camper van

When I woke up this morning, the first thought that went through my head was, Hey! My back doesn’t hurt! So, three weeks after the last night I slept on a futon mattress in the back of a minivan, I’m finally showing signs of getting over it.

Kids: Go ahead and sleep in a minivan. I’m just an old fart with a hollowed-out back. You’ll be fine.

While I’m thinking about it, here’s another reason a minivan’s no good for old people to sleep in: We go for a pee when our bladders tell us to, not when we want to, so I could count on having to wriggle out of the van at least once a night, but more often two or three times, to schlep down the road to the toilets.

This was not always a bad thing. The night we camped near Mount Shasta, for instance, the weather was very mild and the sky was so clear that I could see the Milky Way arching across the sky from horizon to horizon, and stopped in the road to take a good, long look.

But for the most part, trying to squirm out of the narrow space between the bed and the roof, feeling for the door latch in the dark, then slinking my feet down to the floor to try to find my shoes with my toes, while simultaneously trying to keep my bladder clenched tight, was not what I’d call conducive to a pleasant camping experience. I’m tempted to say that sleeping on the ground in a tent would’ve been preferable, but it’s been so long since I’ve done that that it’s probably not true.

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