Man, don't even know where to begin... I'm still trying to process everything, still working through the cobwebs in my head. My whole body is still vibrating a little bit from the drive, you know, like after you get off a ride at the amusement park? Yea, like that.
Clocked a little under 1800 miles, sort of took it easy on the way down, to get a feel for the van and what it was comfortable doing. I'd never even had it on the freeway but for one time, very briefly. It's been my daily driver for a long time now but where I live there's no need to go very far, very fast, work is only about a minute and thirty seconds from my house. Worked out a few issues during the trip, dialed in the air/fuel, timing, fixed an oil leak, little things like that. The ride home was a different matter all together, it had proven itself seaworthy so we ran wide open at 75-80 the whole way... uphill. I can't believe how amazing it did, never a complaint, it just kept on pushing through, whatever I asked, it did. Made me fall in love all-over again!
The whole trip was just insane, super bummed to have rolled in a bit late for the show and didn't get to meet everyone that I wanted to, but those that I did get to meet really made up for it.
Chase... man thank you for organizing this and getting me off my ass. From what I hear, you knocked it out of the park! Thank you for all your hard work getting this off the ground. It was awesome to finally meet you in person. You and the Creeps are super cool guys and I totally wish we could have hung out more. Glad we got to chill a little after the show though, and the interview, thank you for that and all your kind words. I can tell you're one of the good guys without a doubt, and I'm so looking forward to getting back down there as soon as possible. (Oh, and I'll be hooking up the 8track player here in a couple days with a party hat on! :) Thanks a ton man!
Jay... what can I say? I'm absolutely honored for the invite to join! I know I said it a million times but seriously, it made it for me. I'm so stoked you hung out and waited for us, even at the risk of being in deep shit, you hung in there. And thank you for having us over to your place, It was great to hang out for a while and also to meet your awesome lady, she seemed so into all this, it was rad. I'm still trying to take in all the cool shit you have and do. I'm absolutely humbled by your talent and creativity. Thank you so much for everything man!
And to Andrew and the rest of the Vandoleros I missed. I apologize for nerding too hard and not making it in time to meet you guys. I suck, I know. But I'm for sure shooting for a spring visit, so we'll have to get something together for that. I figure I'll wait until about 2 weeks before to decide I need to get a different rig together! :)
Baja Charlie... you find the coolest stuff man! I really appreciate you letting the snack-tray go, it made the trip home a lot more pleasant for real, though Lane kept trying to steal the middle drink holder that actually holds modern sized beverage containers! And thank you for letting me have that package sent to your place. Call anytime brother!
Turkey... thank you for all your kind words, and the post on the CZ blog, too rad. And man, I can't believe how dialed your econo is! Like I was saying to you, I kept seeing little snippets of it here and there and was really looking forward to seeing it in person... that shit blew me away! You should be seriously proud of that man, no joke. It was awesome to meet you, can't wait to get together again.
Tom... you're insane man! Wish I could have hung out with you for like a week, picked your brain and listened to stories from the old days. I couldn't get to close to your van for fear of getting it dirty or scratching it or something! I look forward to getting to spend more time with you at future events.
and to Tiki Bob... your email this morning blew me away! Thank you for your kind words. I'm very sad I didn't get to meet you in person. I feel... well, I can't even describe how I feel... you made my day today, thank you so much and I look forward to getting to sit down with you one day soon and learn from you!
and finally... Lane... don't know how I would have made it without you! Thanks for putting up with me and my neuroses, and for driving that last stretch while I nerded out. You're a good friend and have one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know. So glad you were able to make the trek with me. I'll race you next time!
So much cool shit happened on this trip, so many awesome people, so many awesome miles, but honestly the coolest part of all was just being in my van, that I poured my heart and soul (and a little blood) into. To be living the life, clocking the miles, rocking CCR almost the whole way... there's nothing greater.
I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat... and I will.
I can't thank everyone involved enough... keep on keepin' on brothers!