Weston: Selling a dream

What are you selling when you’re selling a notoriously unreliable, unpredictable vehicle?

A dream

 

In 2007 we had the conversation: We need a vehicle that we can live in while we tour for a year with my film Seeing through the Fence and our band Beloved Binge. Something we can take into the city but also camp in. What better than a classic VW camper van? We, like many we’ve come to meet over the years, were fascinated with the Westfalia.

The top “pops”!

Weston, reflecting

 

The kitchen cooks!

A rare occurrence, Rob at the cast iron, creating tofu scramble

The chair swivels for the mustachioed man!

Best place to read the New York Times

 

Room for our gear in back, with room to spare in the cab, or fit in the cab!

For short distances, we loaded up the cab

Our neighbor at the time helped us test drive and fix the van when we bought it in North Carolina. Another neighbor took our tour photo above. The next step was a name for the new member of our family. Between Greco the lady cat, Syba the dog, Tercy my car, and myself, there were sufficient females in our family, and this Westfalia camper van is a “he,” Rob declared.

In September 2008, we set off for our almost year-long tour.

Go Westy Go!

Spoiler alert: we broke down about four times.

The following are classic breakdowns from that and subsequent trips.

oops — just a few adjustments.

Thought we heard something in the back … thanks fellow freeway driver for getting our attention to this matter

Our first flat; Rob, tire changer; I, photojournalist

You know you’re in good hands when you roll up for a repair and Weston’s twin is at the mechanic’s house (right)

 

A fire crew rushed over and provided the wedges you see on Weston’s front foot as a safety precaution when they saw Rob under the van on a hill

Triple A is your friend. Here, Weston hitched a 100+ mile ride to Bozeman after hanging out on the on-ramp for a few hours

But thank goodness for sites like Samba, GoWesty, and the network of VW enthusiasts who offer (for free) a place for you to park/camp while they help you get your VW repaired.

Weston is Running happy dance by the Oregon coast

 

How many miles does Weston have? It’s not polite to ask after a certain age/odometer reading. Let’s just say: Weston has been around

Open Road

Or, more accurately, his odometer has never worked during our watch. Weston is eternal.

Weston is like time … no end but changing

Weston on the inside. We drove him into the venue we played in Texas, Super Happy Funland. Indeed!

Tight and mysterious alley load-ins? Not a problem.

Even when waiting for repairs over holiday weekends, Weston could find the best shops with stellar views. This one was in 2017 in Bozeman, MT.

Weston (& Syba); Patriots

One of the best things about traveling across the US were the small town museums.  The Oz museum, Wamego, KS

Weston at Yellowstone

A buffalo, yonder

Moss landing

Big Sur. An idyllic place to camp until you find the (used) toilet paper among the weeds.

Rest stop camping; free and easy. Beware: passerby will peak in your van and want to talk while you’re cooking pancakes in the morning.

Weston’s older cousin at Slab City.

Don’t worry, boo, we’re coming back!

Weston can carry bikes, too

How is Weston’s gas mileage?

Gassy

He’s no Prius. Let’s just say our plant-based diet slightly offset our journey.

 

Weston is not a fair-weather friend.

Weston has enjoyed all kinds of weather extremes,though he’ll tell you he doesn’t like high altitudes by sputtering. He needs an attitude adjustment in those places, which is easily done by VW mechanics.

Joshua Tree. Yep, this was the place to use our solar power. Dastardly hot place.

Yelm, WA, X-mas 2008

Somewhere…

 

 

warm

Reason we were often called the Scooby Doo Van

A big part of Weston was including our Husky-Shepherd Syba. Though she “hated” him, she seemed to have a good time during the many hikes, bars, and social stops. After many trips in Weston to new places and people, no one can say that she isn’t socialized. Now approaching 17 years old, we think her Weston days are over.

Boo and a candle

Daddy’s boo

Sharing the driving responsibility on long trips was important

Cone kisses

We made a photo journal of “Syba Selfies” as part of travel by Weston, and included them on the video for our song Faces.

Sometimes the dog bed was in the cab

But never in the upstairs bunk!

A waking view of Big Sur from the top pop upstairs

 

Boo-Boos (not to be confused with Boo)

Weston is adjusting to city life, first in Harlem for a year, and now in Philly. He’s got a few minor rust spots, dings, and dents to keep him from Best in Show.

boo

Small dent¬† (You should have seen the other guy though … telephone pole)

Some small dents and scratches: City living

OK, not really a boo-boo as of this writing, but a boo-boo waiting to happen!

 

Have we mentioned the good times?

Weston makes a great backdrop. Here, he features prominently at our 2016 release of #Comments while I’m Your Band performs, Rob in the center.

I’m Your Band at the Shadowbox, Durham, NC

Pre-show hanging is always good in Weston, too

Horizontal Hold performing

A dream.

Weston in Philly.

Weston on the road, 2014.

One view from Weston

Interested in bringing Weston into your life? Contact us. What, that noise you hear in the background? Rob crying. He might want visitation rights.


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