750k Miles

"Is that your van?" I asked the man sitting in a chair looking out towards the Channel Islands from a campsite in the Los Padres National Forest.  I already knew the answer.

"Sure is," the man said looking up from his book with an unidentifiable accent.

"Mind if I take a look? What year is she?"

"Of course not! She's a 66 and will love the attention."

Taking his cue,  I walked around the Westfalia, inspecting the heavily used, but well loved machine.  Rust dotted the pumper and window seems,  After years of heavy use and sun,  the original color had faded to a cream. Bottle caps bejeweled the engine bay.  Clearly this guy had spent some time with his van.

"How long have you owned this thing?"

"Thirty-five years," He said, keeping his head buried in his book.

Art deco touch.

Well decorated.

Home is where you pop it!

Vanlife is all about balance.

Well broken in.

Philipe has owned this van for last 35 years, rebuilt the engine on the side of highways, and changes the transmission ever 150k miles.  He has lived in it for the last 15.  To keep costs down,  he keeps his van parked in the same place for at least a week.  He knows a thing or two about vanlife.

After inspecting his van from top to bottom, chatting about the last year of my life and last thirty of his, I headed up the dirt road towards the trail head.

"Safe Travels."

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