Ramble On – Morning Commute
You might already know that Truck Trend is the flagship of the Truck Trend Network, a group of magazines that includes Truckin and Diesel Power, as well as heritage titles like 8-Lug, Work Truck Review, and RV. One of my favorite aspects of this partnership is the variety it lends to our work. Case in point: the 2018 Diesel Power Challenge Presented by XDP. DPC 2018 took place in June, and it was a lot of fun. I’ll let Diesel Power tell you all about it, so if you haven’t picked up your copy of that magazine, go do so.
But while I enjoy most aspects of DPC, there’s one part that I kinda-sorta dread: the commute to the event, which takes place several hundred miles away from Los Angeles. While most staffers fly to Denver for DPC, I usually get saddled with the responsibility of driving the Truck Trend Network events support van, a big and beautiful Nissan NV2500 that’s dripping in logos and red and black regalia.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy driving the van—exactly the opposite. I love its king-of-the-road stance (ours is lifted about an inch over stock). I love the V-8’s rumble as it climbs Vail Pass or cruises through the Virgin River Gorge. And I love the spacious interior, decked out with durable Carhartt seat covers and LED interior lighting. Our van really is pretty cool.
I also really appreciate the scenery along the way. Driving directly from Los Angeles to Denver takes you through Capitol Reef National Park, one of the most awe-inspiring locales on the planet. It’s amazing that I-70, a fast-moving interstate, skirts so closely to Capitol Reef, giving thousands of travelers the view of a lifetime as they glide past. And farther into the drive, you hit the alien expanse of land surrounding Green River, Utah, as well as the late-spring brilliance of the Rocky Mountains through Glenwood Canyon.
Really, the only thing I dislike about the drive is the time it takes. Diesel Power Challenge is a wonderful event that runs like clockwork; as such, it’s important to arrive in Denver on time and ready to work. And so I left L.A. on Thursday morning, spending a day visiting Grandma in Utah before arriving in Denver Saturday afternoon to start setting up the event. Unfortunately, that schedule doesn’t allow for many stops or sidetracks, and if you know me at all, you know those little highway sideshows are my favorite parts of a road trip.
But ultimately, even though this year Diesel Power Editor KJ Jones graciously offered to do the driving so I could travel to Denver in a plane, I opted to stick with my now-four-year-old tradition. Regardless of the time constraints, there’s nothing like spending 18 hours on the road, using the time to meditate, catch up with family on the phone, and listen to all sorts of good music. (And the event support van’s fully stocked snack box ain’t bad either—jerky for days, literally.)
It all just adds more evidence to my claim that driving really is the best way to get anywhere. Read more about the Truck Trend staff’s overland travels throughout this entire issue.