Hood River, OR | June 20, 2021
“Hey Amy! We’re taking a lap!” Dave shouts from the passenger’s seat as he wheels around the corner in the Adventure Van Expo golf cart. He skids to a stop in front of me. “Wanna come?”
I laughed “OMG hi, Dave! Let’s go!” Without hesitation, I climbed into the back seat next to Jason from Canyon Adventure Vans and behind our driver – Neil of Adventure Van Expo. Neil sped off, almost throwing me off the back, with Dave hollering and waving from the passenger seat to everyone we passed like a celebrity. The Adventure Van Expo season had officially begun.
“Go look at that Vanagon. Oh, that Vanagon is so rad. Turn here! Look at all these Storytellers! Oh, a GLSS! One skoolie! Woohoo! Yay for that skoolie! Hey guys!” and he waved.
“Oh man. This is so much fun, Amy. We’re riding around here. It’s not even dark yet. We’re meeting all these people… Hey, Adam, Hey, man!”
We arrived here a couple of days ago and we have this first Adventure Van Expo was in Hood River, OR. You can be sure we have sold vans and answered a lot of questions. But what are the moments that I’ll remember here?
It was the presence of more than twenty Storyteller MODE 4x4s scattered throughout the show, many of whom I knew, but each with a different story and different lifestyle set up inside them. It was being welcomed into Jim and Patrice’s photography office set up in the back of their MODE. It was Chris Cordes sharing his slackline set up behind his van in the ONX OffRoad area, and laughing with other strangers as we fell off, tried again, fell off, and tried yet again. It was Chad and Paul teaching Kait Russo how to one-wheel. It was Jason from Canyon Adventure Vans racing Thor on the Super 73s down the main drag. It was the after-hours cramming inside the Storyteller MODE with people I had just met, for the simple pleasure of hanging out and chatting. It was jumping in the creek behind the Airbnb with everyone, and waking up with 5 vans and a camper truck in our driveway while the sunrise illuminated Mount Hood in the distance.
Community holds a unique power that enables us, as a community, to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. I’ve witnessed the healing powers of a strong community multiple times in my life. The 2021 AVE year is really just getting started, and I’m ecstatic to see the ways in which this community will change lives this year.
Until the next one,