Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 15 : Mar/Apr 2007  > Columns  >  Backseat Beers


By Troll

Backseat Beers


Whether on the beach or in the mountains, my little “love bug” a Mitsubishi Delica, is my shelter from the storm. I travel around without a care in the world as to where I’ll lay my head come nightfall.
Being deaf, the advent of e-mail and the ability to confirm reservations by computer have made things much easier. However, in the past I had to rely on others to make reservations over the phone, and deposits had to be mailed out in advance. Should a traffic jam or wrong turn cause me to run late, there was no way to contact the lodge owners, save for running into a koban (police box) and asking the policeman to make a call.    

Perhaps this troublesome process was what caused me to revert to backseat sleepovers. Easy on the wallet, crashing in the car also allows one to avoid any strict rules imposed by lodge owners and provides the freedom to come and go as you please. Folding down the back seat creates a double space with a plastic-covered insulated floor below, perfect for storing skis, muddy boots and any bags you don’t mind getting a little dirty. The top section has a silver mat over the flooring with my favorite Pendleton blanket laid out across it. There are curtains on the windows and towel hangers at the ready. With a cooler, water tank, boombox and supply of non-perishables, I’m ready to go.

On a cold and lonely winter’s night, it’s good to have candles on hand. A small candle’s flickering dance warms the body and soul better than any lantern or million-dollar lamp. This set-up is perfect for having friends over for a nightcap, as well. Fellow skiers bumble in through the back and we “converse” in my notebook by candlelight while enjoying some local delights. Eventually the windows fog up as things heat up inside, and the orange light encompasses the interior. Four in the cab can get a little stuffy, beers can get knocked from the small table and down jackets can get holes burnt in them from the candles.

Maybe that’s the real draw of backseat beers?