Our Sleeping Situation

Casper Mattress, Rumpl, & Pendleton

Photos and Text by Gale Straub

Any given evening:

It’s grown dark after a day of stopping and starting. We’ve tested our altitude acclimation with a new hike – straight up towards the blue sky. To the left and right, skinny fire-damaged trees shot out in all directions. Having strained and sweat out miles, it’s tempting to find a motel or a pricey campground nearby. The promise of our bed in the little home we have made is strong, though. We push on and out of the National Park to find another National Forest to call our backyard.

Until this van trip, I had never owned a good bed. Sleep has always come easily to me and so I have taken advantage with cheap mattresses and bedding. In my old apartment, I called myself low-maintenance. Looking back, I now see that I just didn’t know any better.

For the van, my bedmate insisted on comfort. He knew that we would want our van to feel like home. That we needed to be excited to jump into bed every night, especially if the prospect of a shower or other facilities beckoned. For a year on the road, we didn’t want the chore of putting our bed together each night, folding down seats or popping tops. Only a real mattress would suffice, and when we had to opportunity to outfit the van with a Casper, we jumped on it.

While traveling, we’ve been offered spare beds and futons from friends and declined – that’s telling. The Casper is both the perfect initiation into the grownup world of having a good bed and an awesome van sleep. I’ve ridden in the back while en route and the memory foam absorbs bumps in the road. We can’t hear if one or the other gets up in the night. Our sleep is lush and unlike what anyone would expect from van living. Complete with a Rumpl comforter and Pendleton blanket, we’ve already pleasantly slept in below-freezing conditions. I can easily say that my van bed is the nicest I have ever owned.

In short – our sleeping situation is (suddenly) home.


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