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Author: Mike

Adventure in Wells, BC… ARTSWELLS

Adventure in Wells, BC… ARTSWELLS

After recharging in Vancouver spending some time with Mandie’s Dad and some friends we traveled North towards the picturesque town of Wells. The day was very hot and with the hills the van began to overheat which we retaliated with by cranking up the heat. Like an amazing late 80’s sauna. We spent the night a couple hours past Hope at a turn out on the edge of the Fraser River.

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It was a good sleep, but turned into a hot morning as the sun beat down on the van, soon again we were on the road.

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Along the way we stopped in Clinton BC which had a terrific coffee shop where I spoke to a man about his fantastic Japanese acoustic, Mandie also met a friend and fellow antique’s collector. We said our goodbyes and continued on our way towards wells in the blazing heat. We made one more stop in a town for supplies, water and some sandwiches before making the last stretch to Wells. We watched the sunrise in the rear view mirrors as we crested the big hill.

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Finally we reached our destination and turned the Vantasy into the RV camping and popped the top, exhausted we fell fast asleep.. zzz. The next morning we made a hasty breakfast as we both had volunteer shifts to head to and walked up towards the info center to get our badges and information. I was sent off to the kitchens in a few hours to serve some people delicious grub and Mandie was working the Kid’s Tent and the volunteer check in.

I headed back to camp as she started her shift. The van was in fine form and I jammed out a bit as I waited for my shift to start.

My first shift was rad, met some sweet people and many piled in for the delicious brownies I was serving. Being the brownie guy had it’s perks. Mostly brownies.

Mandie met up with me after her shift and we headed to see some shows together at the community hall.

We decided to document the rest of the trip with polaroids from Mandie’s new vintage camera. Ha ha.

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We met up with friends from Vancouver the next day who camped next to us and made up a bit of a camp crew. Also met some rad neighbors from Calgary who had some pretty sweet costumes including onesies. Later that day we saw them with a crowd of onesie wearers hugging strangers and dancing in fine animal form.

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The shows were awesome, a few favorites Rusty Ford, a hilarious country western singer with a comedic flare. Mandie saw Jeff Bernum and raved about his political commentary by accordion jams. We both went and saw Rae Spoon as well and it inspired me to get back into my synth music. It’s something I did awhile ago and would love to get back into with the right gear. Maybe when we are back on Salty.

Also upon arrival we had the pleasant surprise of a slow leak in the tire which then resulted in a flat.

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We waited till the last day to deal with it and lovely humans from the festival came and gave us a hand with the spare. It seemed to be harder to find someone who didn’t want to help. I even when to talk to someone about borrowing a jack, they didn’t have one but offered me a coffee in a mug which I took back to Mandie trying out the jack on the van.

This festival is filled with so many helpful humans.

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Last day photos in Wells before we took a friend Taka to Barkerville before headed to Williams Lake to stay with some of Mandie’s friends from Squamish.

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Saw mhy first ground squirrel, was able to get pretty close to this guy.

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Barkerville is an interesting town, I wish we were able to see some of the concerts in the church there. The town had burnt down in the 60s and was re-built, tried a pickled sausage, pretty good.

The Magic of Fairy LakeĀ 

The Magic of Fairy LakeĀ 

We left Salt Spring Thursday with all our belongings in tow including my 8-year old sheltie, Scarlet and set out to Port Renfrew making few stops along the way for drinks and groceries.

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Arriving to the campground in the pitch black and a few min before it closed, lucky us.

Mandie parked the van and setup camp and we both hunkered down for the night, but not before I was able to create the world’s best fire to provide heat and ambiance for my lady and my trusty hound.

Scarlet even attempted to help with chopping the wood.

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We spent a few days here checking out the lake and basking in our new found freedom. Now realizing enjoying that freedom is a lot harder than we thought.

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Both of us are use to waking early and commuting to our 9-5 jobs, though Mandie’s 10 minute drive down a mountain road walled with trees, birds and deer seems like a vacation compared to my 2 hour human walled bus ride to Burnaby and back again in the evening. Besides that it’s time, how do we manage time?
So use to having to do things both of us felt a little alien in our new schedule.
Coffee in the morning, breakfast, clean up and then…?

Basically we both had to get a bit creative.
It’s going to be interesting these next few months.

It rained everyday but helped with my allergies which have been plaguing me days earlier (probably due to packing) and the gorgeous grass field’s at our soon to be house on Salt Spring.

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Though it’s no small wonder why people flock to British Columbia, the trees here are ancient and the air is so fresh, makes me think I never want to live in a city again.

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Onto the next adventure.

-Mike

The Vantasy

The Vantasy

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Here it begins.

September 2015, I put the keys in the ignition for the first time, hear the familiar rumble and warmth of the engine. I drive her around the block, butterflies in my stomach the whole time.
Baby I’m home.

Years before, I’m sitting in the living room of my childhood home, talking to my parent’s about my dream, owning a Volkswagon Westfalia.

My Father looks at me with a cocked eyebrow and shakes his head at me…
“So my almost 30 year old daughter is going to buy a van and live down by a –river?”

With wild excitement in my eyes I respond, “Hopefully I can be so lucky! Man, could you imagine waking up in the morning to the sounds of a rushing river, rolling over rocks, splashing on the feet of crossing deer and rushing through the gills of the returning salmon fighting their way against the river’s powerf—Dad?”

He’s walked away halfway through my inspired rant.

I started out young, duct taping my Barbie Dreamhouse to the top of her pink corvette, so she could take her band out on the road and never have to come back. The horizon was the destination in my mind, a creamsicle sun setting onto a dusty road, a westy casting a shadow on the ground as it drove, trying to keep up with the setting sun. Speed maxing out at 80km/hour as long as the road was flat.
Go little westy, go.

Here I am behind the wheel, what is the first thing I do? I drive to a friend’s house in Vancouver to spend the night in my van. I drive down the wooded suburban road in North Vancouver, trees looming over me like quiet giants, slowly swaying in the cool fall air. I pull up to the house, put the van in park at honk the horn numerous times, feeling quite triumphant.

Robbie peeks his head out and I set up the ‘living room’, chairs swivel, couch made, lantern on, I’m ready for company. He brings down his brother’s dog Sandy (and my former roommate) I invite them in. We listen to some tunes, have a few beers, then Robbie reminds me of where I am. I’m on Riverside Drive.
Next to us the Seymour River is roaring, pushing water down to the estuary and eventually the Georgia Straight.

I am in a van, down by the river.

Stop for Coffee.. what a van!

Stop for Coffee.. what a van!

Owner stopped at the store for a coffee and video’s his van and we’re thankful to get a nice view of such a great machine. He must have put a lot of work into this one however it’s to the point I think where it actually takes away from the van itself. You should appreciate the van for what it is without having to ‘pimp’ it out but it’s really the owners decision.

Rebuilding a Westy

Rebuilding a Westy

I especially enjoyed this video of a man rebuilding his 80 year old fathers Westy with care. He went over the body repairing all the dents not having to deal with any rust issues luckily since they lived in a dry part of the US. He goes on to show how the applied to paint and at the very end shows off a beautiful white with blue strips Westfalia. I really like that color scheme and to be honest it’s the first I’ve seen like it as mostly the van is one solid color.

The 71′ VW Dream Camper

The 71′ VW Dream Camper

I LOVE this camper.. so clean! Usually campers have bright colors but this is nice and plain.. I mean it’s a camper after all and you just want it to go traveling but then again showing off is alright to ;)

07 Bus Show

07 Bus Show

Great collection of Vans from this 2007 Bus Show. I would love to take part in one of these shows however I have yet had the chance to buy a van but I’ve created this site because I love them and hope to one day own one!