So We Got a Van…


So it’s official. We’re setting up our base of operations in Longmont, CO. One problem, all of our equipment is in Brooklyn, NY. It wouldn’t be the first time that Ian and I moved one another but this is on a different scale. The 2300+ mile journey would be our longest (driving) yet.

What we have to move:

  • 450 yards of fabric
  • 1x 5’ x 6’ laser cutter
  • 3x Sewing Machines
  • 2x Screen Printers
  • 1x Hammer
  • 2x Humans
Ian got a bloody nose but, nothing some toilet paper can’t handle.

Considering that both of us are more of the nomad type, we didn’t exactly have a lot of experience in the logistics business. How in the hell are we going to get all of this across the states? We had a few discussions previously and came up with three solutions.

Solution 1:

Rent a van/truck and drive it one way to Denver. Logical? Yes. Frugal? God no. Single direction van trip was going to run us about $2k without gas and expenses. Neither of us are in a position to pony up that kind of cash.

Solution 2:

Have the cube company ship our equipment for us. Shortest timeline for that was about 3-4 weeks. Too long, we need to hit our Kickstarter date, so that was right out.

Solution 3: 

Borrow a van or truck. Luckily, for us, there was a farm that was closing up shop near by. Morningside farm was a local certified organic farm that I used to work at just out of high school. I reached out when they closed up and traded some maintenance costs and cleaning for a round trip use of the van. The poor van is about 19yo and we had no idea what kind of condition it was in. It was a gamble to put it plainly.

We opted for option 3…

Couldn’t think of a good nickname for the van. Mud machine? Dust Van? Crop duster? Idk….

I spent the better part of the week servicing the 2005 Chevy van and cleaning out a decades worth of dirt that’s made its home in the van. A local auto body for the repairs and some good ole elbow grease brought the old workhorse back to life. Obviously I had some help from the farm dog Lucky. 

The Trip:

Packed with some road snacks and supplies for camping (again trying to be frugal here), I set off on a trip I’ve gotten very friendly with. A road I’ve taken via car and bus more times than I care to recollect.

Cleveland to NYC.

I’ve done this trip now too many times. Its something of a blur now as I drive through Pennsylvania. The scenery has become memorized and the town locals probably know me by name. The rolling hills and valleys, mixture of hardwood and carnivorous forest hasn’t lost its allure to me though. Nature always helps me relax.

The start of the drive was going well, excited about the new adventure, unfortunately I started to get a bit drowsy a few hours into the drive. Figuring I wasn’t in a rush, I’ll take a quick nap at the nearest rest stop. In a few miles I found a rest stop and rolled out my sleeping mat and sleeping bad and rested my eyes for a bit…

…2 hours later…

The “nap” set me back a bit but sleeping a little longer is way better than driving drowsy. No sense in putting people in danger for the sake of making the trip shorter.

The rest of the drive was routine. Few stops for food, bathroom, stretch the legs, made friends with another travelers dog. The only thing that was unbearable was that the van was made in those few obnoxious years that CDs were standard and Aux jacks hadn’t become a thing yet. I was subjected to radio only, which you can image in this day in age, is not ideal. In the grand scheme things, it was just a minor annoyance.

I arrived at about 6:30 pm at my friends place in Jersey City to crash for the night. Traffic was light despite it being rush hour, the trip took me a total of 10 hours (including the nap).

Ian had already arrived a few hours earlier, he flew in from Denver. We caught up and went and got some dinner and planned for the upcoming days of travel in front of us. We still have a long way from Brooklyn to Longmont. 

Driving in NYC:

I’ve only driven in NYC just a few times in my life, not a big fan. I’m on edge most of the time and I don’t know the layout save the subway.

With Ian riding shotgun doing the navigation it helped simmer my anxiety. We woke up extra early and went to his storage cube. Some angry cursing and honking we successfully loaded up the Van.

Original packing of the van wasn’t very successful. AKA, we couldn’t fit everything…

No more room for naps in the back.

All packed up!

We close up the pod and head back to our friend apartment for the night to relax for the rest of the evening and spend some time with our friends in Jersey City. See you another time NYC. It’s been a minute, maybe one day we’ll be back!

-Henry Remington

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