So seeing that empty parking spot was definitely one of the worst, most hollow and incredulous moments of my life. When the realization hit that it was true, and it was gone, feh. Just gutted. Oh. Worst thing that ever happened to me.
What do you do? What CAN you do?
We were just sick.
I’m going to gloss over this whole period right here, say the whole month of August. Just know it was dark and we had some horrible, horrible times. It fucking sucked hard. I thought almost obsessively then about writing about it, about gettin’ the blog back together, ’cause it was a really visceral, wrenching, black, horrible but ultimately interesting experience to go through and chronicling those first days and weeks would no doubt have been a good record and a healthy mental exercise to boot but holy hell there’s no way I could bear the anguish of writing about it at the time. I can’t really think about it even yet.
But you know, we kept our shit together right from square one. Within a couple hours of literally losing everything, we had contacted police, insurance, people who needed to know. We took care of each other and were safe and snugged down in a nice hotel, planning our next steps, and prioritizing our needs.
We were around Denver for a few days, limping and sad, not really knowing exactly how to start moving forward. Our insurance company provided us with a rental car (which Hertz upgraded to a snazzy VAN!, bless them), and we promptly moved on in, like the dirtbags we are . . .
Tom dubbed this our “Home away from Home”(less)
We thought, Let’s hang around Colorado for a while, because they’ll find our truck in the next week or two. We thought, Let’s just gather some minimal camping things and head out to the woods/mountains/solitude/usual places we hang out. We thought, Let’s just live in the van for a little while and it’ll be better.
So we headed up to a fine dispersed site we know around Leadville and thought we’d be there (in a van, down by the river, yay!) for a while. We thought wrong.
We spent one of our worst days there, in poor weather, huddled in and around the van, miserable, wallowing, mourning and crying. All we could think about was the home we should be in, our lost mobile paradise.
This wasn’t going to work.
So we made the first of a number of very good decisions. We decided to get the hell OUT of Colorado and get moving. Some very dear friends had extended an offer to open up their home to us in San Jose, CA and for many, many reasons we chose to accept. The day after our lousy Leadville camp I wrote them the following, which is a pretty much sums up my then-current state of mind:
Welp, things are pretty shitty here in ‘Our’land at the moment, but we are beginning to be able to think about recovery. We’ve got a sweet minivan 🚐 for the next few weeks, provided by Hertz — who set us UP! — and paid for by our insurance. We spent yesterday driving around Denver and putting together a nice little camping kit from Walmart and thrift stores for a couple hundred bucks and then got the fuck out of there and are now chillin like the homeless people we are, living in a van up in the mountains around Leadville.
We are gutted, desolate and miserable, but we are also happy, laughing and optimistic about our new future. What shape that future is going to take is really incomprehensible to us at the moment and falls anywhere and everywhere between rebuilding a better vehicular home to loading up backpacks with what few things we have and hitting the international road — we just don’t yet know. We are 100% continuing with our nomadic existence, though, however that looks.
We can’t yet really plan much beyond the next day or so because everything is raw and fresh and painful and horrible and unknown, but that all gets a little better every day. So we both know nothing at all, but I wanted to let you know that we are thinking of taking you up on your generous lovely wonderful offer and maybe we’ll come and stay with you guys for a while (not too long!) sometime in the next few weeks. Again, we don’t know when or even IF we are going to do that, but I thought I’d let you know that seeking temporary shelter from this fucking storm ☔️ with ((our friends)) has come in highest on our list of short term plans.
So, just so you know, you MAY wake up one morning and find some dirty fucking homeless people on your doorstep.
Nothing much is going to happen with us for at least the next week or two, but we will obviously keep in touch and let you know where our path is leading. It might be to y’all!
I can’t thank you enough for providing the possibility of a place for us to lick our wounds and recover. It is soothing to know there’s somewhere maybe to go.
[Insert awesome statement of friendship here]
Thusly, we drove from Leadville to Reno to San Jose, where I now sit on the couch, kinda starting to get over it.
This is a greatly condensed and simplified version of the actual truthy events, but you know. More to come!