Professor Vanlife

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Professor Vanlife

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In the summer of 2021, I accepted an adjunct job at a college back East. Rather than spend half the salary on rent and in order to socially distance from others, I fixed up a Toyota Sienna minivan so I could live in it for the summer. This was the first trip I had taken since the late winter of 2020. On the drive out from California, I stopped to climb a mountain in Wyoming and had the trail to the summit mostly to myself. Here's what I wrote about it on Facebook: "View of Laramie Peak (elev. 10,275) in present day Wyoming, an important landmark on the Oregon Trail. For those emigrants not from Appalachia or northern New England, it was the first really big mountain they’d ever seen and it loomed in front of them for several days as they approached it from the plains. Mark Twain passed by here in 1861 and recollected later, speaking about the mountain in the third person: 'Looming vast and solitary -- a deep, dark, rich indigo blue in hue, so portentously did the old colossus frown under his beetling brows of storm-cloud. He was thirty or forty miles away, in reality, but he only seemed removed a little beyond the low ridge at our right.'"

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This item was submitted on January 31, 2023 by Tom Zoellner using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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