Since Boris the Bus is turning 40 soon (he’s a ’71 VW bus), we thought it was time to pimp him out with some new gear – like solar panels! Although they don’t create enough power to charge the bus, they create enough energy while we’re on the road to charge lights, fans, iPhones, and iPads – because that’s what camping’s all about. We can go without running water, but go without Facebook or Twitter? I don’t think so.
Somehow, I got stuck in the 70s without actually living through it. Maybe it was the my somewhat conservative-yet-liberal parents, dancing to the Bee Gees with my dad when I was little, or the fact that my first car was an old Volvo I adored. I remember reading old 70s magazines and cookbooks I would find around the house, picking up guitar in middle school just to play “Hotel California” (I wanted to be the “next” Joni Mitchell), and drooling at 70s architecture, fashion, and product design in my college Design History class.
It’s strange, I know. I’m not trying to be hip (it’s rather dorky, actually), or purposely try to live a generation I know very little about. To be honest, I’m not sure what it is about the 70s that is just so damn appealing. Was it the idealism? The counter-culture? Womens rights? Enviromentalism? The technology (or lack of)? Or perhaps, could it be that the uncertainty I feel about the world today is not so different from the uncertainty people felt in the 70s?
Whatever it was, I was addicted. And I thought, maybe…just maybe, one day I will live my dream and drive a VW bus. My parents, of course, refused to let me drive a VW bus when I got my license, and eventually gave me a used, safe Honda to drive – which was smart, because it could not be more reliable. But in the back of my mind, I still really, really wanted a VW bus.