummaging through a cooler. A few hours after that, we found the bear digging through the dumpster! Although this made for a very long day, it was only the second bear we've seen in our three seasons of camp hosting (to be fair, Joshua Tree N.P. doesn't have bears).
He may look like a big fella in the photos, but he was just about thigh high. Cute but dangerous. Which means I did not get a photograph of our miniatures with the bear!
Yesterday, a friend of ours stopped by to show off a couple of her new kittens. Of course I grabbed the camera and started firing away! It's dangerous holding them because you begin to rationalize... "You know, we could travel around with a cat. Yeah, they basically take care of themselves!". Reality sets in as soon they are out of sight... "How would a cat do in the desert heat, living in a van and/or a tent? We'd have to keep the litter box at the foot of our bed". Okay, that settles it... NO pets! "...but I want one..."