Posted by: bkropf | October 14, 2007

Can I get a Mormon to Drink Coffee?

The trip may be over as planned.  The mechanics had good and bad news for me.  Good: The van’s problem was fixed and now getting enough gas to drive.  Bad: They said the engine would die before Ontario, Oregon, about a 3 hour drive away.  As I was picking my fallen hopes off of the floor, I decided to risk my van’s stamina against the mechanic’s pronouncement of doom.  I had to at least get out of my home state! 

It is a scary thing driving a cursed van.  I had no idea how far the van would make it.  Would it make it to Ontario, Boise, Twin Falls, or Ogden?  Each stage of the journey my stomach got tighter and tighter and my heart tired from excess beating.  I wanted to make it to Ogden because it is next to Salt Lake City, and I could get rid of the van much easier.  Also one of my best friends, Glendon, and his wonderful wife, Kaytee, live there and so graciously said I could stay with them.


Along the drive there were a few nice things.  I saw a huge tree with thousands of shoes tied in its branches.  I did not take a picture for fear the van would stay in that exact spot permanently.  I saw a band of wild horses (please don’t confuse with my favorite group right now, The Band of Horses).  There is a chance they might not have been wild, but who knows, I’m sticking with the story they are wild. 

I think when you are confronted with vulnerable/humbling situations in life you end up praying a lot more.  I was praying like a soldier storming Normandy and then God sent me a sign.  I looked in my rear-view mirror and a huge ‘vision’ of Jesus with outstretched arms and a cross was overtaking me.  In the end it was a large mural painted on the front of a trailer pulled by a pickup but it was encouraging none-the-less.


So you might be wondering if I made it?


In a cloud of smoke, I did make it.  I turned off the van in Glendon’s driveway and smoke started pouring out of the hood. 

So what is going to happen now?  I’m still thinking.  My current plan is to ditch the van for the most money I can get, then hitch-hike/greyhound/Amtrak my way around the rest of the trip until get I get so tired of being out of my comfort zone, I fly home.  Please shield Grandma from this information to save her from tireless worry.  This turn of events should only add to weird stories but as you can tell from previous plans written, things will change.  Does anyone know how to get a van stolen because that would definitely be the best course of action, or maybe someone will hit the van parked outside, this would be ideal!!!


Those of you who said I would get lonely and want to come home in the first week weren’t entirely wrong.  I am not lonely, however I am having a terrible urge to start working again.  Let me explain with an example: My Dad, I feel, has a hard time taking time off of work for vacation.  Our family vacations are usually quite short because he gets anxious to get back to the farm to work and be productive.  Maybe my feelings are misplaced and there are probably other variables in play, however I feel like he likes to work and not take tons of time off.


Like Dad, I feel I am hardwired to produce (I know someone reading this probably is thinking or verbally yelling, “Yeah right, Barney is a lazy bum,”).  It is true, I do not like to work as hard as some, but I have a really hard time not working at all, I need balance.  All this to say, as I sit here in this beautiful coffee shop,  I have a strong urge to jump over the counter and start making coffee.  My thoughts have gone so far as to think about flying home and working as an Accounting-temp until February and then go to Europe/SE Asia. Ahhh, I need to work!!!


Did anyone catch the Ducks game?  Oh yeah I watched it on the internet and received text messages from Jason on the updates (thanks). 

Thoughts for the day: Should I move to Salt Lake City for a year, would the populous buy coffee from a drive-thru?



  1. About the Ducks:

    Oregon State > Cal > Oregon


    Best case scenario is that your van is stolen probably. Do Mormons steal vans? Probably not…

    If only America had a decent train system because then you could just ride the rails all around the continent like you can in Europe. And you can just couchsurf with people or stay in theoretical hostels for a place to sleep.

  2. Get your van to CV, set it up in the RV park and advertise it as a nice 1 bedroom single wide with the bathroom needing some work.

  3. I’m laughing out loud! Love Chuck and Tyler’s responses about Mormons stealing vans and Renting out the van in CV! Hilarious….

    Barney, your blog is also very funny…. I’m hooked. Love, janna

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