Roadtrippin in my 69 Econoline! 2 Weeks, 4000 km (2500 miles) and 9 States! Now that’s a Trip

Roadtrippin in my 69 is wayyyy different then being in the Roadtrek. Never mind the fact that there is no standing or amenities such as bathroom or sink or stove, or air conditioning, it also requires 2 hands and 2 feet! Lol! It is a 3 on the tree manual transmission with Armstrong manual steering. Which means if you are standing still on pavement you are not turning the wheel. Rolling down the highway is a pay attention thing. She likes to run about 55 to 60 mph. Yes the speedometer is in miles. Yes i am the person that pisses you off but i am in the slow lane. She also rolls with the pavement. There is about an 1/8 of a turn of free play in the wheel so you have to remember that when you hit a roll or a large truck drives by. The wind from the truck will push it. Some truck driver pulled in too close and I got his wind wash! Really dude?? It was fight to keep it on the road. He got the one finger salute. What ever you do…do not get in a traffic jam! Now I am sweating to death and my clutch leg is going to fall off! Lol!

When I named her the “Finicky Bitch” I was not kidding! Conditions need to be just right to have an enjoyable ride. Not to hot, not real rainy, a straight line is preferable with no hills so she does not have to work hard. And grass!!! You expect her to drive on grass??? Well that is a little much she thinks! Lol! On this trip it was all of the above and she performed beautifully even with a few finicky moments.

With all that being said, there is nothing like the feeling of driving my 69! I wish I could explain it but it’s a feeling that needs experience and cannot be described with words! 🚐💜

I went on tour for 2 weeks, through 9 states and did 2500 miles or about 4000 km. What a great road trip!

Let start at the beginning!

I crossed the Peace Bridge into Buffalo NY on Sunday night thinking that there would be fewer people and it would be cooler. I was wrong but other than the wait it was not a problem. Off to Greensfield Massachusetts for the 47th Van Nationals. For those of you that do not know what that is, it a gathering of custom van enthusiasts from all over the world. It happens once a year in a different state every year! I have been a “Vanner” for over 30 years. The Nationals is like old home week with a great family and some dam pretty toys!

Sunday was a beautiful evening and I stopped along I90 at a rest stop and spent the night. I can not make coffee in my 69. Coffee was across the parking lot. Priorities!! Lol! Monday morning I woke to pitter patter of rain on the roof! Uggg she does not like rain, but not a downpour, she can deal with it! Went in to get coffee and started down the road! The rain was just drizzling. Just enough to keep my wipers on. Coffee in hand, stereo on, Massachusetts here I come. I am always in the right lane unless moving in to let traffic in and as I moved over to allow traffic to enter the highway we hit a WALL of water! The skies opened up with buckets. Then next thing I know I can feel her run on top of the water. Hydroplaning is something I have done before but not an enjoyable experience! Putting on my 4 ways, pushing in the clutch to take the drive off the tires I wiggled the wheel to try to get her to cut through the water. Over into the right lane she was going. Luckily the guy I just let in seen there was a problem and moved to cover both lanes with his 4 ways on until I got control. By the time I hit the rumble strips on the far right she grabbed the road and I was back on pavement! Phewww! Pulled over at the next rest stop to let my beating heart and the rain calm down. Lol! Finally got to Greenfield Massachusetts and got parked with my friends! Ahhhhh! Time to enjoy! It rained all night but that does not usually stop us! It was a great evening of Hello’s and Hugs!!

The week went by in a whirlwind hugging old friends and meeting new ones! I even met a friend from Finland that I have on Facebook! I hugged him once then could not find him again!! Uggg! There is a lot of people in a large fairgrounds!

We did a tour of the park! Bobby, Patti and Chilly and I! Its in 2 parts because we got distracted!! Lol! It happens! Lol!

Check it out Part 1 Part 2

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Before you knew it, it was Friday and Show’n shine day! 200 vans lined up to be judged and viewed. No I do not show. Lol! But I do look! These people put a lot of heart and soul into their vans and it shows! They come from near and far to show their toys! It was a beautiful show on a beautiful day! Some of my favorite toys!

A Van show is not complete without the Bright’n Shine. A night time version of the show’n shine but with lights! Some of these people have done some amazing things with their vans to make them twinkle so pretty!

Saturday brought the parade through town to a college for a public show. Let me tell ya that is fun to participate in. My friend Kooba (Jim) rode with me. He won a trophy for his and I think his van has air but we took mine! Lol! It was hot but being in a parade of 220 custom vans is a very cool feeling!

Check it out on my YouTube channel Part 1 Part 2

Yup 2 parts because I need 2 hands to turn the wheel! Lol!

Saturday night was a blast of bands, games and laughs with good friends! A beautiful ending to a week filled with wonderful memories and the making of new ones! Next year we are in Minnesota! I am excited! I have never been to Minnesota! A new adventure!!

I love my “Vanning” family! Sunday a whole new week of adventure began! Look for my next blog and come with me through the smokey mountains to meet some wonderful people in Georgia!

See you for the next installment of Roadtrippin in my 69 Chipmunk Adventures!

Safe travels!!


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