"For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it." ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Goodbye Old Friend

Adventure Van in action.
I have known this day was coming for a while now.  Adventure Van has been officially retired.  Initially we purchased Adventure Van to be Family Van, our children had outgrown the back seat of our Chevy Cavalier and we needed something bigger.  Family Van was great while it lasted but then the kids got older and could drive themselves places and we just didn't travel as a family unit as much.  It was around this time that Family Van became Adventure Van, no longer needed to haul around young people it was perfect for hauling around all of my gear.  It was Beth's daily driver, and she really didn't want it anymore but kept it so I could have a vehicle to transport my "toys" around (I really am lucky she agreed to marry me).  Over the past few years Adventure Van has had its share of problems but it has never let me down.  It has been loaded up with my mountain bike, road bike, kayak, camping gear, etc. and has performed admirably.

So why is it being retired? You ask.

My daughter Sarah who is afraid to drive decided to get her license.  She learned to drive in the van and was most comfortable driving it because sitting up higher gave her a better view of the traffic around her.  She also in an attempt to get over her fear of driving registered this semester to attend school at the Lewis and Clark campus in Godfrey.  When Beth had the van the schedule was always predictable and we could trade cars if I  needed the van during her working hours.  With Sarah driving the van and only the van it has created some real scheduling problems.  More than a couple times I have worked overtime taking the next day off planning on taking the kayak out for some paddling only to realize that I had no way to get it where I needed.  It has been possible to work things out but the writing was on the wall.  Adventure Van was no longer in service.  Thus began the search for a suitable replacement.

Adventure Truck at the ready.
Since I was out looking for an adventure vehicle I had a few criteria.

  1. Had to be a truck, or SUV with a hitch.
  2. 4WD winters are getting worse.
  3. Had to be able to haul all my gear.
  4. Price had to be right. I did not want to spend a fortune.
I searched the internet and found several likely candidates.  Slowly they were whittled down to one, "Adventure Truck".

Adventure Truck is a 2003 Chevy S10 ZR2 that met all of the above criteria.  After a few modifications it will be outfitted to haul the bikes and kayak.  The equipment I need to accomplish this is surprisingly affordable.  I found a ladder rack to carry the kayak (one of the reviews for this said "great for hauling my kayak"), and nashbar carries fork mounts  for the bike pretty cheap so I can pick everything up for a little over $100 which is way cheaper than say, a kayak specific rack by itself.

I am really looking forward to all of the adventures ahead, now that I have my own full time adventure vehicle.

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