• Chuck Bronson

3 years of Full time Van life.

It’s been about 3 years that I’ve been living in this little metal can.

The best 3.

I was so miserable before I moved into this little metal can. My apartment was becoming inundated with trash. The floor only visible on the path to the fridge, the bathroom and the door.

I started looking into tiny homes, then I started looking even smaller. Then smaller. Now I live in a retired cable company service van.

I saw the 2017 solar eclipse in totally. The sun was completely blocked out with nothing but the ghostly corona visible beyond the backlit silhouette of the moon. The air went cold, the birds returned to their nests, the sky darkened. Simultaneous yelling broke out which seemed to stretch across the entire town of Madras Oregon. A place I hadn’t heard of til immediately before heading there to witness the spectacle. From an auto parts store parking lot I found myself in the middle of the most surreal and primal experiences of my life.

I was in Chicago when the cubs won the world series, sitting in a pizzeria eating a deep dish and drinking a beer. I was there for the whole series and the better part of the playoffs. Missouri was murmuring during conference finals. Chicago herself went into complete lockdown during the World series. The streets were deserted during the games. Occasionally bars would spill out during commercial breaks for frantic cigarettes and text messages. However for the most part my dog and I had free rein of the streets of Chicago.

Then they won. My god. Immediately the table of deaf people near me began wailing the sound they thought screaming was. Work had stopped long ago except for refilling beer. The employees began pouring for themselves. I went outside and there was nothing but noise. Car alarms, trampling feet, sirens, helicopters, yelling and screaming, honking cars, doors flapping and slamming, foley stage artists would be thrown into conniptions. Fireworks, gun shots, I think I heard every noise there is to hear except the mating call of a Madagascar bull weevil. The raucous carried on hours into the next days sunlight.

If you’ve never driven through the Colorado rockies you’re robbing yourself of one of the greatest blessing you can ever give your eyes. The fact that natives and explorers came upon the rockies and had the audacity to put the sheer visual splendor behind them and venture on for something presumably better perplexes me to no end. Quartz laden crags glimmer in sun unobstructed by the thick gooey atmosphere that the low landers have become accustomed too.

On several occasions driving through the rocky mountains I had to pull over because I was shedding tears at how unbelievably beautiful and majestic the environment is. Once parked, I wept inside my metal can, looking through a bug spattered windshield in awe and amazement of the fact, that the universe decided my eyes were worthy of receiving the light reflected off the glorious scapes. Mountains, trees, lakes, rivers, flowers, wildlife, ensemble together in such ways that could turn atheists, devout. A thousand poets couldn’t come up with the words to describe the Colorado rockies in any manner to them justice.

From the most beautiful environment Ive ever seen in the natural world, to the ugliest environment created by man. Skid Row Los Angeles, is a zombie movie. Animated copses wandering to and fro. Shuffling towards any sign of life. Driving through skid row will change your view of humanity for the worse. They’re all on drugs down there, crack, heroin, meth. Most of them are clinically insane in some form or another. Schizophrenics with addictions, and nobody is helping them. Living in alleys, on sidewalks, with no sanitation. No compassion. Walking dead. Colorado almost made me believe in the divine. There is no divinity in Skid Row.

I dug myself out of a mud hole in a dirt mountain road. Too far out for cell phone signals or walking to town. Just me, my hands, mud, and my van.

I learned how to make friends with adults.

I performed stand up comedy naked.

one time a lost herd of cattle wandered into my campsite and I was awakened by the sounds of dozens of confused moo’s.

I’ve seen lot lizards skitter too and fro doing the rounds at truck stops.

bears, bald eagles, deer, scorpions, osprey,

I even saw a western bobalink, which is apparently a big deal in the birders world.

I went to the First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis, Its absolutely hated by the community yet the community is absolutely ravaged by meth, and opioids. The Cannabis church exists in an old christian church where gay conversion “therapy” occurred. The current cannabis administrators told me that former victims of the “therapy” were raped in a closet in the basement. The closet now, is used to store mint condition in box batman toys that a parishioner donated posthumously. Which is slowly sold to finance church expenses.

Travel is different in a van, immersed in the environment. I don’t know where this road goes, but I know I’m going with it.


Recent Posts

See All