Dreamy Down Day(s)

Oxford Dictionary, Dreamy: having a magical or pleasantly unreal quality.

The (s) is intentional, as we have very few day(s) during which we have down time. We awaken early for the sunrise, we are busy during the day hiking or biking, and birding when there are birds to see, or driving to our next campground. Every now and again, such as today, we are set up cozily in our campsite, too far from water for the sunrise (or so we thought; details to follow!), so we slept in until—gasp—0600 and awakened without an alarm! Can you imagine how dreamy that was?

The leisurely morning included coffee, reading, writing, looking at photos, and simply hanging out. Incredible and dreamy. This is a rarity, silly as that sounds, but when we do have a down day, it is all the more special. By the time we ventured out on our bikes around 0900, we both were feeling “lazy” for having lounged around for so long! 

The good news is that during our ride, having parked the bikes so we could hike about, we found a terrific lake over which the sun will rise tomorrow at 0613, and needless to say, our alarm is already set for 0500 so that we can be at the lake as the sky begins to lighten. Early mornings are dreamy – the light is soft, the birds are singing a welcome to the day, and if we are watching a sunrise, there is an element of magic regardless of how many we’ve seen together. We savor early mornings and we don’t find it tiresome to awaken early just to be outside in nature. 

Sunrise over Lonidaw Lake (next morning photo)

We ate an early lunch, then headed out again on bikes for another short hike. The bike paths in campgrounds typically carve through a forest, some are gravel, some dirt, some paved. Riding through a forest is dreamy—under a canopy of green, with birds serenading. The high winds today are kicking up some pollens that are kicking John’s allergies into high gear, so we got back to Vanda early in the day, around 2 PM. After a workout with bands, I showered and was back to the van to begin writing this blog. More magic: as I became sleepy while writing, and I closed my eyes for a 1-hour nap! One hour! Unheard of! How luxurious! How dreamy.

The campground at which we are staying for two nights is … alright. Our site is terrific, there are very few other campers, the forest is stunning, and the bathroom/shower is … not great. This place has what they say is potable water, but it is heavy with iron – you can see the iron stains in the shower stalls and sinks, and smell & taste iron in the shower water. We arrived, as we always do, with our 20-gallon water tank full up of fresh, clean water from our last campground, so no worries, we are relying on our stored water for brushing teeth and cooking. Even though the natural beauty of this campground area is so lovely, the inability to replenish our water tank from the campground spigot is likely to keep us away when we travel through here again. 

A groovy campsite in the deep forest

I believe that our many years of backpacking in the Sierras, “roughing it”, has prepared us so well to living in Vanda for 3-4 weeks at a time. Once you’ve bathed in a cold mountain lake, or dug a small hole into which morning rituals occur, or washed dishes in a stream using gravel as soap, or pumped lake water through a filter for 20 minutes to fill a one-quart Nalgene, then there is not much of the vanlife that is over-the-top concerning. Having said that, I will admit that a hot, iron-free shower, is dreamy. 



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