While in the Oregon outback we had a conversation with a couple about how Descend on Bend was probably not the right event to start with as a van owner. And yes, it was probably a bad decision. Seriously, how will other adventure mobile events even come close to this one? 100+ vehicles housing some 200+ amazing adventurers? All brought together with one thing in common (well maybe more than one thing), a vehicle made for exploring? Yeah it was a bad decision... one we don't regret at all.
It was the second year for Descend on Bend, a gathering of amazing people wanting more adventure and less monotony. An event dreamt up and put on by some pretty rad fellows and supported by their families and friends. We were so honored to meet so many fine humans who just want to share life with each other. Talking about vans and other adventure vehicles was just a perk.
We arrived at D.O.B. around 7pm on Friday. It was already pitch black out so we had no idea what we were getting into. After briefly getting settled, we ventured out to meet some of the amazing people who had also made the trek into the middle of nowhere to park next to a hole in the ground. In the few hours we spent around the main campfire we heard a dozen stories about people questing for more. More adventure, more beauty, more simplicity, more authenticity. Incredibly refreshing to be around such genuine people.
After some much needed rest we awoke the next morning to a gapping hole in the ground. A beautiful gapping hole in the ground. Pictures don't fully capture the unique terrain but we tried. We were also greeted by way more van/adventure mobiles than we imagined! After a quick breakfast, the four of us headed down to the center of the hole-in-the-ground. Below is a picture of what we found there (spoiler, there was nothing). And in typical "us" fashion, we didn't use the easy path. We blazed a trail straight down from our parking spot. After reaching the center, it was time to hike back out, naturally we chose the trail that went straight up. If you climbed it, you know it was deceptively steep. We felt tricked, lied to even. Also we couldn't breathe, pretty sure Adam almost died.
After barely escaping the pit with our lives (or lungs), it was time to go van lusting. We didn't take too many pictures of the actual vans (lame I know) but we were busy. Busy talking to every person we came across. Each person, individual or family, was more than welcoming. We got the grand tour of so many homes on wheels. Plus we received insider tips and tricks on everything from finding the right tires, to baking apple pie on the stove. We also heard a plethora of stories. Stories from other adventuring newbies, to seasoned road warriors. To say it was inspiring is an understatement.
This is the longest post I've written in a long time, sorry not sorry. But this weekend made an impression on both Adam and I. The van community is definitely something we can get behind. The strangers we met were amazing, and inspiring and down right kick ass. We hope to see each and every person out on the open road, or down a muddy trail. Thank you for welcoming us and our nameless little van into the community folks! Peace and Hair Grease!