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BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


Road Trip in 66 Chevy Van - 30 years ago!

VANagain
VANagain

Number of posts : 1020
Location : San Diego, CA
Age : 59
Registration date : 2008-05-16

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Post by VANagain Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:36 pm

It was 30 years ago today that I set out in my 1966 Chevy Van to see more of this world than the little bit of Minnesota where I'd spent the first 25 years of my life. When you live and travel in a vehicle it eventually gets a name. My faithful van was "Old Blue".

I kept a journal of, not just the sights and events, but my thoughts, observations, and other philosophical BS. Back then I wrote with a pen in a spiral notebook. I took photos with an old 30mm camera -- and not too many photos because the film and developing cost money! The only way to contact anyone back home was to call long distance on a payphone or put a letter in the mail. To get news you had to buy a newspaper or find a TV somewhere. It was truly a solitary endeavor. And it was dealing with this solitude, making my own decisions, and facing my fears on a regular basis that allowed me to grow and discover who I was. The other unique part of this experience was it wasn't a vacation; it was wandering with no destination and no timeline. This is a rare thing.

Road Trip in 66 Chevy Van - 30 years ago! Blog_e11

This trip was the best thing I ever did. Back then I could share bits of it with my friends and family by sending post cards or the occasional photos (those that were worth having duplicates made). I would draw cartoons and use a copy machine to make them into letterhead. Just think if I could somehow give my old self the ability to post ongoing updates on the Internet.

Presto! Thanks to modern technology I can do just that! You can follow along, day by day, as thoughts and pictures are posted (with just a 30 year delay). Start here, on the entry for July 23, 1984, the day I set out on my trip:

http://vanagain.travellerspoint.com/47/

You guys might just want to look at the van pictures -- and there will be a lot of them! Very Happy There are other entries from the months previous to this day as I prepared for my big trip (click Previous or Table of Contents). Subscribe so you can be notified as new entries appear on the day of each subsequent journal posting. Feel free to add comments (you don’t need to make an account).

Glad you can join me in this!
Joe Van
Joe Van
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Post by Joe Van Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:12 pm

"Very Cool" Thanks for sharing....It seems there was a Lot Less Stress and People were more open minded back then..Solid looking Van "Old Blue" was.. I Love that Blue 1st Gen Cartoon drawing also Great Job... Smile ..Gotta thank "Dad" for the Adventure.!!!..


_________________
1966 GMC Handivan  "Panel"....1975 Chevy Van G10 "Panel"....1991 Chevy Van G20 "Conversion"
VANagain
VANagain

Number of posts : 1020
Location : San Diego, CA
Age : 59
Registration date : 2008-05-16

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Post by VANagain Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:10 pm

Bought that van in Minnesota but the guy said it had come from Texas. It was very solid all the way around. I bought it in 84 and sold it in 94. Wow, it seems like I had it a lot longer than that. We went through a lot together and of course I regret ever selling it! I knew I would but everything was falling apart on it by that time and I thought a newer van was the way to go. I wanted to find somebody with a plot of land where I could just park it for a while. (Oh Vanish, if only I'd've known you back then!!) When I decided to get an old Chevy Van again (!), I got the DMV to do a search for mine and they showed it had been junked.  Sad 
VANagain
VANagain

Number of posts : 1020
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Post by VANagain Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:29 pm

I drew that cartoon of my van while I was traveling in it. And of course, framed it and hung it up inside! I had a really practical layout in the back. Someday I'll do a post on how that was set up. Click the photo to see a larger version.

Road Trip in 66 Chevy Van - 30 years ago! 1994_010
donivan65
donivan65
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Post by donivan65 Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:39 am

,,,so how long was this road trip,,,,,,,did you get farther than St Paul from Minneapolis????
Admin
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Post by Admin Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:17 pm

very cool! Very Happy
VANagain
VANagain

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Post by VANagain Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:03 pm

I'm not telling how long the trip went, Don. No spoilers! That was one of the coolest parts of this was it being so open-ended.
donivan65
donivan65
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Post by donivan65 Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:22 pm

It kind of seems like you were on the verge of a meltdown,,,,,,what led up to all this drama?   you surely don't act that way anymore.....
donivan65
donivan65
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Governor

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Post by donivan65 Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:46 am

...you know,,,,,,,I was in Minnesota in the late 80's,,,,,,by Ottertail Lake/ Perham.......




Road Trip in 66 Chevy Van - 30 years ago! Basswo10
VANagain
VANagain

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Post by VANagain Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:20 pm

Don, I guess things were just not going the way I wanted back then. My buddies and I were just drinking, working on cars, trying to meet girls, and struggling to make ends meet. I was this philosophical artist type and I figured there had to be more to life so I had to shake things up.

I'm glad to hear that I've grown a bit over that last 30 years! Sometimes it's easy to forget how far we've come. This road trip gave me a lot more confidence in myself. It literally and figuratively broadened my horizons. Instead of just following along with what everyone else was doing, I started taking my destiny in my own hands, making decisions for myself.

What were you doing in Minnesota back then? Putting miles on your relatively young van?!
donivan65
donivan65
Governor
Governor

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Post by donivan65 Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:36 pm

A lady friend at work moved back to Minnesota,,,,,It seems like her parents owned a small town called BassWood,,,she told me I could have the town if I moved up there,,,,,I drove up to see it,,,,,,
but I was not interested,,,,,,,I think I went to see some Turtle races in Perham......
mnghost
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Post by mnghost Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:06 pm

I wanted to go to CA from TN in the 70's. Was trying to go to school and put a V8 in my Econoline at the same time. Got the 289 in the van but ran out of time before going back to school. Never made the trip. Wish I had never passed on that.
No1rascal
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Post by No1rascal Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:23 am

Very cool story, I ended up reading the entire thing.
Thanks for posting it.

Scott
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Post by Admin Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:19 pm

I've got to find some time to read this all the way through... I started at the beginning, but then " life happened" and I haven't been able to go back. I certainly loved the beginning Very Happy and am looking forward to the rest of the "adventure"
VANagain
VANagain

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Post by VANagain Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:52 pm

Glad to hear that people are enjoying this. I'm sorry to say that I haven't posted any new entries in over a month! I hope to get it caught back up by Christmas time. There's a lot more to tell and I hope to get caught up to where I'm posting the entries on the same date they were written.
uante
uante

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Post by uante Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:01 am

Very interesting! It's great you chronicled it so well with the notes, letters, pictures and drawings...rarely people ever do that.
Rick's 66 Chevy Van
Rick's 66 Chevy Van

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Post by Rick's 66 Chevy Van Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:47 am

Hey man thank cool i would love too have that pic of the blue 66 chevy hanging n the van if you sell it or get one
AZ SuperVan
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Post by AZ SuperVan Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:21 pm

Great read! This could easily be a book if you took the time to embellish your writing with more detail from the trip and then your thoughts looking back, knowing what you know today.
diamond dave
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Post by diamond dave Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:32 pm

great story. ive got the link added to my favorites, and i'm in the process of reading all the posts.
bugeye bob
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Post by bugeye bob Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:51 pm

When i read about these adventures i kick myself for never doing it as it has always been in the back of my mind , now when i talk about camping i want to do the popup thing since i know the wife would never settle for camping in the A. her idea isn't even at popup level - more like 5th wheel level with big screen tv,ac , hot/cold showers.
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NorCalBrian

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Post by NorCalBrian Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:10 pm

Wow ! I really enjoyed all the entries detailing your adventures !! So funny, because the things you wrote of SF haven't changed in 30+ years Laughing Expense, people, parking etc. I hope there's more to the story. I felt like I really got to know you, and it was a wonderful snapshot of 1984. So honest, and I agree with the others, you should expand it into a book. You're a good writer, and your story really touched me. A recent trip I took down Hwy. 1 in a new rented Dodge Caravan from SF to LA, sleeping next to the ocean in Big Sur, got me back into vans and led me here. Thank you
Vantucky
Vantucky

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Post by Vantucky Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:06 pm

Rich!i feel like I know you now, when are you going to update the journal again? Cliffhanger in Texas still!
That or I'm using the inter web wrong and can't get past that one! Haha 🤓
Manycubes
Manycubes

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Post by Manycubes Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:19 am

Sweet! I bought my 74 Ford van in 1992 for the same reason you did and as you say, it was the best experience of my life!

Edit: Lol just realized this post is 7 years old.
VANagain
VANagain

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Post by VANagain Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:51 pm

OMG, it’s been that long?! That’s very unfair of me, leaving a cliffhanger hanging for so long! I do plan to post the rest of this. Jeez, at this rate it will be the road trip from 40 years ago!!

Rolling Eyes

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jrdunn96
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Post by jrdunn96 Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:07 am

Nice Vanagain!  I'd be afraid to write my "innermost thoughts".  Everybody would know what a "jerk" I am.  Think I'll just stick with reading yours.   Embarassed

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