Warm in Van, Trout Grilled, Killer Weather, Best Fishing Ever, Red Wine... Makes up for the Tough Days
As seen from the desk chair of my Mercedes Sprinter adventure van writing this post.
Some days I hike, and some days I prepare and publish inside the van, blacked out in order to judge color and contrast for images. But it sure beat commuting.
What life will bring me years hence (with little prospect of retiring) I do not know, but here and now I am going to live it for what it’s worth—I was done with conformity at age 6*.
Life is not a dress rehearsal, the challenge is grabbing it while you can.
* When my sunday school teacher could not explain God or origins to me, left speechless and incoherent by my precocious and penetrating queries. I left in disgust and never went back, and that set my life course. Here it is.
Trout in the van
See Desert Springs Trout—Yum! for why I’m not a Bad Boy for being a take-and-eat fisherman.
On a whim at 4 PM yesterday (having worked from 5 AM to then), I bought some nightcrawlers and went fishin'.
One long appropriately hooked nightcrawler properly drifted with downstream resulted in one hard-fighting Onchorynchus mykiss 'Tasty Eatin'. Eight night crawlers, eight trout. Strong fighters—one swam valiantly upstream into stiff current over rocks as if heading to spawn. I let that one go—s/he deserved it.
These trout are tasty due to very high fat content, at least as much as a King salmon and just right now half way through a good cheap bottle of red wine in my Mercedes Sprinter photography adventure van at 9600' elevation and 80°F inside and 32°F outside, the trout is about done and ready for eating.
I can idle the ultra clean burning Mercedes Sprinter 6 cylinder 3.0L diesel for long periods*, and it heats the cabin and the Sprinter alternator gains charge on the 5 kilowatt lithum battery while working writing this and other stuff. It can put out about 1800 watts if it is cold.
* Carbon monoxide has never gone above 2 with my professional CO detector, but back-wind conditions could push CO into the cabin raising it much higher, so never idle an engine or operate any burning anything without a quality CO detector inside. A friend saw 30 ppm (dangerous) inside the bathroom of his RV because the water heater (venting outside) was having its exhaust come in through an open window.
Listening to Blondie on the crummy Sprinter stereo but I’m enjoying it anyway (not exactly Wilson Watt Puppies). Then The Cars** (yes I’m a geezer). Got in a mood for blogging and writing.
Stars are bright even with a full moon and no-one else wants to be here, so I get the whole place to myself.
Photography, clear idyllic weather 20°F warmer than normal, traveling ease compared to my (sold and gone) Cayenne, and trout like I’ve never caught before.
Next morning: with no wind, even though it got down to 23°F last night outside, the basic layer of insulation kept it at 30°F inside, and was a bit too warm for me. Around 9 AM, two cars have gone by.
* 'You’re all I’ve got tonight' seems appropriate for the trout, as well as (Don’t) Call Me... because I’m off grid. Next morning, The Three Tenors was more to my liking as I surveyed the view.
About 22 pounds of trout here (before gutting). I had to start catch-and-release (caught 8 total, limit is five). Largest was 5.5 pounds at 22+ inches. Youthful skills come in handy. 4 block ice in the Yeti Tundra 210 keeps them at 32°F—I don’t buy any meat on my trips..
Seriously. Below, inside my luxury* Mercedes Sprinter photography adventure van. Bed visible at left, very comfy. Red wine bottle at right is getting low.
* Luxury $129 table from 5-year-old days for my kids. Yeti Tundra 210 coolers for bed platform. Rubbermaid storage tubs, magnets for hang-hooks. Works great, though I’ll polish it up and finish it in the next few months (insulation, walls, airplane style cabinets on one side).
Comfy inside when it gets cold outside.