I'm in the coolest place right now

So, I know this isn’t my best writing. It’s 5AM and I’m braindead. Sorry.

I was just starting to think I’d missed the road when I found it. I’d been driving north and everything was blurring into itself. The long stretches of snow and scrubby spruce can run together so that you can’t remember if it’s been five miles or fifty. You might check the clock to see how long it’s been, but the van is still in an undetermined time zone, or possibly no time zone at all. I’d misplaced the cell phone, which is my only clock, and was starting to feel oddly lost in time and space.

Then the road popped out at me, and I turned. The car behind me looked relieved to have me out of it’s way as it sped past (do you guys have totally imagined relationships with the cars behind/in front of you? I do).

On a little side road I pulled into a little bank of mailboxes and peed behind the van with Bro. One must always pee outside before venturing into houses. Otherwise you could be stuck peeing in this strange thing, and then you push a button and who knows where your pee goes. Bro totally agrees, and he even found a snowball for me to throw.

Further down the road I turned into Whole Wheat Radio
, which I think is one of the best inside-places in the world. I was expecting a cramped cabin with a radio station shoved in the loft, but it’s expanded since that. It’s a whole community center now. There are coffee pots and tables and wifi and even community laptops. There’s a big wall of CD’s, a whole kitchen (dishwasher, even!), and… well, a radio station.

Esther rearranged the strings on my dulcimer and showed me some amazing stuff. It changed my dulcimer world forever. We ate good food with Jim (who was on the radio the whole time), had good conversation, and then she showed me more chords. I’m so rich in chords and strumming patterns right now.

Somewhere in the middle of the chords my bladder got full. I was scared of the toilet, but I’ve also been recently admonished about peeing in peoples yards, so I asked about the bathroom, hoping it would be an outhouse. It’s not an outhouse, but Esther said I could pee outside. Either she’s read it on my blog, or I just look like a girl who doesn’t pee inside. 😆

They have a strip of paper that represents the history of the earth, and a million years is, like, an eighth of an inch. People are only a hair, but protozoa go way back.

The best part is… they left me here! I’m sitting here at five in the morning in an empty radio station using the wifi and the printer. When the computer freezes up, I just scoot down on the floor and practice my new chords for a while until things come back. It’s so cool to be able to do two things by just moving physically between them, and to be warm while doing them.


  1. “One must always pee outside before venturing into houses. Otherwise you could be stuck peeing in this strange thing, and then you push a button and who knows where your pee goes.”

    haha, i agree, kind of scary isn’t it?:)

    (long time reader, first time commenter)

  2. Enjoying your blog. I hope you are going south. Why would you stay in Alaska in the winter in a van?

    I was a full time RVer for 10 years, and I know why you would want to live in a van, but not in Alaska in the winter. That is beyond me.

    Not judging, just asking.


  3. Figured I’d stop by again and have a fresh look around. I still love reading about your adventures, and your travels- makes me a bit jealous that I’m stuck with a normal 9 to 5 five job, a side job for after hours from home, and bills up the wazoo.

    One day, I’ll be able to make some changes and live a bit more along your lifestyle. My biggest dream is to be able to travel and go where the wind blows me, but be comfortable enough to not worry so much of “what if.”

  4. Tamara! You’re alive out there! I missed ya.

    Kathy, I do it cause I love it. Best reason to do anything.

  5. You’ll likely be known for your creative prose about the industry that people are fascinated with (or scared of as I recently discovered).

    There are a lot of “free spirit” writers out here
    and a lot of us are writing our stripper stories. You are something different. You have a unique and authentic strength in your voice that is unparalleled. Your strength, that figures out what is wrong with your shelter, to get it moving and warm again. Your strength to find the wisdom in a drunk, sad, lonely old man gone predator in his drunken state. Your joy in living with nature. Your talent and ability to write it so we can dive in & feel welcome- it’s all a part of your rare strength.

    Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Hi! I’ve been lurking around reading your blog for a while & enjoy it on several levels. I agree with Kathy about living in a van in winter weather but I guess you are doing it so it must work for you.

    I love your attitude. You seem both tough yet willing to take chances and experience new things. Maybe living in Alaska helps? You know, it’s the last frontier and all that stuff. Certainly I think spending time in forests must be comforting. I find forests to be very soothing.

    It’s a great blog. Keep up the good work. 😀

  7. Hey Tara
    I keep forgetting to tell you that I love your blog and I check in often.

    Thanks for introducing Whole Wheat Radio. I wish I could listen to it all the time.

    Rock on,
    lindy the bus dweller

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