An east wind blew a rooster tail of dust off the dirt road a few miles a head of us in the Valley of the Gods. Oscillating between second and third, the Syncro kicked up its own kicking up its own cloud as we cruised down the washboarded road.
"I think thats a VW," I said, squinting at a red and white blob slowly emerging into view. "...looks like an old Westfalia." I directed towards Tim.
"Out here?" Tim reached for the binoculars laying on the center console and adjusted them into focus. "Yup, sure is."
Pulling the Syncro out of gear, we coasted down the slight hill towards the oncoming van. "I'm going to stop..."
"Of course you are."
Noticing a fellow VW van, the Westfalia followed suit and slowed to a stop.
"Nice ride!" I grinned, sticking my head out the window to give their van the once over.
"Like wise. Is that thing four wheel drive? A Syncro?" A man in his late 50s answered in a deluted English Accent, killing the engine mid sentence.
"Sure is, front and rear locking differentials too."
"And big mud tires! You've come to the right spot to use those," a chipper women of around the same age as the driver interjected over the rough chugging of the syncros engine.
"It looks like it," Tim replied, leaning over the center console. "How long have ya'll been traveling?"
Bases on a mutual connection with the road and life spent in a van, our conversations skipped the routine pleasantries. Our professions were never discussed. Instead we focused on the important things, like the logistics of boarder crossings in Central America, and van break downs.
In 2009, Wendi and Stephen left their home in Canada, and hit the road in a 1972 VW Westfalia. Two and a half years and 50000 miles later, their still at it. They've been to Panama. They've been to Kalamazoo. Their optimism and sense of adventure was contagious. Check out their blog for some of their stories and photos.
After half an hour of comparing stories from Baja, Nicaragua and tips for finding free places to camp, a stream of dust appeared on the horizon, signaling the arrival of another travel. Parked side by side, we blocked the road. As the pick outfitted with a large camper approached
"We should be going," Stephen looked at his watch.
"As should we,"
"Maybe our paths will cross again," Wendi yelled as Stephen reved up their air cooled engine and rumbled into first.
"I bet they will," I smiled.
With a quick set of honks, Wendi and Stephen's van set off.
"I hope I'm that alive and in love when I'm in my sixties," I said, watching their Westfalia crest the hill behind us.
"Meto. They have something figured out alright."
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