24 Hrs w/ The Truck- Any Regrets?
I wake up early to buy the truck from the owner, Scott Strange, at the Swartz Bay ferry terminal. It's pouring rain and the truck sits alone in a parking lot with smoke flowing out of the chimney. I knock on the door and crawl inside to join Scott and his dog in the back. Big rain drops tap on the aluminum roof and the fire crackles as he teaches me about the wiring and battery set up. I jump in the driver seat and nervously put her into gear. I've driven bigger and boxier things (like a food truck along Highway 1) but that wasn't fun either. We get on the highway and I realize, hey it's not so bad! I'm nervously laughing and driving WAY under the speed limit, but I'm doing it. I awkwardly park the truck, fill up the gas tank ($120, ouch) and drive through a small downtown area.
Okay good, I don't mind driving something this size. Phew. I do want to install a back-up cam ASAP though.
Papers signed, money exchanged, hugs given, and the truck is officially mine. I cautiously drive the truck onto the ferry where I'm sandwiched between the other commercial trucks. I can't help but call my mom and brother to share my excitement. Once I arrive on my island, I drive home to park her where she'll sit for a few months getting renovated.
I'm too tired to set up my bed so I turn off the lights, say goodnight, and leave her until tomorrow.
The sun hasn't even risen but I'm so excited I can't sleep. I make a chai tea and head up to the truck. My first day in the truck is spent feeling out the space, drawing floor plans, playing ukelele, and keeping the wood stove going. I dig around and see what treasures have been left behind like Coltrane cassette tapes, dirty dishes, a selfie-stick, and eagle feathers. I burn some sage and give a blessing of gratitude. I love that I can fully stand up in the truck, and even stretch my arms completely over my head which means I'm feeling that #yogainspo
I'm in love.
I wash the dirty dishes left behind and take some pictures of the space. My friend helps me change the spark plugs after showing me how to take the engine cover off. I'm excited to learn about the engine, which is a very good thing. She's in decent condition but with 100,000 miles I know things will come up.
I have another fire, do a few more drawings, and set up my sleeping area. Scott was a dirty man with a dirty dog, but I don't mind the mess. I see it as unlimited potential for improvement!
I set a mason jar on the back of the stove to reheat the tea inside. I immediately wonder if this is a good idea and decide to Google it. Before the answer loads, sizzling tea is boiling off the stove and the bottom of the glass jar has melted off. Wow. Dangerous.
I realize that I'll have to sell my desktop for a laptop, as the energy demands are beyond what I'll have access to with limited solar and battery power. I will always smell like a camp fire, and so will everything I own. In the event of a fancy outing, I'd like to have a clean smoke-free outfit but this may be futile (I'll let you know). It feels like home, but in a novel "I'm camping!" kind of way. To feel fully comfortable, I really want to have a proper kitchen with water and propane, some sort of compost potty, and a warm shower set up. There is plenty of room for all of these things, and I plan to make it happen before leaving Canada in the coming months.
I get the truck nice and warm before crawling into bed with my 12-volt electricity manual. I look out the foggy window and see the moon peaking above the tree line.
I'm in heaven.
I wake up in the middle of the night and decide to pee in a jar to avoid the rain. I don’t position myself quite right and realize all too late that I’ve peed on my rug instead. I scold myself like a puppy and have a laugh. The rug is rubbish anyway.
And it’s all part of the learning process.
I've been dreaming of this for over a year, yet I'm totally nervous to have poured all of my money into something I know so little about. I'm grateful to all the people in my life that will help me succeed in this venture. But I'm also excited about all the things I get to learn in the coming months. I enjoy challenging myself and conquering fears- it's how we grow.
So 24 hrs with the truck and absolutely no regrets. Only bigger dreams.