My name is Lori from the great state of Missouri. My Wally ProMaster just turned a year old and in fact, I received a birthday card from the dealership last month!
So how did I end up with Wally?
As far as I can remember, I’ve always had a love for cars. I guess it all started with my dad. He owned a Chrysler/Plymouth/Imperial car dealership in the 60s, and then went on to sell Lake Amphibians seaplanes (cool name for planes that land on water). Since I was knee high, I was around cars and planes – playing in them, selling them or taking them out for a ride. I absolutely loved being around cars and of course, my dad.
My second love are my dogs Ocho (age 10) and Parker (age 7). They are my trusted outdoor duo and we’re always on the hunt for new treks near and far to get out and explore. As a statistics professor, I’m indoors more than I would like, so every chance I get, I heed nature’s call and head outdoors to go on hikes, scenic drives or simply work in my yard. These two loves have taken me and my K-9 companions to many beautiful states where I’ve had the great fortune of creating treasured memories.
While I’m a camper at heart, sleeping on the floor and the close encounters with nature’s wild ones fueled a search for an upgrade. I started looking for pre-outfitted campers and almost fell out of my chair at the cost - $50k and up! While I knew that price tag was a little out of my range, I kept looking and came across an article on Ian and Wayfarer Vans. After reading the article, reality settled in and I realized I could buy the van and outfit it to my liking for almost half the amount. Sign me up!
So the hunt started for my ProMaster City. It must have been in the cards, because within a few months after I found Wayfarer Vans I bought a lightly used 2016 van. I got the van in July 2017 and booked an appointment to head to Colorado, meet Ian and get my baby outfitted.
In November 2017, I convinced my friend Kelly to make the 14-hour trek to Colorado Springs. We arrived at Ian’s shop and it was so amazing to finally meet the guy that had made my dream a reality. He was a delight and so knowledgeable about all the things I could do with my van. I was excited beyond words! In less than one hour, my ProMaster was converted into a bonafide “Wally,” rocking electric lime green cushions, insulated paneling, a fold up table, flooring and camper boxes. In other words, nirvana on wheels!
Now I’d love to say that I immediately started using Wally, but that didn’t happen.
I had major leg surgery two weeks after I drove Wally home so I did what any new owner would do…I shopped online for Wally accessories. I bought a GoalZero lantern, Sterno brand stove, cool LED lighting, Aero coffee press, containers for the camper boxes, and a small GoalZero audio speaker. And then I waited to heal.
March finally rolled around and I was excited to take my first Wally road trip to Moline, IL to see my favorite musician Elton John in concert. Could I ask for a better first date?!? After a magical concert, I found a rural parking lot and hunkered down for the night. I remember it was cold (added heater to my shopping list) but it was peaceful outside. I slept until 10am, a rarity for me but when I woke up, I couldn’t believe the amazing view my front windshield framed for me. It was a beautiful country farm, picket fence and red silo nestled among wild grass. Breathtaking.
Since then, I’ve practiced driving Wally on country roads, being sure to stop along the way and enjoy the drive, not just the destination. Wally and I have been on five trips so far, four visits exploring Missouri and one to Colorado for Wayfarer’s annual owners gathering-if you haven’t been you should go, it’s a hoot! I bought a Missouri in the Ozarks book and now have a hit list of 80+ places I’d love to visit. My journey is just starting.
When asked why I bought Wally, one particular experience comes to mind.
Several years back, I lived in South Carolina and I owned a beach condo that was absolutely my favorite place to visit. The last part of the drive to Edisto Beach included a long bridge over marshlands. Every time I drove over that bridge, I felt more physically relaxed and washed over with inner peace and serenity. I hadn’t felt that way since I moved to Missouri 14 years ago. When I get behind the wheel of my Wally, I feel that treasured yet estranged feeling once again. And it feels amazing!
As a single gal in my pre-golden years, Wally has also given me a chance to hit the proverbial road in style and comfort and explore a new passion – plein air water color painting. For that, I’m grateful to Ian and the Wayfarer team for helping this gal keep her love for nature alive and well.
See you on the road!