I woke up pretty early in the crappy campground. I was ready to get out of there pretty early. Before heading in to town I headed up the mountain to scout dispersed camping spots. There were plenty. I should have just ridden up the road the night before. I timed the trip back into town, about twenty minutes.
I found a coffee shop. There were people in there with laptops, but my phone showed that the network was locked. I ordered a cup of coffee and asked the guy for the password. It was “espresso”.
I talked to another guy who was living in a small camper. He’s been out for months and doesn’t know about free parking in forests and BLM lands.
Another guy came over, seeing my iLiveInMyVan.com bumper sticker on my laptop. We talked for a while about van living when a woman at the next table came over, as she too is living in a van. Her name is Hope, she’s in her early 40s, and she too is on a journey of yet-undetermined duration. Hers started four days earlier. I tried to give her tips for SD and the Black Mountains, as she planned to head that way soon, but she was interested in Yellowstone. Since I hadn’t been there yet, I was no help. She’s signed up with some couchsurfing web site and has stayed with folks at least a couple times on her short journey. She said that her couch surfing experiences have been pretty good, though the hosts are generally in their early twenties, so they have less to talk about than she might like. I’ve thought about the couch surfing thing some since then, but just can’t get excited about it.
Having spent nearly four hours in the coffee shop, it was time to change venues. Walden was parked in a three hour parking spot. I moved him to a free lot and set out on foot. I returned to the leather store and bought the coat. The sleeves were a little long, and Javier came out to mark them. When I returned later I was pleased that Javier waived the alteration charge and gave me some shearling slippers for the price that he told me that they were, which was something less than the correct price.
Needing lunch, I went back to the brewery. There I talked to a traveler who was headed east. I gave him a couple of tips and said that if he had questions about where to find places I’d mentioned on my site, to feel free to call.
A while after 4:00 I left the brewery and headed up the mountain. I’d located a sweet place by 5:00. I got a shower, as I’d left the solar shower on top of the car all day. It was pretty warm, but was chilly as the water evaporated in the dry air. For a couple of hours I sat naked and listened to music from the folks that played at the bike thing, and read Into the Wild. The view from this spot was stunning.
It was another good day.