Pete's birthday party (not related to story).
Jim on the edge in a blizzard.
I miss this heshed out piece of shit. Best $600 spent... Bad tags, no insurance, had to stomp on the floor to start the thing (wire short), broken power steering, hit a telephone pole and crunched in the maltese cross door.. But man, it didn't leak water, had good brakes, 25+ mpg, blasting stereo, blacked out windows, gutted party porch in the back!! Some people would agree that our little crew was in train-wreck times during this period and there was no better train to wreck that the 87 Toyota...
At some point during the Portland to Grand Canyon trip a Cramps album got stuck in the stereo, thus the van's name. That trip killed it, wild camping down the coast in some awful storms, sitting in the beast wondering if the rain and snow would stop. Building arm muscles turning through the redwoods, dodging trees and logging trucks.
The night it died I woke up sleeping in the couch (it had a couch) after my body smacked the ceiling. Jim was jumping speed bumps at high speed, laughing hysterically.. He finally cooled it, and after failing miserably at finding a place to sleep we had to hang out in the van until morning. The crisp garbage air of Oakland blew in with the rising sun and hoards of homeless folk.
It was time to get out of there. We were to be Grand Canyon bound by 2pm. As we found out the transmission decided to fall apart during the previous monster truck night.. So here Jim and I are being heckled by crackheads trying to diagnose and reattach a burnt transmission. A water main blew just down the block and a small wave started rolling down the road as I'm under the van, already soaked in ATF my temper is fuming. We avoid the wave and push it to the other side of the road, minutes go by and another sloshing wave is rolling down both sides!! The wave is filthy, full of garbage, broken bottles, pineapples, motor oil... Again we push it to dry land. I crawl back under the mess and somehow arc a wire causing a fire, so here I am pacing around a parking lot, covered in motor oil, frantically rifling through my bags trying to find a knife... At this point I'm going to stab out the tires, break the windows and abandon the thing.. The knife was never found, but we were on a tight schedule, it was time to call in some backup and get this Grand Canyon mission on the road..
We bid farewell to the busted van, hoping some bum would put it to good use. A friend showed up and soon we were on a straight shot into the barren desert Southwest. Little did we know it would be 10 degrees at the edge of the world. But that's a whole other story...
Whiskey won't warm you when you're ill prepared, beer will only fuel the fire, Las Vegas will ruin anything you've been working towards, scummy punks in grandma's car, tent village, they can be sexy but 19 year olds are not for dating, peeing off sketchy remote cliffs at the Grand Canyon is as epic as it sounds.. At the end of it all you want is to be home standing the garage in disbelief.. On the verge of getting kicked off a Greyhound.. How did it get that weird. Oh and travel light next time!!