Food caves and hookers oh my!

And I thought I hated cooking two weeks ago. My second week in the van has revealed to me that I hate cooking even more now. My refrigerator is stocked to resemble my Italian Grandma’s whenever we went to visit. She stuffed so much food in there that the shelves literally sagged! Now I regress to the times of college when I lived with a mini fridge. Fortunately I have more money now so instead of the collage staples of mustard and 2 week old McDonalds cheeseburgers, I have way too many choices. The little voice in my head keeps telling me to only shop for a couple days at a time and I persist in ignoring him. Although I also ignore him when he says I should build a death ray and destroy England…. naah, just kidding, that’s not what he says.

Oh yeah, we were talking about cooking, well my kitchen consists of a miniature sink, stove, one pot, one pan, and if you turn around there is the toilet! Even though everything is right within reach and I don’t have to turn around to find anything it just makes me want to grab a bag of pistachio nuts and a dill pickle for dinner most often.

I have traveled to Reno Nevada before but I have never driven there. The endless sights of casinos, pawn shops and whorehouses leading to the city certainly made me remember that Nevada still plays by its own rules. Thankfully I learned to be super cheap and I just can’t imagine paying up to $1000 for 37 seconds of pleasure from one of the girls!

Upon arriving in Reno it was time to end the day finally. Wandering outside to stretch was fantastic as wild horses were right there with me the whole evening. I awoke to more of them all around and just as I was enjoying my nice drive out I hear a grinding clunk sound and look behind to find half of my poop tank laying back in the road. Screw this, I’m gonna go see the Avengers Endgame movie, I’ll deal with that later!

Where else in the country can you order wine and watch a movie in power reclining seats with leg rests! Amazing! The rest of the day was spent fixing the tank and holding my breath.

I’m getting more exercise with van life than I have gotten ever living in a big stationary home. Reno has an amazing bicycle trail that follows the Truckee river throughout the entire city. What really surprised me was the tent city of all the homeless right along the trail. Unlike other cities I’ve visited these people were all nice and happy wishing me a good morning and waving. If for some bizarre reason I decide to settle in a city, Reno is on the top of the list just because of how nice all these people were. What really surprised me though is how much stuff they all had, I’m talking about multiple shopping carts and even organized boxes and shelving systems surrounding each tent.

The fact that cities have culture and so many entertainment options makes them a wonderful place to explore so many interests, if only they didn’t have other humans…. Regrettably it wasn’t the homeless that tried to cheat and steal from me, it was the “reputable” business I went to for some repairs. It leads me to wonder, how much is enough? I went in for a small welding job, literally 15 mins of work. Had it all figured out with the worker and then the owner comes over. All downhill from there and became a 3 hour custom fabrication job. Honest labor has gone right out the door. This guy obviously can retire any day, so why keep working? Why raise prices so high? It’s a matter of greed and it’s becoming more and more prevalent in our culture. Even thrift stores, once a place for affordable bargain prices; now $3 for a dinner plate?!?! WTF???

I realize that everything goes up, rent is higher wages are higher, blah blah. I understand prices need to be higher as well. It still burns my bottom that I have to pay between $5-8.50 to do a load of laundry! 30 years ago it was $1 and we were happy to walk uphill both ways to do it!

Treat your fellow man with happiness, a smile and a wave and you’re on the first step to a better life for yourself. Ignore the doctor that just wants you to keep coming back so he can get more money from you and get out and enjoy life. I’d rather enjoy living that last long enough with his plan to keep me around longer and get me into another diaper.

I almost forgot, found a place called Pluto’s cave. A fantastic lava tube cave that goes on for over a mile. It’s private without another soul around anywhere so you can enjoy the silence of yourself as you dodge the bat guano dropping from above, yeah, that’s not sand you’re walking on. I do love the absolute silence, serenity and solitude of caves and this was no exception. Completely unprepared I entered the darkness and realized my headlamp from Walmart sucks ass so now I’m down to my spare flashlight that decides it wants to flicker randomly so I’m walking with an 80’s strobe light. Being older and experienced and having common sense really sucks sometimes. I was having such a great time climbing over rocks and jumping across chasms in the dark. Dammit, why did I have to realize that being alone and jumping and climbing in the dark is a bad idea. This is one place where there is no one around to hear you scream. Finally at a 30 foot sheer drop I decided I should turn back so I never made it to the end. If only teenage me was there to peer pressure me to keep going…..

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