Day 147 | The Inevitability of Winter

August 3, 2017

Today was downright chilly. Which is simultaneously a relief and a little scary.
It’s a relief because the heat has been wearing at us and the cooler temperature felt really good! But it’s also a scary reminder that winter is on its way. By the time September runs out we will probably need to leave South Dakota for somewhere warmer.

Just thinking of winter sends stress hormones pumping through our veins. We’re assuming we’ll probably head back to New Mexico or Nevada, but no set up is going to provide the kind of stability we have here on the ranch.

If we camp on BLM land we’ll have to move every two weeks, haul water and invest in more solar panels to power our bed heaters. Maybe we’d be lucky enough to find a good campground with hookups but a lot of campgrounds are closed for the winter. Besides, it would bring our expenses up a lot to have to pay for campgrounds.

And what if even Nevada and New Mexico get unbearably cold on some nights? What would we do then? Would we be able to find a hotel I could tolerate? How long could we afford staying in a hotel anyway? Would we have to get passports and head into Mexico?

These are the thoughts and questions that we’re trying not to worry about. But the colder weather has definitely brought them to the forefront of our minds.

I just wish we could find a good indoor living situation and stay here where things are finally starting to feel familiar. But I don’t know that I’m really ready for that and I really don’t want to slow down my body’s healing process. It’s making such quick progress!

One thing is for sure, it’s going to be really hard to willingly thrust ourselves back into the world of bouncing from place to place and sleeping on the side of the road. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that.

By the way, Brett and I made a beautiful PDF of my favorite resources for suffering souls. I created the content and he made it look fancy with his superduper graphic design skills. It’s available for free to my email subscribers. Click here to sign up and receive 5 Resources for the Suffering Soul.

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  • Leslie

    Boy do I hear you! I’d hoped to have been on the road about now, but it will be at least a month more and then my wandering options are far more limited.
    Can you add any more charge-from-the-engine batteries to your van? That would give you more heating options. Perhaps you can do half-hotel, half-van: Perhaps Brett could sleep inside so that you are a bit less stir-crazy with not being able to be outside much, but more importantly you/he would have access to non-frozen water. I agree, though, that it is expensive and risky — and it takes quite a bit of time to figure out where good hotels might be. Check out YouTube videos of how people manage to RV in the cold.
    I think getting passports is a good idea even if you don’t have plans to leave the country. Why limit yourselves?
    BTW, I created my avatar as a reminder of a wonderful and exciting time participating in a YouTube live stream broadcasting an erupting Icelandic volcano . Every now-and-then we would do virtual “waves” by posting this emoticon and see how many followed suit. I always loved it when we got a screen-full of them.

    August 6, 2017 at 4:57 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Leslie! I’m sorry your in a similar boat. There’s no easy solution but I know we’ll come up with something. We have a bit of time.

      August 7, 2017 at 1:33 pm Reply
  • Erik Johnson

    First thing I did in 1986 after crawling out to my camper and realizing I felt much better out there, was install a heater.
    A Dometic propane RV forced air furnace.

    I can remember sitting in it, looking out through the falling snow over at Dr. Cheneys office.
    “How many more like me before doctors look into this? A dozen? A few hundred? Perhaps thousands?”

    I had no idea they never intended to.

    The propane heater was great. The only option that gave clean fume-free heat without being hooked up to an electrical supply.

    August 6, 2017 at 5:13 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Hmm… this sounds promising!

      August 7, 2017 at 1:34 pm Reply
  • Karen

    Ana- not sure if you have considered the eastern Sierra area and I don’t know about how it would fit your health needs, but Bishop, CA stays relatively warm during the winter and there is wilderness camping that is quite close to town. God Bless.

    August 6, 2017 at 8:04 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks for the suggestions Karen. I’ll look into that. Sounds like it might be a possibility.

      August 7, 2017 at 1:34 pm Reply
  • Karen

    I wanted to also say that I would be concerned for your safety if you headed across the border to camp. Please be careful if you should decide on that location. God Bless.

    August 6, 2017 at 8:17 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Yes… I was only half serious… 👍🏻

      August 7, 2017 at 1:35 pm Reply
  • James

    You may be able to find another ranch to stay on in a warmer climate. If you found one I would think you could find another. Have you tried reaching out to people through your church? Perhaps the larger denominational networks? People might have relatives or friends in other states (who normally wouldn’t think of renting a space) who could benefit from a little extra income in exchange for a place for you to park on private land. Also perhaps at some point you could build a tiny house. This is a wonderful tiny house blog by a woman who lives comfortably in a place that can get very cold (Wyoming).

    August 6, 2017 at 10:41 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      Thanks James! That would be wonderful if we could find another ranch. I think we will at least try. And yes! We’d love to build a tiny house or cabin someday! That’s just not in the budget for this year unfortunately.

      August 7, 2017 at 1:37 pm Reply
  • Jonathan Burchard

    Come to Australia. It will be summer. 🙂

    August 7, 2017 at 11:59 pm Reply
    • Ana Harris

      I wish! 😊

      August 8, 2017 at 10:00 am Reply
  • Chris

    We have contacts in the Belen area of New Mexico, which is just south of Albuquerque. They are wonderful Christian people and would certainly provide you with ideas and help. If you need to contact them, just let us know. God will provide!! I have no doubt. He has done this so far, and will continue to!!!!!!!

    August 11, 2017 at 8:08 am Reply
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