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Sunday 6 June 2010

Poor Man's RV

I haven't been sleeping well lately. Maybe it was the recent full moon. Or maybe I have simply been overwhelmed with the preparations for our upcoming photo journey - after all it is going to be a long one. Mostly while lying awake in the comfort of our own bed my mind has been wandering back to this sign in the Yukon:Bear Warning Sign
Bear Warning Sign - Click for larger

It is haunting me.

We tent camped near that sign and indeed the soapberries were ripe and plentiful on our campsite. The few other campers were all in some sort of hard-sided accommodation like truck campers and RVs. If a bear wanted a little protein to accompany his fruit we were the obvious choice - we were just behind a thin nylon wall. Yet come morning we never saw any indications that bears had been around our tent - no droppings or scratchings and even the ripe berries were still waiting to be eaten.

But still that sign haunts me.

Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear - Click for larger

I'll admit it - I'm afraid of bears. I'm tired of being bear bait. This time on the road I don't want to wake up in the tent and wonder if the rustling noises I'm hearing outside are made by the little chipmunk we saw earlier or something bigger, much bigger!

Chipmunk - Click for larger

Why is it little rodents can make so much noise anyway?

No this time I wanted options on how, or more correctly where, we sleep. Especially if a bear has been spotted nearby.Black Bear
Black Bear - Click for larger

Bighorn Sheep
Bighorn Sheep - Click for larger

So these past couple of weeks when I've been unable to sleep, instead of counting sheep I've been thinking about options, wondering just how to sleep on the road with something a little more solid than a tent between us and the bears. In spite of my last posting/shameful plea seeking sponsorship from RV Manufacturers or dealers, I came to the conclusion that we would have to take the matter into our own hands. We would build a platform to sleep on in our van.

It took me awhile to convince Ron that it could work. We stood outside and stared into the open van and measured and "discussed". Gradually I turned those sign haunted nights into planning and design sessions. Eventually we were ready to try building something. See Ron's recent blog posting for the results.

There will be no inside plumbing so I'll still have to get dressed and go outside to find the nearest outhouse when nature calls at night. (I'll make Ron walk me so don't worry Mom!) And I'll still have to dress while lying down. It may not be the luxurious accommodation I've been lusting over. No it's rather more like a Poor Man's RV. But the walls are not only harder than tent nylon there are plenty of tinted windows. The windows just might offer scenic lakeside views. We'll be able to stargaze from bed through the tailgate window and possibly even watch bears munch on soapberries. Maybe, just maybe, this time while on the road instead of being spooked by outside noises I can finally get some sleep!

Kluane Lake, YT
Kluane Lake, YT - Click for larger

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Anonymous Marta said...

Now the bears are haunting me!!! Be careful on your summer journey and I'm glad you "dreamed up" the bed in the van!!!
Great photos.

6 June 2010 at 19:49  
Anonymous Lola said...

Stay safe & come back with lots more of those wonderful photos & no bear tracks.

7 June 2010 at 15:55  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

Eeep, haunting indeed! Glad you'll have a hard shell this time.

Great post and pictures!

7 June 2010 at 19:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new to the boards and just wanted to say i am very very happy to read this blog.

24 October 2010 at 23:40  

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