It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nearly 3 years since I wrote about my trip to the 38th National Truck-In—my first run as a bona fide van owner.
Since then, I’ve been to four more van runs—once to Lost Memorial Day Weekend in upstate New York, twice to Summerset in Gratz, Pennsylvania, and a full-on multi-day road trip to the 39th National Truck-In in Old Washington, Ohio.
Some, like the Nationals, were massive events, crammed full of outlandish vans and even crazier people. Others were much smaller, more local affairs. In every case, I had a great time and met some amazing new people. Now, when I show up at a run, I know there will be at least a few people that I know there, and a lot more vehicles that I’ve come to recognize. The old-timers talk about van runs like they’re family reunions, and it really is true. You start to see some of the same people, check in on them, find out what they’ve done to their vehicles, and what new toys they’ve acquired. You find out who is new to the scene and—unfortunately—sometimes you find out who has fallen sick or died. But despite the occasional heartbreak, there’s always a real sense of community, of running away for a little while to reconnect with the other, more relaxing, secret life we all enjoy together.
So what’s the problem?
As a vanner, absolutely nothing.
But as a blogger… sometimes it’s just hard to keep up with it all.
Everything that makes me love the vanning lifestyle—the driving, the relaxation, the parties, and yes, the enormous amounts of alcohol—also makes me terrible at writing about it. When I’m at a run, I like to feel like I’m leaving my day-to-day world behind. I like to turn off my phone, cover up the clock on the dashboard, and let myself get caught up in the slow, lazy, sometimes half-assed dimension that is “vanner time”. All my usual obligations disappear, and I lose myself in the flow of the event… even if that just means passing out and napping in the back on Saturday afternoon.
It’s a great feeling— but not the kind of mindset makes me want to stop and document every single thing that happens. Add to that the gallons of beer and blender drinks (and whatever the hell goes into that bucket) that I ingest in the course of a long vanning weekend and, well, let’s just say that sometimes my powers of recollection get a little bit fuzzy.
Yeah, I know. There are much worse problems to have. But all that said, I’m going to document more of my van-related experiences on here—if for no other reason than to keep Beth from “Don’t Come Knockin'” on my good side.
In the coming months, I’ll try to share some random anecdotes and photos from past runs, as I remember them.
And, going forward, as I head out to my third Lost Memorial Day run this weekend, I’ll attempt to post something about it. Even if it’s just a few blurry photos and some nonsense scrawled on an empty beer case.
See you at Lost!