Originally posted on my (then) blog A Free-Spirited Woman in January 2014, when I was living in a mid-sized SUV, a Mitsubishi Montero Sport name Mitzi ~ I share so many posts that make this life seem easy all the time. But there has to be a balance in all things, and this lifestyle is no different, however, the fact that I’ve had nights and winters like this, still hasn’t changed my love for living this way.
It was a Sunday night in a small mountain town in the Colorado mountains, and with the holidays over, the town pretty much shuts down at night, and especially on a Sunday.
The temperature dropped at sun-down and the wind picked up, icy, crystallized snow started to blow north, south, east, and west, all at once. The sound of ice crystals hitting my windshield and the sides of my vehicle were constant and were reminiscent of a sandstorm in the desert. It was only 4:30 PM, and I wasn’t ready to settle down in Mitzi for the night just yet. I drove around town, but the coffee shops were closed, the library was closed, and the health club was closed. These are places I often spend the late afternoon to early evening in, to pass time. The only place I might have considered going to spend time that was also warm was McDonald’s, but I’d already been there once that day to check my emails. The bars were open, but I rarely go to them, far too expensive and I don’t drink and drive, and I don’t drink pop. They don’t take too kindly to someone sitting there drinking water all night.
It was too cold and too windy to do anything outside. I also didn’t want to sit running Mitzi’s engine and wasting gas, especially as she has suddenly started consuming gas like its going out of style. My only saving grace here is that gas prices are at the lowest they have been in many, many, years right now. I will have to get a mechanic to check her out very soon.
I took a big sigh and realized I was feeling very sorry for myself. I was also feeling very wimpy. Having spent Christmas and New Year house-sitting in warmth and comfort, making this adjustment was not easy, and I wish the weather had been just a little kinder for a while. My shoulder was also on fire which didn’t help. I wanted to be somewhere warm, but I didn’t want to bother anyone.
I decided to park by the public bathrooms in town to eat my supper of cold shrimp and salad. That way I could put the smelly trash in the bear-resistant container afterward, then clean up in the bathrooms. They are heated just enough to make it comfortable. I could also warm my frozen fingertips (from eating icy cold shrimp) under the hand dryer. I sometimes use this bathroom in the mornings I decide not to go to a coffee shop.
I then received a phone call from my friend Jo, inviting me to make myself at home in his house. Phew! What a relief. So, I spent the evening watching a movie with Jo and heated up some soup and tea.
When it came time to go out to Mitzi to sleep, the temperature was probably around 15 degrees, which is not too bad, and it usually warms up late evening after the initial drop in temperature. However, the wind was still blowing, causing drifts, and making the trees sway like burlesque dancers.
I crawled into Mitzi, set up all kinds of curtains to block out the neighbor’s obnoxious lights, and tried to sleep.
All night long the wind blew, rocking Mitzi like a jerky cradle whose rockers had chunks taken out of them with an ax, shaking me awake repeatedly. Then the wind changed somehow, and suddenly Mitzi is being blasted by a torrent of twigs, pine cones, tiny rocks, and frozen pieces of ice and snow. Additionally, my roof rack started creaking like the old bones of a giant, and it reverberated all around Mitzi’s body. Getting any sleep was merely a dream. It was a long night.
It is now 8:30 AM on the 5th and the wind is still carrying snow in every direction at once. The trees still dance, everything creaks, it is impossible to stand upright when walking outside, and one’s skin can be stung to submission in seconds by the blowing ice. Wind gusts reached as much as 100 mph (or so I heard).
If this wind dies down today, I will most definitely be taking a nap.
Yes, living in one’s car in winter in a cold mountain climate can truly suck. There are no nice evenings lounging around outside reading, and even having a nice campfire is a rare treat. If people in homes get cabin fever, imagine what it’s like to have car fever. However, I know that his too shall pass, and trials of this nature are a great way to build the strength of character. Right?? (haha).
Until next time… surviving the wind and the cold, though not too graciously,
Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature (formerly published on my (then) blog A Free-Spirited Woman