Yesterday we drove into Grand Teton National Park. The mountains were even more magnificent close up. We took a hike around beautiful Jenny Lake and sat on a dock on Jackson Lake. We were hoping to see a bear (not too close though) but didn’t see any. We did see a herd of bison. Before we left the park I was happy to get a shower at one of the park’s campgrounds because I really needed to wash my hair and shave my legs, which is a little hard to do in my van sink😬 The last time I washed my hair was in a creek at our campsite in South Dakota (with biodegradable soap) which was very refreshing. The campground showers are coin operated and $5 for 7 minutes whether you are staying at the campground or not. So worth it. We then stocked up on fresh fruit and veggies in Jackson since we are doing a raw veggie and fruit cleanse. We enjoyed a nice sunset at our campsite when we got back to our homes in the forest where we have a spacious front and back yard unlike the small campsites we saw in the park 🌳
There is a nice fresh water creek that flows next to our campsite that we decided to use to wash our clothes. Mostly we just rinsed out our clothes and I used natural biodegradable soap for some of my clothes. It is kind of neat knowing that nature provides for our needs. There was a couple across the lake that was fishing while we washed our clothes yesterday that probably thought we were odd but thats fine with me😁 I drove down the road to another pretty lake where I am receiving a good enough cell signal to go online to post this and to get some work done.
We are camping in Hot Springs, South Dakota on Angostura Reservoir which has free camping on the West side of the lake. The camping area even has fire pits and toilets (not that I will use the toilets since I heard there are a lot of flies in there). The only downside besides the flies in the area is the heat. I am going to jump in the lake to cool off after posting this. There are hot springs here but in this heat I prefer a cold lake. It is 95 degrees right now but it is supposed to get down to a cool 65 degrees tonight which will be nice for sitting around a campfire and sleeping. We are only in the area for a few days to explore Wind Cave National Park (hopefully caves=cool temperature) and Mt Rushmore and then we are headed to higher elevation to cool down. We do get excellent cell service and therefore internet here which is great for me to get some work done and update my blog 🌼
There wasn’t any free dispersed camping in the forest near Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado except down forest roads that we were told were very rough and required 4×4 vehicles and the campgrounds I called were booked. I have stealth parked (hiding that sleeping in my van) at many hotel parking lots so I know I can always rely on that for staying the night. However, at this one hotel I decided to ask the hotel clerk if we could pay to park overnight. After talking to her manager she said we could stay overnight in the parking lot for free since no available hotel rooms there. However, my boyfriend wanted to stay in a hotel room so we each paid for one night for the weekend at a different hotel that had availability. I don’t like wasting my money on a hotel and I prefer my comfy bed in my van to a hotel bed but I tried sleeping in the hotel bed last night. At 1am I still couldn’t get comfortable in the bed and gave up and went to my van to sleep. I am in my van bed right now to sleep again for the night. I told my boyfriend no more hotels for me, only hotel parking lots😁 I did enjoy watching movies in the hotel room and using the shower though but I would much rather stay the night in my comfy little home on wheels😊 Today we went into the park and walked around some beautiful lakes. Colorado is one beautiful state. I plan on coming back here every summer.
I am camping for free in the Pike National Forest about one hour outside of Denver, Colorado with about ten other people for a gathering someone posted on a forum for us nomads. Almost all of us travel full-time. Some of the people I am camping with I already knew and some I just met. I have a beautiful view of the mountains from the back windows of my van. I tried downloading a picture of the view but my cell service isn’t strong enough to download pictures. I am happy that I have cell service though since I need it for work. I may be here another week although the gathering is for two weeks. There are too many places I am excited to explore. My next destination may be Badlands National Park and Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota and then on to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks in Wyoming. I try not to plan too much though. One of the many benefits of this lifestyle is that I can just decide as I go as I don’t need hotel, campground or airline reservations. I usually just wake up one day and decide I want to move on and then just drive to a new destination. I can always find a spot to park my van in a forest, city street or parking lot, no reservations required 🚐