Yesterday Sarah and I had a quiet day In Fargo, North Dakota. A couple of days of every month are set aside for catching up on chores, repairs, and simply preparing for the next leg of travel. They are usually a nice break from the typical van life routine and help to make the rest of the trip more efficient and organized. Heres what this kind of day looks like.
7:15am – The sun wakes me up around this time every morning. I usually stay put until it becomes uncomfortably hot inside the van. Not having a job is great.
8:00am – Time to get up. The last few days have been pretty hectic with a lot of travel so its time for an organizing day.
8:30am – Arrive at a coin laundry. It’s been about a week since the last time Sarah and I did laundry. Plus the heat is making our dirty clothes stink. Gross.
8:45am – Clothes are in the washers. Sarah and I eat bowls of Special K in the laundromat for breakfast. This probably looks a little odd to people who don’t know our situation, but no one makes us feel awkward for it. Midwesterners are so nice.
9:15am – Clothes go in the dryer. I use Wi-Fi from the laundromat to check out things to do in Minneapolis and Chicago, our next big stops.
10:30am – Arrive at the shopping mall in Fargo. I have two weddings to go to in Connecticut and so far I have nothing to wear. I hate shopping for clothes, plus finding a pair of 31/32 pants is borderline impossible. I have to remind myself that it’s got to be done sooner or later.
11:50am – Walk out of the mall with a suit, wondering where it’s going to go in an already stuffed van. I’ll probably have to rearrange some stuff later.
11:55am – According to the directory, there is a Roger Maris Museum in the mall. That’s an unusual place for a museum, but I have to check it out. Sarah tells me that she’s going to shop instead which is fine. It’s nice to split up for a few hours every now and then.
12:00pm – Roger Maris, native son of Fargo who hit 61 home runs for the New York Yankees in 1961. The museum is really just a few display cases with photographs, home run balls, and his old sports uniforms from high school. Maris is an underrated ballplayer. If it weren’t for modern day steroid use, he’d still hold the single season HR record.
12:30pm – Sarah is still shopping so I walk across the street to a Barnes & Noble.
1:30pm – Somewhere in the history section I’m reading a book about the Lewis and Clark expedition. It’s doubly intriguing since I’ve just driven a similar route across the former Louisiana Territory. I’ve found myself reading more now that television isn’t an option.
3:30pm – I meet up with Sarah back at the van. She’s wearing a mischievous smile and I can see 3 full shopping bags tucked away in the back of the van.
4:00 – We stop at a Wells Fargo bank so I can get a print out of my credit card statement. I’m terrified of checking my bank statement on public Wi-Fi. It’s been exactly 2 months since we left for this road trip and my spending rate is right where it should be.
4:20 – Sarah and I head to a Planet Fitness. Its still hot outside and an air-conditioned workout sounds good.
6:20 – Hop in the shower. This is the real reason we stop at Planet Fitness whenever we come across one. A shower, shave, and a change of clothes has me feeling like a new man.
6:45pm – Stop at a Panara for dinner. It’s hard to cook in the city and we’ve already eaten sandwiches once today.
7:30pm – Minor problem with the van; The seatbelt alarm, that annoying ding-ding-ding, won’t go off even though we are buckled in. A quick Google search walks us through how to disconnect the alarm. Thank God for smart phones.
7:50pm – Cross over from North Dakota into Minnesota. Sarah and I want a place to swim tomorrow and what better place than the Land of 10,000 Lakes?
9:00pm – Arrive at Walmart, our standard urban camping destination. It’s open 24 hours with a bathroom and anything else we could ever need inside.
9:30pm – Picking up a few supplies. We’re running low on fruit, ice, and need batteries for our window fan.
10:15pm – Time for sleep. A loud freight train rolls past several times during the night but I don’t mind. You get used to things like that.