Conrad, my beloved van with whom I shared many an adventure, is gone. He went out in a fiery blaze at a truck stop in Kern County, CA Not sure what happened, but it happened fast and it was a sight to behold. My friend Brittany and I were on our way to the Brain Daze music festival (and LA after), near Ojai, and were close to 2 hours from our destination when Conrad decided to spontaneously combust while we were in Wendy’s trying to get some Frostys. Yes, there was photo and computer gear in the car. Lot’s of it.
Myself and some helpful citizens attempted to extinguish the blaze, but alas we were unable to do so and Conrad was consumed by fire.
We were truly touched by the kindness of some of the folks at the truck stop, who offered us rides, money (a guy tried to give me $100!), showers and food. We could have easily gotten to LA or SF , but we were determined to complete our journey. Conrad went out like a champion and there could only be one winner of this day, Rock and Roll.
Our buddy Ethan, who had already made it to the fest, was kind enough to drive up and rescue us and we made our way, replacing our plastic cooler with a styrofoam one and the Mamiya and Nikon gear with a disposable camera from a liquor store. Friends lent us tents, blankets and other essentials. We had an awesome time and raised more than a few glasses in Conrad’s memory.
I’m sad that my favorite dude is off to the junk yard, but the kindness we experienced that day made me feel a little better about the world and thankful for my amazing friends. That stuff is way more important than even the sweetest van.
Here are a few of my favorite instagram photos of Conrad. I didn’t have him long, but we put a lot of road behind us.