It is one of those moments in a persons life that you wait for. A 4000 mile trip in a vintage microbus. This time it was a 1969 VW Westy. I had purchased it a few months ago from the original owner. It took some work and the week before departure, I put over 30 hours planning, and tinkering with it. She is running tremendously, or so I thought.

Planning

Included 3 area: Packing, Mapping and coordinating a few client trips with it.

The Map
October 2007 Road Trip

The original plan was to head across the Trans Canada from Sault Saint Marie to Boise then down to Colorado and across to Minneapolis and home. Then, after some thought about it, the route changed slightly to get to Denver directly then head north to the Bad Lands, and Regina SK and across to Winnepeg and down to Minneapolis, and home…

This was going to be a working trip. I have clients in Boise, Denver and the Twin Cities, so if I was able to bill my trip correctly, I would be able to pay for much of the trip.

To get packing I had assembled quite a list. My 77 camper was already set up for shorter trips nearby, but since the restoration, everything was placed in large plastic containers and put in the barn. Now I have to get re-organized.

Packing

The packing is broken into three categories: Sleeping, Eating and Business. The sleeping part is easy, good sleeping bag, pillow, headphones, shortwave radio, books, reading light, daub kit, travel clothes, jackets and extra shoes. Eating would require different kits than from the 77 as it already has a stove. I took 1 pan, 1 pot, 2 plates, 2 bowls, 2 glasses, 1 presspot, 1 tea pressmug, silverware, soap, rag, wash bin. The food, besides the various teas and coffee, would be purchased every few days while on the road.

The business travel items would be stored on the top of the bus. This list would include my computer, client files, 2 suits, 4 dress shirts, dress shoes, my business daub kit, ties, and separate socks and underwear. I can usually stay out for more than 10 business days with this set up.

My Dog
Polar's ExpressPolar was acquired from a 40 year Bernese Mountain Dog breeder in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. His sister is a best in opposite sex national show winner in 2005. Polar is shy, so shy that when I went with John and Martha to get him, he kept wanting to hide under the bed. He is very gentle, and protective. He would do anything for me, and I appreciate him.

Polar was to come with me on the trip. This was a requirement of Lynda. She likes our other Berner, Oscar, but Polar will follow her around all day. That drives her nuts.

Packing for Polar was easy: Food, leash, bowls, toy, done.

Departure

I was set. The plan was to head out on Thursday September 27. First stop: Quad Cities.

My view of Iowa

Iowa

This is where things began to fall apart. First, truck drivers are complete and through assholes in Iowa along I 80. Fast, pushy and driving like they want to be some place else. As I passed the point where Iowa City is to the North, the Iowa / Nebraska football game has let out. This means many many cars zooming by. So the decision is made to get behind a semi and just drive easy.

The Problem

Just about the Armada Colonies, the problems start.