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“You fu**ing asshole!”

February 4, 2016

64 VWOf course, one of the kids took this picture from the back of our 1964 Volkswagen van.

I was driving at maybe 3:30 a.m., cursing at someone who had just about driven us off the narrow road.  The weather was good, but the car was covered with dust from the road.  P. is in the passenger seat.  We were way far north so it was light most of the night.

I wish you could have been there, not for the close brush with the borrow pit, but for the adventure of traveling north for almost a week, sleeping in the back of the van.  Not just riding and sleeping, but changing a flat with a spare that was in a box bolted to the roof.  In the box, along with the spare can of gas and most of the camping equipment.

We took off from Billings to drive to Alaska the day school was over for the summer because our teenagers were trouble-prone, up to devilment, for sure.  It was 1985, maybe or 1986.  I don’t remember.  It was early-June, for sure.

Our van was loaded with extras:  extra carburetor, extra generator/fan combo, extra distributor and coil.  All of the things one might need, plus the tool chest and container of hand cleaner.  And motor oil.  Lots of that.

A good thing too, because our motor blew up near Edmonton.  We bought a new engine, installed it, took it out, installed it, took it out, installed it, and we were on our way again.

We soon learned the best places to pull off the Alaska Highway for roadside adventure was at bridges.  That’s where we found Edith Creek, a paradise without anyone else’s tracks.  You could drink the water, go swimming and come out bright red and blue, or make a fire and hunker.  A great place to go for a break.

Funny how a blurry picture of the back of someone’s head can bring all of that to mind.

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