Being on the move in the summer can be fun, frustrating and hot. So far I have avoided the frustrating, but I am not able to avoid the fun and hot part.
The west this summer is experiencing extremely high temperatures earlier than usual. When I arrived in Southern Utah the third week of June it was already reaching the “100’s” in Fahrenheit. I was fortunate to be able to plug into shore power (using the electricity from my friend’s home). It gave me access to my air conditioner so I could be comfortable sleeping at night.
I have decided that Willis Carrier, the inventor of air conditioning really needs to be recognized and honored. God bless that man’s genius. I have been south and now am making my way back to the northwest. Everywhere I have been it has been “Hot”. Being in the low 90’s and the low 100’s has been common. And there is no rain in site.
I spent two days on Utah Lake south of Salt Lake City. It is a large, shallow fresh water lake. The state park campground is lovely. I secured a campsite next to the lake and enjoyed the beautiful sunsets each evening. I also was able to launch my kayak and kayak on the lake and up the Provo River.
What do I do when it is hot? How do I maintain my sweet little home on wheels in this heat?
- If I am active, I will either get up early or wait until later in the evening to be physical. Early morning kayaks or bike rides are a great time to see animals. This was even more important when I was traveling with Elsie.
- Siesta time is in the middle of the day. This is my time to read or work on the business of my life (balancing the checkbook, etc).
- I prepare my rig for the heat of summer or the cold of winter.
- Reflectix is my friend. Reflectix is a reflective insulation that looks like silver bubble wrap. It’s commonly used in attics as insulation. It reflects heat. I have a Reflectix type of material for each of my windows in the van. When it is going towards hot or cold, weatherwise, Reflectix goes in each window. It is amazing how much that will keep the interior cool.
- On hot days if I turn my Superfan on and with the windows shielded from the heat the temperature maintains at a very comfortable level.
- My awning is opened, allowing less direct sun to reach the RV.
- The back of the refrigerator is facing the outside of my van. I try to park the rig so the side of the van is shaded from the heat of the day. I am not always able to park it how I wish so creating a shade of awning to protect the refrigerator from the sun.
- After the heat of the day is over, I open the windows and doors and let the cooler air in.
- When all else fails it is time to visit friends or find a hotel room. I have never needed a hotel room. I am always thankful for my friends. They greet me with open arms and share what they can and it is always more than enough.
Now that I have the rig ready for the extremes, what do I do to enjoy the lazy days of summer? Summer is a time for fun and joy. I find it kayaking, biking, hiking and walking, and being with friends. Currently, I am in Boise, Idaho, staying with very good friends in an air-conditioned house. With the temperature above 100 degrees most days I am truly enjoying my situation. Steve tries to get Linda (his wife) and me to go for walks at all times of the day. He is not successful and has to wait until 8 pm or later to urge us out of the house.
Yesterday I took a 17.5 mile bike ride along the Greenbelt of the Boise River. I started at 8:30 am and was done by 10 am. The Greenbelt is one of my favorite bike rides. It is relatively flat and is shaded and cool in the early morning hours. The full length of the Greenbelt is 25+ miles. The majority of the ride follows the River. There are opportunities to see all kinds of wildlife, although I have only seen deer and ducks.
Continuing the trend of an active day, in the afternoon, Linda and I decided to tube the Boise River along with many, many others. After the first emersion, the water was comfortable. We drifted along the shallow river. It took us approximately three hours to float the 7.2-mile distance. There were a few tiny tiny rapids that still caused me to gasp as the water washed over us.
Biking in the cool of the day, rafting the river in the afternoon, and walking later in the evening are a few examples of how I choose to spend the warm summer days. As I continue my return to the Northwest I am sure that I will discover more ways to enjoy these warm days. Meanwhile, maybe I will pick up a good book or take a nap.
Yes, the living can be easy on these warm summer days.