Woke up. Got out of bed. Dragged a comb across my head.
No, that’s not it at all. I got up and had and went for a run.
After my run and my croissant I looked for a local establishment that had outdoor seating and free WIFI. I located a place called Quigley’s Plate and Pint, which seemed to brew and ferment beer on the premises. This seemed like a pretty good combination. If you live in a van, the only thing better, of course, is to additionally provide access to 110V.
I managed to find Quigley’s (not where Google said it was) and confirm the beer, the wifeless, and the dog-friendliness. I turned in grades for the classes that I had taught and had a couple of beers with lunch. Meanwhile, a friend who had lived in the area told me via IM to visit a local watering hole and that there was a gift card waiting for me. A good idea, yes, but it seemed a bit too early to start my post-lunch drinking. Thor and I loaded up and drove down the main drag. Soon we stumbled upon Huntington State Park. I learned that I could park there over night, with full hookups, for about thirty dollars. Thus far, parking outside my hosts house was working quite well. I gave the man a fiver for a day pass.
I parked as close as one can to the beach and noticed a dense grove of trees. I pulled the hammock out of the closet and found a lovely, shady place to hang it. I tethered Thor to the hammock, and he and I napped for a couple of hours. It was delicious.
When we awoke, it still seemed a bit early to go to Drunken Jack’s. Further, it seemed irresponsible not to go to the beach, so I returned to Walden to collect Thor, the guitar, the chair, and other beach accoutrements. There a guy approached me and asked about Walden. I explained that I live in a van down by the river, and gave him my business card as proof. He explained that he was working on setting up a writing workshop, both for adults in the area and to provide service to kids in school. If I’d been planning to stay in Pawley’s for a while longer, I might have figured out a way to join him. It could do me well to learn a bit about writing.
A few minutes later another guy came over. He was traveling in his 1989 Westy with 180K miles. I was quite pleased to think that Walden was likely good for another 80K without any serious work. I gave him the tour, showed off my cabinet locks and popped the top to show off the new tent. He said that parks in the area were inexpensive, from ten to thirty dollars a night and that the showers here were really nice.
Thor and I found our way down to the beach where I played guitar for a while. Thor dipped his toes in the water a little and then took a nap.
It seemed that it was now not too soon to collect my gift card at Drunken Jacks. It had also been recommended by the writing workshop guy. It took me about twenty minutes to get there. I went in retrieved the gift card and was told that I could go sit on the deck. When I went back to Walden to retrieve Thor I saw that I had failed to lower the tent after I’d showed if off to the guy with the 89 Westy. This is scary. Had I gone under a low bridge or something it could have been tragic. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this. This is proof, however, that even sober I am impaired enough not to realize that the tent is up. I really must investigate a way to make it more difficult for me to drive with the top up.
I swear it took half a dozen false starts out of the camper to get to the back deck with all that I needed. Once I finally made it, I was greeted at the entrance and . . . NO DOGS. Thor was already perplexed that we’d gone back and forth so many times, now, to be taken back and told to stay I’m sure was even more maddening.
My hosts had been out of town for the day and I didn’t really expect them back for dinner. I had a couple beers and some crab cakes that were pretty good. A band was playing that I thought I might try to sit in with. Sitting in with bands is something that’s on my list of things to do now that I live in a van that I’ve never really done before. As it turned out, I got a textual message indicating that my hosts had returned to town, and wanted to know whether I wanted to have yet another wonderful meal now or the next night. I suggested that the next day would be better since it was late already and I’d had the crab cakes. They were back sooner than I’d expected, so I hurried on back to see what was up.