Vanscape: it’s what you get when you view a Volkswagen van against the backdrop of some stellar scene. I think that I made this word up a few months ago when I drove my 1970 Volkswagen to Utah for a few weeks (to view the original post, click here for “Down and Out” on Landscape: Vanscape?). At that time, I drove the van along Utah’s super-scenic SR-128, visited a friend in Moab, camped in Arches National Park, and then camped and climbed at Indian Creek. It was a good trip, and I’m always plotting return visits. On my recent return, I took some time to catch a few photos of what I’d consider to be the ultimate Volkswagen graveyard, a place called Tom Tom’s in Moab. As far as I’ve heard, Tom Tom’s is no longer operational; you can’t just show up and barter for parts. At one time, I think that you could, but then Tom Tom evidently passed away, and people started complaining about the mess. Or what they considered a mess.
So supposedly Tom Tom’s is now a museum, but as long as I’ve known about the place, I’ve never seen it open. Seeing all of those broken-down vans makes a van owner like myself sort of fearful. I don’t want my van to end up like that, but at the same time, I know that most vehicles that old are on the verge of being left behind. I’ve thought about it many times—pretty much every time I hand over stacks of cash to a VW mechanic, I think about driving mine into the desert and leaving it there. Or better yet, starting it on fire and watching it burn. Tom Tom’s is a testament to the fact that other van owners think of doing the same things and that some of them do.
For now, I’m thankful that my Old Lady is still chugging along, as she was above in Arches at sunrise. I’m waiting for the snow to melt here in Vail before bringing her out and getting back on the road.