Go Man Van Gogh

Get thee behind me.

The Fourth of July holiday weekend is upon us, we are urged to park our bad selves at home, and here comes The New York Times to torment us with an article headlined “The #Vanlife Business Is Booming.”

Because of course it is. If you have a few hundred thou’ burning a hole in your skinny jeans, that is.

The hoi polloi may find the Mercedes Metris conversion more their style (or the lack thereof, ho ho ho). You can get one of those for under a hundred large.

Or you can just knucklehead it on the cheap. Throw a surplus pup tent, a Coleman bag, and an Igloo full of PBR and weenies into the Wagoneer, break down a gate at some national forest, and shoot the ol’ AK until you can’t hear the voices in your head anymore.

Anyone tells you to knock it off, or asks where your face mask’s at, tell the sumbitch he’s gonna wish he was wearing a catcher’s mask and give ’im the butt in the beezer.

Murka, baybee! USA! USA! USA! Land of the Free*!

* Some restrictions may apply.

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18 Responses to “Go Man Van Gogh”

  1. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Man you be old conjuring up Wagoneers. They are worth a lot now however when they get refurbished especially if wood side panels. It is laughable that people “get away” from Covid 19 only to pack themselves into campsites and mingle freely with others. Michigan State park campsites in the most popular zones are literally like old fashioned trailer parks with zero privacy.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The Typhoid Mary Memorial RV Park, hey? No, thanks, I lived in a trailer park next to the railroad tracks in Greeley while in college back in 1974. Whenever anybody rolled over in bed, s/he woke all the rest of us up.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    100k is pretty steep for even the hoi polloi. And my distaste for the so called progressive NY Times grows by the day with these advertisements for conspicuous consumption. Kinda reinforces my theory that the Grey Lady has a limited clientele.

    Back in graduate school, I used to love to toss the two person tent, lightweight sleeping bag and foam pad, a lightweight stove, and assorted food and other stuff in my backpack and head up to the Adirondacks or head to the canoe rentals at Algonquin Park or Kipawa Preserve in Canada for some serious R and R. In Algonquin, you were pretty much seeing a few people a day. In the Kipawa, you could go a week without seeing a soul. I wonder what they are like today.

    Unfortunately, my usual camping mates are no longer available. My high school best friend Kevin died suddenly of some sort of pancreatic cancer a few years ago. Kevin’s parents were from Ottawa and he knew those lakes like the back of his hand. First wife whatshername was the girl equivalent of an Eagle Scout, but abandoned ship for greener pastures while I was slaving away in my advisor’s lab getting those damn advanced degrees.

    Never had a rich man’s camping van. Sigh. I feel so deprived.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I haven’t done honest-to-Muir camping in a month of Sundays. That would’ve been when Hal and his wife, Herself and I, and a few of the Bear Basin buckaroos wound our way up the North Taylor drainage in the Sangres near Weirdcliffe to “enjoy” a night in the rain below the wreckage of an old B-25 on Rito Alto Peak.

      The hike was made considerably easier by Hal’s burros, who did most of the “backpacking.”

      Ever since then it’s been car/truck camping, with my tent stays mostly confined to McDowell Mountain Regional Park outside Fountain Hills, Ariz., which is to wilderness camping as a 1978 Toyota Chinook is to an Airstream Interstate 19.

      • khal spencer Says:

        Last time Herself, Version II, and I did honest to Muir camping was on the windward side of Oahu up at Malaekahana Beach in the ironwoods. Still had my Eastern Mountain Sport backpacking tent in those days. Gosh, I’d love to relive that.

    • Dale Says:

      A friend of mine owns an RV the size of a Greyhound. It saves him hotel costs when he travels, he sez.

      I figure the beast cost at least 300k less trade in on the lot. I can live out the rest of my life travelin’ for a lot less.

  3. Shawn busy digging the bunker... in the Gorge Says:

    Yes, it is time to wander off into the wilderness for 3 or 4 weeks. I know just the place but I ain’t telling. But life’s responsibilities as they are will keep me burrowed away in the old cabin for a while.

    Van? 100k? No, no ,no. By an old truck with a camper shell and then invest the rest in mouthwash stock… Proctor & Gamble , Unilever, Chungchows dietary supplement and fertilizer factory, etc.. Folks are gonna get tired of smelling their own breath. Besides, all the places for parking that high dollar pup tent are going to be few and close together.

    But then again, a double-decker London bus sure would make a neat getaway vehicle. Just mind the over-hanging tree branches.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The fleet.

      I miss my 1983 Toyota SR5 longbed. The one with 2WD and the aluminum topper (the red one in the middle). A fella could travel fast, light and cheap in that thing. That 22R engine was the shit.

      O, for the glory days when I had three Toyota trucks.

      • Shawn still digging it in the Gorge Says:

        I had both a 2WD and a 4WD Nissan frontier body trucks. I wasn’t necessarily a Nissan person, they just happened to be the good deals that I ran into – All the Toyotas had already been purchased by more crafty buyers than I. Although I enjoyed the higher ground clearance of the 4WD truck, most of the time I ran it in 2WD. Both trucks I had owned in Alaska and I was able to drive both trucks around in the winter reasonably well. Although the 2WD got better mileage by a couple of mpg, the benefit of the gas savings wasn’t enough to justify not getting the 4WD. So when I get another one, it will either be a slightly raised 2WD (to stock 4WD height), or another 4WD. Hmmm…? Come to think of it, I also owned a Datsun 2wd pickup one time. I forgot about that one.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          My first truck was a 1974 Datsun 2WD, which I drove until I bought the ’83 2WD Toyota new (one of the three new vehicles I’ve owned; everything else I bought used). The Datsun was fun, but the Toy was even more so, and more reliable, too.

          Strange that I never bought a motorcycle or a VW van. I missed out there, if only on a few injuries, a lot of visits to the mechanic, and p’raps an early death.

          • Pat O'Brien Says:

            You haven’t lived unless you have owned a older Harley or Triumph murdercycle. They make your old F-150 seem like a R22 powered Toyota in comparison. Especially that 1966 Triumph Bonneville I had for about 6 months. Traded it for a used 1966 Yamaha Catalina and never looked back.

          • khal spencer Says:

            Good friend of mine in college had a mid sixties BSA 650cc single carb twin. That’s as close as I got to a British bike. My old man had a Honda 450 for a while until he traded it for a BMW and that Honda was supposed to be the Japanese answer to the British 650’s but on a budget. So when I had a chance to get a used one I jumped at the opportunity.

            Given my lack of experience on road motorcycles as a nineteen year old, and the fact that I was often running hi test in my bloodstream as well as in the bike, its amazing I didn’t kill myself. But back in the seventies there were far fewer cars to crash into in Upstate NY.

            Gee, this looks like my old bike.

          • Shawn - Hoping for no evening fires in the Gorge Says:

            I always said I was going to buy me a nice motorcycle when my legs got tired. Well they aren’t tired yet. But I seriously considered picking up one when a neighbor down the hill from me was selling a used BMW – I believe it was an R version.

            I remember my Uncle running around on an old Honda CB.

  4. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Go to Mt. Rushmore and watch orange julius light off over $350K worth of taxpayer money. Mask? You don’t need no stinkin’ mash. I heard they are going to have a laser projection of the dumpster right next to Lincoln. Then you would need a mash to keep the puke from hitting your shoes.

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