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10 Year Anniversary in the Van!

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Time flies!

The van’s gonna be thirty years old soon. My ’89 Ford Aerostar extended cargo-van was born at the St. Louis Assembly Plant in Hazelwood, Missouri. The plant opened in 1948 during the golden age of American manufacturing. Rocinante started it’s career as a working truck for a painting contractor. On a hot day you can still smell the paint. The painter was a gambler and the van was used to settle a gambling debt but the new owner was a drunk and banged it up a little bit. The next owner used it to take an auto body course and fixed it up pretty nice taking out the dents and putting on a fresh coat of paint. I named the van ‘Rocinante’ after Don Quixote’s horse. Rocinante is not only my van, but also my double: a little rusty, past its prime, and engaged in a task beyond its abilities.

 

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Bedrock City AZ

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The Flintstones gang invites you to spend an hour or the entire day with them at Bedrock City. We have an array of fun activities including our Theme Park and Gift Shop. While you’re here you can spend the night in our Campground & RV Park. Join Fred, Wilma, Barney, Betty, and all the Flintstone characters in a fun and entertaining adventure. LINK

Little guy got blown into a tree… he’s OK now…

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Once upon a time in the west, a man took a ride in a van…

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Once upon a time in the west a man took a ride in a van. Now everything Kaimee said to me about saving the world started making sense. I stopped by a Trading Post on the way out of town and asked the clerk, “Do you know anything about a guy going around playing the harmonica? He’s someone you’d remember. Instead of talking, he plays. And when he better play, he talks.”

The clerk laughed and said, “You oughta be in the movies. Check out Newspaper Rock on the way to Monument Valley. Maybe Harmonica left a message for ya there.”

cLiK for story




 

Mendocino CA, Montgomery Redwood Grove…

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Head to the heart of the Coast Range and step into the majesty of Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve. You’ll find a world rich in solitude, silence, and remarkable groves of coast redwoods. A 367.5-foot redwood at Montgomery Woods was once thought to be the tallest tree in the world.     cLiK for story

Ghost Town, USA

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We owe a lot of our ghost towns to the Gold Rush, when communities sprang up around lucrative mines and were abandoned, almost overnight, as soon as everything stopped being so lucrative. Others are casualties of the death of Route 66, or even still inhabited — but only by the final three or four people who refused to leave. cLiK for story

Stranded on Soldier Summit UT

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I didn’t need a weather forecast. The closer to the summit, the worse the storm became. It was a balmy 67 degrees just an hour ago when I left the valley. Figgered I’d get a room in town at the top of the pass. Turns out the place was a ghost town founded in the early 1900’s. The area was discovered in 1776 by Franciscan priests on their way to California. During the Civil War a group of soldiers got caught in a snow storm and some of them died and were buried there. That’s why it’s called Soldier Summit.

The storm really picked up and turned into a blizzard. There was one gas station in town but it was closed til morning so I parked there to sit it out. Checked my supplies: blankets, couple of sleeping bags, plenty of food, propane heater, some books to read, mp3 player… (gotta have tunes…) even a little weed and some beer… hahaa… all set.

It was snowing hard by the time it got dark with a wind chill factor below freezing. It got so cold the propane heater stopped working. Great… and I couldn’t cook either. Welp, trail mix and dark chocolate to kill the hunger pangs til morning. It’s freezing and icicles started forming on the inside of the top from condensation. When the batteries on my toys froze and there was nothing to do I tried playing guitar. Hahaa… but the tips of my fingers froze up too so that was out. Wrapped myself up like a mummy and chanted my favorite mantras to pass the time. I was tired of thinking, doesn’t seem to get me anywhere. I slept for about three hours. Kept waking up thinking it was sunrise.

Sunrise finally came but the gas station was still closed. There was no way in or out until the road was plowed. I’m gonna try to never do this again, sucks being cold. That’s how most peeps die outdoors, they freeze to death. Even in the sleeping bag it was freezing. My water froze so when I got thirsty I ate some snow. Sprinkled it with orange Tang or instant coffee depending on the mood.

The plow finally came through. I was just about to go pee and the plow buried the van in four feet of snow covering the side door. Hahaa… great… and the friggin’ door was frozen shut. Oh yeah… did I tell ya… I had to pee. Gave the side door a good shove and it opened to a wall of snow so I dug a small path and carved out a bathroom and peed there. The pee turned to ice before hitting the ground and looked like little yellow ice-cubes. Started laughing my ass off and someone yelled, “Are you alright in there?”

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