to simplify 2.0    notes from a life on the open road

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Rare Breed

Pit stop in Kansas to make some vitamin D 
From LA early last week all the way up to tonight's final stop in southern Pennsylvania – well over 2500 miles of driving – I've yet to see another Vanagon out there. A fluke? Or are they already such a rare breed? 

A short visit with Greatness just outside Kansas City 
The spaceship has performed flawlessly, and the extensive interior modifications mark a huge improvement all the way around. There's nothing like getting out on the open road to put things to a real world test, and after a week and a half of running everything through its paces, I couldn't be happier with how it all turned out.

Hannibal, Missouri
Going on six nights in a row of Walmart "camping," which I'm pretty sure is a new record for me. Dyed-in-the-wool boondockers may scoff, perhaps rightly so, but this remains an awfully handy option when all you need is a hassle-free place to crash for the night in an unfamiliar town. It's a wonder that more big box retailers don't offer this convenience.

Zanesville, Ohio
Onward to my home state of New Jersey tomorrow, where it'll be nice to wake up the following morning and not drive.

Friday, April 22, 2016


Five days later, I'm almost halfway across the country. Not exactly "Cannonball Run" material, but real record-breaking stuff for this nomad.

Monday, April 18, 2016


It all came to me in a relative flash – five or ten minutes tops – way up in Wyoming early last September.

Earlier today in the Mojave Desert – not Wyoming
I had been casually toying with the idea of installing a hightop on the van for some time, and while camped one evening not far outside of Laramie, I tried visualizing the dream setup that a hightop would enable in a Vanagon. Cost and man-hours be damned, and taking into account all that I had learned from over two years of living out of the bed-lined goodness.