July 31, 2019

Cross country in a DIY camper van


I just got back from a 3 week road trip with my family. I promised more than once to send pictures along the way but I didn’t. I’m not sure why. I think I was just enjoying being off grid. Just wanted to keep those experiences to myself at the moment.

Now I’m back in Boston. Man it’s good to eat Clover again. I’ve been doubling up on my meals, breakfast at CloverKND and CloverFIN, lunch at CloverDTX and CloverHUB. Everything tastes awesome and I’m so proud of everybody.

I bought an old Clover bread van. A 144” wheelbase Sprinter from 2012. I bought this van new from a dealership north of Boston. We used it for 3 years to do daily  bread runs to New Jersey to pick up our pita bread. Then we started baking the bread and the van has been sitting in a parking lot occasionally coming out for Clover field trips.

We did a DIY camper-van. Beds, fridge, storage, sink. No toilet. My wife Brooke, our kids Clementine, Blue, and Violet, and our dogs Tulip and Snorri got in the van and drove West. Each morning we looked at the map and decided where to go next. We camped a ton. I have some fun details to share about our travels and the van build. I know I’m not the only one out there who has been dreaming about a DIY camper van for years.

I return feeling antsy. This thing we’re working on — trying to figure out how to get meat loving Americans to enjoy meals without meat — it feels more urgent to me than ever. We need to do much more and faster. It needs to be a group effort.

Best meal on the trip: Campfire cooking in Nebraska
Best meal on trip from a restaurant: Crooked Ewe, South Bend, Indiana
Meal that left us not wanting to eat for a few days: Pizza By the Pound in Paducha, KY
Most surprising new food experience: Tie: Raw cane juice with Pennywort at Cococane in LA; Navajo Taco at 4-corners (Fry bread with taco fixings)
Food item I brought back that I’m most excited to use: Blue corn masa I got from a Navajo reservation
Coolest food item at Disneyland: Coke Grenade at Star Wars Land
Best ambiance: Eating blueberry bowls (my son’s invention, like Acai bowls) out of our van at an off-the-path vista in Mesa Verde enjoying the early morning dessert
Sandiest meal: Pickle and cheddar sandwiches on a sandy rock at the end of a flooded slot canyon on Lake Powell
Best company at a meal: Joining re-enactors playing John Muir and Teddy Rosevelt for a campfire breakfast at the Grand Canyon
Best booze: Rye at Willet Distillery in KY

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