And just like that, 2020 is almost over. I didn’t expect it to come so soon. Simultaneously, I didn’t expect it to take this long. This time of year always brings about lots of reflection for me. As I was combing through my memories of this year the other day, a few specific ones came to mind. Not surprisingly, many of them I’ve already written about here. One stuck out that I haven’t shared much about.

Two months after moving to Salt Lake City my Jeep Patriot of 5 years started having some trouble. With just over 100,000 miles on it, I expected it to have plenty of life still in it, but this is how these things go. I could have invested $4,000 to get it running again, at which point it would be valued at about $4,000. So I opted to trade it in and go car shopping.

It had been a small dream of mine for a few years to have a nice car camping setup, so I figured this was my opportunity to make it happen. I watched a few YouTube videos and solicited some advice from friends who had done something similar before, and got started developing my own plan. I wanted a pickup truck with a covered shell on the bed. I would build a raised platform in the back, put a thin mattress on top and use the space underneath for storage & supplies.

Over the next two weeks I scrounged together a car loan, found a Ford Ranger that fit my bill, and executed the transaction. My buddy Shane who has a camper van of his own was my biggest supporter in this project. He graciously offered me use of his garage and power tools (on top of his advice) to bring my plan to life. One warm Sunday in April, after gathering materials from the hardware store, I parked at his place and got to work.

I have never been extremely savvy with fixing and building things like this, although when I do get into it I can generally figure things out. And I find it quite enjoyable. The process of planning, executing, then adjusting and creating reiterations around obstacles that inevitably come up is cathartic and satisfying.

I got a lot of use out of this setup this year, but I’m confident this adventure vehicle hasn’t yet seen its best days.

People who know me well know that I’m not one to shy away from sleeping in and around any sort of vehicle, bed or not… So building out a 6 foot long, fully horizontal double bed in my car was a luxury only in dreams up to this point. Next step is to build out a camper van, but I’m not quite ready for that kind of opulence. One step at a time.

There’s one final installment of my 52 story experiment of 2020 coming out next week. Thanks for sticking around to this point! While the story every week experiment is coming to a close, I have more plans for this email list going into the new year and I couldn’t be more excited to announce what’s next. And with that, I’ll see you next week.

Merry Christmas!

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