Monday, January 14, 2008

Where's Waldo?

For a couple of years now, we've been keeping our eyes peeled for a "Westie" - a Winnebago conversion of a Volkswagon Westfalia van. They stopped making them about five years ago, and they're pretty darn hard to find. When you do find them, they're often ungodly expensive. DH happened to be rolling past a VW dealership and spotted this little gem on the lot. Usually we take a lot more time with car-buying, but he knew it was a good deal, and the van looks like it's hardly been used.
It sleeps four - two down in the folded back seat area, and two up in the "pop top" and I think it will be great for more four-season camping (especially on the wet and windy Oregon coast) and taking to triathlons (where we usually have to find a hotel room). Some friends have had one for years and so we drove over to their house to get a run-down on how everything works (ours is missing its owner's manual, unfortunately!) and to look at how they have it all organized. I remember camping at Waldo Lake (elevation 6,000') one fall with our friends and as we shivered in our tent, looking out at their toasty Westie with the heater and the indoor stove for hot chocolate and thinking I would really have liked to be inside at that moment! Not that our tent camping days are done, I know the kids love having a tent and I really don't mind roughing it in the great outdoors in the summer when it's not pouring rain. But I've packed up the tent in a downpour on more than one marginal fall camping trip, so this will be a welcome addition.

And my hubby, who after 10 years in the Army developed a serious aversion to camping, will be much more likely to come with us if it doesn't mean sleeping in the tent, so that's a bonus too. We're looking forward to playing cards here in the main part of the van (a table folds out and the front seats swivel around). We were informed that if you own a Westie, you have to name it. So ours has become "Waldo" in honor of my favorite place in the world to camp. My hubby was cracking up this morning as he was ordering an owner's manual online, and the first thing you had to input on the form was the name of your vehicle! So I guess it's a good thing ours has already been dubbed Waldo, he had something to fill in on the form.

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