When you’re traveling for an extended time, it’s always nice when you can “go with the flow” and let life happen. We were at a gas station near Cheyenne, Wyoming and while Mike was pumping gas, I was looking at our phones. A fellow van traveler, “Adventure Van Man,” had just uploaded a video to his YouTube channel with “Laramie, Wyoming” in the title, and because we are subscribed to his channel, we got a notification. “Hey! That’s near us!” I thought. So I mentioned it to Mike. We surmised that he might still be in the area and we reached out via Facebook message to see if he wanted to meet up. Turned out, he was even closer to us than we thought and within 30 minutes, we were meeting our first fellow YouTuber. He was camped at Ayres Natural Bridge Park near Douglas, WY, a county park less than 15 minutes off I-25.
The road that leads to the park is narrow and littered with signs that say “No Pets.” After our visit, we learned that the park is located only a mile south of the Oregon Trail, which was a main artery for pioneers heading west. We loved the history of the park, along with the beauty of it, but we couldn’t figure out why no pets were allowed! Since we travel with our dogs, this park would not be on our list of places to camp. However, meeting Adventure Van Man was a great opportunity to see this beautiful park with the river and arched rock formations.
As we approached the camping areas, we spotted Adventure Van Man’s van right away, within view of the natural bridge and river. We soon got to tour his van and became fast friends within minutes. What a great guy – very down-to-earth and like-minded. He’s been living in his converted camper van for almost a year and travels the country at a slower pace than many, often stopping in one place for several days before moving on. This non-rushed pace is one of the things that attracted Mike to Adventure Van Man’s videos and philosophies in the first place. Brian enjoys the journey rather than being wrapped up in the destination and getting from point A to point B. He stops in some locations for temporary work assignments and then hits the road again. He was also planning meet-ups with other van dwellers who are based in Wyoming, which we thought was pretty cool.
His van has all the essentials he needs to live on the road and he makes it work for him. When you live in a van – and, yes, down by the river in this case (lol) – there’s no room for items you don’t need, like a sink he had previously installed but never used and therefore removed. He admits his van decor is nothing fancy but he’s out there doing it – he’s traveling and living the dream! Brian is the perfect testament to those out there who are thinking of living or traveling in their van but aren’t sure where to start. Just get a van and start traveling. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Get the essentials for daily life and just get going!
We enjoyed meeting Brian and would have loved to hang out more and camp for a night in Ayres Natural Bridge Park but since no pets were allowed, our dogs were itching to get on down the road. After touring each other’s vans and exchanging stickers with our logos on them, we hit the road heading toward Montana. It was a great pit-stop and we were glad to get to know Brian and we look forward to seeing him again.
If you haven’t subscribed to Adventure Van Man’s channel already, you can do so at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh37UFI3Jyt3LBibKv5CKtQ
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