We have been on the road six years now, and one of the more interesting characters we have met in our travels is Mick the Brit. I first bumped into him on the south Oregon coast, down by Pistol River. Mick lives in Colorado with his wife Lou, and they had had a Class C back when they were raising their family – trips to Disneyland, all that stuff – but now that the kids were gone Mick got the hankering again, and saw a late 1980s Foretravel for sale for a few thousand dollars, so he jumped on a plane, bought it, and drove it home.
Foretravels are a niche Class A product – top of the line, custom made private coaches from a very small company down in Nacogdoches, TX. Their new models sell for over a million dollars now. Mick picked up a late 1980s model for next to nothing because he’s like me, mechanically inclined. They’re pusher diesels and he knows his way around a Caterpillar motor.
Lou was having none of this bumming around the continent in a 30 year old motorhome, so Mick was off on his own when I first met him in Oregon. I told him what I had learned about the rules of boondocking on the Pacific Coast Highway, and we spent a few weeks together in 2012 on the south and middle Oregon coast. We kept in touch by email, and he came out again when we were on the Pecos River in New Mexico at Villanueva State Park. And we saw him again on the Beartooth Highway in northern Wyoming in 2014.We were in a snowpark – one of those places the snowmobile people stage in during the winter, just a big flat open area – but the views of the surrounding mountains were great, and there was nobody up there to bother as we carried on and socialized.
We missed a chance to rendezvous in 2014 when we spent the summer at the Roadtrek factory, and the schedules didn’t mesh last year either, but Mick’s out on the Oregon coast again, this time with Lou, who has come around on the idea of bumming around in an RV, so we finally got to meet her. Mick’s thinking about buying a newer Foretravel now that he knows he’s going to get some use out of it, but the one he has is doing the job fine for now.
We don’t really do much, just sit around and build big campfires out in the middle of nowhere and talk – Mick’s a great storyteller with many adventures. He and I can talk about mechanicing and our respective wayward younger days, and the hours just slip away. We’re not worried about boring anyone because there’s nobody to bore out here, just the wildlife.
It’s sort of like the mountain men rendezvous they had back in the fur trapping days – individual mountain men would spend all year off on their own, but once a year they’d decide on a time and place to meet up, do all their socializing, and then disperse back into the wilderness. We’re a bit more civilized than that now, but the principle’s the same.