Months in the planning, weeks in the preparation, days in the waiting and now hours before the happening. Tomorrow marks the start of a very unusual trip. It will include things I am very familiar with as well as things I am very UNfamiliar with. I plan to do the trip in my own version of the retirement hippie van. How I remember those old VW vans. There was a time that being seen in a VW van quietly screamed the independence we stood for as young people....perhaps traveling the highways of America to find new homes as we strove to find ourselves....no...DEFINE ourselves! We "crashed" in make shift beds made from the seats. 8 track tape players filling our minds with new sounds, new words and new philosophies. We camped in empty parking lots and rest stops. Our ice chests perhaps filled with beer or wine now cool enough to use in the hookah before we told stories and fell asleep. Well....leave it to VW to keep the dreams of a generation alive.....of course with the help of Winnebago.
The van now still transports us to new and previous unseen locales. But....the "crash pad" has morphed into a double bed with headboard. The 8 track now is an electrical marvel with 400 stations that beam in our sounds, our music...our business and political headlines. Our overnight stops now are professionally landscaped asphalt camelots complete with 50 amp hook up to keep all the TVs broadcasting as your meal is being prepared in the microwave. The ice chest has turned into a twin door refrigerator complete with ice maker. The hookah may still be the same....or it may not.
What will be the familiar is all the camera equipment and computers to capture, document and preserve the images I will be photographing. Everything else is unfamiliar. Motorhomes and camping were not words in my family. I went back five generations on both sides of my family tree and could not find any relative who drove anything larger than a three model year old Cadillac Sedan deVille. All the vacation photos seemed to have pools, cabanas and multi story buildings on sandy beaches. And to the best of my knowledge, not any of my relatives had a toilet in any of their vehicles that needed to be dumped, cleaned, odorized or maintained. To my family, "roughing it" was staying at a hotel without room service.
So....like a kid waiting for Christmas morning to finally get here, I am excited to see the morning come. Route 66 and the American Southwest call me....and my cousin. She wants me to make it out to her neck of the US. We haven't seen each other in a long time. I love her but I wonder if she just want to see "that part of the family" who has one of those cars with the toilet in it. I can tell already it's going to be an interesting trip!!