VanLife Prep circa 2008
Thinking about the good old days, when the future held promises of a home attached to the ground, I realized that we had actually been preparing for our nomadic lifestyle before we even knew such a thing existed. Way back when, in the days when everyone actually “went” to work, Marty would occasionally go in to the office at 5am. On those days he’d try to sneak away for a noon-time nap.
Being an outdoor type of guy, he’d ride his bike to the park near work, find a thicket of trees and hang his hammock. This sounds time-consuming to me, but he says he's fast and has challenged me to time him. I passed.
On one particular day he was peacefully snoozing when he was rudely awakened by a piece of paper being waved in his face.
"Sir, you need to move your camp," an authoritative voice demanded. Sleep befuddled, Marty wasn't in command of his usually calm demeanor and acted like a novice. He sat up suddenly and then – as all you hammock sleepers have already guessed – promptly rolled out onto the ground.
"Public intoxication as well, eh?" continued the voice. Slightly dazed, Marty was still able to make out the universally recognized uniform of a city-park cop.
but despite his drunken (he says sleep deprived) protestations, he was unable to convince the civil servant that he was just a tired engineer trying to catch a few zzzzz's.
As the ranger tacked the eviction notice to Marty's tree he showed his empathy for a sleepy drunk who’d probably had a pretty hard life when he said, "I'll give you 24 hours to remove your camp and vacate the premises."
How times have changed. Not many people are being evicted from the parks these days. And little did we know that living in a van in a field in Driggs, Idaho, would be worth writing about.