Sunday, September 11, 2022

I did it!

I finally did it! One sweet night of camping with my Van! It was a "trial run" and all in all, I did pretty good.



I've named her BERTHA! She is old but very sturdy.

I had my trial run at my sister's house about 30 miles from me. She lives on a beautiful 5 acres, with some trees and views of the mountains in the Cascade Range of Oregon. She even has a hookup for electricity! It was perfect for my test run.







I haven't really touched the Van since my  husband passed last September. I still have a dream to do some camping with her... so I decided it was time to get her cleaned out, fixed up, freshened up and reorganized. I found my curtains and put them back up, made up my bed (to make it as cozy as possible), and packed a new tub with stuff I thought I might need, even if for only one night!

I moved in an old sewing cabinet with two drawers, and put it at the head of my bed, to place a little lamp on, my phone, etc. The drawers were to come in very handy!




Once I started the cleanup, I was more enthused about taking a little trip... but I first wanted to do a test run! I HAD driven it a few times over the last year, just to make sure it was mechanically sound, and it did well on the highway.

Here I am at my sister's, the last weekend of August, and the weather was perfect! It was the ONE day that wasn't 100 degrees or more! And the night temperature went down to a nice cool 48!


See that little step stool? Sure makes it easier to get in and out!








Since it was too dry to have a fire, my sister and I sat out by the firepit in the evening, and gazed into my candle!!! 

Next time I will bring more candles, as it's just not the same not being able to have a little fire for roasting marshmellows.  I'm looking into buying  a small propane firepit.. never knew they existed until recently!

And now I know what needs to be tweaked.... most especially, my bed was WAY TOO HARD. It's a new 4" foam mattress but was as hard as a brick. I'll need to remedy that before the next trip! And I couldn't find a few things, so need to get more organized. I would love to put in another little set of drawers to use.

Until next time Bertha!

~Marilyn~




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18 comments:

  1. Marilyn I’m so proud of you. The first step is always the hardest. Glad you managed a fresh start at your sisters before the fires started in earnest and the smoke was too heavy. Maybe those wheels will even find there way to SW Washington. Keep it up null be looking for posts about your new adventures here.

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    1. Hi Patti! Yes I felt pretty good that I did that! Trouble is.. right now with gas prices so high I don't go too far! I'm doing a few more tweaks, and she's at the ready when I feel the need to take off again! This time maybe a little further away! xoxo Marilyn

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  2. This is great! so much fun for you to get out the van and drive off for an adventure. Even just the fun of visiting your sister this way. We have a Honda Van and my husband uses it for week long trips for biking and such. He uses an 8 inch thick memory foam that he loves except he could use only 6 inch and have more head room. He also has a porta potty. I use that any time of the year when we are out for the day or I am off on my bike here and have no clean facility at the parking lot. It really is easy to clean and so convenient. He did buy black out window coverings that specifically fit all the windows as most campgrounds are so lit up all night long. Please let us see any other trips you take and have loads of fun.

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    1. Lynn..... that is neat you have a Van also! That 8" foam mattress sounds great! I'm going to get a 2" foam pad to put on top and hopefully that will add a little "give" and softness. Maybe you can get out too in that Van for an adventure! I LOVE my porta potty and so glad I have it! Very easy to empty and clean.. and you put little tablets in and there is no odor or anything! A miracle! I too want to get the blackout coverings.. that will come as I can afford it. I'll post any other trips I take! Marilyn

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  3. How wonderful to make that first step and be so successful. I know you are going to enjoy Bertha once again. Hoping all the memories with your late husband will be wonderful to think about and now you can make new memories. You go girl. You are doing so well. xoxo Kris

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    1. Thank you Kris. I do wish hubby and I could have had more memories for me to keep inside me... we had planned last summer to take a couple of Van trips, but never got to it unfortunately. I AM trying to keep on with life.. and trying to make some new memories to cherish and look back on. Hugs... Marilyn

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  4. Oh, this looks like so much fun! I'm so happy that you took this first step, and like Kris said it was so successful. I love the photos of you with that beautiful smile. You're an amazing woman, my friend. Go out and get more candles, a softer bed, and a few more drawers. ;) Hugs!

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    1. Nancy, that's what I'm doing as I write! Heading to the store for more foam padding... and more candles.. and looking into a little propane fire pit! I didn't know they existed but they do and look so real, some of them. Just right for roasting some marshmallows! I'm still doing some tweaking... readying for a next trip! Hugs.. Marilyn

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  5. I know that you already shared these photos and your story will me, but I love seeing them again and delighted that you made a post about your trip. These are the things that inspire us all to get out and enjoy life and to be brave and take adventures, especially when we are holding back with the fear of doing it alone. Of course it is always best to have a partner, swimming, boating and camping should never be done alone in my opinion. Dear friend I do hope we can still get together and have a camp out. Wish there weren't so many miles between us. We'll just have to get all the tweaking done, so that the trip it's self won't feel risky . . . then hit the road for fun and adventure. By the way, your sister has a lovely place, I love that the deer showed up to visit while you were there.
    You have truly turned your van into a cozy little camping cabin, I love it :)

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    1. Thank you so much Connie! You inspire me more with your words! I do wish we lived closer! I keep checking on my phone for the miles between us, wishing it was closer. It may still be a possibility to meet at that state park by Maryhill on the Columbia River... if the weather holds for a couple of more months! I do love my little "cabin" now! Just need a few more things to make it even more comfy. It does feel good to take some risks as far as doing things alone... I think camping alone is OK if in a campground where there are other people in RVs.. they are among some of the nicest people I've met! I'm also looking into a propane fire pit for a little (allowed) fire for roasting marshmallows and hotdogs! Take care my dear friend! Marilyn

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  6. Hi Marilyn. I was so happy to see this post. I have thought about you and all the work you and your hubby did getting "Bertha" up and running so I am so happy to see that you took the plunge and took her out on the road. It must have been a hard undertaking at first, but it looks like you enjoyed it and it turned out well. You are so brave to me. With Jerry out of commission, it was a giant thing for me to just empty the garbage..Happy Fall, my friend..xxoJudy

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    1. Judy.. yes it was quite an undertaking to get myself "out there". I'm glad I did it.. but still leary of going anywhere further, or to an actual campground by myself! In this day and age.. I just don't know if I should, though I do want to. I really did enjoy it. I wish I would have done it sooner.. as now getting almost too late to go on another venture. October is good, but I am busy through most of the month! And then the nights start getting cold.... we'll see how it goes. xoxo Marilyn

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  7. Marilyn, you are an amazing woman! What a wonderful adventure you had with Bertha! We use a comfort pad in our RV as well, and it makes a huge difference. Another fun camping must-have that I found is on Amazon, - solar string lights! It is amazing! You can be anywhere camping (we bush camp, without electricity or water) and so these solar lights are so helpful. I can email you the link if you are Interested. It is so fun to light up your campsite at night. Your setup is wonderful, and you are ready for some fun adventures, and I am thinking that we need to plan a visit up here to see me! We have hookups, and it would be so much fun! I am praying for you on the anniversary of the loss of Mac. My thoughts and prayers were with you yesterday. Love you so much dear friend!

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    1. Marilyn.... I just love to camp so much... and my hubby and I never hardly ever did it. I thought I should do it while I still can! Bertha was great. I wish she was a bit newer as I worry about taking her out on the road too far.. though hubby did take her to Montana! and also to southern Oregon! She seems to run fine. I would love the link for those solar lights. That would be so pretty at night.. not being able to have a fire and all. I'm looking into a propane "firepit"... so could still have a little kind of realistic fire. It would be amazing to come up there and "camp"!!! I love your area so much. Maybe it can be in the works in 2023! And thank you for the prayers for Mac.. it was a tough few days before the anniversary. You are so sweet! Hugs.. Marilyn J.

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  8. Good for your for taking Bertha out on your own! Glad it was a successful first trial!

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    1. Thank you Amy. I too am glad it worked out OK.. and that I had a chance to get into the Van and clean her out and give a little update here and there. There is still more I want to do to make her more homey and cozy. Take care.. Marilyn

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